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Bill Wading presents "All the Tea in China"

2007 Chinese NewYear Celebration

March 3, 2007

2007-3 6 20131107 1041336386On March 3rd the CHF launched a new initiative to encourage networking among young Chinese Americans by hosting a Chinese New Year celebration at Jun Bo Restaurant. Responding to a desire among young Chinese Americans to reconnect with their heritage, especially now that they are becoming parents, CHF plans to host informal events around significant holidays on the Chinese calendar. These events will be part networking, part culinary tour, and part educational. At the same time these events will also serve as opportunities to promote cross-cultural understanding and will be open to anyone interested.

The kick off event was the March 3rd celebration of Chinese New Year. Co-chaired by Ida Lano and Norton Lam, the event drew a nice crowd that was approximately 50% Chinese and 50% Caucasian. The evening began with a sumptuous banquet featuring a menu carefully selected by CHF president Ming Tchou. It was followed by an interactive program led by Margaret Wong on the customs and practices during Chinese New Year. Anyone who correctly answered a question posed by Wong, or who voluntarily cited a prevailing custom, won an opportunity to select a door prize from among dozens of Chinese gifts contributed by members. Along the way everyone learned the importance of homonyms in the Chinese language: lotus seeds thus become a fertility symbol, tangerines become a symbol for wealth and good fortune, and a whole fish becomes a symbol of plenty. The oft-heard exclamation during the evening was, 'I didn't know that!'

Another consensus from the evening was an appreciation of the art of menu planning. Food is deeply intertwined in many aspects of Chinese culture; and the elevation of the mundane to the2007-3 10 20131107 1487548025 sublime is an experience to remember. With an expert resident guide in Ming Tchou, how to eat well (and staying within a reasonable budget) definitely will be a focus in future events.

One more surprise from the evening was the realization that while the worldwide web can provide practically all information on all subjects, having pertinent information available in a concise format about common Chinese customs and festivals cannot yet be found. CHF will look into providing this information on its website in the future.

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2007 The Art of Eating Well

The Art of Eating Well
September 29, 2007

At our Midautumn Festival Celebration this year CHF began an occasional series of "Eating Well" dinners at Jun Bo Restaurant. While it is fairly easy to eat well in a Chinese restaurant, it is not always easy to learn the finer discriminating points that make a dish special. Kee Lo, owner of Jun Bo, agreed to share some of the secrets about dishes at his restaurant and to assist us in designing some reasonably priced, yet great tasting, dinners.
Some 30 CHF members and newcomers gathered at Jun Bo on September 29. After a convivial interchange on the midautumn festival traditions with Margaret Wong, everyone proceeded to enjoy a dinner specially designed by Kee. Among the highlights were stirred fried bean sprouts (a difficult preparation whereby the sprouts must retain both a firm texture and a delicate taste) and deep fried fillet of sole (how to keep the crispy coating on the fillets pale yellow for visual appeal?) Enticing clues from Kee piqued everyone's desire to return for more dinners and engaging ideas!

The evening was capped by the month-old celebration of CHF's second baby (the first was Aaron, son of Norton and Krispen Lam in 2005). Jeremy Li, son of Hongqiao Li and Liwei Song, traveled from Rochester for this milestone in his young life. Everyone showered him with good wishes in the form of hong bao, and shared the special ginger and pork soup that Ming Tchou had prepared in his honor. Coupled with special mooncakes from Chinatown in New York City, everyone had a satisfying finish to a dinner to remember.

2007 Open House

October 14, 2007

2007-9 14 20131107 1107358944At our third annual open house this year we welcomed two special guests: Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Dayton. Mr. Dayton was to receive a special tribute from CHF as our honorary Chinese Minnesotan of Note. Our community, representing many of our active organizations, turned out in force to honor him for his significant contributions to the Chinese Collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Our program, reprinted below, shows our increasing funding activity this past year. Many of our award recipients came to tell us about their successes and the difference our support had made, chief among them the students funded by our WWII Fellowship in the Department of History at the University of Minnesota. Others performed for us, including tenor Li Lei and the children from Yinghua Academy.

Our food table, always a focus at our events, displayed a charming array of delectable finger foods in bamboo baskets. They included sesame moshi, ginger biscotti, baked potato dumplings, and fresh fruits. The golden touch of Yin Simpson was evident in the stylish display of the cherry tree in a classic Chinese jardiniere and stand in the center of the table. As is becoming a tradition at our open houses, TeaSource provided that important complement to a Chinese gathering: authentic teas.

The Daytons enjoyed our program and were thrilled to see the thriving arts and cultural activities in our community. They were touched by our tribute to them, and were moved by the calligraphy written especially for them by Moon Fong, our 93-year old resident calligrapher. The proverb, "The wise is never confused," depicted in the calligraphy, aptly described the Daytons' philosophy of life. For our complete tribute, please visit the Daytons' page at the Chinese MN of Note web site.  

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2007 Calligraphy Team

Metrowide Activities of Calligraphy Committee

Through word of mouth, various groups/institutions around the Twin Cities are calling CHF when they are looking for information about Chinese culture. Our Calligraphy Team is ready and willing to participate in activities to which we are invited. Our fees are reasonable and often free/nominal for nonprofit groups. All fees generated go towards activities organized by CHF. It has been a busy year for us:

2007-5 4 20131107 1303590000Jackson Grade School, St. Paul - David Lam delivered a short lecture on the history and evolution of Chinese calligraphy to a group of eager and gifted fifth/sixth graders. Afterwards our Calligraphy Team, David (translator), Rev. Stephen Tsui and Ming Tchou (calligraphers) and Pearl Lam Bergad (explainer) gave everyone a Chinese name and guided everyone in a lesson in Chinese calligraphy.

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Westminster Presbyterian Church Sunday School - Margaret Wong taught three grades on three consecutive Sundays in March about Chinese New Year customs, popular greetings and foods, and history.

 

Target Headquarters - David Lam delivered a slide presentation on the lunar new year to a diversity celebration on February 20. David discussed the origin of the Chinese lunar calendar, its widespread acceptance throughout Asia, and the many related customs developed in different countries. The presentation was broadcast to Target's campus in Golden Valley from its headquarters in downtown Minneapolis, and was very well received.

 

General Mills - For its lunar new year celebration at the Jun Bo Restaurant on February 24, General Mills invited our Calligraphy Team to come and translate names for its attendees, We did over 100 names for a steady stream of interested participants.

 

Wells Fargo - For its Celebration of Diversity at the Earle Brown Heritage Center on June 21 Wells Fargo invited our Calligraphy Team to come to translate names and demonstrate calligraphy. Our regular team was joined by 93-year-old Moon Fong who dazzled everyone with her steady hand and wonderful calligraphy. After a crowded two hours the queque had to be discontinued so that the previously scheduled programs could commence! We promised to return next year.

 

Dragon Festival - It has now become a tradition that we send our Calligraphy Team to the annual Dragon Festival at Lake Phalen. This year the Festival took place on July 14 and 15. Our team resides at the Headquarters Tent and translates names for Festival goers. All proceeds benefit the Dragon Festival.

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Minneapolis Parks and Recreation - Our Calligraphy Team was invited to participate in the Park's 2007-8 2 20131107 1810760200Peace Games at Washburn Fair Oaks Park on August 9. On a sun-drenched afternoon we engaged many young students of diverse backgrounds in easygoing banter and name translation. These occasions are invaluable in promoting cross-cultural understanding.

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The Team was also on hand at the Ordway Theatre before a Chinese dance performance by a CA troupe.  Local Chinese dance companies also participated in the lobby area, creating a celebratory atmosphere.

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2006 Calligraphy Team

Travel Asia: Asian Pacific Heritage Month Celebration at Brookdale Library, May 13, 2006 Our Foundation's peripatetic calligraphy team joined in the celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month at the Brookdale Library on the afternoon of May 13. Organized by Nong Lee, Hmong Outreach Liaison of the Library, the celebration included cultural exhibits, craft demonstrations, and music and dance performances. Our volunteers offered free translations and calligraphy of Chinese names to many interested participants. In two short hours we did 65 names! Everyone had a wonderful time! 

The Team also participated at the 2006 Dragon Festival, doing name translations for a steady stream of interested and satisfied customers.

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