On Chang E

By Craig Dietrich

Chang E, the lady in the moon, appears in different versions of Chinese folk legends.

She is usually paired with her husband, Hou Yi. The two immortals get demoted to mortals. Hou Yi manages to acquire a pill of immortality, but Chang E swallows it and flees to the moon. (Husbands take note.)

In one version, the heavenly couple are doing just fine, when Hou Yi notes that the Jade Emperor’s ten sons have transformed themselves into ten suns (son/sun is not a pun in Chinese, in case you wondered). To rescue mortals from this situation, he shoots down nine of the suns with arrows, leaving just one remaining. Not amused, the Jade Emperor banishes Hou Yi and Chang E to earth and makes them mortals.

Now the Queen Mother of the West gets in the act, when Hou Yi talks her into giving him a pill of immortality. For some reason, he brings the precious medicine home, puts off taking it, and is shocked when he learns that Chang E has popped it in her own mouth. Immortal again, she floats heavenward, and ends up on the moon. She is stuck there because, after all, the Jade Emperor is still mad, so she can’t go to heaven, and she can’t get back to earth, where she would have to deal with a cranky Hou Yi. More

Portland’s Chinese ‘Rocky’

By Gary Libby

In the late 1940s one Harry Wong battled his way into the boxing scene in southern Maine. Known variously as “little Chinese wildman” and “Bongo Bongo,” Harry fought thirty-seven bouts in the Portland and Lewiston areas between 1946 and 1948. He won seventeen (eleven by knockout) and came away with six draws. But he himself was knocked out five times and lost nine decisions. It seems that his great asset and also great weakness was an aggressive, lunging style, without much defense. This made it likely that he would knock out his opponent or be KO’d himself. It also made him popular among fans, who loved action.

Harry Wong, was born in Portland, Maine, in 1925, the son of restaurateur Charles Tuck Wong and his wife Mark Shee. Harry’s father opened the Oriental Restaurant in Portland’s Monument Square in 1917. That deluxe establishment closed in 1938. More

Illegal Immigration

By Gary Libby from the September 2007 CAFAM Newsletter

The following comes from the Portland Eastern Argus of April 24, 1895, and demonstrates to what lengths human traffickers would go to circumvent anti-Chinese immigration laws.

IN VENTILATED COFFINS
The Latest Scheme for Smuggling Chinamen into this Country

Montreal, Que., April 23 – A gang of Chinese smugglers has been unearthed here and some arrests are expected shortly. There are said to be 80 or more in different parts of the country acting in collusion. The modus operandi is: Chinamen come here from Vancouver and are shipped in batches of six to Quebec, where they are dressed as women and forwarded to St. John, N. B. There they are kept in hiding a day or two. Ventilated coffins are provided and in these “corpses” are shipped to Vanceboro, Maine, where they are claimed by another of the gang who arranges for their distribution through the States.

Who We Are

The Chinese & American Friendship Association of Maine provides forums and outreach to promote awareness of and appreciation for Chinese culture. We promote friendship between non-Chinese Americans, Chinese-Americans, and Chinese people, whether from the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, or elsewhere.

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