CAFAM Newsletter—January 2015


News & Updates

  • CAFAM Articles in Portland Magazine
  • Request for Mandarin-Speaking Tour Guides
  • TD Bank program: CAFAM fundraising
  • Renew CAFAM Membership Online

Upcoming Events

  • Chinese New Year Celebration: Year of the Ram
  • Film Screening: The Search for General Tso
  • Bangor Chinese New Year Event
  • Ya Ji: Chinese Salon-Style Gathering

Recent Events

  • First Friday: Dragon Parade
  • Ya Ji: Artist Mei Salvage

Language Corner

  • Year of the Goat


  • Patti Oldmixon: Chair of CAFAM’s Chinese New Year Celebration


CAFAM Highlighted in Portland MagazineWG15-Chinese-New-Year

The January “Winterguide” issue of Portland Magazine features two CAFAM-related articles. One is entitled “Year of the Yang,” and describes Chinese New Year customs and events, including CAFAM’s big celebration on Feb 7th (see “Upcoming Events” below). The other is “Washed, Dried & Folded,” a feature written by CAFAM board member Gary Libby about the history of Chinese laundries in Portland. Be sure to look for a copy of the magazine on newsstands now, or click on the above links to see the articles.

WG15-Chinese-LaundryNeed for Mandarin-Speaking Tour Guides

CAFAM has been in discussion with the Greater Portland Visitors and Convention Bureau in order to learn how our two organizations can help each other, particularly in light of the growing influx of Chinese visitors to Maine. The GPVCB helps coordinate tour groups in the Portland area, especially during the busy summer season. Some of these groups now consist of Chinese-speaking tourists.

Portland-Head-Light-HouseThe GPVCB has asked CAFAM to help identify some Mandarin-speaking local residents who would be interested in learning how to serve as tour guides for these visitors. Interested guides would receive some training about the type of information they would need to share with the visitors. Typically, a guide would be called upon to join a bus tour for a couple of hours around Portland. The greatest need for Mandarin-speaking guides is during the summer months. Of course, tour guides are paid for their services.

If you are fairly fluent in Mandarin, please consider serving as a guide. It would be wonderful if we could offer this service to our visiting guests! Please contact CAFAM board member Cindy Han if you would like to be on the list of people who would be willing to learn how to be a tour guide.

TD Bank: Opportunity for CAFAM FundraisingTDBank

CAFAM has arranged for a new, simple way to earn extra funds. CAFAM members are now able to take advantage of a fundraising program offered by TD Bank called “Affinity Membership Program.”

If you already have existing TD Bank accounts and/or you open a new account, all you need to do is stop into your local branch and tell them you are a CAFAM member and give them the code AG408. The bank will give our organization funds for each account that is affiliated with the “Affinity Membership Program.”

There is no cost to CAFAM members; this is just an easy fundraising opportunity for CAFAM.

CAFAM Membership Renewal & Donations

Renew your CAFAM membership easily online with our new PayPal system. Just click RENEW CAFAM MEMBERSHIP to pay your dues electronically.

From now on, we are simplifying the membership renewals so that September is always the start and end of an annual membership. If you didn’t renew in Septmeber, then please act now and renew your CAFAM membership today!

Chinese-THANK-YOU-MFor more specific information about membership and dues, click MEMBERSHIP INFO.

Anyone who is interested in supporting our organization’s efforts to promote and support Chinese culture and language in Maine is welcome to click DONATE TO CAFAM. We thank you for any amount of support!

Please support our efforts to streamline the membership process by renewing your membership now. We are unable to spend the time and resources on postage and printing reminders, so your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

If you prefer not to renew online, please mail your payment to the address below.

Chinese and American Friendship Association of Maine

P.O. Box 10372, Portland, ME 04101

We appreciate your prompt action in support of CAFAM’s mission!


ChineseNewYearCelebrationChinese New Year Celebration: Year of the Ram

  • Saturday, Feb 7th, 10 am-3 pm
  • Westbrook Performing Arts Center, 471 Stroudwater St., Westbrook
  • Adults $6; children $4; family of five $20; CAFAM member discount

Our biggest event of the year! Come enjoy Chinese dance, good food, dragon parade, talent show, tea tasting, film shorts, artists’ talk, arts & crafts and more! A lion dance will add to the festive atmosphere throughout the event.
The event is co-hosted by the Confucius Institute of the University of Southern Maine.

Thank you to the following generous sponsors of our Chinese New Year event:

Event PartnersBeacon Analytical SytemsIDEXX Laboratories, and Oxford Casino.


Gold Sponsors: Sappi and Southworth International
Silver Sponsors: Falmouth Kumon Math Center, Oakhurst Dairy, Sun Diagnostics LLC, Amy C. and Joseph Yu
Bronze Sponsors: 
 Bob Greene, Richard Lu, Joshua Milligan

Film Screening: “The Search for General Tso”TsoPOSTER

  • Saturday, Feb 7th; doors open 7 pm, film starts 7:30 pm
  • Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland
  • Q&A with filmmakers Ian Cheney & Amanda Murray following the film

CAFAM is co-sponsoring the showing of “The Search for General Tso,” which is an entertaining exploration into the origins of the popular dish, General Tso’s Chicken. The film touches upon Chinese-American culture and history, as well as the role of Chinese food in society. Watch the film trailer by clicking here.
There will be a CAFAM table at the event; Empire Chinese Kitchen is also co-sponsoring.

Bangor Chinese New Year Parade

  • Thursday, Feb 19th; 3-4 pm
  • Bangor Mall, 663 Stillwater Ave., Bangor
  • Free to participate

Washington-DC-Chinese-New-Year-ParadeBangor is holding its celebration on the actual Lunar New Year’s Day. Usher in the Year of the Ram by joining the Chinese New Year parade through the Bangor Mall. Participants are encouraged to wear Chinese outfits; businesses or organizations can bring a banner to carry in the parade. Contact Maine China Network’s Xiaorong Horton for info.

“Ya Ji” Cultural Salon

  • Wednesday, March 4th; 5:30-7 pm
  • Think Tank, 533 Congress St., Portland

This series of cultural exchanges are hosted by Fox Intercultural Consulting. The focus of the March salon will be announced soon.


dragonparadeportlandjan15Dragon Parade: First Friday

As a warm-up to the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration, students from CAFAM’s Chinese School paraded through Portland on January 2nd as part of the First Friday Art Walk. The colorful parade was showcased in the Portland Press Herald the next day.

MeiSYaJiNov14 (1)“Ya Ji” Speaker: Artist Mei Salvage

A cultural “salon” series kicked off in November with a talk by Portland-based contemporary Chinese artist Mei Salvage. The new “Ya Ji” series is hosted by Fox Intercultural Consulting and focuses on fostering cultural exchange through casual gatherings. Salvage presented a slide show of her artwork, which she calls “visual poetry.” She explained the  many ways that she expresses a bridge between East and West through her multi-media work.



Year of the Goat

By Connie ZhuYearOfGoat

Happy Year of the Goat!

2015 is the year of the Goat or Sheep or Ram (羊, yáng), one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. People born in the year of the Goat are supposed to be mild-tempered, considerate, sociable, generous, dependable. They are also curious, filial, thrifty and nature loving. On the other hand, they can be bashful, timid, indecisive, pessimistic and obstinate. They may dislike routine work and fall prey to flattery and friends’ suggestions.

Here are few famous Chinese born in the year of the goat.

楊貴妃 (Yáng Guìfēi), b.719, the legendary “imperial consort” of Emperor Tang Xuanzong, also one of the Four Beauties of ancient China.

慈禧太后 (Cíxǐ Tàihòu), b.1835, Empress Dowager Cixi, who controlled the Qing Dynasty Imperial Court for nearly fifty years in its final decline.

曹雪芹 (Cáo Xuěqín), b.1715, author of the great Chinese novel “The Dream of the Red Chamber.”

徐悲鴻 (Xú Bēihóng), b.1895, a master painter in modern China, best-known for his brush paintings of horses.

馬友友 (Mǎ Yǒuyǒu), Yo-Yo Ma, b.1955, master cellist.

Here are a few non-Chinese people of interest who were born in the year of the goat and you can decide for yourself whether they fit the characteristics of a “goat” or a “sheep”:

B.1931, Boris Yeltzin, Mikhail Gorbachev, Rupert Murdoch

B.1943, Mick Jagger, George Harrison, Janis Joplin

B.1955, Nicolas Sarkozy, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates

For greetings in the year of the goat, we tend to use auspicious phrases containing characters that sound the same as 羊 yáng. See examples below.

喜氣(气) 洋 洋          Happy, cheerful.

xǐ qì yáng yáng

新   春 飛(飞) 揚       New spring takes off; a great beginning.YearOfLamb

xīn chūn fēi yáng 

Or, we may simply wish people fortune and happiness in the Goat Year, 羊年yáng nián .

羊     年   大 吉

Yáng nián dà jí

羊    年   行   大 運(运)

Yáng nián xíng dà yùn

Happy New Year to all!


Patti Oldmixon: Chair of CAFAM’s Chinese New Year CelebrationPattiOjan15

In 2003, Patti Oldmixon was excited to fly to Hunan, China, to adopt her new baby daughter. But this was the same time that the SARS epidemic suddenly took hold and caused a precautionary shutdown in travel and adoptions in China. Somehow, despite these obstacles, Patti was still allowed to go and bring little Maddi home. “We lucked out,” she recalls.

The good fortune that shone on Patti, husband Bob and Maddi from that point set into motion their life as a family. It also set into motion Patti’s later involvement with CAFAM and the Portland Chinese School.
Patti and Bob moved to the Portland area from Massachusetts when Maddi was a toddler, and they soon heard about CAFAM’s Chinese School from other parents of adopted children from China. “It was a nice way to meet people in the Portland area,” she says. So Patti began to get involved, first as a parent, later as a member of the school’s steering committee, and also as a CAFAM board member and liaison between the board and the school.

Patti Oldmixon, Kelli Pryor and Tania Strout unpack the Chinese School dance costumes, newly arrived from Shanghai, that will be used in the Feb 7th performances.
Patti Oldmixon, Kelli Pryor and Tania Strout unpack the Chinese School dance costumes, newly arrived from Shanghai, that will be used in the Feb 7th performances.

She first helped run the annual Chinese New Year event (along with Nancy White) in 2006 when she heard that it was in danger of being called off if no one would step up to lead it. Since then, Patti has been instrumental in making the event a success, serving as the event’s chair several times—which means everything from planning the programming to moving tables. She says that although it’s a lot of work, the job has gotten easier in recent years. “We have so many great volunteers, and holding the celebration at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center gives us breathing room.” She also cites the increase in sponsors from around the community who have generously helped fund the event in recent years. In fact, one of the major sponsors is IDEXX Laboratories, where Patti runs a business operations team.

“I love that we have this whole cultural opportunity for people in Portland, Maine,” says Patti. “I love that we have the Chinese School. You wouldn’t think that you could find this kind of depth of education and integration with Chinese nationals in the area.”

As for Patti’s family, they are returning to China for the first time this coming spring, with plans to visit Beijing and Chengdu, giving Maddi a sense of her native country. And to cap it off, they’ll stop in Hawaii before returning to Maine—back to their home.


The CAFAM newsletter is produced by Cindy Han with web support from Jay Collier. If you have any questions, comments or material for the newsletter, please send them to: cindyhan09 at

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