CAFAM Newsletter—May 2016


News & Updates

  • Commemorative Brick in Portland
  • Documentary Film about Chinese Medical-Tourism Center
  • Chinese Music Comes to WMPG
  • CAFAM Membership: Don’t Forget

Upcoming Events

  • Summer Picnic in the Park
  • Moon Festival

Recent Events

  • Wu Man & The Shanghai Quartet Come to Town


  • Jordan Foley: New CAFAM Board Member

Language Corner

  • For Graduates: Congratulatory Messages


CAFAM’s Brick: A Commemorative Art ProjectCAFAMbrick.May16

CAFAM contributed to a collaborative art project in Portland, resulting in an engraved brick that has been placed on the sidewalk near 60 India Street. The brick has words embossed into it to honor the fact that it is the site of one of Portland’s earliest Chinese hand laundries (from 1898 through 1906). Jun Sing was the owner of the hand laundry during that time, and Gold Mountain refers to the term that Chinese used in the 1800s as a nickname for America as a desired destination.

An artist in Portland, Ayumi Horie, made the brick as part of the Portland Brick project, a collaborative art endeavor on India Street meant to collect memories from that neighborhood. CAFAM decided to work with Horie to craft a brick in order to continue our organization’s efforts to let people know about Maine’s Chinese history. While there are many interesting stories of Chinese in Maine, the Jun Sing connection was particularly apt because his laundry existed on India Street where the art project was located.

Documentary about Chinese Investment Project in Maine

AuburnFactoryLongMar16 (1)
Former shoe factory building in Auburn

Last year, a group of Chinese investors purchased an old shoe factory building in Auburn, Maine, with plans to renovate the building and turn it into a “luxury medical-tourism center.” The news piqued many people’s interest, prompting questions like: “Why Auburn?” and “What is a medical-tourism center?” and “Why do the Chinese need to come here for that?”

Because of the many questions the project raises, and because it is the first project of its kind involving investors from China in Maine, CAFAM board member Cindy Han decided that the subject merits further investigation. She is starting to make a documentary film about the project, with plans to follow the project for the next two years when the first Chinese patients are slated to come to the completed center. The film’s working title is China on the Androscoggin.

Mockup of future Chinese medical-tourism complex

Currently the building renovation has not gotten underway as the Chinese investors are in the midst of dealing with regulatory steps. The documentary filming thus far has included: footage of the building itself, as well as interviews with a local historian, Auburn’s mayor, the CEO of Central Maine Medical Center (where the Chinese patients can get some of their medical treatment), high school students, a neighbor to the factory, retail workers, and people who used to work in Auburn’s shoe factories decades ago.

Cindy encourages anyone who has an interest in learning more about the Auburn development or who would like to provide information or input to the documentary to contact her at .

At some point during the filming of the documentary, CAFAM plans to host a preliminary screening and community discussion. CAFAM is also serving as the fiscal sponsor and has provided financial support for the initial phase of filming due to the fact that the documentary’s goals mesh with CAFAM’s mission of building greater understanding between Chinese and Maine cultures.

TBD(esired): A Chinese Music Show on WMPG

WMPGHave you ever wondered what it would be like to turn on a local radio station and hear a variety of Chinese music? That was exactly what struck Connie Zhu (co-editor of this newsletter) one day while driving around Portland. She looked into the USM-based community radio station WMPG and found that they have shows dedicated to music from all around the world—Russia, Ireland, Cambodia, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and more—but not China.

After taking training classes and subbing practices, Connie is now a qualified volunteer DJ and waiting for an available time slot to audition for a Chinese music show. In addition to introducing a wide range of music from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan—from traditional to contemporary, folk to rock—she also hopes to include news and events of Maine’s Chinese community and invite community members to the studio as special guests. WMPG shows can be heard live on 90.9 FM, 104.1 FM or by streaming online.

To our CAFAM members:

  • Please feel free to email ( or call (780-4598) WMPG’s Program Director to voice your support for adding a Chinese music show;
  • Please contact Connie (connie at if you’d like to share your music resources, contribute ideas, or propose to play your favorite music as guest DJ in the future.

“It was quite magical the first time I played Chinese music on the air,” says Connie. “I hope more people will have a chance to share the ‘magic’ of listening to Chinese music on their local radio. It may bring back memories to some listeners and inspire others to learn more about Chinese culture. These days we can all listen to our own music from our own little devices, but music is like food for the soul—it is always better when shared.”

CAFAM Membership: Time to Actthumbnail.asp

Have you renewed your CAFAM membership this year? If not, please do so now! We are relying on members to be proactive!

We’ve made it easy with our new online renewal system. Just click RENEW CAFAM MEMBERSHIP to pay your dues electronically, using PayPal. We have simplified the membership renewals so that September is always the start and end of an annual membership. Please act now and renew your CAFAM membership today!

For 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!

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


Summer Potluck in the ParkWinslow-Park-Freeport-Maine-Group-Picnic-Area-sm

  • Saturday, June 25, 2016; 11 am-3 pm (you are welcome to come earlier or stay later)
  • Winslow Park, Freeport

Enjoy camaraderie, food and fun at CAFAM’s annual summer gathering. Bring a dish to share and your outdoor entertainment of choice (Frisbees, kites, beach toys, dogs, children …)!

Moon Festivalimages

Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival with CAFAM at our dinner event. Enjoy moon cakes (a must), Chinese cuisine, singing, poetry and other performances. And don’t forget to gaze at the full moon!


Wu Man: Evening Reception WuManMECA2mar16

When musician Wu Man (吴蛮) came to Maine in March, CAFAM was fortunate enough to be a part of a number of events held as a lead-up to her performance. Wu Man is a world-renowned pipa virtuoso. The pipa (琵琶) is a Chinese four-stringed instrument, similar to a lute, that is plucked to produce a range of effects. The evening before her performance in Portland, Wu Man held a reception at which she spoke about her experiences traveling through China to learn about traditional Chinese folk music—and how she found that ancient instruments and those who play them still exist in rural pockets throughout China. She created a documentary about her travels, and those attending the reception had the chance to watch the fascinating and entertaining film. Thank you to, University of Southern Maine’s Confucius Institute, and Fox Intercultural Consulting for their support in hosting the event.

Wu Man & The Shanghai Quartet

Suzanne Fox (far right) hosted Wu Man (center with scarf), members of the Shanghai Quartet, Portland Ovations leaders, Confucius Institute, and CAFAM’s Kwok Yeung and Cindy Han.

Performing with Wu Man at Hannaford Hall on March 31 was The Shanghai Quartet, consisting of world-class string players, including two brothers originally from Shanghai. Before the performance, the musicians had the chance to spend some down time having lunch at the home of Suzanne Fox of Fox Intercultural Consulting. CAFAM’s president Kwok Yeung and board member Cindy Han joined the group for some informal conversation. Thank you to Suzanne Fox for her hospitality.

The events culminated with an impressive concert by Wu Man & The Shanghai Quartet. CAFAM members were offered deeply discounted tickets ($10 instead of $40) thanks to the support of USM’s Confucius Institute.


Jordan Foley: A Navy Man Joins CAFAM Board

Jordan Foley in China at the Great Wall

We are delighted to have Jordan Foley as the newest member of CAFAM’s board! Jordan is from Pittsburgh, Pa., and currently resides in Portland with his wife, Katharine. Jordan began studying Chinese language in high school, and his interest in Chinese language and culture grew from there.

In 2012 he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., with a degree in Chinese. Jordan spent one year studying at Beijing’s Capital Normal University (Beijing Shodu Shifan Daxue) as an undergraduate. He also spent time in Dalian at the Dalian Naval Academy (Dalian Haijun Jianting Xueyuan) as an exchange officer with the PLA Navy. In 2014 Jordan finished graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., where his thesis research centered on the future of the Chinese space program. During that time Jordan was also a visiting scholar at the Beijing Aeronautical/Astronautical University (aka “Bei Hang”). Currently Jordan is a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy stationed in Portsmouth, N.H., on the nuclear-powered submarine USS Annapolis.

Jordan has been involved with China professionally and personally. He is also an adviser for Guangzhou-based teaching company Aspirations, which helps place American and Canadian English speakers in China for summer teaching programs. Jordan joined CAFAM in April 2016 and hopes to start a new lecture series for the group.


恭祝毕业生! 恭祝畢業生!

Congratulations to the Graduates!biye2

It is graduation (毕业/畢業, bìyè) season again, and here are few words and phrases that are useful when expressing pride, joy, and best wishes to our graduates:

“Yeah, you’ve made it!” Well, we don’t really say that in Chinese. Traditionally, Chinese like to use metaphors, such as:

百尺竿头/百尺竿頭   bǎi chǐ gān tóu

The top of a hundred-foot pole = You’ve reached the top!

颖脱而出/穎脫而出   yǐng tuō ér chū

An awl revealing its tip = Your brilliance is shining through!

To our graduating students (毕业生/畢業生, bìyè shēng), we often use the following idioms to exhort them to adventure further and wish them greater success:

鹏程万里/鵬程萬里   péng chéng wànl ǐ    To spread the wings and fly ten-thousand miles

锦绣前程/錦繡前程   jǐn xiù qián chéng    A future as brilliant as a silk brocade

一帆风顺/一帆風順   fān fēng shùn    To sail with the wind (May the wind be with you)

And, of course, congratulations to all our hardworking parents! Good job!


This e-newsletter is provided to CAFAM members and is edited by Cindy Han and Connie Zhu, with technical 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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