CAFAM Newsletter—September 2016


News & Updates

  • Help Needed: Chinese New Year
  • Chinese School Kicks Off
  • Chinese Music on the Radio
  • Marking Chinese History in Maine
  • CAFAM Membership Renewal

Upcoming Events

  • Maine Chinese Language Conference
  • CAFAM Lecture Series
  • Chinese New Year Celebration

Recent Events

  • Moon Festival
  • Summer Potluck in the Park


  • Martin Connelly: President and Tea Guy

Language Corner

  • A Satire on Mixing English and Chinese


Help Needed: Chinese New Yearbainian

The board members of CAFAM have been busy planning the 2017 Chinese New Year celebration—always our biggest and most exciting event of the year. But to pull it off, we need more hands on deck!

If you are interested in helping us make the Chinese New Year event a success, please let us know. If you can volunteer on the day of the event or help with planning and organizing a certain aspect of the event (from publicity to activities to food), we would love to hear from you. Baituo 拜託!拜托!

Please contact Cindy Han at if you would like to learn more or offer much-needed help!

Chinese School Begins 20th YearCNYyoungdancersyellowoutfit

A message from the school:

We are very happy to announce the opening of enrollment for our 20th year of the CAFAM Chinese School and we hope that you will be able to join us! We’ll have another fabulous year of art, dance, cooking, family, friends and fun!

We’ve had a little change in date due to the holiday spanning the first weekend in October. This year, school will run from Saturday, October 15 through Saturday, November 19. We’ll have a holiday break, meet once in December on Saturday the 3rd, break again and then resume classes Saturday, January 7 through Saturday, January 21. Chinese New Year dress rehearsal will be on January 28th and we are planning our big Chinese New Year Celebration for February 4, 2017! Let’s welcome the year of the ROOSTER!

We are also planning a special event for this spring … stay tuned for that and we’ll let everyone know the date as soon as plans are finalized.

Please take a few moments to register your students: Click here to register. Please feel free to share this link ( with anyone who might be interested in joining us! We look forward to another wonderful year and can’t wait to see you all!

Xie Xie!

Tania Strout, CAFAM Chinese School Steering Committee

Chinese Music on the Radio

What a delight to be able to turn on the radio in Maine and hear the sound of Chinese music — from ancient to contemporary, from traditional to modern, from folk to rock. CAFAM’s Connie Zhu has been hosting a new Chinese music program called “Ba Yin Box” on WMPG community radio since June 27 this year, 10:30-noon, every Monday. You may listen to it on 90.9 FM or stream the live show and recent shows on

img_8923Ba Yin Box, 八音盒, is a Chinese word for music box. “Ba Yin” 八音 means eight sounds, as ancient Chinese classified musical instruments in eight categories: silk, bamboo, wood, stone, metal, clay, gourd and leather. The show aims to include a rich variety of Chinese music, featuring artists from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and overseas.

DJ Connie also plans to invite guests on the show regularly to discuss China-related topics, including culture, language, arts, food, and current affairs. Among the recent guests were Heather Hart-Courtice, a long-time Chinese teacher at Waynflete School (Portland); Shen Qi, owner of the upcoming Si Chuan Kitchen (Portland); Bob Poole, former V.P. of the US-China Business Council; and Gary Libby, CAFAM treasurer.

Because CAFAM’s mission includes promoting Chinese culture in Maine, we are pleased to be an underwriter of Ba Yin Box. We will also be publicizing our events to the public via WMPG as part of our relationship with the station. So stay tuned!

Marking Chinese History in Maine

CAFAM recently placed another in what it hopes to be a series of historic markers on the site of one of Portland’s earliest Chinese-owned tea and grocery stores. That store, W.C. Tang Co., was located at 86 Portland Street between 1912 and 1917.img_0194

The original building at that site was destroyed by a fire decades ago and was replaced by what is now Bubba’s Sulky Lounge. Robert “Bubba” Larkin, the owner, is an avid history buff and antique collector. He was pleased to allow CAFAM to place the marker on his building.

W.C. Tang Co. was not Portland’s first Chinese-owned store; that honor goes to Ah Foo Fong, who originally came to Portland in 1868 to sell tea as an employee of George C. Shaw at his Exchange Street store. Mr. Fong opened his store, called the “New Chinaman’s Tea Store,” at 333 Congress Street in 1871.

Ar Tee Lam was Portland’s next Chinese merchant. From 1873 to 1879, Mr. Lam, who was then a cigar maker, owned a tobacconist store at 113 Federal Street. In 1880, he opened Maine’s first Chinese restaurant at 1 Custom House Wharf.

Wong G. Toy, a Portland laundryman, expanded into retail sales in 1896 when he placed an advertisement in the Portland Cadets’ program stating that he sold Chinese and Japanese goods, silk handkerchiefs and teas at his 644 Congress Street shop, called the Wong G. Toy & Co. Laundry.

It was more than a decade before Portland had another Chinese-owned store when W.C. Tang Co. opened. The Portland police raided W.C. Tang Co. in April, 1912, and arrested 26 Chinese men who were gambling in the cellar. The police also confiscated a large quantity of illegal liquor there during that raid.

CAFAM has placed two other historic markers in Portland. One is at 28 Monument Square, which was the site of The Oriental Restaurant from 1916 to 1938. That site is now the Portland Public Market House. The other marker is located at 573 Congress Street, which was the site of the Empire Chinese Restaurant from 1916 to 1953. That is now the site of the Empire Chinese Kitchen restaurant. The marker was originally located on the outside wall of the building, but the owners of the Empire Chinese Kitchen moved it inside the restaurant.

—Gary Libby, CAFAM Treasurer

CAFAM Membership: Please Renew Now!thumbnail.asp

Take a quick moment to renew your CAFAM membership. As a nonprofit, we rely on member support to continue as an organization.

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 been trying to set September as the start and end of an annual membership. Yes, it’s September right now! Please act now and renew your CAFAM membership today!

For more 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


Maine Chinese Language Conference

The Maine Chinese Language Conference is dedicated to promoting Chinese language, education, and culture in Maine/USA and exchange between Maine/USA and China in education.

The conference is presented by the Chinese Language and Culture Center of Maine, Maine Confucius Classroom, and Bangor Chinese School in collaboration with the Maine Department of Education, the University of Maine, the City of Bangor, and Husson University. It is sponsored by Hanban, the Consulate General of People’s Republic China in New York, Lee Academy, Washington Academy and other local schools.

For more information about the conference, please visit our website:

CAFAM Lecture Series

  • Starting this fall
  • Portland locations

CAFAM will soon be hosting a series of talks featuring topics relating to Chinese culture, history, society and more. These talks will be held in and around Portland and will showcase the many interesting people we have in our region who have expertise in China or Chinese people. CAFAM members and the general public will be welcome to attend, and we hope to find venues where Chinese refreshments will accompany the lectures.

Thank you to CAFAM vice president Jordan Foley for initiating and organizing the lecture series.

2017 Chinese New Year Celebrationtop-rooster

It’s almost time to crow about the Year of the Rooster! Save the date for our annual Chinese New Year celebration—we’ll be offering some new features, including authentic food, interactive activities, cultural performances and more.


Moon Festival Gathering

The moon was as bright as can be for our annual Moon Festival celebration at Woodfords Congregational Church in Portland. Friends and newcomers enjoyed an abundant potluck dinner, entertainment, crafts and mooncakes. Each year, the event seems to get bigger and better. Thank you to the Confucius Institute for partnering with us for this special holiday!





















Journalist and Author: Rob Schmitz

roblongfellowaudienceChina reporter Rob Schmitz, formerly of Marketplace and now Shanghai correspondent with NPR, came to Portland in July to promote his new book, Street of Eternal Happiness: Big City Dreams Along bn-nn945_eterna_dv_20160414055941-2a Shanghai Road. Rob was on Maine Public Radio’s program “Maine Calling” on July 20 to talk about his experiences in China, where he was joined by CAFAM’s Connie Zhu, who added perspective on growing up in Shanghai, and by Christopher Heurlin, Assistant Professor of Asian Studies and Government at Bowdoin College. (Click here to listen to the show.)

CAFAM helped to host Rob Schmitz’s subsequent talk at Longfellow Books in Portland. It was well attended by CAFAM members and others, and Rob’s stories about life in China were fascinating. We recommend reading his book for more about his insights on the people and issues in modern Shanghai.

Summer Potluck in the Park

Sunshine greeted the many CAFAM friends who came to Winslow Park in Freeport for a picnic gathering on June 25—with more than enough food! It was a great turnout.

During the picnic, CAFAM board members voted on new officers. Our new president is Martin Connelly, joined by vice president Jordan Foley, secretary Michael Connelly, and treasurer Gary Libby. Thank you to the officers for being willing to serve our organization! And many, many thanks to Kwok Yeung, our outgoing president, who was incredibly dedicated, organized and effective at leading our organization.






























CAFAM President: Martin Connelly

CAFAM president Martin Connelly (center) in China, in pursuit of tea.

Martin Connelly has been a member of CAFAM since the mid-1990s. On his first trip to China, Martin was, as his parents will attest, sullen and unexcited by the adventure afforded him. But through his later youth and his younger adulthood, Martin developed a deep appreciation for the people, the culture and the food of his second home.

Martin studied Chinese culture and society at Colby College, and later worked in the country teaching English, writing features, and editing the news for CCTV9 — the first-ever second-generation English language copy editor at that station.

Since his return to Maine in 2012, Martin has been re-working an old Maine standby, plying the China trade. He and his family founded the Little Red Cup Tea company to bring Chinese tea (and joy) to the United States, and the venture has grown steadily since.

Martin has served on the board as fill-in secretary for the last four years. He was elected as CAFAM’s new president at the annual summer potluck gathering in June.


A Satire on Mixing English and Chinese

In case you have missed the latest Chinese cyber phenom Papi Jiang (Papi酱), hailed as 第一网红 (dì yī wǎng hóng, No. One Net Star), read this New York Times profile of the talented comedian (English version/Chinese version/bilingual version) and watch her first viral video clip (below), a satire of how certain people like to mix in English phrases when speaking Chinese. Hilarious!

According to Jiang Yilei 姜逸磊 (her real name), a graduate of China’s Central Academy of Drama and now worth over $1 million, there are eight popular practices of mixing English and Chinese in speech (pretension alert!):

#1 Repeat the key words in what you just said in English. (那两只小猫好可爱, so cute!)

#2 Say the key words of your speech in English directly, called “White Collar English.” 白领英语. (这个case 你来 follow 还 ok 吗?)

#3 Mix in simple English words, called “Elementary School English.” 小学式英语. (Fruit 里面我最喜欢吃 apple.)

#4 Use English for all conjunction words. (我喜欢他, however 他不喜欢我呀。)

#5 Use all English exclamations. (Oh, for God’s sake, 你没完啦?!)

#6 Use English acronyms. (B2B 和 B2C 我们都做啊。)

#7 Use original names. (我们是去 Ikea 还是去 Wal-Mart?)

#8 Seamless integration. (唉, 我已经不能 control 我 self 了。)

Ok, 看看你 fit in 哪个 type. LOL!


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 or connie at

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