CAFAM Newsletter—March 2018



News & Updates

  • Maine’s Chinese Food Heritage Featured in Exhibit
  • Help Prevent Human Trafficking in Maine

Upcoming Events

  • Chinese Music Concert
  • Talk on China’s Environmental Economy
  • Shen Yun at Merrill

Recent Events

  • Film Screening: “Maineland”
  • Lunar New Year Celebration: Year of the Dog


  • Chinese Student’s Immersion Experience in Maine

Photo Gallery

  • Images from the Lunar New Year Celebration


Pekin Restaurant menu

Chinese Food History Featured in Exhibit

A new exhibit at the Maine Historical Society in Portland examines the role that food plays in Maine’s culture and economy. “Maine Eats: The Food Revolution Starts Here,” explores Maine’s relationship with food and shares diverse stories from around the state.

These stories include several examples of the Chinese impact on Maine’s food history. Thanks to the extensive historical research done over the years by CAFAM’s Gary Libby, Maine Historical Society has quite a treasure trove of information about Chinese restaurants and the people behind them. Libby helped assemble material for the exhibit, including a circa 1920 menu from The Pekin (北京) Restaurant in Bangor. Also featured are stories about the first Chinese restaurant in Maine, Ar Tee Lam, where chop suey (雜碎) was a popular dish, as well as a tale about the first American moon cake (月餅) that was made in Portland.

“Maine Eats” opened in early March and will continue until February 2019. (Video link)

Spread the Word: Help Report and Prevent Human Trafficking

Click image to watch a video

Recently Preble Street Anti-Trafficking Coalition (PSATC) reached out to CAFAM to ask our organization to help spread the word about human trafficking in Maine. Unfortunately, trafficking does occur here, and it sometimes involves young people from Asia. They hope to raise awareness of this issue in our community, as well as let people know about resources available to help potential victims.

PSATC includes eight nonprofit organizations in Maine: Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine; Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault; Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence; Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project; Family Crisis Services; Day One; Catholic Charities of Maine; and Caring Unlimited.

Human trafficking, as defined by the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act, is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, providing, or obtaining of a person, through force, fraud, or coercion, for labor services or commercial sex—or any commercial sexual activity by a minor. For more information about the PSATC and indicators of labor or sex trafficking, please visit their website (click here). Maine’s Human Trafficking Response National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline is 1-888-373-7888.

Since potential victims may not have English proficiency, here is a brief intro in simplified and traditional Chinese in case you need it:

美國聯邦人口販運被害人保護法》定義人口販運為 「以脅迫、欺詐或強力手段招募、藏匿、運送、提供或獲取個人,並使其從事勞力服務或性交易,或使未成年人參與性交易。若需更多資訊或協助,請撥打全國人口販運資源中心熱線 1-888-373-7888,可以讓您與緬因州服務網絡取得聯繫。

美国联邦《人口贩运被害人保护法》定义人口贩运为 「以胁迫、欺诈或强力手段招募、藏匿、运送、提供或获取个人,并使其从事劳力服务或性交易,或使未成年人参与性交易。若需更多信息或协助,请拨打全国人口贩运资源中心热线 1-888-373-7888,可以让您与缅因州服务网络取得联系。


Concert: “An Evening of Chinese Music”

  • Saturday, April 7, 2018; 7 pm
  • Studzinski Recital Hall, Bowdoin College
  • Free and open to public

Seven professional musicians introduce classical Chinese music instruments such as pipa 琵琶, guzheng 古筝 and dulcimer 扬琴. They will play both traditional music and contemporary compositions.

Public Talk: China’s Economy

  • Wednesday, April 18, 2018; 4:30 pm
  • Visual Arts Center, Bowdoin College
  • Free and open to the public

Ling Zhang, Associate Professor of History at Boston College, discusses the role that an environmental economy plays in China’s “medieval economic revolution.” 

Shen Yun Performance at Merrill

  • Saturday, May 4, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, May 5, 2 pm & 7 pm
  • Merrill Auditorium, Portland
  • $80-150, order by phone 888-974-3698 or online

Shen Yun (神韻) returns to Portland to perform classical Chinese dance with its unique blend of costuming, high-tech backdrops and a live orchestra.


New Year photos by Kwok Yeung

Lunar New Year Celebration

The Year of the Dog (狗) came bounding in with a day full of culture and fun! Our annual New Year celebration featured something for everyone. Lion dancers set an exciting tone and invited hands-on participation. The Chinese School dancers put on a colorful and dramatic show. Thornton Academy students displayed their wonderful musical talents.

We also had a full roster of speakers, including presentations on: a book by a young author, China-Korea geopolitical relations, Chinese music and travel—plus workshops on tea and tai ch’i. And there were many more talks—all well-attended!

Lunch offerings included chicken, fried rice, noodles, dumplings and tang yuan (sticky rice balls). Interactive arts and crafts tables offered plenty of hands-on activities.

Thank you to our co-hosts from

USM’s Confucius Institute!

Many thanks to our generous sponsors. Thank you to Kwok Yeung for taking all of the wonderful New Year’s photos. Please scroll down to Photo Gallery to see more photos as well as a listing of our sponsors.

Film Screening: “Maineland”

CAFAM joined again with Portland’s Space Gallery to present a film screening in January—this time featuring the Maine-based documentary “Maineland.” Directed by Miao Wang, the film follows two high school students as they go from living at home in China to attending school across the world, at Fryeburg Academy in Maine. It’s not only a story of their personal journeys, but about the phenomenon in Maine and across the country of Chinese students seeking out an American education—and the life changes and opportunities that come with it.

After the audience viewed the documentary, CAFAM president Ophelia Hu-Kinney facilitated a discussion about the film and its themes.


What I Learned Studying in Maine

My name is Andy, and I am a 12-year-old boy from Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. During my winter holiday in February, I spent time studying in Portland, Maine, at Cheverus High School. I originally had planned to spend my time playing online games, which I did day and night before I went to Maine. At first, I felt a little disappointed after my mom told me she wanted me to go the USA to observe high school classes, because I love video games so much. But then I arrived here and was excited. Was this the place I used to see on the TV? Of course it was!

I felt sleepy on the way to meet my host family because of the time difference. It should have been exciting, but I still fell asleep in the car. Dr. Yajing Chen of HiElites (海育国际) woke me up when we arrived at my host family’s beautiful house. In fact, I felt a little bit nervous as I entered the house. I can still remember the scene—the Lunas, my host family, and I gathered around to have dinner. Mrs. Luna cooks such great food! I told her she should be a famous chef. Mr. Luna is very funny and made me feel comfortable. My host brother, Michael, is sometimes quiet, but speaks a lot at home. He always had something to talk with his parents—I loved that. It was such an enjoyable atmosphere, and I felt that I was at my home because they took great care of me

Andy with Cheverus Principal Dr. John Moran

I went to Cheverus High School with Michael; he studies there. I attended many interesting classes. While I could not understand everything, I learned a lot. To my surprise, I understood almost everything in the math class. That was quite easy for me. The most attractive thing is the freedom students in the USA have. In China, we don’t have time to do anything other than work, but students do in the USA. Students had time to read books they liked or do other things they enjoyed.

I really enjoyed seeing the relationship between strangers in the USA—they would say ‘Hello’ to each other! I still remember when I was at Cheverus and all the students there said ‘Good morning’ or ‘Hello’ to me. I didn’t feel even a little bit lonely because of their warmth and kindness. This is the most important reason why I like and respect Americans so much. I told my friends in China about this, and how I really enjoyed the trip. And the best thing is that I became more confident in myself—I traveled to the USA, stayed with a host family, and did well in high school classes!




This e-newsletter is provided to CAFAM members and is edited by Cindy Han and Connie Zhu, with technical support from Jay Collier.

One thought on “CAFAM Newsletter—March 2018

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.