CAFAM Newsletter—March 2017

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

News & Updates

  • Welcome New Citizens: Naturalization Ceremony
  • Maine Memory Network: New Mainers Online Exhibit
  • Journal Publishes History of Chinese in Maine
  • New Book on Women Artists from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan

Upcoming Events

  • Bill Lascher Book Signing and Talk
  • Golden Dragon Acrobats
  • CAFAM Lecture Series: Chinese Artist

Recent Events

  • Chinese New Year Celebration: Year of the Rooster

Profile

  • Viveca Kwan

Language Corner

  • Poem by Li Qingzhao

NEWS AND UPDATES

Naturalization Ceremony Welcomes New Citizens

img_4108Fifty-four Americans representing dozens of different countries—ranging from China and Thailand to Syria and Somalia—took their oath of citizenship at the University of Southern Maine (USM) 0n March 3rd.

The naturalization ceremony means that these Maine residents are now officially Americans, although many have lived here for several years already. About 1,200 Mainers become new citizens each year.

USM President Glenn Cummings welcomed them, saying: “A university can’t live without diversity, innovation, new ideas and new people.”

Keynote speaker Reza Jalali said to the group, as well as the many family members, friends and students attending the ceremony: “Starting today, you have the freedom to be who you wanted to be.” Jalali teaches a course on “Global Migration and the Refugee Experience” at USM, and his students were involved with organizing the event. “America is much larger than fear and hatred,” said Jalali.

Maine Memory Network: Stories of New Mainers

Clara Soule, Director of Portland’s Americanization program, with her Chinese students from the Oriental Restaurant in 1925 (L-R): Han Tong, Chee Wong, Henry Wong, Philip Dong, Dan Wong and George Wong.

Timwah Luk, Ph.D., electrical engineer at Fairchild Semiconductor and founder of Chinese Gospel Church of Portland.

The Maine Historical Society maintains the “Maine Memory Network,” a digital museum and repository of Maine stories. They are now featuring the exhibit 400 Years of New Mainers online. It includes a fascinating compilation of history and stories of those who have populated Maine from elsewhere over the centuries, demonstrating how immigrants have helped to mold the economic, cultural, and social character of Maine.

You can visit the online exhibit at Maine Memory Network.

 

Chinese History in Maine Featured in Journal

An article by CAFAM board member Gary Libby has been published in a scholarly journal. Gary’s article, “Historical Notes on Some of Maine’s Chinese Hand Laundries and Laundrymen” is featured in 2016 Chinese America: History & Perspectives. Gary summarizes the article:

The article followed the history of Maine’s Chinese laundries from the first one in 1877 in Portland to the closure of the one in Bangor in 1977. Chinese men did not do laundry work in China but a combination of racial discrimination, a need for the service, and the small capital investment necessary to start up a business resulted in a large proportion of Chinese men becoming laundrymen in America.

Sam Lee, a 14-year-old boy, opened Maine’s first Chinese laundry on Congress Street in Portland in 1877. After that there was a quick influx of Chinese immigrants who opened laundries all over Maine. The years immediately following WWI were the height of Maine’s Chinese laundries. In Portland there were nearly 30 and there were Chinese laundries in 30 Maine municipalities. There were even two of them in the tiny town of Cherryfield in Washington County.

Due to the Chinese Exclusion laws, very few laundrymen were able to bring their families to America. Also, other than in the larger cities, Maine’s Chinese laundrymen lived isolated bachelor society lives many miles from any other Chinese people. As a result there was a constant turnover of laundry owners and workers most of whom would move away to places like Boston where there were Chinese communities or would return to China.

Maine’s Chinese laundries began to fade away shortly after the end of WWII largely as a result of the development of small electric motors that let people buy affordable electric washing machines and the introduction of coin operated laundromats.

My article looked at the types of crimes committed by and against Chinese laundrymen, attempts by the outside community to attempt to assimilate them, a comparison to non-Chinese owned laundries, the physical condition of the buildings where Chinese laundries operated, a detailed look at the Goon family laundry in Portland which was operated by the 1952 American Mother of the Year, and the end of the Chinese laundry business.

Gary has another article that will be published in the same journal—“Marriage and Family Life Among Maine’s Earliest Chinese Residents”—to be featured in our next newsletter.

Creating Across Cultures

On March 8, International Women’s Day, Creating Across Cultures: Women in the Arts from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau is set to launch at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center.

The book is the brainchild of editor Michelle Vosper, an American who ran the Hong Kong chapter of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) for 25 years. ACC is one of the most important arts bodies in the region, and when I worked as a young arts writer at the South China Morning Post newspaper, I would continually keep my eye on their work. They had an uncanny ability to spot the most interesting young artists from Greater China and send them to New York for residencies. In 2014, Michelle reached out to see if I would join 11 other writers and contribute three chapters to the book she was creating. It would be telling the stories of some of China’s most trailblazing female creative icons—from the eminent writer Nieh Hualing (聶華苓), to dance pioneer Yang Meiqi (楊美琦) and contemporary artists Yin Xiuzhen (尹秀珍) and Lulu Hou (侯淑姿)—in English for the first time.

I spent that year deep in Skype interviews with the young Hong Kong playwright Candace Chong (莊梅岩), the veteran installation artist Choi Yan Chi (蔡仞姿), and the dynamic visual artist Jaffa Lam (林嵐). It was a chance to study the collective memories of Hong Kong and each woman’s creative practices. As I’ve been poring over the final text of the book this winter, I have been utterly moved to read these histories—or perhaps I should say, “herstories”—and how three generations of history can be startlingly revealed through the prism of individual experience.

Of all the book reviews that have so far come in, these words from the American poet Christopher Merrill, director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, seems to crystallize the unusual power behind this book. He calls it: “An indispensable resource for anyone seeking to understand the dynamism underpinning what some are calling the Chinese Century. In these portraits of sixteen extraordinary women, whose achievements in art, dance, literature, music, and theater have profoundly shaped contemporary aesthetic, cultural, and social discourses, we glimpse worlds upon worlds, any one of which may change the very ways in which we make meaning of our time on earth. This is a treasure.”

American readers can expect to purchase the book through Columbia University Press after its U.S. launch in June.

By Clare Tyrrell-Morin, writer and editor with a focus on cross-cultural shifts and cultural hybridity, currently living in Freeport, Maine.

You may also hear Clare discussing this book on Ba Yin Box, the Chinese music show on WMPG/90.9FM, on Monday, March 13, 10:30-noon. The show will sample music by artists featured in the book.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Eve of a Hundred Midnights

Author Bill Lascher offered a talk and book signing to discuss his book, Eve of a Hundred Midnights. It’s the story of a pair of newly married journalists who covered conflicts in China and the Philippines during World War II. Lascher is from “the other Portland,” in Oregon, but he attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies (in the real Portland), graduating in 2002.

Golden Dragon Acrobats

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Click the image to view a video montage.

Regular Performance:

  • Thursday, April 6, 2017; 7 pm
  • Merrill Auditorium, Portland
  • Tickets: $32, $40, $46; students $15.
  • CAFAM members receive a discounted price of $15 by entering the code “Residency” at the box office or by phone: (207) 842-0800.

School-Time Performance (Recommended for Gr. 3-12):

  • Thursday, April 6, 2017; 10 am
  • Merrill Auditorium, Portland
  • Tickets: $8.50 performance only; $13 performance & in-class workshop

The Golden Dragon Acrobats present award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theatrical techniques.

CAFAM Lecture Series

  • In the works: A talk by a Chinese artist to share knowledge of traditional and contemporary Chinese art
  • Please look for upcoming email with more details

CAFAM is continuing to plan and present lectures by a variety of speakers throughout the year, from academicians to artists to others whose work is related to Chinese culture and issues.

RECENT EVENTS

Chinese New Year Celebration

Dragon chases the pearl

Dragon chases the pearl

Something to Crow About!

The Chinese New Year celebration at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center was a big success, much thanks to a whole team of organizers, volunteers and students. We rang in the Year of the Rooster with the wonderful Chinese School dance students, lion dancers, a variety of arts & crafts, including calligraphy “couplets,” delicious food from Panda Garden as well as dumplings and tang yuan rice balls, vendors, and long list of speakers presenting topics ranging from tea to travel to Chinese pop music to U.S.-China relations.

Thank you to our co-hosts from

USM’s Confucius Institute!

Many thanks for our generous sponsors:

EVENT PARTNERS

 

 

 

  • Gold SponsorsBeacon Analytical Systems, Sappi/Warren Release Papers, Southworth International
  • Silver SponsorsFalmouth Kumon Math Center, Oakhurst Dairy
  • Bronze Sponsors—Jay Collier, Bob Greene, Joshua Milligan, Ah Kau & Sally Ng, Rosita Yeung, Amy C. & Joseph Yu

PROFILE

Viveca Kwan

Viveca and her father Charles Tung.

Viveca Kwan moved to Maine with her husband and two children in 1999 and has been an enthusiastic teacher of Chinese language and culture to the Greater Portland community. She has taught at Cape Elizabeth High School, North Yarmouth Academy and Cheverus High School in Portland. She has been on the faculty of the Language Exchange since 2011, providing classes “both instructional and fun” to individuals and groups, “engaging students of all ages in interactive activities that appeal to various learning styles.”

Viveca and her family.

Born in New York City, Viveca grew up mostly in the town of Dobbs Ferry on the Hudson River. Her father from Haimen (海门), just north of Shanghai, and her mother from Hong Kong came to the United States to attend college in the late 1940s. They spoke Mandarin at home and exposed their children to New York’s Chinese community and the traditional culture they had brought with them. Later, Viveca studied Chinese language at Brown University and embraced her identity as an Asian American. “When growing up in a small town that was mostly white, I had the dual identity of being a Chinese and an American,” Viveca recalls. “My mother used to encourage us to be proud of our heritage.”

After moving to Maine, Viveca took a break from practicing law to spend more time with her daughters. She became involved with CAFAM and started teaching at the CAFAM Chinese School. She helped with the student dance performances for the Chinese New Year celebrations and even participated in a dance performance herself one year.

Having traveled extensively throughout East Asia (including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan), Europe and Mexico, Viveca now enjoys southern Maine for its great outdoors, friendly people and easy living. Her father has also moved here and attends CAFAM events often. Viveca hopes that CAFAM will organize more social gatherings where community members can learn about culture and history and engage in intellectual discussions. She has enjoyed the Mandarin Roundtable and thinks the CAFAM lecture series is a good addition.

THE LANGUAGE CORNER

Li Qingzhao 李清照

March is Women’s History Month, so it is only appropriate to celebrate Li Qingzhao, hailed as the greatest woman poet in Chinese history. Do you know that two impact craters are named after her? Li Ch’ing-Chao on planet Mercury and Li Qingzhao on planet Venus.

Li Qingzhao was born in 1084 to a prominent scholar-official family in what is now Shandong Province. She was highly acclaimed in the art of ci 词, a form of lyrical poetry written to different sets of meters (i.e, named tunes, 词牌), using lines of varying lengths, unlike shi, which uses fixed-length lines.

Li Qingzhao’s early poems portray her protected, cultured life as a carefree maiden and the wife of a scholar specializing in epigraphy. Her later poems darkened significantly as her life was disrupted by the fall of Northern Song Dynasty, the resettlement to southern China, and the death of her husband soon afterwards. She lived to the age of approximately 71, with no definitive date of death, after spending her final years in desolation, but continuing to work on her husband’s book on calligraphy and to write poetry. Only 100 of her poems, a fraction of her prolific writing, have been preserved.

The following poem belongs to her early period. Enjoy the brisk rhythm and the vivid imagery!

<如梦令>              Rúmènglìng (Tune Name)   Literal translation for reference:

常记溪亭日暮      cháng jì xī tíng rì mù          Often remember brook pavilion at dusk

沉醉不知归路      chén zuì bù zhī guī lù         Heavily intoxicated not knew return route

兴尽晚回舟          xīng jìn wǎn huí zhōu         Pleasure all spent late rowed back boat

误入藕花深处      wù rù ǒu huā shēn chǔ      Strayed into lotus flowers deep

争渡 争渡             zhēng dù zhēng dù              Struggled to get through, struggled to get through

惊起一滩鸥鹭      jīng qǐ yī tān ōu lù              Startled and aroused a shoal of herons and gulls

ABOUT THE CAFAM NEWSLETTER

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 gmail.com or czh012 at gmail.com.

 

CAFAM Newsletter—September 2016

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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

Profile

  • Martin Connelly: President and Tea Guy

Language Corner

  • A Satire on Mixing English and Chinese

NEWS AND UPDATES

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 cindyhan09@gmail.com 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 (https://tufts.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_7ajvw7TvOEVjg0Z) 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 WMPG.org.

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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: www.bangorchinese.com/.

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.

RECENT EVENTS

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!

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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.

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 PROFILE

CAFAM President: Martin Connelly

mc-teaguy

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.

THE LANGUAGE CORNER

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!

ABOUT THE CAFAM NEWSLETTER

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 gmail.com or connie at ch-trans.com.

CAFAM Newsletter—May 2016

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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

Profile

  • Jordan Foley: New CAFAM Board Member

Language Corner

  • For Graduates: Congratulatory Messages

NEWS AND UPDATES

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.

AuburnBuildingDesignMar16

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 cindyhan09@gmail.com .

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 (wmpgpd@gmail.com) or call (780-4598) WMPG’s Program Director to voice your support for adding a Chinese music show;
  • Please contact Connie (connie at ch-trans.com) 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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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!

RECENT EVENTS

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

WMSQfullgroup

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.

PROFILE

Jordan Foley: A Navy Man Joins CAFAM Board

jordancrop

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.

LANGUAGE CORNER

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!

ABOUT THE CAFAM NEWSLETTER

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 gmail.com.

CAFAM Newsletter—February 2016

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

News & Updates

  • The Governor and The Sneeze
  • United Way Community Survey
  • Welcome Chinese Arrivals to Maine

Upcoming Events

  • Wu Man & The Shanghai Quartet
  • The Ghost Book of China’s Misty Poets
  • Chinese Language Roundtable

Recent Events

  • Chinese New Year Celebration: Year of the Monkey

Profile

  • Karen Morency: Tai Chi Instructor
  • Michael Connelly: Tea Purveyor
  • Qi Shen: New Restaurant Owner

Language Corner

  • The Lunar Calendar & Traditional Climate Markers

NEWS AND UPDATES

Nothing to Sneeze At

GovLePage2

Maine Governor Paul LePage

You may have seen CAFAM in the news recently due to an attempt at a joke by Governor Paul LePage while he was speaking to a group in Lewiston earlier in February.
Gov. LePage was describing his dealings with Chinese investors over potential business ventures, when he said that he calls one Chinese businessman (named Mr. Chiu) “Mister CHOO!”—making the name sound like a loud sneeze. He smiled and the audience laughed.

Reporters at the event approached CAFAM with the tape of this incident, asking for reaction. The governor is known for his poor track record of making racist and inflammatory statements—so on one hand, this “joke” was a relatively minor slight, while on the other hand, it was one more example of his insensitivity.

CAFAM president Kwok Yeung was approached by the media for comments but was en route to Hong Kong that day, so board member Cindy Han stated her reactions (attributed to her, but with her CAFAM title included), which were covered by broadcast and print media both locally and beyond—including Chinese-language press. Here’s a link to WMTW’s news coverage.

The gist of the reaction: While the governor’s joke was more juvenile than racist, it was a poor choice for him to make fun of this Chinese investor’s name in the same breath as saying he wants to build relations with China and attract investment here. It also makes the governor—and hence Maine—look parochial. Treating a Chinese name as something to joke about displays ignorance of and disrespect for other cultures.

For the record: Governor LePage maintains that he has good and friendly relations with the Chinese businessman in question, and that he was not mocking anyone’s name.

The greater community’s response to CAFAM and the Chinese community in Maine on this issue has been supportive and appreciative. Let’s all hope that our state moves forward to a place of greater multi-cultural understanding.

(Note to Gov. LePage: “Bless you!”)

United Way Conducts Survey

united way of greater portland 2The United Way of Greater Portland attended our recent Chinese New Year celebration in the hopes of collecting answers to survey questions about our greater community. They did not get many people to fill out the survey at the event, so we are asking if members would take a few minutes to do it online.

Please find the survey at: ccsurvey.unitedwaygp.org

Here is United Way’s information about the request:

This year, United Way of Greater Portland is working with the community to gather input to establish 10-year, community-wide goals in Greater Portland. We hope to have as many voices join us as we explore three important questions and help identify critical community needs and issues that affect us all:
* What kind of community do we want?
* What’s stopping us from having such a community?
* What can be done to make a difference?
The survey is anonymous and asks the 3 questions above as well as collects some demographic data. We have already collected feedback from over 800 people-—we’d love to involve the members of CAFAM and gather input from your point of view.
Thank you!
The United Way of Greater Portland

A Few More Helping Hands

CNYvolunteerspapercut

Chinese students helped at the New Year event.

We are grateful for the friends and CAFAM members who responded to our request for people who are willing to help the growing number of Chinese-speaking arrivals to Maine.

CAFAM hopes to maintain a “Welcome List” of people to contact whenever we receive requests for help with language, acclimation or housing.

There are more and more people moving to Maine, whether students from China or their parents or other new residents. Sometimes they need help with language, other times they just have practical questions about the region.

If you are interested in being on our “Welcome List,” please contact Cindy Han at cindyhan09@gmail.com. Chinese language ability is helpful but not necessary! We like having people in different areas of the state who are willing to give a hand.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Wu Man & The Shanghai Quartet

Wu Man

Wu Man is a renowned musical virtuoso on the pipa, an ancient Chinese string instrument. The Shanghai Quartet is one of the world’s leading chamber music ensembles. Together, their brilliant program features a suite of traditional Chinese folk songs arranged by violinist Yi-Wen Jiang, solo pipa works, one of the great string quartets of the 18th century, and a world premiere by one of China’s most renowned composers, Zhao Jiping, best known for the films “Raise the Red Lantern” and “Farewell, My Concubine.”

Also, we invite you to attend a special evening reception for Wu Man while she is in Portland:

  • Wu Man: Artist Reception
  • Sponsored by CAFAM, Fox Intercultural Consulting, and USM Confucius Institute)
  • Wednesday, March 30, 2016; Maine College of Art, approximately 6:15 pm (details to come)

We will have a special opportunity to meet Wu Man and hear about her music and her experiences, plus watch her documentary (35 min.) about her journey to discover ancient music traditions in China. Refreshments will be served. We hope many CAFAM members will come enjoy this event!

The Ghost Book of China’s Misty Poets

Poet Gu Cheng (1956-93)

Poet Gu Cheng (1956-93)

Exhibition on the “Ghost Book,” the first unauthorized publication in the People’s Republic of China. Printed on mimeograph, pasted to walls of Beijing, the pages vanish quickly, making the magazine a “Ghost Book.” An opening reception will be held on Tuesday, 1 March, 5:30 to 7:00 and will include comments by John Rosenwald, curator of the exhibition and translator of the featured poets.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a choral reading of Gu Cheng’s poem “The City” will be held at the UMF Emery Center at 7:00 pm on March 3. Link to event info here.

Chinese Language RoundtableFox logo

  • First and third Friday of the month, 12-1 pm (resuming in March)
  • ThinkTank Coworking, 533 Congress St., Portland

A casual meeting of Mandarin speakers in the Portland area. Feel free to bring your lunch! Organized by Fox Intercultural Consulting.

RECENT EVENTS

Chinese New Year Celebration

Happy New Year!

CAFAM’s Chinese New Year Celebration at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center on February 6th greeted the Year of the Monkey with great energy! We are all glad the roads were cleared of snow in time for the big event.

Lion dancers Steve and Rodger Wong engaged young and old to join them in playing instruments and being part of the lion as it paraded around. Arts and crafts tables were run by many of our area Chinese students. Vendors with cultural items and books filled the gym. Visitors to the mahjong tables learned how to play the popular Chinese game.

CNYvoluntcalligrThe annual performance of CAFAM’s Chinese School dance students filled the stage with color and delight. This year’s addition of the beautiful Peacock Dance was thanks to a grant from the Maine Arts Commission for three students to learn the traditional dance from teacher Fan Luo.

Lunch this year featured the ever-popular “Dumpling Dads” and bubble tea, but also introduced the food of soon-to-open Sichuan Kitchen (Congress St., Portland), including kung pao chicken and pork buns.

CNYpeacockMany students showcased Chinese culture during the talent show, with song, dance, instrumental performances and Chinese yo-yo feats.

Visitors also had the chance to view Monkey King videos, taste Chinese tea at a workshop by Michael Connelly, and learn about pain relief through tai chi at a session led by Karen Morency.

What a full and festive day! Thank you to our co-hosts from USM’s Confucius Institute, whose well-attended table included hands-on calligraphy and painting.

 

Thank you to our generous sponsors, including:

EVENT SPONSORSUSMconfinst 2

Confucius Institute at the University of Southern Maine

IDEXXDennis and Patricia Shaffer

IDEXXOxfordCasino 2

Oxford Casino

Beacon Analytical Systems Inc.Beacon

  • Gold Sponsors—Sappi/Warren Release Papers, Southworth Products Co.
  • Silver Sponsors—Kumon Math and Reading Center of Falmouth, Oakhurst Dairy
  • Bronze Sponsors—Johnson Legal, Dr. Joe and Amy Yu, Richard Lu, Bob Greene, Joshua E. Milligan (Key Investment Services), Rosita Yeung

Also: A big xie xie to all of the enthusiastic helpers and volunteers. And, finally, thank you to our tireless event organizer Patti Oldmixon and our illustrious CAFAM president Kwok Yeung!

In case you missed it, here is the Portland Press-Herald article about the event

CNYconfinstchopsticks CNYconfinstpaintmonkeys CNYcymbalgirl CNYcynthiabob CNYdanceribbfly CNYgirlsatCAFAMtable CNYfoodservers CNYngdecorate CNYlittlebow CNYyoungdancersyellowoutfit CNYmahjonglearn

CNYdanceflags

Year of the Monkey CelebrationsCNYmonkeykingvideo

There has been an upsurge in Chinese New Year events and celebrations around the state. Some of the wonderful events this season included:

  • The Maine China Network’s Chinese New Year festive celebration at the Bangor Mall includes a lion dance, parade and arts & crafts.
  • The Auburn Public Library’s event, hosted by Lilly Huang, who has been doing a great deal to help spread Chinese culture in the region
  • The Chinese Gospel Church of Portland held a special service and celebration to welcome the New Year
  • Many public and private schools across Maine have had an increasing interest in celebrating Chinese New Year with food, entertainment and special lessons.

PROFILES

People who helped make the Chinese New Year event a success:

Qi Shen: New restaurant owner who provided lunch dishes

CNYqimid

Qi Shen will open Sichuan Kitchen in Portland soon.

I was born in Chengdu, China, and came to Maine because my husband found a job with L.L. Bean 6 years ago. We are living in Yarmouth right now. I am from a family that owned a banquet restaurant since the 1800s in Chengdu. The restaurant closed down during the 1940s for political reasons. After that, my uncle ran a successful culinary school. We liked to talk about how food can taste better when families are together.
According to my grandfather’s diaries, Chef Guohua Zeng who helped the Chinese government open the first Sichuan restaurant in New York in the 1980s, was from my grandfather’s restaurant. (Sorry for bragging.)
When we are dining out here in Maine, it’s hard to find a restaurant that serves food that has the taste and variety that we used to have in China. So I thought I should open an authentic Sichuan restaurant here. I chose Portland for the location because I think people in Portland are more sophisticated and cosmopolitan.

Qi Shen’s mother (right) helps her with authentic Sichuan cuisine.

Qi Shen’s mother (right) helps her with authentic Sichuan cuisine.

The food we are going to serve at Sichuan Kitchen on Congress Street is authentic Sichuan food. Cooking style and flavor will stay the way it’s made in China, but we will adjust spices for some dishes. Every dish has its own style, and every dish has different taste and flavor. This is a feature of Sichuan food: ” 一菜一格,百菜百味” (“One dish, one style; hundred dishes, hundred flavors”).

Our chef is from Chengdu. She worked at “Yu family restaurant” in Chengdu where U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited. She worked as the cold dish (appetizer) chef there.

I attended a CAFAM meeting for the first time before the Chinese New Year event. I was very impressed by how many people are trying to make this community better.

Karen Morency: Led a workshop on “Pain Relief through Tai Chi”

CNYkarentaichihandsBack in the early 1990s, my husband wished us to take Yang Style Tai Chi together. He was relearning how to walk because he was newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and I was his chauffeur and his brain to remember the tai chi movements. A month in, tai chi proved too difficult and painful for him to “hold” the postures and his balance. He quit. The school applied his tuition credit to mine. Now I had to continue doing something I hated!

Tai chi was too slow, I was bored—and I had “ballet” hands from my years of Chinese dance training. After six months, I thought, “How much longer would it take to learn the whole form?” It took two years! Yet tai chi changed my life totally. Not at first. It was six years of practice and learning Reiki (a hands-on healing technique) before I felt the energy—”qi” or “life force”—in my tai chi practice. It was some more years when I noticed my monkey brain [worries that clutter your mind] had stopped.

CNYtaichigroupMy tai chi practice over the last 22 years has evolved, infusing energy healing elements. My acquaintance with people with MS led me to create “Water Tai Chi” 5 years ago at the Casco Bay YMCA in Freeport, and an “Adaptive Seated Tai Chi” DVD in 2015 for people in wheelchairs or who are bedridden.

Tai chi is not for everyone. Find some way to move, even if you cannot move physically, you can imagine walking, swimming, bicycling, yoga, or dance. You cannot do it wrong. Did you know that even when you socialize while you walk, you can grow new neuro-pathways in your brain? Do what works. Move those 620 muscles of yours! Remember, whether you love something or hate it—there is something in it for you. Results can be instant. It just never shows up the way you expect!

Michael Connelly: Gave a talk and tasting session on Chinese teas

CNYtwoconnellyThe Connelly family has been traveling to China for nearly 25 years, racking up more than six years in The Middle Kingdom. Everyone in the family speaks Chinese to one extent or another, and we all have considerable ties of work and association with many there.

In 2008, Martin graduated from Colby College and took his degree in Asian Studies to China to seek work.  At the time, preparations were underway for the Olympics and as a result, finding a job was a challenge. Martin returned home and said it was time to start a family tea business: We all, he said, liked and knew China; we liked tea as well. What could make more sense?

And thus it came to pass, just over three years later, that Little Red Cup Tea Co made its public debut at the CAFAM Chinese New Year’s Fair in 2012.  Since that time, the tea on offer has grown from five varieties sold in printed paper sacks to eleven kinds of tea sold in custom made tins.  What has not changed is the character of the tea: Little Red Cup Tea is only Chinese, whole leaf, always both Organic and Fair Trade Certified, of excellent quality and good value.  These self-imposed requirements have made it a challenge to source suitable tea. Indeed, it took more than three years to locate even a single, suitable oolong tea. CNYmikeconnstandtea

Entering its fifth year, the family continues to develop the company. Two distributors are now engaged in expanding the range of the tea’s availability in stores throughout New England. And recently youngest son, William, accompanied Michael to Kunming, spending three days at a tea company specializing in unusual Black and Pu-er teas, with an eye to further expanding the company’s tea varieties. The family remains excited to be developing a Chinese-centric, service-oriented, socially-focused, tea company providing exceptional and exciting products to an expanding customer base through both partner stores and online at www.littleredcuptea.com.

THE LANGUAGE CORNER

The Traditional Climate Markers – 中国农历节气

Having just celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year, it may be a good time to refresh our knowledge of the lunar clendar, or the Agrarian Calendar 農曆/农历, Nónglì; or Yin Calendar, 陰曆/阴历, Yīnlì.

Each month begins on the day of the dark moon (朔, Shuò) and ends on the last day before the next dark moon. The middle of the month is full moon (望, Wàng). A month with 30 days is called a big month (大月, Dàyuè), and a month with 29 days is called a small month (小月, Xiǎoyuè).

A year with 11 months is a common year (平年, Píngnián), and a year with 12 months is a leap year (闰年, Rùnnián).

There are twenty four climate terms (節氣/节气, Jiéqì) in a solar year signifying the changes in weather patterns. Here are a few major ones:

立春  Lìchūn  Spring begins. (2/4/16)Chinese-Lunar-Calendar015
雨水  Yǔshuǐ  The rains. (2/19)
惊蛰  Jīngzhé  Insects awaken. (3/5)
春分  Chūnfēn  Vernal Equinox (3/20)
清明  Qīngmíng  Clear and bright. (4/4); Also ancestral memorial day.
谷雨  Gǔyǔ  Grain rain. (4/19)
立夏  Lìxià  Summer begins. (5/5)
小满  Xiǎomǎn  Grain buds. (5/20)
芒种  Mángzhǒng  Grain in ear. (6/5)
夏至  Xiàzhì  Summer solstice. (6/20)
小暑  Xiǎoshǔ  Slight heat. (7/7)
大暑  Dàshǔ  Great heat. (7/22)
立秋  Lìqiū  Autumn begins. (8/7)
处暑  Chǔshǔ  Heat ends. (8/23)
白露  Báilù  White dews. (9/7)
秋分  Qiūfēn  Autumn Equinox. (9/22)
寒露  Hánlù  Cold dews. (10/8)
霜降  Shuāngjiàng  Hoar-frost falls. (10/23)
立冬  Lìdōng  Winter begins. (11/7)
小雪  Xiǎoxuě  Light snow. (11/22)
大雪  Dàxuě  Heavy snow. (12/7)
冬至  Dōngzhì  Winter Solstice. (12/21)
小寒  Xiǎohán  Slight cold. (1/5/17)
大寒  Dàhán  Great cold. (1/20/17)

And for those who are a little advanced in Chinese language, here is a poem that includes all twenty four 节气. Have fun!

《二十四节气歌》

春雨惊春清谷天,夏满芒夏暑相连,

秋处露秋寒霜降,冬雪雪冬小大寒。

ABOUT THE CAFAM NEWSLETTER

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 gmail.com or connie at ch-trans.com.

CAFAM Newsletter—October 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS

News & Updates

  • Sojourner Award: Gary Libby
  • Sister City: Chengdu and Portland
  • Chinese-American Candidate in Lewiston
  • Medical Facility for Chinese Visitors
  • CAFAM Membership: Time to Renew

Upcoming Events

  • Chinese New Year 2016
  • Chinese Language Roundtable

Recent Events

  • Moon Festival
  • Summer Picnic

Profile

  • Meilin Brodeur: A Memorable Summer in China

NEWS AND UPDATES

GLibbyCAFAM’s Libby Wins Award

The Chinese Historical Society of New England has chosen CAFAM board member Gary Libby as one of two recipients of the Sojourner Award, which will be presented to him in November. Libby’s longtime efforts in documenting and sharing the history of Chinese in Maine earned him this honor.

The Sojourner Award is named for the early Chinese immigrant pioneers who came to America to work, facing racism and exclusion, yet helping to build this country.

Congratulations to Gary for this well-deserved recognition!

Chengdu and Portland: New Connections

IMG_3303

Suzanne Fox meets with Vice Mayor Fu of Chengdu.

Maine-based Fox Intercultural Consulting, which promotes U.S.-China connections, has laid the foundation for a new sister city relationship with Chengdu in Sichuan province  (四川成都). In June, president Suzanne Fox met with Chengdu’s Vice Mayor Fu to explore a new relationship that would initially be based on gastronomy and art. As Portland and Chengdu are both known for their creative food and artistic communities, gastronomy and art are serving as the initial anchor to this relationship. Other areas such as education, tourism and business opportunities would naturally follow once a foundation is laid.

The purpose of this initial meeting was to obtain a letter of support for Portland’s application to UNESCO to become a U.N.-designated Creative City based on gastronomy. Suzanne met with officials from Chengdu’s mayor’s office who took her to spend the morning on a private tour of the Museum of Sichuan Cuisine (川菜博物馆) and a visit to a cooking school and restaurant. Later she met with Vice Mayor Fu who discussed forging a new sister city relationship focused on food and art. Chengdu has sister city relationships with San Francisco, Chicago and Phoenix, but not with a city in the Northeast, and none that have a specific focus on creativity.

“We’re feeling hopeful that someday soon we’ll have authentic Sichuan hot pot to help keep us warm through the Maine winter,” says Suzanne.

Chinese American Runs for Lewiston Mayor

In Maine, it’s not every day that someone with Chinese ancestry runs for public office. So it’s worth noting that Ben Chin is currently a candidate for mayor of Lewiston, Maine.

BenChinMayorChin’s father is second-generation Chinese; his mother is Caucasian. His grandfather came from Mainland China, and his grandmother from Hong Kong.  “They spoke different dialects, so my dad grew up hearing mostly English–so I didn’t have a prayer of learning Chinese!”

Chin graduated from Bates College eight years ago and was planning to attend seminary, but ended up getting involved with Maine People’s Alliance as a community organizer. There he works on issues like immigrant rights, health care and housing.

Chin is focused on addressing diversity: “Lewiston will forevermore be a diverse community. I am proud of my heritage, and the heritage of my Irish-American, Franco-American and Somali-American neighbors,” he says. “I am running for mayor because it’s time that all of us learned how to live well together, finding strength in our differences, not division.”

Chinese Medical Facility Coming to Auburn

The former Lunn and Sweet shoe mill buildings at 67 Minot Ave. in Auburn and adjacent properties have been sold.

The former Lunn and Sweet shoe mill buildings at 67 Minot Ave.

A group of Beijing-based developers plan to turn a former shoe mill in Auburn into a luxury medical tourism facility for wealthy Chinese visitors.

The Shengtong Group of Beijing purchased the factory building in July, and they plan to make the facility into a place where patients from China would come to get medical treatments. The company purchased the buildings through a Maine company it created called Miracle Enterprises. Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston is planning to work with the facility to provide care to patients, who could number more than 5,000 per year.

For more information, you may watch the press conference (YouTube) introducing Miracle Enterprises or read this detailed report from the Sun Journal.

Send in Your CAFAM Membership Renewal & Donations

A CAFAM membership renewal card was mailed out last month. Have you Chinese-THANK-YOU-Mrenewed your CAFAM membership this year? If not, please do so now!

For those who don’t want to use snail mail and checks for their renewal, 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

UPCOMING EVENTS

Chinese New Year Celebration 2016

  • Saturday, February 6, 2016
  • Westbrook Performing Arts Center, Westbrook

Welcome the Year of the Monkey at CAFAM’s biggest celebration. Join us for the performances, food, arts & crafts and more!

Chinese Language Roundtable

A casual meeting of Mandarin speakers in the Portland area. Feel free to bring your lunch! Organized by Fox Intercultural Consulting.

RECENT EVENTS

Moon Festival

MoonSingGuitarThe “super moon” gave us a MoonPianoKidspectacular show the weekend of the Moon Festival (中秋节/中秋節), and CAFAM put on a wonderful celebration on September 26, with more than 80 people joining in the fun. In recent years, more students from area schools have brought fresh energy and talent to the event.

MoonLongShotAn abundant buffet included MoonFanDancemooncakes, of course. Poetry, songs and other performances rounded out the evening. A raffle was held, and longtime CAFAM leader Craig Dietrich was the lucky winner (it must be karma for all his years editing the newsletter).

Thank you to the University of Southern Maine’s Confucius Institute for co-sponsoring the MoonCraigRaffleevent and providing authentic Chinese foods, tea and cultural items to enhance the festivities.

MoonConfInst

CAFAM’s Summer Picnic in the Park

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A Feast for All (1)Good summer weather made for a Three Lovely Ladieswarm gathering of CAFAM friends and family in June at Winslow Park in Freeport, including picnic foods and kite-flying!

 

 

 

 

 

PROFILE

Meilin Brodeur: A Memorable Summer in China

Taking a trip to China over the summer was doubly meaningful for Meilin Brodeur. A junior at University of Southern Maine—and CAFAM’s youngest board member—Meilin was adopted from China as an infant, so traveling back was an act of reconnecting with her roots. But the trip was even more significant because this time Meilin was giving back to her home country by volunteering at two different orphanages. She went as part of a program led by psychologist Deb Como-Kepler, who has two daughters originally from China.

At the first orphanage outside of Beijing (北京), Meilin and fellow students interacted with the children, from babies to 5-year-olds, and helped with tasks like cleaning cribs and bathrooms. At the second, in Dahua (大化, which is near the border with Vietnam) she engaged in activities with the children, some of whom were teenagers—many of them with troubled backgrounds.

IMG_0646“I’d like to go back to the place in Dahua, because they really need more support,” says Meilin, who is majoring in social work. “It definitely has added to my passion for wanting to help people in need.”

Having grown up in Maine, Meilin was not able to speak much Chinese with the children there, but she still connected with them. “Although I could not verbally communicate with the children, we found ways through body language, facial expressions, and laughter to communicate as if I had been able to speak Chinese.”

Meilin was adopted from China by Mary Tennant and Roger Brodeur when she was 6 months old, and her parents soon exposed her to Chinese culture by attending a CAFAM Chinese School event. After years of the Chinese School classes and participating in CAFAM programs, Meilin was welcomed to join the board 2 years ago.

She has always been aware and proud of her cultural identity. “When I was little, I would tell people I was Chinese. I even wore traditional Chinese dress in school pictures,” she laughs. “Now I know that not only am I Chinese and American, I’m also French and Irish, which is what my parents are.”

But after this last trip to China—her fourth time there—she feels a deeper connection than before. “I felt like I was going back to the place where my roots are. Maine is home, but China is my second home.”

ABOUT THE CAFAM NEWSLETTER

This e-newsletter is provided to CAFAM members and is edited by Cindy Han and Connie Zhu (who has returned from a year in Taiwan), with technical support from Jay Collier. If you have any questions, comments or material for the newsletter, please send them to: cindyhan09 at gmail.com or connie at ch-trans.com.

CAFAM Newsletter—June 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS

News & Updates

  • Short-Term Host Families Needed
  • Summer Host Family Opportunity
  • Updates on Local Ties to China: Fox Intercultural Consulting
  • Request for Donations: Trip to Chinese Orphanages
  • Reminder: CAFAM Membership Renewal Time

Upcoming Events

  • CAFAM Summer Potluck

Recent Events

  • Ya Ji: “Language & Identity”

Profile: Lilly (Yu Li) Huang

  • Chinese Language Lessons at Auburn Public Library

Travel Journal

  • Learning Chinese in Taipei: Report by Connie Zhu

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

NEWS AND UPDATES

Short-Term Host Families Needed Soon

Fox Intercultural Consulting has a group of high school students from Hangzhou coming to Maine this ChineseHSstudentsummer as part of our New England Sister School Initiative.  They will be participating in Maine College of Art‘s pre-college program and living in the dorms with American high school students.  As part of the program however the group really wants to have an “American Home” experience and we are  hoping that you may be able to host two students for one night.  Here are the details:
July 24:  Arrive- Friday afternoon (between 5:00-7:00) at Waynflete school parking lot
Pick up by American host family-  dinner with families
July 25:   Depart-  Drive host students to MECA at 8:30 am to begin program

Please respond by June 30th if you can help out.  Also, if you know of someone who might be interested please feel free to forward this information along and to have them get in touch with Megan Theberge, Director of Short Term Programs at megan@foxintercultural.net

Summer Host Family Opportunity

The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) is hosting an English Language and American Culture Program for international high school students in Portland this summer. This three-Chinese HostFamilyweek program from July 18-August 8 includes English language and American culture classes, local excursions and activities around Maine, and a trip to Boston to visit historical sites. If you would like to learn more about the high school abroad opportunities CIEE offers, please visit http://www.ciee.org/highschoolsummer.

CIEE is seeking local families to host a short-term exchange student. Students will be coming to the program from China, India, South Korea and Afghanistan. Responsibilities of the host family will include providing breakfast and dinner, transportation to and from classes at Cheverus High School in Portland, willingness to assist with homework and enhance language learning, and eagerness to welcome the student into their family. A small stipend will be provided to help offset costs.

Please respond by email to RCoffin@ciee.org or phone at 207-553-4121.

Request for Donations: Trip to Chinese Orphanages

The following was posted recently on CAFAM’s Facebook page by Deb Kepler (of Brunswick):

Dear family and friends,

I’m so happy to announce that I will be taking University of Southern Maine students again to China as part of a service learning course where we will be volunteering in 2 orphanages in China. We have 10 college students, 2 guidance counselors, getting graduate credits, 2 faculty members (one of them is me) and my two girls.

(See a video of our last two USM trips at: http://china.sunjournal.com )

So we need money! The money will go directly to the orphanages in the form of donations that we will bring from the U.S. that are difficult to get in China; it will go toward things that we can buy in China that they may need and cash for medical care for the children and to help the foster families with the cost of taking care of a child. Remember that in China $5 can buy 5 pairs of kids shoes.NewDayfosterhome

We will be working at New Day foster home about one hour south of Beijing. We are also visiting a new program in Dahua, Guangxi province (where Tea is from) which is a very rural boarding school (not the fancy U.S. kind of boarding school) for orphans and the very poor which is being helped by Grace and Hope for Children. You can visit their blog at : http://grace-hopeforchildren.blogspot.com or visit the Dahua blog at http://user.qzone.qq.com/1538990457/blog/1427704552 .

Dahua is looking for laptop computers, used working ones are fine; 12 staff are sharing 2 computers. And of course money is always useful especially for New Day as a big part of their program is getting medical care for orphans that are in state-run institutions that would not be able to get them the medical care that they desperately need. You can see a list of needed supplies for New Day at http://newdaycreations.com/foster/help/needs.htm .

So if you love me, or even if you don’t love me but you love kids, send money and/or donations. We have a website for donation at https://www.crowdrise.com/ChinasOrphans.

If all else fails, pray for us that we may make a difference in a kids life.

Love to all,

Deb

Updates on Local Ties to China: Fox Intercultural Consulting

Launching a New England-Sichuan Centersichuan

Fox Intercultural Consulting is launching new networks in Sichuan Province, in China’s southwest. This June, president Suzanne Fox is heading to Sichuan for a tour of speaking events. Fox has been building networks and community throughout Sichuan over the past two years, and this summer is launching a tour of talks about the benefits of studying in New England. If you have family or friends in Sichuan, get in touch with Suzanne to learn more about her schedule there.

Summer ProgramsSearsportMaineOcean

Fox Intercultural Consulting is also preparing for a very exciting summer in New England as they welcome more than 100 students from China to visit their sister schools and engage in meaningful exchange. One of the schools, Honghua School, is visiting Searsport, Maine, for a two-week “The Sea and Me” program, where students will have a chance to spend a week in intensive ocean studies followed by a week of travel across the United States.

Reminder: CAFAM Membership Renewal Time

Have you renewed your CAFAM membership this year? If not, please do so now!

Chinese-THANK-YOU-MWe’ve made it easy with our new online renewal system. Just click RENEW CAFAM MEMBERSHIP to pay your dues electronically, using PayPal. From now on, we are simplifying the membership renewals so that September is always the start and end of an annual membership. That’s why you should 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

UPCOMING EVENTS

CAFAM’s Summer Potluck in the ParkkiteWinslow-Park-Freeport-Maine-Beach-sm 2

Come to spend time together and explore the beach, trails and a playground. We’ll have a picnic under the shelter, and we encourage you to bring kites (a favorite Chinese pastime), Frisbees, and other activities to make the most of our time in the park.

RECENT EVENTS

Ya Ji: “Language and Identity”

(L-R) Ni Rong, Lady Zen, Frank O Smith

Ya Ji presenters Ni Rong, Lady Zen, and Frank O Smith

This ongoing cultural salon, hosted by Fox Intercultural Consulting, featured artists Ni Rong (photographer, Rockland); Frank O Smith (writer, Portland); and Lady Zen (hip hop, Portland). Some 50 people attended the event, held on May 12th at the Maine College of Art, and learned about the speakers’ fascinating and personal stories about their individual, creative paths between East and West.

PROFILE

Lilly (Yu Li) Huang: Teaching Chinese

Iillyhuang

Lilly Huang teaches Chinese food words at Auburn Public Library

Lilly Huang has been introducing the Chinese language one word at a time to interested children and adults at the Auburn Public Library through a new Chinese Story Time program that began earlier this year. “It’s an experiment right now,” she explains. The library began hosting the program in April, and there has been a spark of interest, with a handful of children and adults attending each time. “Mostly I just teach them simple things, like numbers and food names (apple is “ping guo”). “I can’t tell them stories in Chinese yet, so I’m just focusing on language.”

Lilly has taken many steps in her journey to Maine. Born in Vietnam to a Chinese father and Vietnamese mother, she moved to China’s southeastern city of Xiamen when she was five years old and grew up there.

At the age of 23, Lilly came to America to meet and marry her future husband, Cam Luu, who is also of mixed Vietnamese-Chinese heritage. He worked with her cousin at Chopsticks restaurant in Lewiston, where he was known as a hard worker.

Mai Luu comes with her mom to the library to learn Chinese.

Mai Luu comes with her mom to the library to learn Chinese.

“At first I was homesick a lot,” recalls Lilly. “The weather, the language, the food – everything was different.”

But now, after more than 16 years of working in the restaurant industry, she is comfortable speaking English (in addition to Mandarin and Cantonese) and is raising two daughters here—Katie, 15, and Mai, 11. She and her husband now own Wei-Li restaurant in Auburn, serving healthful Chinese and Japanese cuisine.

Part of her incentive to teach at the library was to find a way to teach her own children more Chinese. The girls come with her and learn along with the others. “At least I can spend quality time with my daughters,” she says.

For anyone interested in attending the weekly half-hour Chinese lessons, the language program is taking a summer hiatus, and Lilly hopes to start it up again in September.

TRAVEL JOURNAL

Learning Chinese in Taipeib91a00_p_01_02

A Report from Connie Zhu

Key Word:

語  言   教   學   班

Yǔ yán jiāo xué bān

Language Instruction Class

A pleasant surprise awaited us when we arrived in Taipei last August: 語言教學班, or 語教班 (yǔjiāobān) in short. It is designed for children raised in foreign countries who come to Taiwan to attend local schools but need help with their Chinese (國語, guóyǔ). To my knowledge , two schools in Taipei (台北, Táiběi) host such a program and one of them is a ten-minute walk from our apartment.

This school is called 新生國小 (Xīnshēng Guóxiǎo, Xinsheng Public Elementary School). First enrolling students in 2000, it is a relatively new school with an open-space classroom building, an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, auditorium, and outdoor track and field. The teaching style is a little less stringent than that of a typical Taipei school, which is a welcome relief to children like ours, who are not used to doing a lot of homework (功課, gōngkè) or taking frequent tests (考試, kǎoshì). Though there are ten-minute breaks between classes, our kids still miss their 30-45-minute recess time back in America and have hardly slept during their daily 30-minute nap time—which is nevertheless necessary for Taiwan students because they take various after-school classes called 補習班 (bǔxíbān), some academically enhancing, some in music and arts, and go to bed very late.

There are over 60 “Language Students” (語教生,yǔjiāoshēng) enrolled in 新生國小, which allows up to 120 as part of their 1,200 student body. 語教生 go to all of the regular classes like local students; e.g. our daugther joins a class in the 4th grade while our son joins a class in the 2nd grade. But they go to an additional supplementary Chinese class (語教班) every day to help them catch up. Foreign students are all tested verbally and orally before they are assigned to a 語教班 of their level. These classes are quite small and tailored to help students of every level. Students usually give up a regular class to attend 語教班, and as their language skills improve, usually in the second semester, they have the choice to attend 語教班 less and spend more time with their regular class.

In a nutshell, our children have the opportunity to experience full language immersion with additional langauge support, which has worked like a charm. Kids learn so much faster from their peers during class time and play time. Since they are scattered among local kids, foreign students have much less chance to speak English or other languages within their circles. It is wonderful to see our children not only learning the beautiful Chinse language (中文, zhōngwén), but also making Chinese friends (朋友, péngyǒu)!

You may click on the photo page below for a larger view.

Conniephoto page

 

 

 

 

 

CAFAM Newsletter—March 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS

News & Updates

  • Confucius Institute: Education and Training
  • Teach English in Taiwan
  • CAFAM Membership: Online Renewal
  • Mandarin-Speaking Tour Guides

Upcoming Events

  • Free Kidney Screening
  • Talk by Edison Liu: “The Art & Science of Creativity”
  • Ya Ji: “Language and Identity”
  • Chinese Language Roundtable

Recent Events

  • Chinese New Year Celebration 2015: Year of the Ram
  • “The Search for General Tso” Film Screening
  • Ya Ji: “Migration Stories”

Book Review: Conflicted Legacy

  • Book by Oliver Hanson Woshinsky; review by Craig Dietrich

Travel Journal

  • “A Charming Neighborhood in Taipei”: Report by Connie Zhu

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

NEWS AND UPDATES

Confucius Institute: Education & Training for K-12 EducatorsScreen Shot 2013-09-06 at 8.06.47 AM

The Confucius Institute at the University of Southern Maine offers Mandarin Chinese classes and teacher training for K-12 educators. The Institute is planning to start a new cohort in the fall and is welcoming any teachers or aspiring teachers who are interested in becoming proficient in Chinese, improving their current proficiency, or receiving guidance in the teaching of Chinese. The course is open to students who wish to receive credit as well as those who do not. Students who take the class for credit may apply the classes to a degree or certification program. Local teachers of all subjects and levels are invited to enroll. If interested, please contact the Confucius Institute at confucius@usm.maine.edu.

Teaching English in Taiwan

teach-english-in-taiwan.001The Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in Boston is looking for people who would like to teach English to K-9 public school children in Taiwan for the 2015-16 school year. Native English speakers who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher as well as a teaching license may apply. The compensation includes round-trip airfare, housing allowance and salary (depending on experience).

The program is part of an effort by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan to enhance the English-learning environment for school-aged children in rural areas.

Applications are due April 17, 2015. For more information, click here or contact Ms. Levina Huang, (617) 737-2055; wthuang@mail.moe.gov.tw

CAFAM Membership Renewal & Donations

Have you renewed your CAFAM membership this year? If not, please do so now!

Chinese-THANK-YOU-MWe’ve made it easy with our new online renewal system. Just click RENEW CAFAM MEMBERSHIP to pay your dues electronically, using PayPal. From now on, we are simplifying the membership renewals so that September is always the start and end of an annual membership. That’s why you should 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

Request for Mandarin-Speaking Tour Guides

Lighthouse in Portland Maine In Fort Willams ParkWe are continuing to gather names of people interested in serving as tour guides for Mandarin-speaking visitors to Maine. CAFAM is helping the Greater Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau compile a list of possible tour guides during the busy summer tourist months. Tour guides do receive payment, and typical bus tours travel around the Portland area. Visitors are mostly from China or Taiwan.

If you are interested, please contact Cindy Han at cindyhan09@gmail.com. Thank you to those who have already offered to help. More information is on the way!

UPCOMING EVENTS

Free Kidney Health Screening42-15625101

  • Saturday, Mar 28, 7 am-12 noon
  • A health seminar on “8 Steps to Your Kidney Health” will be held at 11 am
  • Chinese Gospel Church of Portland, 99 Gray Road, Cumberland
  • Free screening

This service is being provided by the Chinese Gospel Church of Portland in conjunction with the Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program, Harvard College, which is led by Dr. Li-Li Hsiao of Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston.

Talk by Edison Liu: “The Art & Science of Creativity”MaineCenterforCreativity_30915

Ya Ji: “Language and Identity”

13-In-America-Spring-4(pp_w590_h421)

Photo by Ni Rong

  • Tuesday, May 12, 5-7 pm (5-5:30 pm tea, followed by talk)
  • Institute of Contemporary Art, Maine College of Art, 522 Congress St., Portland

As part of an ongoing cultural salon series hosted by Fox Intercultural Consulting, this event will feature: Ni Rong (photographer, Rockland); Frank O Smith (writer, Portland); and Lady Zen (hip hop, Portland).

Chinese Language Roundtable

A casual meeting of Mandarin speakers in the Portland area. Feel free to bring your lunch! Organized by Fox Intercultural Consulting.

RECENT EVENTS

Chinese New Year: Year of the Ram

Good fortune for the Year of the Ram! We enjoyed a window of good winter weather for CAFAM’s Chinese New Year Celebration at Westbrook Center for Performing Arts on Saturday, Feb 7th.

CNYribbonline copy CNYliongym copy

The day of festivities included a gym full of arts and crafts tables and community booths, including an inviting setup by our co-sponsor, the University of Southern Maine’s Confucius Institute. Lively lion dance performances by Steve Wong and his son, who came down from Bangor, included plenty of interaction with the crowd, including having children bang on drums, crash cymbals and join the lion in parading around. Young diabolo (Chinese yo-yo) performer Henry Florman displayed his expert skills.

The highlight of each year’s celebration are the young performers from CAFAM’s Chinese School.  The students brought color and energy to the stage, from the adorable bathtub dance to the eye-catching ribbon dances. A talent show followed, with a wide variety of musicians, dancers and more.

CNYtalentmolihua copy CNYkungfupose copy 10848792_793302287416372_8656192151078240452_o

CNYkidsnoisemakers copy CNYbathtubbow copy

A delicious lunch included offerings prepared by Panda Garden as well as dumplings and bubble tea from the hard-working Chinese School “Dumpling Dads.”

Speakers rounded out the day’s events, from a talk about Chinese teas by CAFAM’s Martin Connelly to contemporary Chinese artist Mei Selvage.

Many thanks to our enthusiastic helpers and volunteers. And we are grateful to our sponsors:

 10960075_793302297416371_2629240586743065168_oCNYpattidumplings copy10547751_793302260749708_2313860604846549129_o

“The Search for General Tso” Film Screening

CAFAM is proud to have sponsored the screening of “The Search for General Tso” at Space Gallery in Portland on the evening of February 7th. The documentary was delightfully entertaining while also educational, taking viewers on a playful detective search for the origins of the popular Chinese-American restaurant dish, General Tso’s Chicken. A packed house enjoyed the film itself, as well as a Q&A session with filmmakers Ian Cheney and Amanda Murray. Moveigoers also had the chance to taste the hot Chinese tea served by CAFAM’s own Martin Connelly.

CAFAMgentsomartintea CAFAMgentsofilmmakers CAFAMgentsoCHtable CAFAMgentsofilmdish

BOOK REVIEW

Conflicted Legacy: by Oliver Hanson Woshinsky

(2015, distributed by indieauthorwarehouse.com)Woshinsky book cover copy

Review written by Craig Dietrich

Most family histories are of limited interested to outsiders. Conflicted Legacy by Oliver Hanson Woshinsky is an exception for several reasons.

The author portrays his characters in an almost novelistic way, not assuming that the reader knows all about Uncle So-and-So and Aunt Whatsername. Affectionately but unblinkingly, Woshinsky describes his characters’ personalities and actions, pulling the reader in. And quite a cast of characters it is.

Two central figures are Woshinsky’s maternal grandparents. One photograph says a great deal. It was taken as the young Methodist missionary couple arrives at their destination, the small town of Tai-an in northern China. The year is 1903, shortly after the Boxer uprising had claimed hundreds of missionary lives. Not only that, but they have a baby girl of scarcely four months, mother and child bundled against the cold on a Chinese wheelbarrow, father on foot. How many young couples would trot off to an utterly alien civilization with their infant? The answer has nothing to do with risk taking and everything to do with a dedication to spreading the gospel. In this generation and the next of the Hanson family the desire to missionize in China was very strong.

Perhaps more extraordinary, and another thing that sets this book apart, is the utterly improbable pairing of the author’s parents. What are the odds that a rather plain, retiring daughter of the aforementioned missionaries, and who is seemingly headed for spinsterhood at 30, would meet in Minneapolis a Russian Jew from Odessa (Soviet Union) who is barely into his early 20s, and that she would marry him in China, pregnant with child, namely our author? Woshinsky lays out the sequence of events that led to this odd outcome. How the son of a humble Odessa cobbler is sent to live with his rich uncle in Tientsin [Tianjin] China, does poorly, but meets schoolmates, two brothers from a missionary family (guess whose), follows them to the University of Minnesota, supported by Uncle Toiva until the latter learns he is not, as instructed, studying engineering. Meanwhile he falls in love with the brothers’ sister (guess who), is recalled to China by his irate uncle, even as his reluctant beloved returns separately to stay with her missionary parents. They heartily disapprove of this suitor, but not as much as Uncle Toiva dislikes the Shiksa. Finally succumbing to young Woshinsky’s ardor, she becomes pregnant. Given the times, they marry.

As if this weren’t “interesting” enough, and another thing that sets this history apart, the time frame was 1939, as world events were rumbling toward the calamity of World War II. That year Hitler would invade Poland and light the fuse for war in Europe. Already in China violent conflict with Japan had been underway since the summer of 1937. The infamous Rape of Nanking occurred late that year. Since the United States and Japan were not yet at war, the American missionaries were non-belligerents, but that hardly removed them from danger. To add to the young parents’ tribulations, Tientsin suffered a devastating flood just as the baby came. Somehow they made it to the mission in Tai-an. All Americans were being persuaded to leave China. But the Woshinskys faced the challenge of, first, obtaining an American visa for this Soviet passport holder, and secondly, boarding him and his family on any Japanese vessel bound for the U.S. Another nail-biting episode.

Finally in America, the Woshinskys bounce their way to rural Vermont, where the author grows up. The setting was bucolic, yet life for the Woshinskys was anything but. The father suffered from mental illness. The mother and was repeatedly confined in tuberculosis sanatoriums. Financially, the family hovered between barely scraping along and penury, even as three more children came along.

How this all turned out quite well for almost everyone involved is explained in the later sections of the book, again punctuated with odd circumstances. One last China episode finds the grandparents back in their mission at war’s end, only to get caught up in the civil war that brought Mao Zedong and the Communists to power. When the Korean War broke out only months after Mao proclaimed the birth of the People’s Republic, the grandparents found themselves among a small remnant of missionaries essentially held captive, and in these circumstances, the author’s grandmother suffers a fatal heart attack.

There’s a great deal more to this very well written memoir, one might almost say “saga”. And some interesting issues arise, for example about immigration and factors for “success” in America.

A final note of disclosure: the author of this review was a colleague of Oliver Woshinsky for over 30 years and is a friend. But if I didn’t have nice things to say, honestly, I would have said nothing at all.

ABOUT THE AUTHOROliverWoshinsky

Oliver Woshinsky was born in China, but spent most of his childhood and adolescence in Vermont. The travails and adventures that his parents and grandparents lived through occurred long before his birth or before he could remember. He grew up in peaceful New England communities hearing tales of drama and tragedy in far-off, unstable lands. Eventually, he left home to study at Oberlin College and Columbia University, served three years in the U.S. Army, got a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University, and taught for three decades at the University of Southern Maine. He has lived and lectured in Britain, France, and Russia. His specialty is European and comparative politics, and he is the author or co-author of six books in his field. He and his wife currently reside in Portland, Maine.

The author can be contacted at oliver.woshinsky@gmail.com

TRAVEL JOURNAL

A Charming Neighborhood in Taipei

A Report from Connie Zhu

Taipei has many destinations for tourists:  the elegant Taipei 101 (once the tallest building in Asia), the National Palace Museum, and the Maokong Gondola lift that offers you an aerial view of the city, to name a few. It is also studded with night markets, cafes, bakeries, and numerous eateries–big and small, fancy and simple, from hot pots to ice shops, from beef noodles to stinky tofu, you name it.

大安公園. Da'an Park.

大安公園. Da’an Park.

The neighborhood we have been living in is southwest of the beautiful Da’an Forest Park, built in early 1990s and inspired by New York’s Central Park. As you can imagine, it is such a relief to live right next to a park in a bustling city, where we walk through often to the subway station or the City Library.  We live in a National Taiwan University faculty apartment building between Taishun and Wenzhou Streets. We are simply amazed how much this neighborhood can offer. My iPhone photos certainly can’t capture fully its magic but hopefully, you can catch a glimpse of this interesting microcosm of Taipei life.

泰顺街. Taishun Street.

泰顺街. Taishun Street.

小巷. Narrow alley.

小巷. Narrow alley.

很多花草。 Plants everywhere.

很多花草。
Plants everywhere.

There are new high-rises as well as old Japanese-style buildings.

There are four 7-11 stores within five minutes’ walk from us. I cannot think of any convenience that it cannot provide! Besides snacks and beverages, you can pay bills there, order tickets for trains (regular and high speed), concerts, sports, etc., print and photocopy, send packages, buy an umbrella/raincoat when it pours.

In addition to two supermarkets (not the American size), there is a vegetable market, a meat market and a fruit shop. If you don’t feel like cooking, there are many eateries where you can get a quick and tasty meal.

And then, there is a cool little cafe with a patio right across our lane. You never know what you’ll discover walking through those lanes. We’re so lucky to call Taipei home for a year!

泰順鮮果專賣店。 Taishun Fruit Shop.

泰順鮮果專賣店。
Taishun Fruit Shop.

Just call it SEVEN!

Just call it SEVEN!

燒臘店. Hong Kong style roast meat restaurant.

燒臘店. Hong Kong style roast meat restaurant.

“糊塗麵”. A noodle & dumpling restaurant.

“糊塗麵”. A noodle & dumpling restaurant.

粥. Porridge Lady.

粥. Porridge Lady.

餛飩. Wonton.

餛飩. Wonton.

紅豆、綠豆湯.  Sweet Bean Soup Cart.

紅豆、綠豆湯.
Sweet Bean Soup Cart.

咖啡館. Cafe.

咖啡館. Cafe.

CAFAM Newsletter—January 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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

Profile

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

NEWS AND UPDATES

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!

UPCOMING EVENTS

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.

2015-sponsors

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.

RECENT EVENTS

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.

 

LANGUAGE CORNER

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!

PROFILE

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.

ABOUT THE CAFAM NEWSLETTER

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 gmail.com.

CAFAM Newsletter—November 2014

This is the online version of CAFAM’s annual print newsletter, which was mailed to CAFAM members in Nov 2014.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

News & Updates

  • Welcome to CAFAM
  • Chinese School in Action

Upcoming Events

  • “Ya Ji”: East/West Cultural Gathering
  • Chinese Language Roundtable
  • Chinese New Year Celebration: Year of the Ram

Recent Events

  • “Tao & The American Dream: A Martial Monk’s Journey”
  • USM Confucius Institute Anniversary

Profile

  • Mike Palmer: A Lifelong Relationship with China
  • Empire Restaurant

NEWS AND UPDATES

Welcome to CAFAM

ChineseHuanyingWelcomeThe Chinese & American Friendship Association of Maine (CAFAM) is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote friendship between non-Chinese Americans, Chinese-Americans and Chinese people from all over the world. We promote awareness of and appreciation for Chinese culture in Maine.

CAFAM hosts a number of activities and events throughout the year, from an autumn Moon Festival to our annual Chinese New Year celebration. We publish both print and electronic newsletters, and we disseminate information about upcoming programs or areas of interest relating to Chinese people and culture.

CAFAM contributes to the Maine Historical Society archives with information about the Chinese presence in Maine, and we work with other local organizations whenever possible. We also promote educational outreach.

The CAFAM Chinese School is a significant part of our organization; its focus is on exposing students to Chinese culture and language. Please see information about the school below.

CAFAM invites anyone with an interest in China to become a member. Please join or renew your membership by going to JOIN on this site. If you prefer not to join online, please mail your check to: Chinese & American Friendship Association of Maine, P.O. Box 10372, Portland, ME 04104.

Welcome! Huanying!

Chinese School in Action

TumblingChSchoolRibbonDanceChSchoolDiaboloChSchoolDanceTeachersChSchoolCAFAM Chinese School students are cartwheeling through a fall semester that has brought new kinds of fun—and brought back a beloved dance teacher.

The Circus Conservatory of America is offering classes in tumbling and diabolo (Chinese yo-yo). Two instructors work with students from fourth to eighth grade to perfect such feats as moving from a handstand into a fluid roll. Students are learning how to make the Chinese diabolo dance along a string and how to make it fly high but then catch it.

Aikido of Maine is teaching skills in a new martial art to the younger children. Lotus class student Emilia Ruth is back as an Aikido teacher.

Dance instructor Fan Luo has also returned to the school to teach the two oldest dance classes and to launch an apprenticeship program for the oldest dance students. Four students—Mae Rosenstein, Sylvie Rosenstein, Lily Thompson, and Sophie Frantz—are studying how Fan teaches, refining their own dance skills, and teaching classes when Fan is away. Sophie Frantz is also solo teaching the bathtub dance to the littlest students.

The school meets from 9 am to noon on Saturday mornings at Ocean Avenue School in Portland. Classes include basic Mandarin for elementary grade students and conversation workshops for middle schoolers. High school students have a conversation class that involves exchange students who attend area high schools. Students at the school range in age from 2 to 15. For more information on how to get involved, please contact Kelli Pryor at 892-3640 or kellijpryor@gmail.com.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Mei Salvage’s work “Fear Not” intentionally shows a mirror image of text from a 17th century Chinese book.

Mei Salvage’s work “Fear Not” intentionally shows a mirror image of text from a 17th century Chinese book.

“Ya Ji”: East/West Cultural Gathering

  • Nov. 19, 2014; 5:30-7 pm
  • ThinkTank Coworking, 533 Congress St., Portland
  • Free admission; Chinese tea will be provided

Inspired by the elegant cultural gatherings of the Song Dynasty, Ya Ji is a modern day salon about Chinese contemporary art and culture in New England. This first Ya Ji is held in conjunction with the exhibition “Journey to the East,” by Portland-based artist Mei Salvage.

The event is hosted byFox Intercultural Consulting; contact Clare Morin at clare@foxintercultural.net for more info.

Chinese Language Roundtable

A casual meeting of Mandarin speakers in the Portland area. Feel free to bring your lunch! Organized by Fox Intercultural Consulting.

CAFAM Chinese New Year Celebration

To usher in the Year of the Ram, we charge forth with our annual festival, including Chinese dance, music, martial arts, crafts, demonstrations, food and much more. Don’t miss the premier Chinese New Year celebration in Maine!

Thank you to our generous 2014 Chinese New Year sponsors:

  • Event level – IDEXX Laboratories; Oxford Casino
  • Gold level – Beacon Analytical Systems, Inc., FairPoint Communications, SAPPI Shared Financial Services, Southworth International, Sun Diagnostics
  • Silver level – Adult & Pediatric Orthodontics, Falmouth Kumon Math Center, Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, McTeague Higbee, Richard Lu
  • Bronze level – Craig and Sherilyn Dietrich, Fox Intercultural Consulting Services, Robert E. Greene, Key Financial Services, Ellen Goodman & Robert Levey, Amy C. and Joseph Yu
  • Friends of CNY – Dr. Sally C. Hoople

RECENT EVENTS

A martial monk from China, Master Bing demonstrates Wudang kungfu at Bowdoin.

A martial monk from China, Master Bing demonstrates Wudang kungfu at Bowdoin.

“Tao & The American Dream: A Martial Monk’s Journey”

Master Bing gave a presentation on Wudang kungfu, Taoism and martial arts. The event was organized by Bowdoin’s Asian Students Association and co-sponsored by Counseling Services and Asian Studies, with help from Ken Ryan and Maine Coast Taijiquan.

USM Confucius Institute Anniversary

The University of Southern Maine’s Confucius Institute marked its one-year anniversary with a celebration in September. USM has partnered with Dongbei University of Finance and Economics in Dalian, China, to host Maine’s first Confucius Institute. The institute offers Chinese language courses to undergraduate and graduate students at USM, adult community members and local K-12 students.

USM’s CI also hosts cultural events and seminars, offers study abroad scholarship programs, gives CI students the opportunity to visit China, and is an official testing location for the HSK, a Chinese Language Proficiency Exam.

For more information, please visit www.usm.maine.edu/confucius.

PROFILE

Mike Palmer: A Lifelong Relationship with ChinaMikePalmerCroppedCAFAM

Since I have been a member of CAFAM since 1992, I thought you might be interested to learn why I feel the organization has been an important part of my life’s journey.

chongqing_locationI have always had a love for China and like to say that I really am a “zhongguo ren.” After all, I was born atop a small mountain, 2,000 steps up from the Yangtze River, directly across from Chongqing in Szechuan Province. Chiang Kai-Shek’s wartime residence known as “huangshan” was a few hills over. My father was the Szechuan manager for Standard Oil and, as such, was the leading foreign businessman in this remote part of China back in 1931.

Since China was totally closed off when I finished my education and military service, I earned my living and raised five kids as a businessman here in the States. Always, however, was the desire to return to China and find my birthplace.

Chongqing1930s

British ship near Chongqing in the 1930s.

That opportunity came in 1992 as I neared retirement. CAFAM hosted a dinner for the Chinese ambassador, which I decided to attend. When I was introduced to the ambassador, I asked him if he knew my childhood pal from Tsingtao and Shanghai, Ambassador James Lilley. “Of course, we are very good friends, and we are having dinner together later this week,” came his reply. He then urged me to return to China and offered to assist me in doing so.

He was as good as his word when I had the opportunity to join General Vinegar Joe Stilwell’s daughter to dedicate a museum in honor of the General in Chongqing. I managed to find my birthplace and made several speeches to the assembled dignitaries. Never before had any American born in Chongqing been seen in those parts, and I felt like a returning hero. I also honored my dad for his wartime service as an Air Force Colonel.

Soon after returning from China, I joined the CAFAM board and was made treasurer. During that period, we took on the task of hosting a US China People’s Friendship Association national meeting and also swelled the treasury to $20,000. This event was a turning point in enabling the smooth transition to the vibrant organization you see today. I feel privileged to be a part of this.

Sincerely,

Mike Palmer

empire1942-e1415508422123CThe Rule of the Empire

The new Empire Chinese Kitchen, which opened in Portland last year, can trace its history to the original Empire Restaurant (pictured here in 1942), which served an upscale clientele at its Congress Street location in Portland from 1916 until 1953.

For many years it had a two-story sign advertising “Chop Suey.” During World War II, the Empire was a favorite “dine-and-dance” hangout for servicemen.

.

ABOUT THE CAFAM NEWSLETTER

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 gmail.com.

CAFAM Newsletter—September 2014

TABLE OF CONTENTS

News & Updates

  • CAFAM Membership: Online Renewal in September
  • Request for Mandarin Translators
  • Chinese School Set to Open
  • Portland Magazine Article on Chinese Laundrymen

Upcoming Events

  • Chinese Language Roundtable
  • Mid-Autumn Festivities

Recent Events

  • Moon Festival
  • Potluck in the Park / CAFAM Board Election

Language Corner

  • Autumn Bounty

Profile

  • “Uncle 2”: A Chinese Student in Maine in the 1940s

NEWS AND UPDATES

CAFAM Membership Renewal & Donations

Have you renewed your CAFAM membership this year? Now is the time to do it! We’ve made it easy with our new online renewal system. Just click RENEW CAFAM MEMBERSHIP to pay your dues electronically, using PayPal.

From now on, we are simplifying the membership renewals so that September is always the start and end of an annual membership. That’s why you should 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!

Request for Mandarin Translators

HarrietBeecherStoweElemChinese translators are needed for a group of 20 elementary school children from Zhejiang Province, China, who are visiting their sister school, Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary, in Brunswick, Maine, Sept 28-Oct 3. A few volunteers are needed to help during the visit.

  • The group arrives the afternoon of September 28 and departs the morning of October 3rd.
  • We are looking for volunteers to sign up for a two-hour block during the school days and possible evening support.
  • Volunteers should be proficient in Mandarin

For more information please contact: info@foxintercultural.net

CAFAM Chinese School Set for School Year

DSC_0395CAFAM Chinese School starts Saturday, October 4, at the Ocean Avenue School in Portland. It runs through November 22, and then takes a break for the holidays until January 3, 2015. Classes then resume with special emphasis on rehearsals for the dance performance at the Chinese New Year Festival on February 7, 2015.

New this year are classes in the circus arts offered by Portland’s Circus Conservatory of America. Aikido of Maine is partnering with the school for martial arts and the Hyde School is partnering in the dance program.

The school is in its 18th year and welcomes toddlers to high school students for classes in Mandarin, traditional dance, martial arts, art and Chinese culture workshops. The emphasis is on fun, friendship, family and community. We welcome new students and volunteers. For more information and to register, please check the website www.cafamchineseschool.org.

If you have any questions, please contact Kelli Pryor at kellijpryor@gmail.com.

Portland Magazine Article on Chinese Laundrymen

Toy Len Goon in her Laundry, 1952

Toy Len Goon in her laundry, 1952

CAFAM’s treasurer Gary Libby, an amateur historian, has spent years researching the stories of Chinese who lived in Maine in years past. His article on the men behind Portland’s earliest Chinese operated laundries will be featured in Portland Magazine‘s upcoming November issue.

Excerpted from Gary’s article:

In China, Chinese men did not engage in the laundry business. In the United States, a combination of racial discrimination, need for the service, and the small capital investment necessary to start up a business resulted in a large proportion of Chinese men becoming laundrymen.

All of Portland’s Chinese laundrymen lived at their laundries which usually consisted of two rooms. The most vivid description of an early Maine Chinese laundry appeared in the Portland Daily Eastern Argus in 1889 describing the Wah Lee Laundry at 128 Center Street. There the shop’s owner and his employee lived and worked in a two-room space. The front room, where the customers were served, also functioned as the office (with an abacus, account book, camel hair brushes and India ink), ironing space, and place to store the bundles of finished laundry. The rear room functioned as the actual laundry area, the sleeping and eating area, and, occasionally, as a temple for religious services.

Look for the full article in the November issue of Portland Magazine!

UPCOMING EVENTS

Chinese Language RoundtableFox logo

  • First and third Friday of the month, starting Sept 19th, 12-1 pm
  • ThinkTank Coworking, 533 Congress St., Portland

A casual meeting of Mandarin speakers in the Portland area. Feel free to bring your lunch! Organized by Fox Intercultural Consulting.

Maine-China Network: Mid-Autumn Festivities (two-part celebration)

  • “Take Off” event: Sept 19th, 6-7:30 pmkite
  • Creative Arts Center, Brewer

6 pm: Learn to make miniature kites that fit in your pocket and can fly any time, taught by kite expert Glenn Davison
7 pm: Complimentary Chinese dinner and conversation with Glenn and friends

  • “Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival”: Sept 20th, 10 am-3 pm
  • Indian Trail Park, Brewer

Crafts, lion dances, learn to make moon cakes and paper kites, and watch Glenn fly some wonderful kites.

RECENT EVENTS

Moon Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival is a time for gathering with family and friends—and eating mooncakes. CAFAM did just that on Sept 13th at the Woodfords Church in Portland.

We had a record turnout, with a wide range of ages filling the rooms, including many Chinese students who are attending local schools. The buffet tables were overflowing with delicious foods and desserts, and we ran out of servingware for the many enthusiastic guests.

Performances throughout the evening were lively and varied, from poetry readings by CAFAM’s own Amy Yu and Bob Greene to numerous students sharing their talents in music, dance and poetry. There was even a pair of young men rapping in Cantonese. Moon-appreciation songs were also led by CAFAM’s Craig Dietrich and Cynthia Setchell. CAFAM vice president, Kwok Yeung, performed his emcee duties smoothly throughout the evening.

University of Southern Maine’s Confucius Institute contributed greatly to making the event festive, including providing food, decorations, cultural items and many of the evening’s wonderful performers. Many thanks!

We hope that many of you were able to see the moon on the actual date of this year’s Moon Festival (Sept 8). It was truly as bright and full as can be!

CAFAMMoonFestsep14 ConfInstGirlsSingCAFAMsept14 BobAmyCAFAMsept14 BoysSingCAFAMsept14 MoonFestGirlsPoetry MoonFestConfInst

Potluck in the Park / CAFAM Board Elections

We spent a pleasant Maine summer day at CAFAM’s Picnic in the Park, held in June at lovely Winslow Park in Freeport. Some new friends (and some dogs) were there, a few Frisbees were tossed, and picnic foods were enjoyed by all.

We also took a few minutes to conduct CAFAM business, electing our board of directors.

This year’s CAFAM officers are: Robert Rovner, President; Kwok Yeung, Vice President; Michael Connelly, Secretary; and Gary W. Libby, Treasurer (and membership coordinator).

The Board of Directors are: Meilin Brodeur, Martin Connelly, Michael Connelly, Bob Greene, Cindy Han, Gary Libby, Susan Lieberman, Joseph McDonnell, Ah-Kau Ng, Sally Ng, Patti Oldmixon, Robert Rovner, Fran Sayers, Cynthia Setchell, Amanda Szala, Mary Tennant, Marilyn Thomas, Kwok Yeung and Amy Yu.

Thank you to all those who served CAFAM so well in the past year!

PicnicMartinBaby PotluckNgsCraig

 PicnicWoodySisterPotluckALyssaPaul

LANGUAGE CORNER

Autumn Bounty

By Connie Zhu

NanGua

南瓜粥/ nánguāzhōu/pumpkin porridge

Chinese believe in the medicinal qualities in food and vary their diet according to the change of the four seasons. Here is a list of recommended grains and vegetables for the fall that are mostly available in Maine, so try to incorporate them into your fall meals.

Enjoy and stay healthy! 祝您健康!

糯米/nuòmǐ /sticky rice/benefiting the spleen and the stomach

黄豆/huángdòu/yellow soybean/benefiting spleen, the stomach and large intestines

茄子/qiézi/eggplant/benefiting the stomach and large intestines

白菜/báicài/Chinese cabbage/benefiting the stomach and the spleen

南瓜/nánguā/pumpkin/benefiting the stomach and large intestines

NuoMi

糯米蒸莲藕/ nuòmǐ zhēngl ián’ǒu/steamed lotus

荸荠/ bíjì/water chestnut/benefiting the stomach

胡萝卜/ húluóbo/carrot/benefiting the lungs, the spleen and the stomach

白萝卜/ báiluóbo/turnip/benefiting the lungs and the spleen

莲藕/ lián’ǒu/lotus root/benefiting the heart, the lungs, and the spleen

番薯/ fānshǔ/sweet potato/benefiting the liver and the spleen

Enjoy!

PROFILE

“Uncle Two” Remembers Maine: A Chinese Student in Orono in the 1940s

Chingyuin1951.jpegCROP

Photo of Hsu Chingyuin around 1950, shortly after he left Maine for Taiwan

By Cindy Han

My oldest uncle, Hsu Chingyuin—who we call Er Bo Bo or “Uncle 2,”—has experienced plenty during his 92 years of life, including growing up in Wuxi, China, experiencing wartime throughout his teens and 20s, and leaving the mainland for Taiwan as a college student. Soon after, he made an even bigger move, pursuing his chemical engineering studies across the globe, coming to the United States—all the way up to University of Maine in Orono. There he pursued a master’s degree (1948-49), applying his chemical engineering expertise to the field of pulp and paper. Maine, of course, was the place to be to learn about trees and paper.

Later on, after leaving Maine, he worked for the Taiwan Paper Co. and became the leading expert on paper technology in Taiwan. He also established a department at the Chinese Culture University in Taiwan, which served as an important training ground for other paper engineers in Taiwan and China.

My uncle has now come full circle, moving back to Wuxi, China, his hometown, where he enjoys relatively good health for his advanced age. To this day, he has clear—and fond—recollections of the time he spent in Maine, where he was one of the very few Chinese residents. He recently shared his memories in a taped conversation . The transcript of that interview is now part of the Maine Historical Society’s archives, thanks to the work that CAFAM’s Gary Libby has done to ensure that stories of Chinese living in Maine are held in their records. Here are some translated excerpts from that interview:

When did you go to Maine?
I was in Maine in 1948, I arrived in August, when school started. I lived in Orono on the University of Maine campus dorm. That dorm was not the regular dorm—it was the wartime military training center housing. It was quite simple.

Why did you choose to go to Maine?
At that time, in the U.S., the paper industry developed three centers: one was New England, one was the Great Lakes area, one was the West Coast (Washington State). A lot of the paper mills in China had people who were trained in Maine.

Was it difficult for you to live in America?
I had no problems—where I went, there was no discrimination toward foreign students. They were all very polite. In fact, during the spring vacation at the end of my stay, one student’s parents knew of me and invited me to their home in Bar Harbor. It’s along the coast of Maine and it’s very beautiful. I got to eat lobster and eat crab there. I lived there several days.

At that time were there many Chinese people in Maine?
There were not many. One portion of them were the Chinese people who, in order to get their citizenship, served in the military. That group was an entirely different group from ours—we were all students.

What memories do you have of Maine?
When I went, there wasn’t much time to play or relax, but I did visit many paper mills. As for that, for those of us studying the paper industry, they treated us well in Maine. Especially the department chairman; he was especially nice. As soon I got there, he interviewed me and asked me: “How long will you study here?” I said, “I plan to study for one year.” He looked at my transcript, and he said, “You should have no problem finishing in one year. But you should get started right away—tomorrow.” And he said, “Today or tomorrow, someone from my machine shop will drive you into the forest and get wood samples.”

In the forest, there were all kinds of wood, most were broadleaf trees. It was already snowy—it was only the end of August or beginning of September and there was already snow. They brought me some snowshoes—you know what they are? They look like tennis racquets. They taught me how to walk with them on the snow.

And then the machine shop helped me cut small pieces of wood samples. And that’s what I used to do my experiments. The research facility was quite good. Later when I was in Taiwan, I replicated that kind of facility for people to use.

What else do you recall about Maine?
Most of what I remember is about school. At that time, we were about half an hour outside of the city of Bangor. Bangor was originally a small Air Force base, used to train many people during wartime. The people in school had a different way of looking at things because of that.

And in the city, there were very few Chinese. I remember there were only two Chinese families. One was running a small grocery store. I had whatever I needed available at school, so I very seldom went out to buy anything. The school food was very good. In fact, at that time, all the state schools had the same cafeteria food. Every week, the cafeteria served one or two Chinese dishes. But their Chinese “food” was chop suey (laughs).

But were there a lot of Chinese students? Why did they make Chinese food?
No there weren’t many. It’s just that the state food menu added in Chinese food at some point in the week—to let there be a wider variety of choices.

I remember I went to visit one place that made paper for money—it was in the Midwest. It was managed by a Maine alumnus. The manager said, “You know we don’t usually let foreigners in—we don’t even usually let Americans in.” But he told his colleagues that I was an exception, because of our Maine alumni connection. And when I was in China, I was the one making the paper for money. He used to work in China making paper for money as well. In fact, he said I don’t need to show you around, because when you’re in a paper mill, you won’t get lost.

I went around the mill that day, and when the people in the plant saw me, they pretended not to see me. I saw a lot. I got to see many things, even the roller that was used to make the watermark on Chinese currency.

Why did you leave Maine to go back to China?
When I left Maine, I had already lined up an arrangement with the paper mill in China. But the University of Maine department chair said, “If you go back to that paper mill, you might have problems. That region is already under Communist control. You can’t enter China without permission, and permission is very difficult to acquire.” Everyone was scared, and even the Wuxi friends and relatives did not dare to sponsor me.

So the chairman in Maine wrote two letters: One was to a paper mill in Guangzhou; another letter was to the biggest paper mill in Taiwan. He consulted with the head of the paper mill to see if they wanted to take me. So from Hong Kong to Taiwan, I went to see him. He said, “I’m not sure. Before, it would have been no problem, but now the business with China has left. Our business is bad. We have concerns.” But the next day, he said he had talked to his CEO and he said, “We welcome you. Because in our paper mill, we need to update the facilities. So if we have someone like you, it will be very useful.”

Big Wilson Old Growth Forest

ABOUT THE CAFAM NEWSLETTER

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

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The Chinese & American Friendship Association of Maine provides forums and outreach that promote cultural interchanges between the US and China.

Some rights reserved. Please share content responsibly. Banner image: Peonies, Yun Shouping (1633–1690), Public Domain via Wikipedia Commons. Produced by The Compass LLC.