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February 2011

sian American Association Newsletter

Happy Valentine’s Day! Year of the Rabbit Meet the Shadows

Thanks to all the contributers (and roomie Sarah for putting up with me constantly asking “Does this look okay???”)!!!

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storytime with the treasurer Out with the Old, in with the New

An innate talent I had always bragged about was being able to judge the amount of “fortune” I’d receive every Chinese New Year’s in my red envelope (hóng bao, 紅包, Viet: lì xì). Give me a Lincoln and you’re alright, but a Jackson…, you’re certainly on my good side, more or less. And sesame candy? Damn. Old and retired… from where do they keep finding the cash and goods to regularly spoil grandchildren?

The first floor of my grandparents’ bungalow. Musky odors infiltrated by plates of Chinese and Vietnamese home-cooking. Desaturated walls became quickly trumped by splashes of red, the lucky color which always made it onto the many outfits that my mom decorated onto me each year, much to my chagrin. And yet, there were the same grandmas, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, great-aunts, great-uncles, and the somehow-related’s of yesteryears – that is, until my maternal (and last) grandfather passed away on New Year’s in 2005, the Year of the rooster. Melancholy thoughts abound. But what the tricky and loving grandfather had bequeathed to my cousins and I was a greater gratitude for our traditions, our beloved grandmother, and an initiative to take the reins of the yearly celebration. Out with the old, in with the New. Chinese New Year is a time to (literally) open windows – to let the old spirits out, and the New in. Also, tangerines…they become omnipresent.

The celebration is a cultural and somewhat religious phenomenon. But wait; there’s more, a lot more than Jan 1st New Year’s. Dragons and lions dance down streets, as festive performances and families parade alongside the organized chaos. Lanterns are lit on the 15th and final day of the New Year’s celebrations, and suddenly, even the blind passersby have started to fully soak in the visual sensation and poignant significance of it all – a flame lit under the full moon, beckoning the return of light each year. It is during this day that I muster the most motivation to be in China, Malaysia, or Singapore. This is simply because the 15th day of the celebrations is an unofficial Chinese version of Valentine’s Day, when single women write their digits on tangerines and throw them into a lake, floating vulnerably until a swarm of (hopefully) single men dive in to retrieve and eat one. A sweet tangerine is a good sign; a sour, well…it’s probably a good idea to stay clear. If by this point I’ve lost all means of credibility to you, fret not. Wikipedia and my dad will confirm this bit for me. AAA event, anyone?

Much like Jan 1st, Chinese New Year is a time for restarting. Rekindle with those say-hi-inthe-hallway friends who have merely become acquaintances. Invent an innovative hairstyle, or rediscover a musical passion you had neglected and locked away in a dusty closet before departing for college. It remains only my hope to non-pedantically convey memories of Chinese New Year into words. For those, including myself, who are here at UIUC during the Chinese New Year, forget not your families at home, and the traditions they’ve instilled into us. We simply are our memories, as well as our traditions – waxing or waning. which

Whether you are chinese or not (many Asian countries have their own versions of the celebration), the chinese New Year celebrations should be observed by all with blessings for good fortune, longevity, good health, and above all, a profound prosperity. And of course, with tangerines and rice or sesame balls. A mouthful of terms, yes, but nevertheless, emotions precipitate into our souls as we shake and unseal the red envelopes of fortune and hop into the year of the Rabbit.

Michael Nguyen FEB11 | APPRIZE 2


Send Shout-outs to!!!

Ken Chan, I need to see you more :) <3 Biggie Family Shortcake You guys are the best. We couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have asked for a better family, and you guys have really made this family so meaningful to us. Love , Annie, Mei Mei, and Vince KwanHappy Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day! ;) <3Cindy

hi kai <3 sarah

To ChubbyLOBB YOU. You are my perfect match. Victory is always yours. Love, Tubby

Brendaooh~ squash big crush - Mark

Barb Yeunghi - Mark

To all of AAAThank you for wishing me luck on the MCAT and believing in me. It means a lot to me, especially on that dreadful day, and the good news is, I survived. - Vince

Ray Wulove u baby! - Connie


Kelly Makeroni, we should hang out more! <3 Biggie

JeannaThanks for being an awesome shadow! -A/A Chairs

Maymay... :D <3 Biggie

My familyYou guys are the strawberries to my shortcake. I love you all so berry much! (my best pun ever ^.^) - Anna Family CocomeroYou Go Glen CoCo :) - Cindy





To my otherThanks for being a loving other and feeding our kids. Next Xmas, expect some heels and fruity drinks from us :] Love, your other Happy Valentines Day Brian Liu! - Stephanie

To Mark Cheni love u daddy! you better hang out w/ me before u graduate! - daughter good luck joanne! <3 sarah




To VHappy Valentines Day. And happy 4. :] - Dontot

Family Mochimoo - Mark To Family Chill/Eggplant/ MightyYou will always be my first family. Papa chill, Engineered chill, Mayo Chill, etc. <3 Love, Soy Chill To Assorted PastriezYou are an amazing family. Thanks for always coming out and keeping your mom and dad company. Love, Mom


Layout by Social ARTICLE BY: ANNIE LAMChair Annie Lam



Shadow Team A

Neil SarwAl

Year: Freshman Major: ECE Shadow Position: Social Favorite cake: Pineapple Cake Favorite beverage: Sweet Tea Aspirations: Live Long and Prosper Favorite thing about U of I: The social environment Favorite Thing about AAA: The people involved

Year: Junior Majors/Minor: Art History and Pre-Physical Therapy/Italian Shadow Position: Cultural Nicknames: Vee, VeeVee, The Little One Favorite beverage: Simply Orange orange juice Aspirations: To one day be an entrepreneur and own my own vegetarian restaurant Favorite thing about U of I: Having my own apartment where I can cook anytime I want, even in the middle of the night. :) Favorite Things about AAA: All the amazing friends Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made and, of course, dancing in the fashion show!


VEenA VijayAk umar

i I L e N n Joa

Year: Junior Major: Bioengineering Shadow Position: Publicity Nickname: Jo-e Favorite thing about U of I: All the bunnies Favorite cake: ice cream cake Favorite beverage: Anything sweet Aspirations: To make a positive difference in peoplesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lives whether it be by working in an expansive company or day-today activities Favorite Thing about AAA: All the warm and happy people!

Year: Freshman Major: Molecular and Cellular Biology Shadow Position: Fundraiser Nickname: ve Favorite thing about U of I: My friends, DEFINITELY :) Favorite cake: Carrot cake Favorite beverage: Water with lemon Aspirations: Make it into the medical school Favorite Things about AAA: Being with friends, dancing, and meeting people that are not just Chinese (YAY for diversity)

e ADriEnSONonG

VEnus LiAng

Year: Freshman Major/Minor: Undecided-- considering Advertising major and Art History minor Shadow Position: Newsletter Favorite thing about U of I: the Arboretum. Favorite cake: Black Forest Cake Favorite beverage: Almond Milk Tea Aspirations: I want to travel the world and meet some penguins and pandas. Favorite Things about AAA: I really like the people in AAA. Some people are funny, some are nice, some are sarcastic, and everyone is part of the giant AAA family.



n CH eN

Year: Freshman Major: Electrical Engineering Shadow Position: Sports Favorite thing about U of I: The dance community. Favorite cake: Tiramisu Favorite beverage: Green Tea Aspirations: Inspire others through music.

Year: Sophomore Major: East Asian Languages and Cultures (Hoping to do double major in Comm.) Shadow Position: Outreach Favorite thing about U of I: AAA! And Insomnia cookies. AAA friends + insomnia cookies = Mind blowingly awesome Favorite cake: Carrot Favorite beverage: Homemade Milkshakes [Esp. Strawberry :) ] Aspirations: I hope to have traveled to 6 continents and get a job dealing with international relations. [4 down, 2 to go. Antarctica too cold. Canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t eat ramen there without it freezing] I also love baking and hope to master the art of pie crust making without getting too pudgy in the process :D

JeanNA w OnG FEB11 | APPRIZE 7


LoR y a G A iV

Year: Freshman Majors/Minor: MCB and PSYC/Business Shadow Position: Academic/Alumni Nickname: Jeannie Favorite thing about U of I: Freedom away from home Favorite cake: Sponge Cake woot! Favorite beverage: Coke Zero Aspiration: To become a successful dermatologist Favorite Things about AAA: Overall, I love everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attitude. On the very first day I met AAA, the members were so warm, friendly, and fun. They definitely made me feel welcome. And of course, my absolute most favorite thing is my AAA family! Strawberry Shortcake FTW

ShadoW Team b eMIly kONG

Year: Freshman Major: Business- Accounting possibly Shadow Position: BIG sib/lilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; sib Nickname: King Kong Favorite thing about U of I: The friends that I have made and the opportunities the college of businesshas provided Favorite cake: Coldstone ice cream cake- with mint chocolate chip preferably Favorite beverage: Diet coke Aspiration: To enjoy whatever im doing at the time

Year: Junior Major/Minor: Psychology/Communication Shadow Position: Philanthropy Favorite thing about U of I: AAA, Friends, Dance Practices, Basement/ARC/CRCE since there are enough space to dance! Favorite cake: Mocha Cake Favorite beverage: Ginger Ale Aspirations: Human Resource Assitant/Technical HR, Super Mom, who can be a great career-woman, best mom, AND wife at the same time. Haha :) Favorite Things about AAA: Dancing with my favorite people, meeting new people, making unforgettable memories

JaE eUN kiM


Lunar New Year Festival By Victor Chavalit The Lunar New Year refers to the beginning of the year in countries that follow the lunar calendar. Each country has its own way of celebrating the Lunar New Year. We’ll be discussing the celebrations that occur in two different countries, China and Japan.

Chinese New Year is one of the most important tradition holidays the country holds. It happens during the winter, but the event is called “Spring Festival (春节).” The festival last 15 days and end on lantern festival. Chinese New Year is one of the longest holidays and can be dated back to ancient times. Chinese New Year is celebrated worldwide even here at the University of Illinois. The festival is normally filled with delicious cuisine and traditional ceremonies. Aside from that though, it is also one of the most expensive holidays for Chinese people. It’s the time of the year where people are willing to empty out their pockets and take a trip to the mall to buy presents for friends and family. During the New Year festival, you’ll see red everywhere, all the decorations and signs will have this color. On the 15th day at the end of the New Year festival, families walk the streets carrying lanterns. People light candle outside their houses as a way to guide the spirits home. Nowadays, Japan celebrates New Year on January 1st will the majority of the world. However, they used to follow the lunar calendar and celebrate New Year according to it. The change was made in 1873 when they adopted the Gregorian calendar. During New Year, Japanese people eat special traditional dishes known as “osechi.” Aside from the traditional ceremonies in Japan, most of the celebration is the same as in other countries. It’s the time families are willing to spend the most money. People are also willing to go out of their way to do something special. On the night of New Year Eve at midnight, temples all over Japan ring their bells 108 times to symbolize the 108 human sins and to get rid of the 108 worldly desires regarding senses and feeling. Even though the ceremonies and traditions are different, we all celebrate the same thing. It’s the end of a wonderful year and the start of an even better one. All of us might be far from our families, but know that you are always welcome in AAA. We are your other family away from home. It’s a New Year and a good start for new things so let’s be a part of it together. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!


Layout by Newsletter Shadow Adrienne Soong

Once an Aries, Always an Aries

The New Year is always full of empty resolutions, full stomachs, the dread of doing school work again, and new horoscopes. Usually we all get over it but one fine day on Facebook everyone had a status about the astrological signs changing. There were tears, lost personalities, ads for new personalities, and worrisome compatibility issues with friends and mates. I had no problems with reinventing myself, but then I caught sight of a word: Ophiuchus. First, I didn’t even know how to pronounce the word (I looked it up: of-ee-yoo-kuhs). Then, I was angry and I didn’t really know why I was angry; it wasn’t as if I had become one. But the question remained for people who became an Ophiuchus: what is expected from an Ophiuchus? I have the answer: nothing. If you are reading this article your sign did not change. Why? Because you were not born this year. The personality of the 13th sign doesn’t even exist! Astrology is not based on the stars or how the planets align with each other. Deep down everyone knows horoscopes are not real. We read them because they are fun and they entertain us, I know I do. So please, don’t cry. If you have broken up with your mate because you both thought you were no longer compatible, get back together. There is no need to change personalities and you are allowed to continue fraternizing with your friends again.

Year of the Rabbit

Rabbits, rejoice! It’s your year! I have been reading up on rabbit personalities and overall they seem like very calm people. Those born in the year of the rabbit are a bit introverted but still like to socialize with others, usually entertaining in their own homes. They tend to avoid conflict and confrontation, but be warned they are strong-willed. You should not underestimate the inner strength of those born in the year of the rabbit. But what does this year mean for the rest of us? While rabbits will be having a wonderful year, many of us will have less luck and will encounter hardships in the next twleve months. Don’t worry, I have a solution: become close friends with someone who is born in the year of the rabbit. Famous people born as a rabbit: Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, James Fox, Drew Barrymore, Whitney Houstan, and Geoffrey Rush,. FEB11 | APPRIZE 10

Celebrating the “Other” New Year By Nathan Cheng

First off, happy Lunar New Year to everyone! Hopefully that snow day was the Lunar New Year’s Eve gift that you needed. It’s hard to imagine, living in the U.S., that Lunar New Year is really even that big of a deal. The day passes by with nary an acknowledgement; calendars don’t mark it; if you’re like me, you have to Google the day on the solar calendar that it falls on every year. You know how I spent my Lunar New Year’s Eve? I worked from home, shoveled two feet of snow, and took a nap. In fact, the only way you would even know that we knew this holiday existed was the fact that we sat down for dinner and had some homemade dumplings, in accordance to Chinese tradition. Very elaborate, I know. Believe it or not, Lunar New Year is a huge deal. For starters, in China most people get at least a week off of work or school. One whole week! It’s like the Chinese equivalent of the holiday season; people go all-out with the decorations just as much as people here do with Christmas. You’ll find red to be rather common theme: red lanterns, red signs, red firecrackers, red everything. Red is supposed to be a lucky color; never can have too much of a good thing, right? The custom that most people probably know is the hong bao, or red envelope. Adults and the elderly typically give hong bao to children or unmarried young adults as an act of well wishing or blessing. Of course, we all look forward to getting that money. Trust me; I was very disappointed not to get my hong bao this year. (Let’s forget the whole being an adult and having a salary thing…) The Chinese have a bunch of other customs they follow this time of year. The dumplings that I ate for dinner are shaped like ancient Chinese money, and are a symbol of prosperity. People typically clean house the night before to sweep away bad luck, while making sure not to clean for the first few days after so that they don’t sweep away the good luck that comes with the New Year. Firecrackers are set off in order to ward off any evil spirits or misfortunes. So next year, when you’re feeling blue about having to go to class while kids half a world away are starting a week of festivities, you can do any of the above to celebrate in your own way, except perhaps setting off firecrackers. That might not go well with roommates.


Ran’s Cook’orner “We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.” -Adelle Davis

Coconut Macaroons 4 large egg whites (room temp.) 1 cup White Sugar 1/2 cup Sifted Cake Flour

1 tsp Vanilla Extract 3 cups Shredded Sweetened Coconut 1/4 tsp Salt

1. In a stainless stell bowl placed over simmering water, whisk together egg whites, sugar and salt. 2. When the mixture is warm to the touch and creamy, remove from heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients. 3. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. 4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchm ent paper. 5. Place small mounds of batter on baking sheet several inches apart. 6. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on baking sheet 10 minutes and then transfer to rack.


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Valentine’s Day and Other Roman Princess and the Herder

The Jade Emperor, Taoist ruler of the Heavens, had a daughter named Zhinü (織女), or weaver girl. Responsible for creating the clouds of heaven, she also weaved the Milky Way, giving light to heaven and earth. Using a magical robe, Zhinü would descend from the heavens onto earth in order to bathe. During one of these visits, Niu Lang (牛郎), a cowherd, fell in love with her at first sight, stole her robe (so she couldn’t return home to Heaven) and kidnapped her. She gradually fell in love with Niu Lang and eventually married him; however, she was also growing homesick. Chancing upon her robe her husband had hidden, she returned to Heaven to visit her father. Just as soon as she returned, the Jade Emperor called for the Silver River (Milky Way) to flow, creating an obstacle in the way of Zhinü’s return to Earth. Seeing the couple heartbroken, the Jade emperor allowed the lovers to meet on a bridge over the river once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar. This folk-tale correlates to actual movements of the star Vega, in the constellation of Lyra east of the Milky Way, and the star Altair, in the constellation Aquila west of the Milky Way. The seventh day of the seventh lunar month, the Milky Way appears to dim, translating to the Milky Way not blocking the union of the two lovers.

Based on this folk-tale, a holiday similar to Valentine’s Day, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month (around August) emerged in China. It is called the Qixi Festival (七夕节). Similar holidays take place in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, as well. They are called Tanabata (七夕), Chilseok (칠석), and Ngày mưa ngâu, respectively.


ntic Holidays

Other Love Holidays Much like the Japanese, South Korean also celebrates White Day. In addition to Valentine’s Day and White Day, there is a “Black Day” on April 14th where singles eat jajangmyun (자장면), noodles in black bean sauce. Besides the three most well-known holidays, there are other specified days on the 14th of the other months. There is also Pepero Day where couples give each other the stick-like cookies on 11/11.

January February March April May June

Candle Day Valentine’s Day White Day Black Day Rose Day Kiss Day July August September October November December

Silver Day Green Day Music Day Wine Day Movie Day Hug Day



AAA General Meeting + Fondue

Photography by Michael Nguyen


Fashion Show Practice


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Sudoku #03

Sudoku #37 Solution


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Sudoku #52

Sudoku #09 Solution


February AACC Food for Thought-

AAA General

AACC Food for Thought

VSA Volleyball PSA Fashion Show

AACC Food for FAAAMILY APA Fundraiser APA Fundraiser AAA Thought Ice Skating Ambassadors APA Fundraiser

Fashion Show AAA Fundraiser AACC Food for Run-throughs Thought @Gregory Hall

AACC Food for Thought

TASC Cooking Forum


Coming Soon!!! FEB11 | APPRIZE 18

AAA MISSION STATEMENT • To serve and promote the needs of Asian Americans at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. • To educate the university and community on current Asian American issues. • To promote awareness of Asian American heritage to the University and community through programming on Asian American history and culture. • To provide social activities for Asian American Association members. • To support and work in coalition with other groups who serve and protect the Asian American community


EXECUTIVE BOARD President Swetha Ramanathan

External VP Beth Kopacz

Internal VP Dharani Ramanathan

Treasurer Mike Nyugen

Secretary Mark Chen

contact AAA 280 Illini Union #256 AIM s/n: AAAUIUC

Academic/Alumni Cindy Lam Vince Lam Big Sib/Lil Sib My Huyen Ho Simon Huynh Cultural Awareness Vichaya Chavalit Ju Lee Fashion Show Sarah Hsu Kim Mok Fundraising William Thai Newsletter Winnie Cheng Outreach Junmin Luo Suran Yoo Philanthropy Joanne Lau Iris Zhang Publicity Lucy Wen Social Annie Lam Christine Lin Sports Frank Lin Daniel Wang Advisors Lee Cheung Brian Liu

Apprize: February 2011  

AAA Newsletter

Apprize: February 2011  

AAA Newsletter