Vol. XXXIX November 5-18, 2010
Community activist, Sherry Dong, honored with ABCD Community Award
By Joanne Wong
Sherry Dong (right) is presented with the ABCD community award, and Hubie Jones (left). (Photo by Joanne Wong)
Each year, Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) hosts a dinner to honor community volunteers for their contributions to Boston’s neighborhoods. Ranging from working with elder services to child and health care, and anywhere between Dorchester and East Boston, and Brighton and Chinatown, the awardees have devoted their time, energy, and efforts to various engagements that impact and improve the livelihoods of thousands of unserved and underserved Bostonians. This year, the Asian American Civic Association (AACA) nominated Sherry Dong as one of 19 exceptional volunteers to receive this award. At the ABCD Community Awards Dinner hosted on October 29th, keynote speaker Vicki Kennedy addressed over 1,500 guests and thanked the 19 recipients for “promoting self-help for lowincome communities” and helping people to “overcome poverty, live with dignity, and achieve their full potential.” Dong’s work with the Chinatown and Asian American community is extensive and
Chinese American patriot and pioneer
SEE DONG PAGE 5
Asian American Film Festival launches in Boston and short films, the festival will offer a wide breadth of topics for Greater Boston audiences. BAAFF kicked off with a fundraiser launch party on Wednesday, October 20th, at Splash Ultra Lounge. Attendees Susan Chinsen, BAAFF Chair, and Janice Wong, networked, enjoyed BAAFF Coordinator, present at the launch party. (Photo by Joanne Wong) food and drinks, played trivia, and By Joanne Wong learned of the film festival’s line-up. The event attracted students Films featuring Asian Ameriand young professionals interested can actors, culture, and issues will in learning more about the films. be presented this year in five difOne such attendee was Amber ferent venues across the Boston Ying, a resident of New Hampshire, area. The Boston Asian American who discovered that the festival is Film Festival (BAAFF), facilitated featuring a movie that she’s heard by the Asian American Resource about and is interested in watching. Workshop (AARW), will include The last time that such a festival 14 independent films and videos, took place in Boston was back in five screening events, a workshop 2008. This year, the festival will on Asian Americans in film, and 13 run from November 11-14th across community presenting partners. Boston and Cambridge. Ranging from comedies to dramas The theme for the Boston Asian
American Film Festival 2010 is Ideas in Motion. Opening at the Stuart Street Playhouse, the festival will move to the Paramount Center, Tufts Medical Center, Harvard University Science Center, and the Brattle Theater. BAAFF chair, Susan Chinsen, explained that this year, they tried to find the best films highlighting Asian American culture and issues that otherwise would not be shown in Boston: “As an Asian American activist, it’s something that I wanted to bring to Boston. We often don’t have the same opportunity to see things that are shown in the Asian American communities in L.A. or New York.” Chinsen also expressed hopes to expand the film festival. In May, BAAFF is partnering with WGBH for a similar film screening. For more information about BAAFF and a complete list of screenings and films, please visit baaff.org. Joanne Wong is a Sampan correspondent.
Silk Road Gala: Fight against domestic violence By Diana Li
Ming Tsai (right) and chefs Jody Adams and Michael Schlow celebrate their mini-Iron Chef win. (Photo of Joanne Wong)
Lawyers, businesses, chefs, celebrities, and many others joined together at the 17th Silk Road Gala to support the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence on October 23, 2010. Tickets to the Silk Road Gala were sold out and had 500 guests in attendance. The successful event was able to raise over $400,000. The night entailed entertainment, scrumptious cuisines, live and silent auctions, and inspirational speeches. Among the celebrity chefs was Ming Tsai, host of Simply Ming. Ming is currently in the running to be the Next Iron
SEE GALA, PAGE 2
SAMPAN/Asian American Civic Association 87 Tyler Street Boston, MA 02111 Change Service Requested
After the D-Day Normandy Invasion, Arthur Wong and the 28th pressed on to take over the heavily Nazi fortified town of St. Lo. (Photo by Jackson Hau) By Jackson Hau
Arthur Wong is considered a hero by many in the Boston Chinatown community. He has a place in Boston Chinatown’s “hall-of-fame” as one of the forefathers and pioneers who helped establish the social and cultural foundations on which the Boston Chinatown community still continues to build. Wong may undeniably be a hero among the many generations and community members of Boston’s Chinatown, but he is also a hero and patriot among the Chinese Americans who served and fought in the Second Great War for the United States. Sitting down and listening to Wong articulate and retell his stories, I find a man that is as sharp as he was in the stories he retells. He
doesn’t miss a beat. We’re having dinner and there is nothing that happens he doesn’t miss. If a component of leadership is a reflection of attention to detail, then Wong could have been a general during World War II. His stories are captivating and continuous. He doesn’t recollect himself to recall any event of his service during World War II. He tells his stories as if they occurred yesterday with specificity and meticulous precision. His stories reflect his values and moral character that integrate time honored Chinese ethics with United States Army principles into a neutrality of two cultural ideological doctrines. Chinese custom teaches Chinese Americans to stand up for what is just, and to never allow anyone to “walk all over” them. As a soldier, you
SEE WONG, PAGE 6 NONPROFIT ORG PERMIT NO. 54358 BOSTON, MA
November 5, 2010
SAMPAN A Publication of the AACA
www.sampan.org 87 Tyler Street Boston, MA 02111 Tel: (617) 426-9492 Fax: (617) 482-2316
Editor: Cody Yiu email@example.com English Section:
Announcements CHINATOWN Buds and Blossoms Fall Frolic Buds and Blossoms will host its first Fall Frolic at the Empire Garden Restaurant in Boston Chinatown on Saturday, November 6, 2010. The event will celebrate children and the excitement of learning. It will feature Chinese buffet, ethnic performances, Chinese crafts and games, face painting, Chinese dress-up photo, auction and much more. Where: Empire Garden Restaurant, 690 Washington Street, Boston Chinatown, MA 02111. When: Saturday, November 6, 2010 , 4:007:30 PM Contact: To purchase tickets, or if you have any questions, please call Chealyn Tim at 617426-9492 ext. 231 or firstname.lastname@example.org Wang YMCA Legacy Event
Join Wang YMCA on Sunday November 7 at 5:30pm at the Empire Garden Restaurant to
help celebrate our 10th year at the Oak Street location. Festivities will include a traditional 10-course banquet, dancing and entertainment. For more information, contact Kelly Fernandes at 617.426.2237 x223. Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund seeks Chinatown applications
Non-profit community organizations in Chinatown are invited to apply for 2010 grants from the Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund (TNSF). TNSF collects donations from faculty and staff throughout the year and then awards small grants to community-based, charitable organizations that serve Tufts’ host communities (Somerville, Medford, Grafton and Boston’s Chinatown). Applicants must also have Tufts volunteers actively working with their organizations. In this way, TNSF supports not only community organizations, but also the work of the many Tufts students, staff, faculty, and alumni who volunteer with them. Interested organizations should contact the
Community Relations office at Tufts University (617) 627-3780 to request an application. Application materials are also available online at the following web address: http://communityrelations.tufts.edu/tnsf. Individual grants will be made in amounts ranging from $250 to $2,000. Applications are due by November 15, 2010, and awards will be announced before the New Year.
Contributors: Lillian Chan (Comic), Joanne Wong(News), Cody Yiu (Feature), Jackson Hau (Feature), Diana Li (News), Tammy Nguyen (Youth) Layout: Cindy Shih, Joanna Zhou, Cody Yiu
Graphic Design: Cindy Shih Chinese Section:
Reporters: Jiaxian Cen, Jianghe Niu, Yuanli Zhu
The Boston Asian American Film Festival The 2010 Boston Asian American Film Festival (BAAFF), Ideas in Motion, presented by the Asian American Resource Workshop, is taking place between November 11-14th. We will be opening the film festival with "Today's Special" on Thursday evening, followed by two programs on Friday night, "AOKI" and "Infamy", and our short films program, "Got Shorts?" Lead actor Bee Vang from Gran Torino will be hosting a workshop on Saturday afternoon, before our screening of "The People I've Slept With". Finally, we will be concluding our film festival with "The Things We Carry" and "La Petit Salon" on Sunday. Screening and events locations include the Stuart Street Playhouse, the Paramount Theater, the Brattle Theater, Tufts Medical Center, and Harvard University. For exciting trailers, additional information, and ticket sales, visit www.baaff.org. Contact: (617) 426-5313, email@example.com.
Translation: Gong Quan Chen, Tien Tien, Zhanglin Kong, Keke Xu Marketing and Advertising: Advertising & Marketing Manager: Joanna Zhou firstname.lastname@example.org SAMPAN is New England’s only biweekly bilingual EnglishChinese newspaper. It is nonprofit and nonpartisan. Founded in 1972, Sampan is published by the Asian American Civic Association. Sampan is distributed free in Chinatown and the Greater Boston area. All donations to the publication are tax deductible. Subscription: $60/year (1st class mail); $30/ year (3rd class mail).
GALA, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
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First Lady of Massachusetts, Diane Patrick, along with gala co-chairs: Laura Sen, Paul W. Lee, and Mary Y. Lee. (Photo by Joanne Wong) Chef on the Food Network. Appropriately, Ming hosted ATASK’s own rendition of Iron Chef and was able to keep the audience stifled with laughter. On one team was Jody Adams, chef and owner of Rialto, and Michael Schlow, chef and co-owner of Via Matta, Radius, and Alta Strada. On the other team was Patricia Yeo, executive chef of Ginger Park, and Jasper White, chef and owner of Summer Shack. Judging the competition was Mayor Thomas Menino, Peter Zane, Emily Ma, and Louisa Kasdon. The contestants were given 15 minutes to prepare 1 dish each, 2 dishes per team. With a 9 point lead, the winning team was team
Jody Adams and Michael Schlow. Also present was Diane Patrick, First Lady of Massachusetts, who was the keynote speaker of the night. According to Patrick, “the work that ATASK has done has been spectacular.” Throughout her speech, Patrick had nothing but praises for ATASK. In addition, Patrick presented ATASK a proclamation from Governor Deval Patrick to commend ATASK for all the work that they have done. Other notable attendees were Daisuke Matsuzaka, Boston Red Sox pitcher, Janet Wu, reporter for Channel 5, Grace Lin, children’s book author, and Jennifer 8. Lee,
author of the Fortune Cookie Chronicles. ATASK provides support to Asians who suffered from domestic violence in New England. Services include an emergency shelter, 24hour helpline, programs and services for empowerment, education and training. Moreover, ATASK is the only organization in New England to provide multi-lingual and cultural services for domestic violence. For more information, please visit www.atask.org.
Diana Li is a Sampan correspondent.
November 5, 2010
October Chinatown Neighborhood Council meeting: Kensington Place and Chinatown Park By Diana Li
Jonash. Brennan stated that “Chinatown Park is really beginning The Chinatown Neighborhood to come into its own.” Since the Council met on Chinatown October 18, 2010 Park has been for their monthly established, meeting. The both young core of the meetand old have ing was on the been enjoying Kensington Place the amenities and the Rose of the park, Fitzgerald Kenalbeit without nedy Greenway. tables, chairs, Mark Rosenand shade. Aerial View of the current design of The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenshein, Senior However, Kensington. (Courtesy of The Architecway Conservancy presented some chair Project Manager, tural Team) soon this and table ideas for the Chinatown Park represented the will not be at the Chinatown Neighborhood Council Kensington Place project. Although the case. Brennan announced that meeting. (Courtesy of Rose Fitzgerald the construction of Kensington Place the Barr Foundation has donated a Kennedy Greenway Conservancy) started in 2003, the project was placed generous amount of $10,000 to the on hold due to drastic increases in Greenway Conservancy. The money design of the Pavilion would be an open construction and construction prices. will be utilized towards chairs, tables, outdoor stage. Unfortunately, construcSubsequently, construction prices have décor, or anything that will enhance the tion is not imminent due to financial become more feasible. Since the 2003 comfort and safety of the park. Morereasons. Nevertheless, there will be NPC approval, physical changes were over, some old plants will be replaced fundraising events for this project. made to the original plan. with plants that are more suitable for For more information, please attend According to Rosenshein, “economic the environment of the park. Large the next monthly Chinatown decisions” were made. The building is planters and new plants beds will be Neighborhood Council Meetgoing to be reduced from 30 stories to added to the park. ing meeting. The next monthly 29 stories. The number of residential The Greenway Conservancy values Chinatown Neighborhood units increased to a total of 384 units. feedback from the community and is Council meeting will be on NoConversely, the building will be 100% currently looking for suggestions on vember 22nd, 2010 at 6:00PM rental with no condominium portion. the types of chairs, tables, or decor that on 90 Tyler Street, Boston. In addition, instead of 5 levels of unwould be most appropriate for the park. Diana Li is a Sampan corderground parking, there will be only 2 The chairs and tables could be available respondent. levels of underground parking. Despite as early as spring. the changes, the square footage of the Due to the large volume of feedback building will remain the same. from the community on the need for a The other focus of the night was pavilion, Jonash mentioned that they presented by Nancy Brennan and Linda there has been talk of building one. The
Advocacy groups weigh in on immigration rights A group of four panelists came together to discuss immigration rights. Starting from far Left: Lily Huang (Student Immigration Movement), Amy Leung (Chinese Progressive Association), Dimple Rana (Deported Diaspora), Karen Chen (API Movement and moderator of the night), and June Bleak (Neighborhood Legal Services). (Photo by Diana Li)
By Diana Li
According to Lily Huang, who is affiliated with the Student Immigration Movement, “you can’t talk about immigration without talking about Asian Americans.” On October 28, 2010, the Asian American Resource Workshop hosted the Immigration Rights Panel 101 at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center. Joining Lily Huang (get rid of comma here) were three other panelist: Dimple Rana (Deport Diaspora), Amy Leung (Chinese Progressive Association), and June Beack (Neighborhood Legal Services. The topics of focus were (get rid of “on”) deportation, detention, and the Dream Act. Many families come to the US in hopes of a better future, but, unfortunately, some are undocumented. As a result, they could face deporta-
tion. Often, when families get deported, they become separated. Steve Li exemplifies this situation. Li is currently in detention and is awaiting deportation to Peru, where he has no family or friends, while his parents await deportation to China. Li’s parents left China to Peru because his family did not agree with the government policies, and unfortunately they had to flee Peru because of political instability. They came to the US on a tourist visa which expired in 2002 and was denied when they applied for political asylum. Li is one of the many young people who grew up in the American culture, excelled in academics; however, his future is limited by the US immigration laws. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, also known as the DREAM Act, is enact-
ed, will make changes to the current immigration laws. The Dream Act will allow young people like Li, who did not make the decision to live in the US undocumented but calls the US home, to be granted to live in the US. To qualify for the Dream Act, one must be 15 years old or under when they were brought to the US, must be in the US for more than 5 years, and show good moral character. For more information on the DREAM Act or immigration rights or to become more involved, please check out www.simforus.com, www. aaaw.org, www.cpaboston.org, or www.deporteddiaspora.org. Diana Li is a Sampan correspondent.
Cathay Bank helps St. Francis House go All the Way Home
Ip (right) presented a check of $10,000 to Karen LaFrazia (center), Executive Director of St. Francis House, at the bank on October 19th.
Cathay Bank has long been a cornerstone in Chinatown, helping residents reach their financial goals and realize their dreams. “We are thrilled to make a $10,000 sponsorship gift to All the Way Home, the largest annual fundraising event of our neighbor St. Francis House,” says Johnny Ip, Regional Senior Vice President and General Manager of New England Region of Cathay Bank . Ip presented a check
of $10,000 to Karen LaFrazia, Executive Director of St. Francis House, at the bank on Tuesday, October 19th“I am honored to accept this gift, this investment in human capital,” says LaFrazia. “St. Francis House recognizes the value of being a good neighbor and is so grateful to Cathay Bank for its friendship and support over the years.”
The Rose Fitzgerlad Kennedy Greenway Conservancy created a tentative lay out the future improvements. (Courtesy of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy)
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November 5, 2010 Affordable HOME OWNERSHIP Housing Opportunity
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SOUTH SHORE ACADEMY BUILDING APARTMENTS (508) 674-1111 102 South Main Street, Fall River ADAMS VILLAGE (617) 328-6727 725-735 Adams Street, Dorchester BROCKTON COMMONS (508) 584-2373 55 City Hall Plaza, Brockton
KENT VILLAGE BOSTON (781) 545-2233 65 North River Road, Scituate MCNAMARA HOUSE (617) 783-5490 LINCOLN SCHOOL 210 Everett Street, Allston APARTMENTS (781) 749-8677 WESTERN MASS. 86 Central Street, Hingham QUINCY COMMONS (617) 328-6727 1 Canton Road, Quincy
STRATTON HILL PARK STONE RUN EAST (508) 852-0060 (781) 331-2525 161 W. Mountain Street, 8 Old Stone Way, Weymouth Worcester
THE LEDGES FAXON COMMONS (781) 335-2626 (617) 472– 6766 1 Avalon Drive, Weymouth 1001 Southern Artery, Quincy HANOVER LEGION ELDERLY APARTMENTS (781) 871-3049 Legion Drive, Hanover
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Maximum Household Assets are $75,000 for the 2BR unit and the 3BR units selling for $190,800. There is no asset limit for households applying for the 3BR units priced $278,000. For more information on the Development, the Units or the Lottery and Application Process, please visit: www.s-e-b.com/lottery or call 617.782.6900 Applications and Information available at the Newton Public Library (open M-Th 9am-9pm, F 9-6, Sat 9-5, Sun 1-5) A Public Information Session will be held on Dec 1st, 2010 at 7:00 pm in the Newton Free Library Hall The lottery will be held on January 12th, 2011 Completed Applications and Required Income Documentation must be received, not postmarked, by January 3rd, 2011
The CHOICE Center, N. Chelmsford, MA – Rental Housing Opportunity for Seniors This new development will have 37 affordable rental units for seniors age 60 and over. There will be 32 - one bedroom units and 5- two bedroom units. It is located on the North Village Campus on Sheila Ave in N. Chelmsford, MA. There are 19 units set aside for applicants earning no more than 50% of median income. Those limits are $31,050 for one person, $35,450 for two members and $39,900 for three members. There are 18 units set aside for applicants earning no more than 60% of median income. Those limits are $37,260 for one person, $42,450 for two members and $47,880 for three members. Applications will be available from November 15, 2010 through January 20, 2011. The anticipated move in date is on or about April 15, 2011. Selection for the units will be done through a lottery. There will be an information session for this development and the lottery process on December 9, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at our offices located at 10 Wilson Street, Chelmsford, MA 01824. Applications are available by contacting our office at (978) 256-7425 x10 or from our website www.chelmsfordha.com. CHOICE, Inc. is a 501c3 committed to providing equal opportunities to all. Applications can also be picked up in person at 10 Wilson Street, Chelmsford, MA 01824.
November 5, 2010
Health What is influenza (flu)? Influenza, commonly called “the flu,” is a lung (respiratory) infection caused by the influenza virus. Although someone with a mild case of flu may have symptoms similar to a cold, most cases of flu are more serious than the common cold. The flu virus changes slightly each year, so each year a new batch of vaccine must be made. When does flu occur?
Flu occurs in the United States most often in the winter. Flu-like symptoms in summer months are usually due to other viruses. Who gets the flu?
Anyone who has not been vaccinated with the current year’s flu vaccine can get influenza. Each year in the United States, about 5-20 percent of the population gets the flu. What are the symptoms of flu?
ache, dry cough, muscle aches, tiredness and weakness, with congestion in the nose, throat and lungs. Children may have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, but these symptoms are uncommon in adults. The symptoms usually last about three to five days but in more serious infections, complications can occur and the illness may last longer. How is the flu spread?
Influenza is very easy to spread from person-to-person when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This releases droplets from the nose and throat that contain the flu virus. The flu virus can also be spread when someone touches something that has virus on it, and then touches their nose, eyes or mouth. The flu can be spread from an infected person from the day before they get sick until about seven days after they first have symptoms, so they are contagious before they even know they are sick. How can you prevent the flu?
get vaccinated each year during the flu season, if vaccine is available. Vaccine is especially important for people who are most at risk for serious flu infections. Good health habits also go a long way toward preventing the spread of many diseases, including the flu.
change frequently, people who have had the flu or a flu shot in previous years may become infected with a new strain. To locate a flu clinic in your area, please: http://www.flucliniclocator.org/ Article funded through the Asian Health Initiative of Tufts Medical Center
Does past infection with influenza make a person immune? No. Because viruses that cause flu
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The symptoms include fever, head-
DONG CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
The best way to avoid the flu is to
certainly fits Mrs. Kennedy’s description. important AACA’s work is for the Chinese As the Director of Community Health and immigrant communities to gain ecoImprovement Programs at Tufts Medical nomic self-sufficiency. She also credits her Center, Dong has overseen grant giving background (this isn’t really a unique backinitiatives and facilitated efforts to engage ground) as a child of immigrant parents for residents of Chinatown, and raise awarehelping her understand the many struggles ness about available health programs and and challenges that Boston’s immigrants and services. Her work aims to narrow the gap children of immigrants so often face: “Perin health disparities amongst residents in haps it’s the ‘filial piety’ that is internalized the neighborhood, and advocates for access by many of us, but I do what I do because I to culturally and linguistically appropriate think it’s the right thing to do, because it’s care. In addition, over the past seven years, important to give back to the community and Dong has been involved with a food pantry promote a culture of giving and volunteerprogram at Tufts Medical Center called ism. I hope I can be an encouragement to “Ricesticks and Tea,” which offers food and others to also give back to their communisupplies to over 120 pre-screened low-inties, whether you are able to give your time, come Asian immigrant and refugee families expertise, resources, money, etc., to know each month. that your individual contributions will make Outside of her work in the medical cena difference in someone’s life, no matter how ter, Dong has also been active in many other large or small.” ways in the community. She was recently Joanne Wong is a Sampan corresponnamed President of the Board of Directors dent. for the Chinese Historical Society, and has served as the Board Co-Chair for the Chinatown Coalition, where she led several community health education initiatives, including Old Sudbury Road, Wayland 01778 emergency preparedness planning and seasonal Eight Units of New Construction Available flu. Furthermore, $159,900 Dong was Board Market Rate Finishes at Affordable Prices! President of the Asian Task Force Information Session: Against Domestic Monday November 15 2010, 7:30pm Violence, and has Wayland Senior Center served as a volunteer at AACA to Applications accepted: assist immigrants Through December 23, 1:00pm with their citizenHousing Lottery: January 12, 2011 ship tests. When asked Application and Information: what the award Housing@Sudbury.Ma.US means to her, 278 Old Sudbury Road, Sudbury, MA 01776, 978-639-3388 Dong states that Income and Asset Limits, Use and Resale Restrictions Apply she is humbled and thankful for AACA, for she understands first-hand how
Wayland Commons, Wayland
** All must be native speakers of Mandarin and fluent in English.
Salary: commensurate with experience and education. Full benefits package. To apply: send resume and cover letter by to: HR Department Asian American Civic Association 87 Tyler St, 5th lfoor Boston, MA 02111 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org AACA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer
Mark the Dates! Boston Water and Sewer Is Coming to Your Neighborhood
A Boston Water and Sewer Commission Community Services Department representative will be in your neighborhood at the place, dates, and time listed here.
Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) 90 Tyler Street Thursdays, 12–1 PM Nov. 18 • Dec. 9
Our representative will be available to: ✔ Accept payments. (Check or money order only–no cash, please.) ✔ Process discount forms for senior citizens and disabled people. ✔ Resolve billing or service complaints. ✔ Review water consumption data for your property. ✔ Arrange payment plans for delinquent accounts. Need more information? Call the Community Services Department at 617-989-7000.
Boston Water and Sewer Commission 980 Harrison Avenue • Boston, MA 02119 • www.bwsc.org
Page 6 Feature
November 5, 2010
Korean Adoption Film Festival presents In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee- A documentary film featuring a Korean adoptee’s quest to uncover the mystery of her double identity
Liem addressing the audience’s questions following the screening of In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee, a documentary film she produced, directed and wrote. (Photo by Cody Yiu)
Director Deann Borshay Liem holding up a picture of one of the Cha Jung Hees. (Internet image) By Cody Yiu
Over 100 Korean adoptees from around New England came together at UMass Boston on October 29th and 30th for a film festival that touched their hearts in a very deep and personal way. Organized by the Boston Korean Adoptees (BKA), Inc., Journeys Abroad, Journeys Within: A Korean Adoption Film Festival was the first of its kind in Boston. BKA is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a community of adult adoptees with a connection to Korea in the greater and New England area. The four featured films were In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee, Going Home, Resilience, and First Person Plural, which were all produced by Korean adoptees. The award-winning documentary film, In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee, produced by Deann Borshay Liem, is a whodunit showcasing the filmmaker’s personal quest to track down the person whose identity she had taken on for 40 years. In 1966, then aged eight, Liem came to the US as an adoptee. Her passport said she was Cha Jung Hee. But she knew she was not. Decades later, the question began to haunt her: Who is Cha Jung Hee? The grown-up Liem decided to go back to Korea some forty years later to unravel the mystery of her switched identity. This highly complex and intricate story was presented in the form of an essay and narrated by Liem. The film drew from a wealth of historical footage of postwar Korea and home videos. Liem, producer, director and writer of the film, traversed across South Korea to piece together information that might lead her to the real Cha Jung Hee.
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never give up and you see each mission to its end; each soldier remembers to never leave a man behind. This conglomeration of two distinct sub-cultures is what comprises Arthur Wong’s character, evident still today. Wong enlisted voluntarily into the United State Army when he was 18 to help support his country in its time of need. I stress voluntarily, because the difference between a volunteer and draftee lies in the essence of one’s will to serve his country, not out of imposed obligation or forced compulsion, but out of true compassion that comprises a genuine patriotic duty to one’s Great Nation. Upon enlisting, Wong was assigned to the 28th Division, 110th Infantry Regiment. This unit is still an active unit that is a component of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard; the unit patch is a keystone symbol that is red. Picture a red spittoon bucket. This became the 28th’s nickname, the “bloody bucket.” The nickname was a testament to the considerable number of soldiers that never returned home alive after World War II. After enlistment, all soldiers are indoctrinated into the United States Army by going through basic training. There was one incident during basic training when a fellow soldier questioned Wong’s loyalties and ability to serve his county because of his Chinese descent. Wong confronted the individual with physical confirmation of his fist and enough colorful rhetoric that no one dared question his loyalties and patriotic duty again. After his basic
“It’s very rare, I think, for our [Korean adoptee] community to see our own images projected on a screen, especially films that are told from our own perspectives,” Liem said prior to the screening of the film. “In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee is a follow-up to First Person Plural….but in slightly different context. Again, it’s a very personal film.” Liem continued. In her search for THE Cha Jung Hee, Liem called every number listed under that very name in the Korean phone book. “[The filming took place] Over different periods. We did [the search] over the course of two years. It wasn’t continuous. When I was in Korea, we did the phone calls. We called all 101 on the list and talked to dozens. Some people wouldn’t talk to us. If you get calls from a strangers asking whether were in an orphanage and how old are you, you may not answer, right? Some people just wouldn’t talk to us at all, or just hang up on us. But we managed to talk to a few. We were surprised by how many people there were, of Cha Jung Hee,” Liem reflected on her journey in the Q&A session following the screening of her film. Apart from telling the story through a personal lens, In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee also dives into social and economical issues that help explain South Korea’s strong export of orphans over the past five decades. Liem’s next project will be a comprehensive film exploring a wide range of subject matters relating to orphans and international adoption. “The first part of the [new] film will probably cover the military “mascots” during the Korean War, who were among the first children whom were adopted to the US, and bi-racial orphans.
training and indoctrination as an infantryman, Wong was deployed overseas in support of Allied forces in the European theatre. Following time honored military tradition even to this day, every soldier was cross-trained in some other component of soldiering. Wong was trained as an infantryman with a basic M1 Garand rifle, but was further trained as a mortar man and BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) gunner. Wong’s first combat experience would be a trial by fire, or as General Eisenhower described it to all the allied troops prior to the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, they were soon to “[e]mbark upon the Great Crusade, toward which [they had] striven these many months. The eyes of the world [were upon them].” Wong was to be part of the contingent of the 28th that would support Allied efforts on Omaha Beach, a crucial component of the D-Day Normandy landing, America’s first major offensive movement into France, then Nazi occupied Europe. Putting this in a civilian-modern-day perspective it’s similar to asking you to run in a marathon, and upon completion of that marathon, to go participate in a triathlon. After the harrowing, high mortality DDay Normandy Invasion, Wong and the 28th pressed on to take over the heavily Nazi fortified town of St. Lo. Between the successful occupation by Allied forces of St. Lo and the triumphant march into Paris, Arthur lost his close friend John Cummings, a native
[The film will cover adoptees] from the 60s, 70s, 80s and up to the present day. I’ve been interviewing Korean adoptees from different cities in the US, and also from Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium and Norway,” Liem said. She hopes to raise sufficient funds within the next ten years to finish her new film. The Korean War, which reached an armistice in 1953, left behind thousands of mixed-raced children who were born to Korean women and fathered by members of the US armed forces. These bi-racial children, known as “GI babies” or “UN babies,” along with a multitude of Korean children orphaned during the war, became a huge social burden to South Korea, a postwar nation in abject poverty. Propelled by the American media, intervention efforts soon emerged to save these Korean “waifs” and “orphans” through adoption and charitable means. Many US servicemen, while finishing up their service duty in Korea, decided to return home with young Korean boys, who were also known as “mascots.” Ever since, South Korea has remained the largest sending country of orphans for international adoption. According to a study by the Institute for Asian American Studies of UMass Boston, since the 1950s, approximately 160,000 children from South Korea have been adopted internationally with about 100,000 of them placed in American homes. In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee is available online for viewing on PBS website through November 30, 2010: http://www.pbs.org/pov/chajunghee/watch.php To learn more about the Boston Korean Adoptees, Inc., please visit www.bkadoptee.org.
of Natick, Massachusetts. Without time to mourn or rest, Wong would take part in the bloody Battle of Hürtgen Forest. Although matching in ferocity, it is often overshadowed by the Battle of the Bulge, which occurred that same winter. It was during this 5-month battle that, to me, Wong truly hallmarked the definition of a hero. At the time, he was a buck sergeant and was instructed to lead his squad of 17 soldiers to charge and occupy a pillbox guarded by German troops. Upon their advance into enemy lines, they were engaged with fire from dug-in German soldiers; Wong gave the command to return a steady rate of fire. The exchange of firefight immediately left one of his soldiers wounded, at which point Wong realized that if his squad remained in their position, his entire squad would end up mortally wounded. He exfiltrated back to friendly lines under enemy fire, or as Wong noted, “bullet dodging,” and was able to direct U.S. Army Sherman tanks to his squad’s pinned down position. Wong, due to his heroic acts of honoring each soldier’s oath “to never give up and to leave no man behind,” was able to save the lives of his 17man squad and was credited with mortally overwhelming 30 German soldiers. Fighting during World War II will never be categorized as easy or effortless. It was a difficult war that is very different from the fighting the United States military is engaged in today. But to be the only Chinese American in an Army of people who look nothing
By Tammy Nguyen
Tears escape my eyes as I recite the lyrics to your heart the song I could hear the note I cant reach because you're far away away from my embrace away from the love that sang together the hearts that fit together like puzzles all went crashing down the pieces that cut when touched the pieces that cant even be fixed awaken trying to find a way back to you struggling to sleep on this dream months since you've been stuck on my mind desire to be in your arms even more floors creaks making me look up to see you the illusion of you my mind created my hands reach out to you only touching the dancing dust
like you and to fight among many who may mistakenly question your loyalty is an even more arduous environment to handle. Wong was able to accomplish this. He not only lived through the discrimination while heroically surviving the War, but he was also able to assimilate two different sub-cultures of being both a new American citizen who had just immigrated from China and an American soldier in one of the bloodiest and hard-fought Wars in American history. Being in the military myself, I often read or hear stories such as Wong’s - stories of glorious military legacy. It is often what inspires, when hope is forlorn; it revives patriotic duty when the meaning of duty is but a stale term mentioned in reference to the bygone years of a past nostalgic era. Today, we are a people that have at times forgotten the many sacrifices that our brave men and women have had to make in order to uphold the pillars of freedom and justice that we all live by. Many now refer to this as an a idealistic way of thinking, but it is because of heroes like Arthur Wong that we are reminded that one’s patriotic duty is not an idealistic dream, but for many like him who fought for our great country.
Jackson Hau is a Sampan correspondent.