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Dear Asian Avenue readers,

magazine

Can you believe it? In the blink of an eye, year 2017 is already here. With the start of the new year comes new hopes and opportunities for the future. Asian Avenue Magazine can’t wait to see what’s in store for the coming year, and we hope our readers are just excited as us! The first day of the Lunar New year will fall on 28 January this year. In this issue, our editorial manager Samantha Quee shares with us the customs and traditions of the most important Chinese festival of the year. For those who are unfamiliar with this festival, the Dos and Don’ts will definitely surprise you. Also, do check out the fortunes of the 12 Chinese zodiacs for 2017, and see which zodiac you belong to. Our writer Joie Ha also shares a moving story on how she spent Lunar New year 9000 miles away from home in Malaysia last year. You can also try our recipe for a famous Chinese new year snack – the pineapple tart! We would also like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone to Asian Avenue Magazine’s Chinese New Year dinner, which will fall on 21 January. Other than a sumptuous 10-course Chinese dinner, there will also be a Lion dance performance by the Colorado Asian Cultural Heritage Center, followed by silent auction and gifts. Come join us as we celebrate the year of the Rooster! Tickets are available at asianavemag.ticketleap.com/rooster. You can also email us at asianavemag@gmail.com or call 303 937 6888 to reserve seats! We hope your year is to a wonderful start! Happy Lunar New year once again and we wish everyone Gong Xi Fa Cai for 2017! (Wealth and prosperity)

asian avenue staff & support Publisher & Founder: Christina Yutai Guo President: Annie Guo Editorial Manager: Samantha Quee Copy Editor: Jaime Marston Cook Senior Designer: C.G. Yao Marketing Coordinator: Chun Guo Staff Writer: Joie Ha Staff Writer: Patricia Kaowthumrong Staff Writer: Mary Jeneverre Schultz Photographer: Trang Luong

contributing writers Wayne Chan, Jiayue Huang, Donna Inouye, Tom Shieh, Phone Vang

on the cover The Chinese New Year Festival is the most important event for Chinese communities all around the world. The firecrackers and golden ingots are items seen frequently during the celebration. While the happy sounds and noises from the firecrackers bring joy and cheer to the festivities, ingots signifies wealth and prosperity for the new year ahead.

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Christina Yutai Guo, Publisher Asian Avenue magazine | www.asianavemag.com

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4

January 2017 | Publisher’s Note

To subscribe, e-mail info@asianavemag.com or visit asianavemag.com/subscribe. A oneyear subscription is $25 for 12 issues, a two-year subscription is 40 for 24 issues. Please make checks or money orders payable to Asian Avenue magazine. For details about special corporate or group rates, please call during business hours: Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm. Shipping/handling included.

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editorial To submit story ideas, letters to the editor or calendar events, e-mail info@asianavemag.com. Asian Avenue magazine (ISSN 1932-1449) reserves all copyrights to this issue. No parts of this edition can be reproduced in any manner without written permission. The views expressed in articles are the authors’ and not necessarily those of Asian Avenue magazine. Authors may have consulting or other business relationships with the companies they discuss.

Published by Asian Avenue Magazine, Inc. P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222-1748 Tel: 303.937.6888 | info@asianavemag.com

www.asianavemag.com Asian Avenue magazine is in association with the Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network.


2017

JANUARY 21-28 AURORA PUBLIC LIBRARY 14949 E. Alameda Parkway Aurora, CO 80012

303.739.6600 FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! Exhibit Hours

Monday-Friday | 10 am – 7 pm Saturday-Sunday | 10 am – 5 pm

Saturday, JAN. 21 Opening Reception

2:00 p.m.

Refreshments will be served.

Calligraphy Demostration

4:00-5:00 p.m. Saturday, JAN. 28 Chinese Calligraphy Lecture

2:00 p.m.

For more info, please contact: HARBER CHANG

Hnjchang@yahoo.com | 303.875.8872 JANE LIM

Jane.Lim@ccd.edu | 303.556.5510 CCD.edu/ci


CONTENTS

January 2017

EVENTS

8

Event calendar

SPOTLIGHT

9

Mike Shibata 35 years in volunteerism in Colorado

16

ART

10

Chinglish- A comedy on miscommunication due to crossed signals and culture clashes

CULTURAL TIDBITS

12

Asian Immigrants at Higher Risk for Identity Theft

FEATURE

14

San Francisco has always been known for its Chinese community owing to the 19th-century railroads and dam construction in the state. It’s Chinatown has the biggest Chinese new year celebration in North America.

COVER STORY

16

LUNAR NEW YEAR

Chinese New Year greetings Chinese Horoscope 2017

Chunyun - Largest annual human migration in the world

HUMOR COLUMN

27

Not enough time for meditation

BOOK REVIEW

28

Mastering the art of Japanese Home cooking

14

On scene

29 TRAVEL STORY

22

TEA – Theatre Esprit Asia 2016 Holiday Party – December 17th

30

Time to Recognize the Hmong New Year

Joie finds home 9000 miles away from Denver

RESTAURANT PEEKS

23

World Juice Bar

CHEF’S MENU

24

Pineapple tarts

BETTER LIVING

26

Dream big

Asian Avenue Magazine, Inc. P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222-1748 | Tel: 303.937.6888 E-mail: info@asianavemag.com | www.asianavemag.com 6

January 2017 | Table of Contents

23 Find us @AsianAveMag

#AsianAveMag


2 016 – 2 017 SEASON 32

A hilarious comedy at The Aurora Fox Arts Center

DON’T MISS

Chinglish

March 24 April 9, 2017

A failed American businessman travels to China to rebuild his sign company. His American tactics and ignorance of the language make him a pawn in Chinese power politics. You’ll laugh at what gets lost—and found—in translation.

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You bet it’s fun. P.O. Box 9 | 488 Main Street | Black Hawk, CO 80422 | 303.582.1000 monarchblackhawk.com | Bet with your head not over it. Gambling problem? Call 800.522.4700


events upcoming French Stand-up Comedy: Oh My Gad

January 19, 8pm-10pm Gothic Theatre, 3263 S Broadway, Englewood, CO 80113 Cost: $30-$50 Purchase at: http://www.axs.com/events/312312/ gad-elmaleh-tickets

2017

JANUARY 21-28 AURORA PUBLIC LIBRARY 14949 E. Alameda Parkway Aurora, CO 80012

303.739.6600 FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! Exhibit Hours

Monday-Friday | 10 am – 7 pm Saturday-Sunday | 10 am – 5 pm

Saturday, JAN. 21 Opening Reception

2:00 p.m.

Refreshment will be served.

Calligraphy Demostration

4:00-5:00 p.m.

Saturday, JAN. 28 Chinese Calligraphy Lecture

2:00 p.m. For more info, please contact: HARBER CHANG

Hnjchang@yahoo.com | 303.875.8872 JANE LIM

Jane.Lim@ccd.edu | 303.556.5510 CCD.edu/ci

The Beauty of Chinese Characters The Inaugural and International Calligraphy Art Exhibition of Denver January 21-28 Monday-Friday, 10am-7pm Saturday-Sunday, 10am-5pm Aurora Public Library, 14949 E. Alameda Parkway, Aurora, CO 80012 Free and open to the public For more information, visit ccd.edu/ci

This is a cultural event featuring famous calligraphers, demonstrations, workshops and lectures and is hosted by the Community College of Denver’s Confucius Institute, the Rocky Mountain Chinese Calligraphy Association and the Chinese American Post.

Touted as the ‘Ben Stiller of France” and the “Jerry Seinfeld of French Comedy” Gad Elmaleh is arguably the biggest and most loved comedic star in France. Born in Casablanca, Morocco, he speaks Moroccan Arabic, French, English, and Hebrew. He has now embarked on the newest chapter of his career: breaking through to the American audience. The performance will be in English.

The 36th Annual Colorado Indian Market Festival January 20-22

Denver Mart, 451 E 58th Ave Denver, CO Free and open to the public For more info please visit http://www.indianmarket. net/

For those who love all things Southwest, Indian, Western or Wildlife related, the Indian Market Festival is for you. This event features a variety of arts, crafts and accessories all with a Western flare. With over 300 crafters from across the country, guests are certain to find something to fit their tastes. The festival also features Indian and Aztec dancers, demonstrations, Western entertainment and children’s activities.

8

January 2017 | Upcoming Events

Asian Avenue Magazine Lunar New Year Dinner 2017

Saturday, January 21, 5 - 7pm Empress Seafood Restaurant, 2825 W. Alameda Ave, Denver, CO 80219 Cost: $40 General, $30 Student/Senior Purchase at: https://asianavemag.ticketleap.com/ rooster You are invited to celebrate the lunar New Year with Asian Avenue magazine! Enjoy a 10-course Chinese dinner and enjoy a dragon and lion dance performance by the Colorado Asian Cultural Heritage Center. There will also be a silent auction and raffle with many goodies to take home for the new year. All proceeds will benefit Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network.

CSCCI 16th Annual Chinese New Year Festival

Saturday, January 21, 10am-4pm City Auditorium, 221 East Kiowa St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 Cost: Adults $6, Children aged 5-9 $5, Active duty military and CSCCI member $5 Children aged under 5 free Purchase at http://www.cscci.org/ or at the door The Colorado Springs Chinese Cultural Institute’s Chinese New Year celebration will continue the “celebration” atmosphere as in past years. Activities for this year will feature the traditional lion dance, Taiko, kung Fu demonstrations, traditional Chinese dances, Chinese yo-yo demonstrations and Chinese musical performances.

Nathan Yip Foundation Chinese New Year Dinner

Saturday, January 28, 6pm - 11pm McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80202 Cost: $225 General Admission / $100 Young Professional (35 and under) For more info please visit https://nathanyipfoundation.org East meets West at the biggest Chinese New Year party in the Rocky Mountains! The Nathan Yip Foundation 2017 Chinese New Year party will be bigger and more colorful than ever before! Join them as they take on a new look and feel, converting at Denver’s iconic McNichols Building, located in the heart of Civic Center Park, into a bustling Chinese Night Market. Guests will get an exclusive chance to be transported to China, where they will experience delicious and unique cuisine from Denver’s top chefs, fun activities and thrilling performances around every corner.

Great Wall Chinese Academy 2017 Chinese New Year Celebration

Saturday, January 28, 2017 Performance: 2- 3pm Cultural Fair: 12noon- 4pm Southridge Recreation Center at Highlands Ranch 4800 McArthur Ranch Rd. Highlands Ranch, CO 80126

Tickets: $8 in advance / $11 day of event Purchase by calling 303-471-8856 or at Great Wall Chinese Academy Frontdesk Highlands Ranch Cultural Affairs Association and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District is partnering with Great Wall Chinese Academy to present a cultural program to celebrate Chinese New Year and the year of the Fire Rooster. The program features exciting Chinese dragon and lion dances, beautiful Chinese folk dances, amazing Kung Fu and wellprepared choral and instrumental performances. All performers are talented school-age individuals. Chinese souvenirs will be available for purchase.

AAM

wishes you a happy Lunar New Year!


g

35 years in volunteerism in Colorado By: Donna Inouye.

I

n 1950, Mike Shibata was born the ninth of ten children in Ontario, OR to Issei (first generation) immigrants, Reverend Tesshin and Haruko Shibata. Both parents were from Jodo Shinshu Buddhist family temples in Fukuoka, Japan. The Shibata family moved to Stockton, CA in February 1961. Mike graduated with honors from San Joaquin Delta College in 1970 with an Associates in Arts Degree in General Education. Mike moved to Denver CO on October 8, 1981 to work as a Graphic Designer. Mike switched career paths in 1995 to work at the Tri-State Buddhist Church Apartments, Inc. in Sakura Square until his retirement in 2014. Moreso than his impeccable work history, Mike is widely known in the metro-Denver area for his volunteerism; he attributes his willingness – his drive, actually – to volunteer to his Buddhist upbringing and his Japanese background. He has served on the Board of Directors of Denver Taiko, Japanese American Association of Colorado (JAAC), Japanese American Resource Center of Colorado (JARC), Mile High Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and Tri-State/Denver Buddhist Temple (TSDBT). He has also given time to the DBT Judo Dojo, “Go for Broke” Golf Tournament Committee, Japanese American Community Graduation Program (JACGP), Longmont Buddhist Temple, Nisei Veterans Heritage Foundation (NVHF) and Taiko With Toni. Some people took notice right away when he first arrived in Colorado over 35 years ago. Others may have been around but it took some time to recognize that anything was happening just because he worked so quietly. Mike’s volunteer efforts are valued and appreciated not only for his organizational, artistic and culinary skills but for the intersecting circles (like a Venn diagram) he created within the JA community, overall. When his efforts, relationships and friendships overlapped people belonging to a single organization became aware of other organizations within the community. Small projects were able to become joint projects. Family remains important to Mike. He will return to Stockton, CA in late January 2017 so that he can be closer to his eight remaining siblings. He will miss and be missed by his Colorado “family”. 35 years in volunteerism| asian avenue magazine

9


Ching

A comedy on miscommunication du

By: Samantha Quee

C

hinglish is a hilarious comedy about the challenges of doing business in a country whose language and underlying cultural assumptions can be worlds apart from those of the West. The play tells the adventures of Daniel, an American businessman from the Midwest, who hopes to establish his family’s sign-making business in China. Through a comic exchange, he learns what is lost and found in translation. Asian Avenue spoke with directorSteve Wilson, who shared with us his involvement in the play, and also some interesting facts about himself.

Chinglish

Aurora Fox Arts Center 9900 E Colfax Ave, Aurora, CO 80010 (303) 739-1970 March 24-April 9. Tickets Prices: $16-$37 Tickets are available at https://app.arts-people.com/

10

January 2017 | Art

Steve holds an MFA degree in acting from the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver and a BFA degree in drama from the University of Southern California. He has been directing, administrating, teaching and performing in Denver for the last 29 years. AAM: When did you first direct? Steve: My very first directing job was with kids for a wonderful company called Stage Eleven. I believe the first show I directed was The Comedy of Errors. I first directed adults for Compass Theatre Company – a classical company that I helped found that did shows out of the old Denver Civic Theatre (now Su Teatro). My first adult show was Cyrano de Bergerac. AAM: Who do you look up to as a director? Steve: My mentor, an English director named Christopher Selbie, who taught me much about directing and was the Artistic Director of Compass Theatre Company. AAM: Tell us about your favorite character in this show Steve: Xi is my favorite character because of her unique blend of yearning heart and dispassionate calculation. I am also fascinated by the differences and similarities in how our cultures define love and believe Xi really exemplifies this in Chinglish. AAM: How did you prepare to direct Chinglish? Steve: Well, I am still preparing since we don’t start rehearsals for a few months, but I have been reading as much as I can about US/China relations, watching documentaries about the subject. I have spent lots of time breaking down the play, which is something I always do. Each play I direct, I divide into my own rehearsal


glish

Director Steve Wilson

n due to crossed signals and culture clashes scenes. This helps me both with scheduling and better understanding the acting beats that will make up the play. It is important for me to feel that I have a great sense of both the flow of the whole play as well as the workings of the individual scenes – and even the acting challenges within those scenes. I will also block the play on paper before the start of rehearsals. This helps me feel the flow of movement before I see it in action. I will change a lot once I get the actors involved, but it is important in my preparation to explore the physical movement conceptually before I am ready to “direct” the actors. AAM: What do you love about this play? Steve: At the heart of this play is an exploration of the difficulties we have communicating globally. The issues are specific to the US/China relationship, but the challenges are universal. These concepts are particularly timely with our latest US political turmoil, Brexit in Europe and a global community struggling between a

desire for inclusion while at the same time a protection of cultural identity. AAM: What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role and why? Steve: The biggest challenge of this play is that much of the dialogue is in Mandarin Chinese – meaning we need actors who are fluent in both English and Mandarin. Note that all the Mandarin dialogue is translated via projected supertitles for the audience. My personal challenge is not being Chinese and fluent in Mandarin and working to accurately convey the Chinese elements of the play. I will look to the Chinese actors for lots of advice as we move through the rehearsal process. AAM: Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue? Steve: I can’t give you a specific line, but the real fun of the play comes in the inaccuracy of translation. The American character has a line about him being the “director of operations” that gets translat-

ed “he is also a surgeon”. Funny stuff. AAM: What do you think makes Chinglish stand out from other plays you’ve directed? Steve: It is a VERY contemporary story that goes right to the heart of some of the issues that the world is struggling with today. It is about working to communicate and the fun and challenges that come out of miscommunication. It is about an individual desire for love and connection and the difficulties when loving someone outside your cultural sphere. It also speaks to our American fears as we confront the realities of an ascendant China and a descendent United States. AAM: Any personal story/mishap on miscommunication due to crossed signals and cultures? Steve: In my day job as the Executive Artistic Director at the Mizel Arts & Culture Center, which is a multidisciplinary arts center focused on showcasing Jewish culture, we have hosted many artists from Israel over the years. While I do not have hilarious stories of miscommunication, I can say that it took me many years to adjust my very fast paced, pre-planned American rhythm to the slower paced and more relaxed style of Israeli’s. This was helped a lot when I traveled to Israel on an arts tour. I was shocked to find out that some theatre companies in Israel have 20-30 plays in repertory and don’t decide until several weeks before which play will run at what time. That is inconceivable in our culture where seasons must be planned a year in advance to make sure our shiny brochures for our subscriber audiences can be completed and mailed in time.

Chinglish| asian avenue magazine

11


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Asian Immigrants at Higher Risk for Identity Theft By Jiayue Huang, Media Relations Intern, National Endowment for Financial Education

C

ommon last names and lack of awareness put Asian immigrants at a high risk of identity theft. There are many Kims, Kumars and Chans in South Korean, Indian and Chinese households. Because so many Asian immigrants have the same or similar names, it makes them increasingly vulnerable to identity theft. According to a study by the Crime Victim’s Institute at Sam Houston State University, identity theft and vandalism are tied as the highest forms of victimization among immigrants. The same study found that, while many immigrants tend to use cash over other forms of payment, more Asian immigrants tend to have college degrees and to be involved in businesses that require bank accounts and credit cards, thus potentially exposing them to increased risk. Awareness is Key Je-Kook Chung, a lecturer of Korean Studies at the University of Missouri, says he first heard about identity theft in the 1990s. In the United States, Chung says he spotted other people logged into his Gmail account in other countries. To protect himself, Chung changed his passwords to his email and other accounts several times a year. “From time to time, I check my credit card transactions, too,” Chung adds. Asian Risk Factors Fifty-five percent of Asian immigrants who responded to a survey by the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (CAPACD) reported using credit cards for dayto-day financial transactions; and 41 percent of Asian American

12

January 2017 | Cultural Tidbits

males said they own three or more credit cards. In addition to simply having credit cards, Asian-Americans and Asian immigrants could be at higher risk if they don’t actively monitor their accounts. “Lack of awareness about one’s credit score, or credit more generally, places individuals at increased risk for being a victim of identity theft,” says Joyce Pisnanont, Asset Building Program Manager for CAPACD. Check Your Credit Report to Prevent Fraud The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suggests taking these steps to protect yourself against identity theft: • Request your credit report from the three credit agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion at least once a year. • If you find a fraudulent charge, notify the companies where the fraud occurred as soon as possible. • Visit www.IdentityTheft.gov to report the fraud to the FTC and make a personalized plan to correct the errors. To learn more: • Go to www.AnnualCreditReport.com to request your credit report. • Visit www.SmartAboutMoney.org to take the free online Credit and Debt course. • Download free materials at www.FinancialWorkshopKits.org (search for “identity theft”). Visit the Denver-based National Endowment for Financial Education at www.nefe.org.


For more information call 720-873-6243 or visit our website today at: www.ColoEggDonor.com William Schoolcraft, MD • Eric Surrey, MD • Debra Minjarez, MD Robert Gustofson, MD • Jennifer Brown, MD


Chunyun:

Largest Annual Human Migratio

By Samantha Quee

By: Samantha Quee

14

January 2017 | Feature


tion in the World

I

was an exchange student at Fudan University, Shanghai in 2011. It was January, and everyone in school was getting excited because Chinese New Year was approaching, which meant a weeklong holiday for the entire country. I still remember telling my new friends in China my travel plans for the holiday, only to receive several shocking expressions on their faces. “What? Ni feng le ma?” (Are you crazy?) I grew to understand why, because if given an option, no sane human being will want to travel out of their city during Chinese New Year, due to the phenomenon called the “Chunyun.” This year, Chunyun, the largest annual human migration in the world, will begin on January 13 and last until February 21. The Chinese are expected to make about 3 billion trips during the Spring Festival travel rush in 2017, the Ministry of Transport in China revealed in December last month. Why the rush? Three main factors are responsible for the heightened traffic load during the Chunyun period. 1) It is a long-held tradition for most Chinese people to reunite with their families during Chinese New Year. People return home from work or study to have reunion dinners with their families on New Year’s Eve. Since the Chinese economic reforms of the late 1970s, new economic opportunities have emerged, often at a considerable distance from people’s hometowns. Places such as the Special Economic Zones and the wealthy coastal regions offer employment and often, a more sought-after lifestyle. Consequently, there has been a massive migration from rural to urban areas over the course of the last few decades, reminiscent of other industrial revolutions around the world. The number of these migrant workers was estimated at 50 million in 1990 and unofficially estimated at 150 - 200 million in 2000. During the Chunyun period, many of these laborers return to their home towns. 2) Chinese education reforms have increased the number of university students, who often study outside of their hometown. The Spring Festival holiday period falls around the same time frame as their winter break. Among the 194 million railway passengers of the 2006 Chunyun period, nearly 7 million were university students. 3) The Spring Festival Period is one of the weeklong holiday periods in the People’s Republic of China (the only other being National Day, Oct. 1), and many people choose to travel for pleasure around this time. Tourism in mainland China is reaching record levels, further adding to the pressure on the transportation system. Every year, stress on the transport system becomes greater and greater, despite improvements in infrastructure over the last few years. So, if you are currently planning for a trip to China, plan to go at a different time than Chinese New Year! Chunyun | asian avenue magazine

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Chinese New Year 2017 By Samantha Quee

A

s a child, my favorite annual festival was Chinese New Year. This was the time of the year when my parents bought new clothes for the family, decorated the house with red Oriental ornaments, and took the family to visit relatives in Singapore and Malaysia. I am grateful that, even though I now live in the US, I am still able to soak in the festive mood of Chinese New Year, a celebration loved by people all around the world. The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival as it has been called since the 20th century, remains the most important social and economic holiday in China. Based on the lunar calendar, the date of Chinese New Year changes each year based on the date of the new moon between January 21 and February 20. This year, the first day of the festival falls on Saturday, January 28, 2017 and continues for 14 days. 2017 will be a year of the Rooster. For Chinese people everywhere, the New Year marks the departure of all bad things that happened in the prior year, a time to welcome new hopes and dreams for the future, an opportunity to gather

with friends and family, and is also a time for feasting!

Red Packets

Traditionally, married couples or elderly people pass out red packets to younger people during Chinese New Year’s celebrations. It is also common for adults or young couples to give red packets to children. Red packets almost always contain money, usually varying from a couple of dollars to several hundred dollars. According to Chinese custom, the amount of money in the red packets should be of even numbers, as odd numbers are associated with cash given during funerals. The number 8 is considered lucky and $8 is commonly found in the red envelopes in the US.

Feasting

The New Year’s Eve Feast is a must for family members reuniting for the festivities; many travel long distances to get there. This is the main reason for the huge travel stress throughout China. In 2016, the railway passenger volume during the festival season was as high as 325 million! Many foods that the Chinese eat during the festival are symbolic. In northern China, a traditional dish for the feast is jiaozi (dumplings). They are shaped like old Chinese ingots, symbolizing wealth. Southern Chinese also the eat niangao (sticky rice cake) on this special day, because niangao sounds like “yearly higher,” symbolizing improvement.

Legend of Monster Nian

In Chinese, the word for New Year is

16

January 2017 | Cover Story

Guo Nian, which literally means to “pass over Nian” or “overcome Nian.” Who, or what, exactly is Nian? Legend has it that in ancient times, there was a monster called “Nian” (“year”) that would come out to eat people and animals on the eve of every New Year. To avoid the monster’s attack, people would flee to the depth of the mountains. On one New Year’s Eve, a beggar arrived in Peach Blossom Village. A woman gave him some food and asked him to hide himself in the mountain to avoid the monster Nian. The beggar promised that he could drive the monster away as long as he could stay the night in her home. Unable to persuade the beggar to hide in the mountain, the woman went alone. In


During this festive season,

here are some Chinese New Year greetings that you can use.

the middle of the night, the monster Nian dashed into the village. Nian trembled when he saw the red paper on the door of the woman’s brightly lit house. Just as the monster reached the entrance, there came blasting sounds that kept him from moving any further. The beggar, wearing a red robe, opened the door and scared the monster away. The color red, the firelight and the blasting sounds scared the monster the most. After that, on every New Year’s Eve, every household would paste red couplets on their doors, let off firecrackers and light candles for protection as well as stay up all night to keep watch for the monster.

Newly released children’s book about Chinese New Year!

The Nian Monster

W

• Written by Andrea Wang • Illustrated by Alina Chau • Published on December 1, 2016 by Albert Whitman & Company

ang’s story begins as Xingling and her grandmother hang red paper decorations for the Chinese New Year in Shanghai. Po Po explains that the Nian Monster once plagued China by eating whole villages. Since the monster is afraid of “loud sounds, fire, and the color red,” the decorations prevent its return. The Nian Monster seems no more than a fantasy, but as Xingling cooks, he leaps onto the family’s balcony. Nian roars, “I have come to devour this city!” His roar causes buildings to shudder. Xingling turns out to be a cool-headed hero. She tells the monster, “Have a bowl

of long-life noodles first. If you live longer, you can conquer more cities.” More crafty culinary thinking slows Nian down further (bony fish, sticky glutinous rice), and a fireworks scheme sends him packing. Wang’s story thrills but doesn’t frighten. Chau’s wonderfully vivid watercolors give the monster doe eyes and a round body that make him seem like a cranky, overgrown teddy bear. Wang’s story shares cultural information about the Chinese New Year with the lightest of touches.

Chinese New Year 2017 | asian avenue magazine

17


of the Chinese New Year

T

he Chinese New Year is an occasion steeped in tradition … but how many of us today really know about these ancient customs? Here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts that are still practiced by Chinese around the world today! Before the Chinese New Year DO give your home a good spring-cleaning. Clear away the clutter and mess to welcome in new Chi (aura) for the New Year. DO get your haircut and new clothes, preferably in red, for a brand new you when the New Year arrives! DO decorate your home with auspicious symbols such as the red couplets. These couplets contain poetic phrases announcing good wishes and blessings. DON’T start the year laden with debts! Pay up all your bills and begin with a clean slate. On the Eve of Chinese New Year DO have a family reunion. A delicious and sumptuous dinner creates good luck for the family throughout the year. It also keeps the family close together. DO open all your windows and doors at the stroke of midnight to allow the old year to leave and the New Year to enter. DO celebrate with lots of noise and merry-making! DON’T lend money to people as it is believed that anyone who does so will find themselves lending money all year round. DON’T use foul language! Telling ghost stories or stories about death and dying are taboo. Instead, talk about future plans and dreams for the coming year. On The First Day of Chinese New Year DO start the New Year with new, bright-colored clothes, especially red! One’s appearance and attitude today is believed to set the tone for the rest of the year. DO keep all doors and windows open throughout the day to allow the new luck to fill your home. Keep every part of your home well lit to ensure maximum luck! DO ensure the first food you have is something sweet so that the year will bring your much good news. DO exchange red packets marked with auspicious symbols. DO greet everyone with kind words and happy wishes. DON’T sweep the floor or use scissors or get your hair cut! This signifies sweeping away your good fortune. On the Second Day DO visit your in-laws. It is customary for the son-in-law to give the father-in-law a present. This invokes the luck of previous generations for the married couple. DON’T forget to pay respects to your elders and ancestors. On the Third Day DON’T eat pork for it is believed to be unlucky.

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January 2017 | Cover Story

On the Fourth Day DO stay home to welcome the arrival of the Kitchen God and pray for his blessings. DON’T eat lamb or goat meat for it will be unlucky to do so. On the Fifth Day DO consult the Almanac for an auspicious time and the direction of the God of Wealth. The head of the house should stay home to invite the Wealth God in. DO bring out your Wealth Vase and orient it so that the Wealth God inside faces the correct direction. DON’T visit anyone or it could bring both parties bad luck. On the Sixth Day DO visit your relatives and friends today as it is considered lucky to do so. Bring some mandarin oranges along. It is auspicious to do your visiting from the sixth to the tenth day. On the Seventh Day Today is said to be the day mankind was created and is called ‘Everyone’s Birthday.’ In Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia, the Chinese will celebrate it with the customary ‘low sang’ (Raw fish salad). Long noodles eaten on this day denotes longevity. On the Eighth Day The Hokkiens will offer prayers come midnight to the God of Heaven. It is said that a sunny day will hold a profitable year but a rainy day could mean possible loss. If your family is Hokkien, DO have another family reunion, as it is customary to eat dinner together. On the Ninth Day DO make offerings to the Jade Emperor on his birthday. From the 10th to 13th Day DO visit the rest of your relatives and friends. DON’T use utensils made of ceramic or stone on the tenth day, as it will bring a lot of discord and disharmony in the year ahead. On the 14th Day DO clean and tidy your home in preparation for the Lantern festival on the Following day. Ensure that you have an ample supply of mandarin oranges for the Chap Goh Meh (15th Night) celebrations. On the 15th Day On the last day of the New Year celebrations, the Chinese celebrate their version of Valentine’s Day called Chap Goh Meh. Single women head to the sea or river to throw mandarin oranges with the hope of finding a good husband. Today is also the birthday of the God of Heaven, therefore no alcohol is allowed and people should instead use this time to pray and meditate.


Chinese Horoscope 2017

T

he Chinese Zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao, is based on a twelve-year cycle, each year in that cycle related to an animal sign. These signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. The zodiac is calculated according to Chinese lunar calendar. 2017 belongs to the year of the Rooster. Find your birth year below and your corresponding zodiac sign to see what fortunes are in store for the New Year!

Rat

Tiger

1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022

For people born under the sign of the Rat in the Chinese calendar, the year of Rooster is beneficial and fertile. Luck is also on the Rat’s side concerning business. Beware though the risks of exhaustion (or even burnout) for those who don’t manage to switch off their office laptop or smartphone at least a few hours every day. Rest periods should first be devoted to family time, hobbies, napping or reading, and never as time gained for ongoing business developments. Only Rats who can equitably combine work and idleness during 2017 shall see their goals succeed.

People born in the Year of the Tiger can expect to be a little shaken in 2017. This year will however be easier to overcome than 2016, as they can now count on a new trusted person to help face potentially difficult times. Nobody should consider taking the territory of a Tiger without leaving scars. If you’re a Tiger, stay away from other Tigers during 2017.

Ox

1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021 Years of the Rooster are generally beneficial to the sign of the Ox. These are periods when they take the bull by the horns after enduring several difficult seasons. The Ox can finally reap the fruits of her or his long and painful labor. Happy and relieved, the Ox must nevertheless be careful not to display any sign of her or his success, at the risk of arousing jealousy among friends and colleagues. This is the only major risk that awaits the Ox during this year of the Fire Rooster.

Rabbit

1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023 Several times during the year, Rabbits might get highly annoyed by their inability to have (or regain) control of events. In 2017, Rabbits must keep a keen eye on their environment, and be careful not to engage in long term collaborations unless they trust the professional qualities of their employers or new business partners.

Chinese New Year 2017 | asian avenue magazine

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Dragon

Monkey

1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024

1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

In 2017, those born under the sign of the Dragon must be careful to quickly correct the mistakes that their business strategy could create to avoid loosing money in the short term. Bearing this in mind, Dragons should support their new influential connections, including much needed finances allowing them to slowly but surely bring their projects to fruition. Dragons shall also be pleasantly surprised to get back money they thought was lost forever. Dragons in 2017 should refrain from performing any important action on a personal and professional level, even though they can expect to live a calm and serene year.

Rooster years are usually good years for people marked with the astrological sign of the Monkey. These are periods during which they meet new people, get promoted or even start new projects. For Monkeys, 2017 is a consolidation of achievements. Even if they meet an unpleasant surprise, they can still adapt to the turn of events and overcome the obstacles. Monkeys need to make sure they spend more time with their families before tackling the new challenges they have set for themselves in 2017.

Rooster

1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

Snake

1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025 People born in the Year of the Snake can expect a rewarding time for themselves in 2017, marked by the seal of success. Long-term committed projects will eventually bring joy and considerable benefits to those Snakes who persevered in hardship. This year is also marked by the significant decrease in disputes and conflicts within the family. However, the Snake’s ability to save money earned in 2017 will determine the Snake’s material comforts and fulfillment in the years to come.

People born during the Year of the Rooster benefit greatly from the positive energy of 2017. For Roosters in their thirties and over, proper care should be brought to the fair balance between working hours and private time. During a year of the Rooster, quarrels and reconciliations are fairly common. As order reigns, Roosters can count on their acuteness and their sense of justice to adapt and overcome most problems. For their love lives, as long as they learn how to make better concessions, Roosters could expect to maintain a fulfilling love and family life, and successfully make the most out of this year.

Dog

1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

Horse

1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026 2017 is an average year for the Horse. If the Horse wishes to attract positive energies towards them, they must devote time and energy to creative research, and avoid any temptation to rest on their laurels. They must ensure they control their angry impulses when faced with adversity and frustration.

Goat

The year of Rooster does not bode well for all Dogs. The energy of 2017 will be more favorable to Dogs born during the day than to Dogs born at night. Dogs should also take care not to multiply quarrels and disputes, at the risk of alienating many of their family and friends. In 2017, Dogs should take their time to reflect on their previous years, dreaming of better times to come. But they should rest assured that this period of unrest is only temporary, as beautiful days await Dogs in the upcoming annual cycles.

Pig

1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027

1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019

In 2017, the Goat finally stops wanting to be loved at all costs. Those with a Goat in their life will quickly understand the advantages they can enjoy when focusing on the positive this year. Success and festivities will give Goats time to reorganize their lives. Goats who already tasted the fruits of success in 2016 are advised to leave their wallets at home as often as possible in 2017, in order to avoid the risk of loosing their acquired savings.

People born during a year of the Pig will likely have a fairly average year in 2017. There will be many sudden changes which they may have to face and overcome during the year. As for their career, Pigs should not expect any significant changes, neither in terms of salary nor responsibilities. However, Pigs could expect a significant increase in their equity income if they possess stock market investments. (Credits: https://www.karmaweather.com)

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January 2017 |Cover Story


When was the last time you had a proper eye exam? Five-star patient care and services Beautiful eyewear that nicely ďŹ t Asian faces

In Loving Memory of

Kwai-Hing Ryder Kwai-Hing Ryder, of Littleton, Co, passed away after a long struggle with cancer on December 8, 2016. Born Tsui Kwai-Hing on September 7, 1962 in Kowloon, Hong Kong, she moved to Denver in 1992 and married Jim Ryder in 1993. Kwai-Hing Ryder worked as a Project Administrator for Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center. A classically trained Cantonese Opera singer, KwaiHing performed for, organized, and motivated community service organizations throughout the Denver area including The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, Organization of Chinese Americans, Colorado Irish Festival and Denver-Kunming Sister Cities Committee. She made many friends through her love, hard work, kindness, talent, contagious laugh and selfless devotion to making the community a better place. She sang more than she talked, drank more than she ate, loved mahjong, long lunches with her friends, sappy movies and the Denver Broncos. She will be greatly missed. Kwai-Hing is survived by her husband Jim and many loving step-children, step-grandchildren in Colorado and Iowa and family in Hong Kong.

A memorial service will be held at the Three Trees Chapel, 13416 West Arbor Place, Littleton, Colorado at 12:30 PM on January 11, 2017.


Finding Home 9,000 Miles Away By Joie Ha

Denver

Malaysia

D

uring my year-long contract in Malaysia, I couldn’t help but feel homesick. I was living in a different country, with a different language, and different customs. But it wasn’t long until I found the thriving Chinese community in my area. Within a few months, they had gone out of their way to make sure I felt welcome and during February, I was inundated with tons of invitations for the upcoming Lunar New Year’s. Back in Colorado, we would often celebrate Lunar New Year’s by gathering the whole extended family and eating a large dinner together. There was not much glitz and glam to the whole affair, but it was lovely to get the family together. We were so often caught up with our daily lives that we would rarely see each other throughout the year, but during New Year’s, all other obligations and responsibilities would come second to family. I will never forget those moments of my childhood spent at my grandparents’ home during Lunar New Year’s. The children would run around the living room, screaming and laughing. The adults would eat and exchange gossip at the dinner table while Miss Hong Kong played softly on the television in the background. All of the colors and sounds combined to create this overwhelming feeling of warmth that you could see from the outside just by looking at the flickering lights from our open

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January 2017 | Travel Story

windows. My Lunar New Year’s in Malaysia was absolutely filled with festivities. It came as a surprise to me that most Chinese Malaysians would take off up to two weeks or more from work and school to celebrate the upcoming New Year’s! This set me up for two weeks of great fun and laughter. In Colorado, Dragon and Lion Dancing are special treats that you might see a few times a year. In Malaysia, a few happen every day during the holiday season! We began our celebrations two weeks before Lunar New Year’s with a city-wide parade that spanned for almost a mile and lasted several hours. It seemed as if the whole community had come out and taken time to create floats, decorations, and dances. Throughout the two weeks of festivities, we spent time doing multiple house visits and eating an exorbitant amount of oranges (oranges often symbolize good luck and fortune and are exchanged between friends and family the whole duration of New Year’s). At one home, we wrote wishes on iconic lanterns and sent them off into the night sky. At another, we watched the whole neighborhood set off fireworks and firecrackers in small streets that would have likely been illegal in the United States. The whole two weeks were full of new experiences and traditions both familiar and new. From classic red packets filled with money to corny karaoke, these customs brought together the whole community. However, the most moving part of it all was being welcomed into a family that we spent a few days and nights with. It was there that we felt at home without actually being home. From playing mah-jong to lounging around the living room after a full dinner, the whole time was spent in peaceful content. There was no forced conversation and no extravagant activities. But it was in these small moments of genuine and honest laughter, of the warm living room and soft flashing light of the television screen- that we found home 9000 miles away.


5036 W. 92nd Ave.

Northview Shopping Center

 92nd & Sheridan Ave.   Westminster, Colorado 80031   

Call them at (303) 955-2182

   Twitter/Instagram: @worldjuicebar Facebook: worldjuicebar  Blog: http://worldjuicebar.com/blog Some drinks on the menu: • Pina Colada Smoothie $5.49 • Green Goddess Smoothie $5.49 • Taro Boba tea $4.69 • Thai Ice Tea $2.25 • Frozen Mocha Coffee $2.25

World Juice Bar By Samantha Quee

H

oused right inside H-Mart, World Juice Bar is the latest boba tea business in Westminster. This quaint and cozy juice and bubble tea lounge is no newcomer to the industry. Starting in 2002, business owners David and Denise Sweet regularly brought their food truck to festivals, providing healthy and delicious beverages to their customers. “World Juice Bar started when we realized that there was a disparity of food within certain communities and events. The lack of variety and the proliferation of fast food chains showed us the need to provide our own healthy food option,” says Denise. Instead of artificial flavorings, the juice lounge uses real fresh fruits and coconut milk and almond milk in their beverages. I had a taste of their pina colada smoothie, which is one of their best sellers. I have to say that while it is the creamiest smoothie I have ever tried, everything tasted natural and extremely refreshing, and I enjoyed every single tropical sip. It tasted almost like an ice cream, minus the guilt. Denise reports, “Many of our customers say that our drinks are not too sweet, and still very delicious. Diets are definitely changing. Gone are the days that every drink needed to be sweet. We also customize our drinks to the customer’s diet and taste, so there is something for everyone, no matter if you are lactose-intolerant, diabetic or have any other health considerations.” Indeed, consumers nowadays want alternatives to soda and over-processed juices. That’s why for World Juice Bar, which also provides craft sodas, tries their best to make everything from scratch. For their Italian soda, carbonated water is used instead of soda. So why did World Juice Bar switch to a brick and mortar shop

after a successful food truck business for over 10 years? Denise reveals, “After many years in the industry, we felt that a physical shop would be a much better option. We used to spend a long time on finding the right location for the food truck. A shop would allow us to concentrate our efforts on the menu itself, and allow more possibilities for future expansion.” David is currently working on a recipe for a ginger beer, which he is now perfecting and hoping to release in the next few months. “I want it to be something different from the others. We are always looking out for fun and new flavors to satisfy our customers,” he says. Another project in their pipeline is the release of their own bottled juice, which they hope to sell at various supermarkets in Colorado. This friendly couple also spends a lot of effort on the interior design of the shop. Denise has a background in IT and website design, and David has experience in audio visual and network engineering. Together, they were able to revamp the entire place, which was previously a tea shop, into a cozy lounge just within one month. “Other than our menu which offers different flavors of the world, we also want different cultural elements infused into the interior,” says Denise. Indeed, Asian decorations such as the Chinese character “fu” (bliss) and central Africa’s tribal pattern prints can be seen on the walls in the shop. If Westminster is too far to get to on a regular basis, World Juice Bar also works with UberEats, and still operates their food truck for special events such as parties, celebrations and family gatherings. They are also very active on social media. Taste their simple, yummy and healthy drinks, and I bet you will leave feeling happier and immensely satisfied! World Juice Bar | asian avenue magazine

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PINEAPPLE TARTS By Samantha Quee

Yields 100 | Prep Time: 2 hours | Cook Time: 20 Minutes I admit that I usually gain around four pounds during the Chinese New Year season. There are just so many delicious foods and treats that I simply cannot resist! Most of the weight gain comes from these fluffy and soft tarts, favored by Chinese mostly in South-east Asia and Taiwan. Try baking some yourselves this season and I guarantee you will be hooked!    

INGREDIENTS

    • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature   

• 3 ½ oz. sweetened condensed milk • 2 egg yolks • 18 oz. all-purpose flour or plain flour

   

PINEAPPLE FILLING

    • 2 whole pineapples (8 lbs.) or 5 lbs. pineapple flesh   

• ½ tablespoon cloves, optional • 1 – 1½ cups sugar, or to taste • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

   

EGG WASH

    • 2 egg yolks

• ¼ teaspoon condensed milk    • ½ teaspoon oil

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January 2017 | Chef’s Menu

Method 1. Cut the stalk off the pineapple and then the skin. Make sure all eyes are removed, and then the hard core. Slice the soft pineapple flesh into pieces and blend in a blender to puree. 2. Add the pineapple puree and cloves to a non-stick pot and cook on medium heat, constantly stirring to avoid burning. When the pineapple is almost dry, add the sugar and lemon juice, and stir to combine well. Lower the heat to simmer and continue to stir until the pineapple filling turns golden in color and becomes very sticky. Transfer the pineapple filling out, remove the cloves and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. 3. Cream the butter and condensed milk until light and fluffy. Add in the egg yolks one at a time, and beat until well combined. Mix in the flour slowly to form the pastry dough. The dough is ready when it no longer sticks to your hands.

4. Prepare the egg wash by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl. 5. Divide the pineapple filling and dough into 100 portions. Roll them both into balls. To wrap, use your palms to roll each piece of dough into a ball and then flatten it. Add a pineapple ball in the middle and fold the edges of the dough up to cover the filling. Finish it off by rolling the whole thing into a round ball. 6. Place the pineapple cookie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using the back of a paring knife, cut the crisscross shape on the cookie, and brush the top of the cookie with the egg wash, twice. Repeat the same until all ingredients are used up. 7. Bake in a preheated oven at 330F for about 20-22 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Transfer them out and cool on a wire crack before storing in an airtight container. Enjoy!


Golden Shanghai Asian Restaurant

● The Best Chinese Restaurant by 710 AM Restaurant Show ● The Best Chinese Restaurant by the 1430 KEZW Restaurant Show ● Voted 2007 Top 100 Chinese Restaurant in the US

1412 S. Parker Rd. A-134 Denver, CO 80231 (303) 743-7666 (303)743-9079 (303)743-8210


Big

Dream

By Tom Shieh

As we welcome a New Year, I dare you to dream BIG. I mean, really big. Don’t hold anything back this year. Make a list of your wildest dreams – for the world belongs to dreamers. Every year, I practice a ritual. I sit down in solitude and feverishly write a list of my goals, dreams, and aspirations. Filled with a sense of positive expectancy, I write confidently as if everything I put down will come true. I don’t judge whether it makes sense or whether it’s “possible” or practical, I just get it all down on paper first. I write relationship goals, financial goals, physical goals, epic experiences, accolades, books I’ll read, places I’ll visit, and more. I don’t discriminate. For example, two years ago, one of these epic experience goals was, “Meet Richard Branson.” As I get older, I am reminded of an interesting law of nature constantly at work in our lives, if we pay close attention to it. Napoleon Hill summarizes it best, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” As an entrepreneur, Richard Branson has always been an iconic business hero to me. The founder of the Virgin Group (in which he controls over 400 companies) has a net worth of over $5 Billion. He is an avid adventurer and generous philanthropist. So how did I get to meet this mogul of business and fame? At the time, some would probably have laughed and said, “What is Richard Branson doing with a bald-headed, Taiwanese immigrant living in Denver, Colorado?” I’m different than most people. My entire being (heart, mind, body and soul) conceives and believes in big things. I’ve been reprogrammed to realize that most of our limitations in life are in our thoughts. Six months after I wrote down “Meet Richard Branson” on a piece of paper, I serendipitously

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January 2017 | Better Living

met someone that is friends with him. Ding! A light bulb turned on in my mind. Two months after that, I was invited to Richard’s luxury safari camp in Kenya as a fellow entrepreneur committed to making a greater contribution to the world. We shared several meals and conversations together, sat side-by-side during safari rides day and night to watch lions, elephants, hippos, and crocodiles, and we took a sunrise hot air balloon ride that he piloted. It was unreal. A few months later, I had an opportunity to go down to Necker Island, Richard Branson’s private island in the British Virgin Islands, for a beach party. I brought my wife along to enjoy one of the finest residential playgrounds we’ve ever witnessed. This past September, Richard and I participated together in a triathlon that started in Italy and ended in Sicily via a 3.5km swim, a 110km mountain bike ride, a 21km run, and then a 15km hike up Mount Etna, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. We talked about business, politics, and my belief in God over breakfast. Let’s be clear. I am not claiming to be Richard Branson’s best friend. Still, when it comes to manifesting our intentions, the simple act of writing “Meet Richard Branson” that transformed into a friendship isn’t a bad start, right? This is only the beginning. I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for all of us! I hope you are as enthusiastic as I am for what’s ahead. I dare you to conceive big things this year. Make your list, believe in your list, and then work to see how your list becomes your reality.

Connect with Tom:

linkedin.com/in/tomshieh, facebook.com/tomshieh


Not Enough Time for Meditation By Wayne Chan

“You need to manage your stress better,” my wife Maya would say. “You should try meditating.” Have I been stressed? Well, yes, I probably have been. But meditation? Really? Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure that meditation can do wonders to manage stress and anxiety. However, just as some people love Brussels sprouts and other people think they are little vegetable balls of revulsion, I’m just not sure that meditation is for me. Every morning as I get up for breakfast, I find Maya sitting on the family room floor in a trancelike state, legs crossed with her arms resting comfortably on her thighs, palms turned upward, like a Buddha. In the background I hear a recording of a soft-spoken man with an Indian accent calmly repeating various mantras. This is where I have a problem. I’ve heard many of the mantras. It’s just that I’ve heard them all one mantra at a time. They go something like this: “Center your thoughts and let feelings of compassion, spirituality and hopefulness bring you wellbeing.” By the time the soft-spoken Indian guy gets to the second mantra, I’ve inevitably tuned out and started thinking about something else like: I wonder if that leftover slice of pizza is still in the fridge or did one of the kids already get to it? I should hide that slice somewhere before somebody swipes it. Is it too much to ask to have one leftover slice of pizza without having to think about where I need to hide it so nobody swipes it? What kind of world do we live in

where you have to stow away a slice of pizza to keep someone from snatching it? The next thing I hear is on the tape is “Namaste.” Wait, what? That was it? I’m still totally stressing about pizza! My other issue with meditation is that, being a little neurotic anyways, I’m afraid that if I ever did manage to lose myself in the soft-spoken Indian guy’s mantras, it would leave me in such a vulnerable position that I could be talked into doing just about anything. I’m afraid it might go something like this: “Release all of the stress and anxiety from your life. Focus on the next breath, and imagine that with each breath, your body is floating in a calming sea of tranquility. As you drift deeper and deeper into complete mindfulness, know that your life is at peace, and think about how serene it might be to pull out your credit card and log into www. themindfulindianaccentedguysmeditationcandles. com and get a 20% discount on your next order.” Wait a minute. What was that last part? Maybe I’m just being paranoid. Meditation could probably do wonders in reducing stress and helping me approach everyday life with less anxiety. Tell you what…I’m going to give this meditation thing a chance. I’m going to do a cost benefit analysis, I’m going to chart my progress on a risk/reward scale, and if I can fit in a 15 minute meditation session in between the stock market close and my “Making More Time In Your Day” seminar this week, I’m all in with this meditation thing. I need help…serious help. Humor Column | asian avenue magazine

27


Reviewed by Samantha Quee

Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking Masaharu Morimoto Publisher: Ecco (November 8, 2016) Pages: 288 pages

“Unlike Thai or Vietnamese foods, which rely on hard-to-find ingredients, Japanese home cooking owes its characteristic flavors to a half-dozen pantry ingredients…This is the magic of Japanese food. You build a pantry, combine a few ingredients in the right rations, and you’re ready to cook hundreds of dishes, including (but not limited to) the recipes in this book.” - Masaharu Morimoto

“Iron Chef” has become a common household television program name, inspiring those who like to cook at home to see how creative they can get with a single ingredient. This stylized cook-off show features noteworthy chefs who challenge one another in a timed cooking battle, building great excitement for its viewers. Many people’s favorite Iron Chef, Masaharu Morimoto, has recently released a new book that we are happy to review for you this month. In Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking, Marimoto truly shows his skills. For far too long, most home cooks have been intimidated by the idea of preparing delicate and complicated Japanese cuisine in their own kitchens. However, chef Morimoto reveals the essential techniques, ingredients and recipes that will empower anyone to succeed with some surprisingly simple dishes. Morimoto aims to introduce American home cooks to dishes that they may not be familiar with, but will soon become favorites. Focusing on balancing flavors and carefully applying ratios of ingredients, his recipes elevate classics like miso soup, nabeyaki udon and chicken teriyaki to new heights. He also offers playful riffs on classics, reimagining tuna-and-rice bowls in the style of Hawaiian poke, substituting dashi-marinated kale for spinach in ohitashi, and upgrading the classic rice seasoning furikake with toasted shrimp shells and potato chips. Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking exhibits carefully curated recipes and more than 150 exquisite color photographs. Most of the recipes are simple enough including easy-to-read steps to follow and the reason behind the different cooking styles. Any fan of Japanese cuisine will likely salivate while looking through the recipes and learn quite a bit about Japanese cooking in the process.

About the author:

Masaharu Morimoto was raised in Hiroshima and opened his first restaurant in Japan. After moving to the United States, he became Executive Chef at the highly acclaimed Nobu restaurant in New York City, and then opened his namesake restaurant, Morimoto, in Philadelphia, which he later expanded to New York. Morimoto’s restaurants now include Wasabi by Morimoto in Mumbai and New Delhi, and Morimoto Sushi Bar in Boca Raton, Florida, as well as others in Napa, Mexico City, Maui, and Waikiki. Morimoto appeared on the Japanese television show Iron Chef and the Food Network’s Iron Chef America. He is the author of Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking. Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking was written with JJ Goode who has co-authored many cookbooks including Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok and April Bloomfield’s A Girl and Her Pig.

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January 2017 | Book Review


TEA – Theatre Esprit Asia 2016 Holiday Party – December 17th (Contributed by Theatre Esprit Asia) alf way into their fourth season, Theatre Esprit Asia celebrated with their annual Holiday Party. This gathering was graciously hosted at Robert Kahn’s Aurora home. Robert was a set designer, and is an enthusiastic collector of Asian art and décor. Guests toured throughout the home, visiting charming rooms with décor and artifacts imported from countries all around Asia. There was even a shower repurposed into a makeshift koi pond, the children were excited to see. This provided a suitable backdrop or a very festive celebration of TEA’s past achievements, and muses for seasons to come. Catering was kindly provided by Kokoro, Dae Gee, Taste of the Philippines, as well as TEA board and staff. A group of nearly 30 attendees joined in the celebration with plenty of food and drink, participating in silent auction, and providing their continued support with generous donations. Jon Vogels, President of TEA’s board spoke regarding TEA’s upcoming performances, and Peter Trinh also performed an excerpt from his play, Boat Person, that will be included in TEA’s fourth world premiere production, Coping With America, coming in April 2017. Coping With America is a direct sequel to last season’s hit Coming To America,

H

a series of three solo performances chronicling immigrations from Vietnam, Iran, and China. This season we will see what life is like for these immigrants in their attempts to assimilate into western life - all original works from TEA playwrights Maria Cheng, Peter Trinh, and John Vogels. In addition, TEA is taking Coming To America on tour in Colorado, at Theatre Company of Lafayette in January 2017, and Bas Bleu Theatre Company in Fort Collins in summer 2017. Currently, TEA is in rehearsal for Yohen, written by Philip Kahn Gotanda and directed by Su Teatro’s Anthony Garcia. Yohen features TEA’s own Maria Cheng and The Source favorite Don Randle as a 60-year-old, Japanese and African/American, interracial couple. After 30 years of marriage, the two must decide if they can work cultural differences they have long ignored. Yohen runs February 3rd – February 26th at the Aurora Cultural Arts District, 1400 Dallas St, Aurora, CO 80010. Keep a lookout for everything Theatre Esprit Asia is doing to increase diversity in Denver theatre programing as it continues to present strong, topical, and overall emotionally riveting stories of the Asian American experience. www.teatheatre.org (720) 282-3447.

On Scene | asian avenue magazine

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Time to Recognize the Hmong New Year By Phone Vang

T

he year 2016 officially marks 40 years that Hmong have lived in Colorado. Because of this milestone, this year’s Hmong Colorado New Year Celebration was themed “Preserving our Culture through our Hmong New Year Celebration.” The Hmong New Year Celebration has been a significant event in our community and is designed to preserve our rich culture and educate others about who we are. The Hmong New Year Celebration is comprised of a series of private and public festivities that gives closure to the old year and welcomes the beginning of the new lunar year. The Hmong New Year Celebration frequently occurs in November and December, traditionally at the end of the harvest season when all the work is done. Specifically, the Hmong New Year Celebration was based on religious and cultural belief, and is an in-house ritual that takes place annually in every Hmong household. The celebration is to acknowledge the completion of the rice-harvesting season, which would result in the beginning of a new year. The farming and other household chores would be put aside at this time to observe the Hmong New Year Celebration. However, Hmong individuals and families who have adopted Christianity no longer practice the private in-house ritual. Regardless of religious affiliation, many Hmong men and women still dress up in their exquisite, hand-sewn outfits to participate in the celebration

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January 2017 | On Scene

that is held each year in cities throughout the U.S. Everyone in the community is invited and welcomed at the Hmong New Year Celebration event. After the family celebration, there is the highly anticipated community-wide celebration known as Lub Paj Tsiab Peb Caug, literally the Festival of the 30th. The Festival of the 30th, also known as the Hmong New Year is the most well-known event in the Hmong community. At this event, there is the pov pob (ball tossing), for those who are unmarried and from different clans. The ball-tossing game is a way of breaking the ice, and checking compatibility of prospective spouse. At this event, women and men also participate in the public performance of poetry, songs, and other musical talents. Even with a small Hmong population of approximately 4000 in Colorado; the New Year has been proudly celebrated annually in Colorado. The 2016 - 2017 Hmong Colorado New Year Celebration was held at the Adams County Fairgrounds on November 26th and 27th that included a variety of performances and activities. A culture show highlighted Hmong daily life in the mountainous regions of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and China. There were traditional Hmong dances, and an artifact presentation to demonstrate the essential tools used in the old country. Even the heartthrob Hmong boy band Peb Hmoob came from Michigan to celebrate the festivities with Hmong Coloradoans. We continue to strive to educate others about the Hmong people. The Elite Martial Arts – Tae Kwon Do group led by Master Yi, and Cambodian student singer Sabrina Touch, helped in that effort by showcasing their skills and talents at the event. In addition, distinguished guests such as Mayor Herb Atchison from Westminster, and Mayor Joyce Downing from Northglenn were present to celebrate with us. A diverse array of ages and nationalities came to this year’s Hmong New Year Celebration in their traditional clothes. This anniversary celebration may have topped them all. For more information, please visit www.hmongcolorado.org. As always, we look forward to see you at next year’s Hmong Colorado New Year Festival in November 2017! Nyob Zoo Xyoo Tshiab - Happy Hmong New Year!


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Asian Avenue magazine - January 2017  
Asian Avenue magazine - January 2017  

Cover: Happy Lunar New Year

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