Asian Avenue magazine - November 2017

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asian avenue Connecting Cultures Linking Lives




November 2017 Volume 12 Issue 11

Explore Careers at the City and County of Denver. #WhereDenverWorks


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Dear Asian Avenue readers,


The holiday season is around the corner now. After seeing the golden leaves in Colorado, we are ready to welcome Thanksgiving Day! We are excited to feature a new Chinese hotpot restaurant in Aurora. Aki Asian Hotpot, located next to our office in the Pacific Ocean Marketplace shopping center, is offering all you can eat hotpot for only $20. If the sound of socializing over Chinese fondue gets you excited, give this Aki Asian Hotpot a try! In our On Scene section, We share recaps of community events across Denver. Congratulations to the Nathan Yip Foundation for another successful dim sum lunch to fundraise for education around the world. We also congratulate Friends of ENCA Farms on its annual Nourish Event and announcement of its new name: Global Seed Savers. Our cover story highlights the history of Asian Pacific Islander American progress in films and cinema, while sharing definitions of stereotypes and challenges still faced by APIAs. There have been much more AAPI representation in recent years, but the film industry still lacks diverse and comprehensive stories and characters from diverse experiences. Congratulations to our Rising Star, Eric Lee, pre-med student at the University of Colorado Boulder, who received the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award last month. We applaud you for your compassion to help others! Also, in October, we celebrated the Republic of China’s National Day. Happy birthday to Taiwan!

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

contributing writers Naomi Brown, Tarika Cefkin, Amber Inthavong, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver, Brenda Velasquez

contributing photographers Travis Broxton, Emmy Thammasine

on the cover In this issue, staff writer Joie Ha takes us on a journey from 1834 to the present to track Asian American milestones and celebrities in American cinema. While there has been progress, there is still a long way to go for more in-depth representation of Asian American stories and people.


Christina Yutai Guo, Publisher Asian Avenue magazine |

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November 2017 | Publisher’s Note

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november 2017



Event calendar



Ikebana International Denver and The Ancient Art of Flower Arrangement




Eric Lee honored with Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award




Seeing My Adoption Story From A New Perspective: Volunteering at a Chinese Orphanage



Let’s go on a comprehensive journey from 1834 to the present as we track milestones and celebrities of Asian Americans in cinema.

A Lao Community that Never Gives Up: Lao Buddhist Temple Rebuilds

All You Can Eat at Aki Asian Hotpot Restaurant in Aurora




Street of Eternal Happiness by Robert Schmitz



Protecting Our Planet through Climate Action on Multiple Fronts

Goodbye Vitamin by Rachel Khong



Nathan Yip Foundation Dim Sum Lunch: “Touching the Heart” Through Education


Traditional Chinese Medicine Seminar

Confucius Institute 10-Year Anniversary


Friends of ENCA Farms now known as Global Seed Savers

Filipiniana 2017 Gala celebrates Filipino American heritage


Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver held 106th National Day Celebration

ASIAN AVENUE MAGAZINE, INC. P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222-1748 | Tel: 303.937.6888 E-mail: | 6 November 2017 | Table of Contents

29 Find us @AsianAveMag















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upcoming events

40th Denver Film Festival Nov. 1-12

Various locations throughout Denver including Sie FilmCenter, McNichols Building, UA Pavilions Prices and show times vary. For tickets and more info:

Recognized as one of the nation’s premier film events, the Denver Film Festival (DFF), produced by Denver Film Society (DFS), is known for presenting Academy Award and Independent Spirit Award-winning films, along with hosting some of the world’s leading filmmakers, producers and actors. DFF40 will present more than 200 titles among local, national and international independent films, industry panels, workshops, achievement awards and tributes, as well as a focus on Danish cinema. The region of focus this year is Denmark, but the festival will have films from China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and much much more: Hikari - Japanese; Ramen Heads - Japanese; On the Beach Alone at Night (Bamui haebyun-eoseo honja) - South Korean; The Net - South Korean; Have a Nice Day China; and Godspeed - Taiwan.

Asian Chamber of Commerce Gala Friday, Nov. 3, 5pm to 9pm

King’s Land Chinese Seafood Restaurant 2200 W. Alameda Ave. #44, Denver, CO 80223 Cost: $50 per seat | $500 for table of 8 For more info:

The Asian Chamber of Commerce annual Dinner and Gala is a celebration of the chamber’s accomplishments this year and planned initiatives for 2018. A perennial favorite - complete with dim sum appetizers, 8-course Chinese banquet dinner, and desserts! Door prizes and silent auction items for all budgets! Dinner entertainment will be by Humu Humu Ukulele Group. Special auction items include: 8-person sushi dinner prepared in your home by Isle Casino Hotel Black Hawk, autographed ukulele by Jake Shimabukuro and autographed Denver Broncos and sports memorabilia.


November 2017 | Event Calendar

Asian/Pacific American Issues Through The Camera Lens A Film and Discussion Series Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2pm to 3:30pm

University of Colorado Denver Students Common Building 2000 For more info: departments/odi/CII/AASS/Pages/default.aspx Film: Japanese War Bride - “Korean War veteran returns home to rural Salinas, California with his new Japanese with, whom he met at a war hospital. The couple are forced to deal with the sometimes subtle, sometimes overt racism of his family and the townspeople.” This presentation will be facilitated by Marie Vonhaas, based on her thesis: Occupation Babies Come of Age, Children Born during the American and Allied Military Occupation of Japan 1945-1952.

AAPI Community Forum with House Speaker Crisanta Duran Friday, Nov. 10, 6pm to 8pm

Filipino-American Community of Colorado 1900 Harlan Street, Edgewater 80214 Cost: Open to the public For more info, contact Join the Japan America Society of Colora Asian Pacific Development Center, Asian Chamber of Commerce, and Filipino-American Community of Colorado at a non-partisan AAPI community forum with House Speaker Crisanta Duran. Speaker Duran is a rising star in Colorado politic. She is the first Latina speaker of the Colorado House and she was a featured speaker at the Democratic National Convention last year. Under her leadership, the House passed many bills that would affect our community, such as: funding increase for our transportation system, funding increase for our public school, and revision to the state’s construction defects law in the hope that it will lead to more housing for Colorado residents. This community forum is an excellent chance for our AAPI community to directly speak with Speaker Duran and educate her about issues affecting our community. Attendees will be able to directly ask their questions to Speaker Duran. This is not a fundraising event.

Japan America Society of Colorado Annual Gala

Thursday, Nov. 16, 6pm to 10pm

Ritz Carlton Denver 188 Curtis St. Denver, CO 80202 Cost: $175 JASC Member | $200 General For more info:

Join the Japan America Society of Colorado at their premier fundraising event. JASC is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to building people-to-people relationships between Japan and Colorado. Keynote speaker will be Abigail Friedman, Senior Advisor to the Asia Foundation and globally recognized speaker on womenomics. The silent auction includes business class tickets on United Airlines to Japan (or anywhere in the world United flies), hotel, theater and restaurant experiences both in Denver and Japan, and new this year - a Toto Ultramax II Japanese style toilet valued at over $2,000. If you’ve been to Japan, you understand how fantastic this is!

Professionals of Color Networking Event

Friday, Nov. 17, 6pm to 9pm

Coffee at The Point 710 E 26th Ave, Denver, CO 80205 Cost: Free and open to the public For more info: Hosted by Dr. Lisa Vallejos, this brand new networking event is for professionals of color in the Denver Metro area who are seeking to expand relationships and connections. “We believe that the most robust and vibrant connections are made when genuine relationship is the foundation; here, we seek to provide the environment to make those relationships.” The group’s vision is to create a safe space where participants can build relationships with other professionals of color without the pitfalls found in other networking events such as microaggressions and the need to “code switch”. Dr. Vallejos is a diversity educator, consultant and trainer who works with female coaches, therapists & healers in developing cultural competence.


Ikebana International Denver and The Ancient Art of Flower Arrangement

Photos by Akiko Ishiyama

By Brenda Velasquez

Colorado, a state known for its outdoor beauty, is home to a passionate organization that practices an ancient naturalistic art form called Ikebana, or Japanese flower arrangement. Ikebana International Denver (I.I. Denver) featured some spectacular pieces at the latest Denver Botanic Gardens’ annual Ikebana show. Established in 1962, I.I. Denver houses four Ikebana schools that each exemplifies a distinct style of flower arranging: Sogetsu (contemporary), Sangetsu (spiritual), Ohara (traditional), and Ikenobo (the oldest classic style). Every year, I.I. Denver members incorporate a different element into their arrangements for the show, such as metal, glass, or wood. This year, they chose paper. “The great advantage of using paper,” explained I.I. Denver’s Exhibition Show Chairperson, Elisabeth Rabito, “is how easy it is to incorporate the material as an organic element in the overall flower arrangement, bending and molding it to show movement.” Rabito remarked that this flexibility yielded more opportunities for members to craft unique arrangements using paper containers, paper crane origami, or even paper flowers placed alongside their real counterparts. The annual exhibit was held in a snug venue inside the Gardens, its walls lined with individual handmade arrangements that encircled a group-made centerpiece. Just as the paper material ranged in color and texture, the floral arrangements ranged from bright yellows and oranges to wintery hues of white and brown. They included natural materials like chrysanthemums and sunflowers, bamboo and dry branches. The exhibit featured a live demonstration by I.I. Denver artist Aki Buckmaster, a Master Teacher of the Ohara style, with more than 50 years of Ikebana experience. She deftly composed a series of intricate arrangements before a rapt audience. Fellow I.I. Denver member Midori Allmeyer, a “Riji” teacher (the highest teacher rank in Sogetsu school), expressed how Ikebana’s intensive and extensive training period poses an obstacle for recruiting young participants, especially in the U.S.

“America is a country of pragmatism where it’s hard to understand the concept of traditional art,” Allmeyer explained, describing the harmonizing balance that can result when Western values meet Eastern traditions. “Western culture supports individual expression, which is valued in Ikebana, but it lacks the structure and discipline of Eastern principles.” A blend of traditional Japanese arts like Ikebana into Western culture thus provides an opportunity where American expression can be shaped and polished into thoughtful works of art. Allmeyer noted, “Thankfully, young people today are leaning toward a closer relationship with meditative practices like yoga and Zen.” This is a trend that hints at a promising outlook, considering Ikebana was introduced to Japan through the Buddhist practice of using floral arrangements as offerings in temples. Ikebana is also a very relaxing practice. “I’ve had students come in saying they’re having such a bad day and then leave class remarking how refreshed they feel,” said I.I. Denver Co-President Jan Cashman, alluding to the possibility of how promoting Ikebana’s wellness benefits might attract Zen-minded Millennials to experiment with this creative exercise. Indeed, Allmeyer pointed out the intrinsic connection between the wellness experience of flower arranging and the literal translation of Ikebana, a word formed from the Japanese character ike, meaning “alive” or “arrange,” and hana meaning, “flower.” Loosely translated, it means, “giving life to flowers.” Allmeyer affirmed these life-giving properties of the art form, explaining how the inclusion of Ikebana in the household improves a family’s well being by extending its qi, or life force. There is the added aesthetic benefit of elevating any physical setting with the flowers’ natural artistic beauty. “Ikebana is an art of perfection,” Allmeyer concluded. “Perfect, natural, beauty.” For more information, please visit

Arrangement by Elisabeth Rabito, Sogetsu Using paper lanterns, mitsumata branches.

From left: Jan Cashman, Midori Allmeyer and Elisabeth Rabito

Arrangement by Kinko Ohata, Sogetsu Using various types of papers, a dry branch and chrysanthemums. Inside Story | asian avenue magazine


eric lee honored with

Eric Lee honored with the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award with the Colorado Chinese Language School board members.

Minoru Yasui Community volunteer Award Eric Wei-Kwan Lee, 19, received the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award on Oct. 26. He is a pre-med student at the University of Colorado Boulder studying economics. He is motivated to work towards medical school and become a doctor to change others’ lives. He says, “Whether it is fixing a broken bone or saving a life, I want to make a difference.” Eric’s parents met in Boise, Idaho. His mother had moved to Boise from Taiwan, while his father, originally from Hong Kong, was attending Boise State University. Both Eric and his older brother were born in Highlands Ranch and grew up Chinese-American. Actively involved in the Colorado Chinese Language School, Eric attends “as many events as I can that they host.” In high school, he was also involved in the Interact Club focused on volunteering and helping others. As an original sponsor of the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award and a personal friend of Minoru Yasui, Darlene Silver says, “I have had the opportunity to review hundreds of nominations for this award for more than 40 years.” “Over the years the award committee enjoys reviewing nominations and Eric’s is one of those unsung heroes whose talents rise to the top of the list.” “The award committee seldom has the opportunity to see a youth candidate, particularly one with the multitude of talents and interests of this young man, therefore, when Eric’s nomination was


November 2017 | Rising Star

presented, he was a prime candidate without question.” Eric is active with volunteerism, which gives him a chance to meet new people and learn about them. It also allows him to change others’ lives. “Even though that change might be the tiniest difference, it can still help someone. You never know what someone is going through, so a little action can make a huge difference,” he says. Eric considers it an incredible honor to receive the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award. “It means the world that I was chosen

Darlene adds, “In addition to his natural talents, he is a bright, articulate, respectful, dedicated young man, who remains positive and has a strong sense of responsibility. He looks for and welcomes challenges and has a keen interest assisting in solving problems.” She believes that as Eric embarks on his higher education, he will continue to identify areas for volunteering and will influence and inspire his colleagues to join in his endeavors. “He is a role model. There is a uniqueness about him as he projects an attitude of caring for the betterment of others.”

Quote Eric lives by: “No matter what people tell you, Words and Ideas can change the world.” - Robin Williams because it shows that I have made a difference and I am forever grateful for that.” He thanks his parents for everything they have done for him and his brother. “My parents have provided my brother and me with so much opportunity. I see how hard they work and that has made a tremendous impact on our lives.” Eric considers his greatest accomplishment to be when he received the 60 point trophy for competing 12 consecutive years in piano. “Piano has always been a part of my life and even though I don’t compete anymore it has changed my life for the better. Music has always been a happy place for me whether it is listening or playing, it always puts me in a better mood.” Eric Lee (right) with his brother Calvin, father Billy and mother Fay.

Donors can earn up to $7500 for their time and commitment

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A Lao Community that By Amber Inthavong


f you are a first generation Laotian-American, then you know what it was like going to the temple with your parents as a kid, being immersed in Buddhism, spicy food, loud conversations, and late night parties with old friends. You grew up living that culture. Once your parents immigrated here in the 1970s, they wanted to hold onto every part of the Lao culture they could. When

they came to the U.S., they brought everything about Laos with them! It was the only way they could make it feel like home. Laos people are a tight-knit community; everyone knows everyone else. We come together for every major life event. When there is a wedding, a death in the family, a new baby, or Lao New Years, we all show up. This deep cultural bond may be the most supportive environment in which to grow up. When the Lao Buddhist Temple in Westminster, Colorado had a devastating fire on the morning of December 5th, 2011, you can imagine the impact it had on the community. Once a place for gathering weekly, where monks live and prayer happens, our temple was in ruins. In the seven years since the damage, the Lao community has stepped up our support on a whole new level. We have spent that time creating fundraising events to support the rebuilding of our sacred space. Each fundraiser and party requires tireless effort, prepping delicious food to sell, stocking up on drinks to charge by the bottle, hiring bands and dancers who rehearse for hours to deliver beautiful Lao traditional music and dance performances. All of this is done in honor of the temple. The temple’s Executive Administrator and Project Manager, Sunnie Gist, plays a tremendous part in the rebuilding of our Buddhist temple. Sunnie wears many different hats: she deals with building codes, insurance, safety issues, permits, and serves as the liaison for many community partners. She has been the key to putting on all of the concerts and cultural shows. Sunnie has been involved in the community since 1996, and more recently, she took on full responsibility in event coordination and Plans to rebuild the Lao Buddhist Temple in Westminster, CO communications.


November 2017 | Feature

Never Gives Up

Here, Sunnie provides a peek behind the scenes and an update on the progress of the Buddhist temple rebuild. AAm: How is the temple rebuild going? SG: The temple’s construction progress is based on fundraising efforts. Progress moves forward as funds come in, which can be slow at times. Ninety percent of the labor is done by volunteers, and ten percent has been done through speciality licenses like engineers, master plumbers, and master electricians. AAm: How much progress has been made in funding for the new temple? SG: Funding has been slow. The majority of the building effort so far has been completed with insurance money from the fire. It’s very hard to get a new building loan from banks to push the project faster, due to strict requirements and disadvantages of being a non-profit organization and a religious organization. Fundraising has definitely been a challenge. AAm: Are there any exciting things to share with the community about what comes next? SG: Our site has been set up to build in phases: • Phase 1 is building the Sala which has been designed with a walkout basement. The basement will be used as a Cultural Center for dance classes, English/Laotian language classes, cultural study classes, community meetings, and will act as an overflow space for the Buddhist festival. Phase 1 will include a new front entry gate, a new trash area, and a detention pond for rainwater or flood overflow. Once Phase 1 is done and all inspections have passed, we aim to move in. • Phase 2 will include the parking lot and partial landscape. Due to lack of land space and parking space, there will not be a separate building for parties. • Phase 3 will be the construction of the Sim, or a prayer house for the monks. It will be built over the original slab foundation of the old burnt down temple site. • Finally, Phase 4 will include the rest of the landscaping and fencing around the property.

Photo credit: Emmy Thammasine Sunnie adds, “It’s going to be exciting as each phase is completed; generations of people will remember that they were a part of making this happen. The temple will be open to the public to visit, learn, and share Lao culture.” The loss of the Buddhist temple was much more significant than just losing a place to pray. The one place where families and friends gathered to honor their culture together and feel closer to home was profoundly damaged. However, this closeknit Laotian community has shown that no matter how difficult the circumstances, in times of need, there is no giving up. Each generation of Lao heritage that unfolds after us, with great hope, will grow up knowing the same values and principles. Follow Amber Inthavong on social media @coloradocaribou or visit Lao Buddhist Temple | asian avenue magazine


Seeing My Adoption Story From A New Perspective

By Naomi Brown


or as long as I can remember I have had an aversion to Asians. As a Chinese-American adoptee, I grew up in white suburban Colorado. Only three percent of the community was Asian, with whom I had no interaction. When I first heard about the opportunity to volunteer at an orphanage in China for children with disabilities, I turned up my nose at it. China was the country I associated with communism that freely abandoned baby boys and girls like my sister and me. Over the course of a year my parents pushed me into applying for the trip. It was the the Adoptees Giving Back Orphanage Service Trip (AGBOST), in conjunction with a program called Adopteen. Once I was accepted, time moved quickly. Before I knew it, I was raising money for the orphanage and contacting my fellow travelers. I found myself excited at the prospect of giving back to the community I had left as an infant and seeing firsthand what life could have been like for my sister and me. When I first arrived in China, I found that our group was the subject of much confusion and amusement. We looked like

we should fit in, but didn’t. Locals took pictures of our group as we walked around because we seemed so out of place. We didn’t even need to speak for them to recognize that we were foreigners; the fact that we were sweating in shorts and t-shirts while they wore long black pants and long-sleeved shirts gave us away. We had one foot in and one foot out of the culture; it was a lonely feeling for sure. The other travelers were also adoptees, 24 in total. Lily Nie (founder of Chinese Children Adoption International), her daughter Amy Zhong, and Kara Shaw (therapist) also traveled with us. There was only one boy on the trip. I remember the last day at the orphanage that included a wonderful birthday celebration with cake, some heart-warming singing, and a talent show to boot. Everyone was smiling as we said goodbye. It was somewhat easier to leave with all the laughter in the air. I heard a sniffle, turned around and saw one of the older kids from the orphanage trying to hold back tears. I noticed my friend, Katie, at a loss for words. I steeled myself as I looked back at the boy as he freely began to cry. Trying to steady my breathing and heart rate, I saw

“I learned so much about my place in the world as an adoptee and what a huge community on which I can rely and to whom I can give back. It has taken me a while but I am immensely proud of my status as an adoptee and would advise other adoptees to apply for this trip as well.” - Naomi Brown


November 2017 | Feature

Mei’s face twist and a tear fell down her cheek. I looked skyward, trying, wondering, pleading for life to slow down, and for the strength to get through this moment. When I glanced at him next, the boy’s hand was on his heart, gesturing that he would never forget us. I could hardly breathe and before I knew it I tasted salt. Looking around, I saw that I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t hold back tears. The younger orphans found our group to be a fun distraction, happily accepting our presents. The older kids knew who we were and knew that goodbye was almost certainly permanent. A group hug was necessary, but made it all the worse. I had to pull myself away from everyone because otherwise the tears would not stop. How peculiar, I thought. In such a short time, I grew to love every one of those kids despite a multitude of barriers between us: our different languages and physical differences galore. I cannot imagine what these kids will go through in life. They’ve all already endured

so much and are so easy to love. What hurt the most is that they are ready to give love back, but China will not readily give them the chance. During my time in China, I gained a family of 22 new sisters and a brother on this trip, each sharing our own experiences as an adoptee, giving us a mutual bond that linked us all together. I experienced firsthand the stigma against those who were given up because of their physical deformities. I learned so much about my place in the world as an adoptee and what a huge community on which I can rely and to whom I can give back. It has taken me a while but I am immensely proud of my status as an adoptee and would advise other adoptees to apply for this trip as well. Naomi Brown is a 17-year-old student at Columbine High School and Arapahoe Community College. She was adopted from Cenxi in the Guangxi province of China when she was 10 months old.

Adoption Story | asian avenue magazine


Asian Pacific Islander Americans in American


By Joie Ha

We’ve come a long way since the very first yellow-face depiction of Asian Pacific Islander Americans (APIA) in film in the U.S., but it’s important to remember that change does not always mean progress. APIAs have played a variety of roles in cinema, and although the majority of these are overwhelmingly stereotypical depictions, it is important to celebrate the small wins, too. Let’s go on a comprehensive journey from 1834 to the present as we track milestones and celebrities of APIAs in cinema. This timeline reflects events that we find notable, however it is not exhaustive. There are many important events, films, and individuals that are not mentioned.


Chang and Eng Bunker The Siamese Twins Years Active: 1834-1874 Although not on television or film, Chang and Eng Bunker were Thai-American conjoined twins that became famous due to their condition. They are the reason why conjoined twins are often colloquially referred to as ‘Siamese Twins.’ Although they were used as a sideshow, the twins were the first well-known Asian Americans in American entertainment. Sessue Hayakawa Years Active: 1914-1966 One of the largest Hollywood stars during era of silent film that was only rivaled by Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks, Japa n ese -A m er ica n Sessue Hayakawa


November 2017 | Cover Story

starred in over 80 films in America and Europe. Due to racist laws and the rise of “Yellow Peril,” Hayakawa was mostly given evil villain roles, but that did not stop his ascension as a quintessential sex symbol of his time. He also received an Academy Award nomination for his role in The Bridge on the River Kwai. Madame Butterfly (1915) Mary Pickford was chosen to play a 15-year-old geisha, Cho-Cho-San ‘Butterfly.’ Not only was the film itself a caricature of Japanese culture, but also there were no Asian actors casted. The main character, Cho-Cho-San, commits suicide after her American husband leaves her. Broken Blossom (1919) Broken Blossom, adapted from the short story The Chink and the Child, actually portrays a Chinese character as the hero of the story. However, white American actor, Richard Barthelmess, plays the main character, Cheng Huan.

Anna May Wong Years Active: 1919-1961 The first Asian American actress to gain international fame, Anna May Wong was a second-generation Chinese-American. Annoyed by stereotypical roles, Wong spent a period of time acting in Europe in more diverse roles. She is known for making history with the first show starring an Asian American lead, The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong.

Merle Oberon Years Active: 1928-1973 Born in Mumbai and of mixed ancestry, Merle Oberon denied her heritage over the entire span of her career. She was most well known for her role in an adaptation of Emily Brontë’s, Wuthering Heights. The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933) A romance story depicting an American woman and Chinese general, The Bitter Tea of General Yen is considered one of the hundred best films by film critic, Derek Malcolm. Swedish actor Nils Asther plays the Chinese general, General Yen. Keye Luke Years Active 1934-1991 Mostly known for his role as Kato in the original Green Hornet, Chinese-American actor Keye Luke had a career that spanned a whopping 58 years. He played a variety of roles in films and also voiced Mr. Chan in the animated The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan. Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth (1937) Luise Rainer was chosen over Anna May Wong to play O-Lan, the Chinese wife of a poor farmer from Pearl Buck’s novel, The Good Earth. Paul Muni stars as the husband, Wang Lung. Although the story was set in ancient China with all-Chinese

characters, all of the actors in the film were white. Luise Rainer won an Oscar for the Best Actress because of her role in The Good Earth. Little Tokyo, U.S.A. (1942) As a reaction to World War II and Japanese internment, Little Tokyo, U.S.A. portrayed Japanese-Americans as evil spies dedicated to destroying the American way of life. As a propaganda film, the movie warned white Americans about the dangers of Japanese-Americans and stoked a long period of racism. Bruce Lee Years Active: 1950-1973 Widely known as one of the first martial arts stars in America, Bruce Lee was an incredibly skilled actor. Talented in martial arts like Wing Chun, Jun Fan Gung Fu, and Jeet Kune Do, Lee was always in top physical shape. He appeared in several films in Hong Kong as a child actor and continued his career in Hollywood throughout the 1960s-1970s. Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955) Love is a Many-Splendored Thing depicts a romance between an American reporter and Eurasian doctor, and is set in Hong Kong. A white American actor, Jennifer Jones, plays Han Suyin, the main love interest. It won three Academy Awards, and was nominated for a total of eight awards.

George Takei Years Active: 1955-Present George Takei was born in Los Angeles and spent a few of his formative years in a Japanese internment camp. Known for his deep, sultry voice, George Takei has had a successful career and is still active today. He is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu of the USS Enterprise in Star Trek. Miyoshi Umeki Years Active: 1953-1972 Miyoshi Umeki was not only an actress, but also a singer. In 1957, she became the first and only Asian American actress that has won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. No other Asian American actress has won since then. She was also nominated for a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her work in Flower Drum Song. Joyce Chen Years Active: 1958-1983 First and foremost, Joyce Chen was an incredibly talented and famous chef. She opened four restaurants throughout her lifetime, published cook books, launched a line of Chinese cooking utensils, and starred in her own cooking show, Joyce Chen Cooks. Her show introduced Chinese cooking to America, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

APIAs in American Cinema | asian avenue magazine


Pat Morita Years Active: 1960-2005 “Wax on, wax off.” Everyone knows this quote by The Karate Kid’s Mr. Miyagi depicted by Japanese-American actor, Noriyuki Pat Morita. He also voiced the charismatic Emperor of China in Disney’s animated film, Mulan. Nancy Kwan Years Active: 1960-2010 Nancy Kwan is an actress of Cantonese, English, and Scottish ancestry. Boosted into popularity for her role in The World of Suzie Wong, Nancy Kwan was seen as a sex symbol of her time. She is also known for spurring acceptance of Asian Americans in Hollywood during her career. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) Mr. Yunioshi, played by Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, is the textbook example of a yellow-face character. Not only did a white actor play Mr. Yunioshi, but his character was also incredibly racist. Bucktoothed, heavily accented, and an embarrassing caricature, Mr. Yunioshi has been criticized since the movie’s premier in 1961. Flower Drum Song (1961) Flower Drum Song was a Broadway musical and film that largely featured an Asian American cast. The only white voices were for two singing parts and a white criminal. The musical film went on to be nominated for five Academy Awards. This musical showed a di-


November 2017 | Cover Story

versity of Asian American characters in the colorful Chinatown area of San Francisco. The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan (1972)

Animated by Hanna-Barbara, The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan follows the adventure of a Chinese-American family that solves mysteries in their town. Originally voiced by a Chinese-American cast, the characters were voiced over by white Americans. The main character was, however, voiced by Keye Luke, a Chinese-American actor. Sidekicks (1986) The first Asian American show made and aired on cable television featured Ernie Reyes, Jr. as a young Asian American child that would inherit his family’s martial arts skills and destiny. The show spanned 23 episodes and aired on ABC’s Friday night primetime. Amy Hill Years Active: 1984-present As a well-known voice actress, Amy Hill has starred in multiple famous animations like Jackie Chan Adventures, Lilo and Stitch, The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, and more. Russell Wong Years Active: 1985-present Born in New York, Russell Wong got his breakthrough role as a lead in the series, Vanishing Son. He played a Chinese political activist that was

exiled to America. This role actively challenged the stereotype that Asian American men could not be attractive or play romantic leads. Lucy Liu Years Active: 1991-present Lucy Liu’s career spans several roles: actress, director, producer, artist, and more. She became popular after her television role as Ling Woo in the show, Ally McBeal. She has been active in many types of genres, from horror to comedy. She is often type-casted in roles that amplify her sexuality and the Dragon Lady archetype. Margaret Cho Years Active: 1993-present Margaret Cho is best known for her work as a comedian. Cho often speaks her mind and offers political commentary regarding the Asian American community and LGBT rights. She is also known for starring in the show, All-American Girl, a sitcom about a Korean-American family. The Joy Luck Club (1993) An American movie that explores the intricacies of Chinese-American families, The Joy Luck Club is one of the only critically acclaimed films that shows a diverse and relatively honest depiction of Chinese-American culture. The movie follows four Chinese mothers and their Chinese-American daughters. All-American Girl (1994) One of the first of its kind, All-American Girl was a sitcom about a rebellious Korean-American teen trying to navigate living with her

traditional Korean family. Although the entire main cast was Asian American, the show would sometimes play into Asian stereotypes. The show was canceled after one season. Bobby Lee Years Active: 1994-present Bobby Lee is known as a recurring cast member of Mad TV. As a comedian, Bobby Lee was able to help create a more diverse representation of Asian Americans in media. Mindy Kaling Years Active: 2003-present As an actress, comedian, and writer, Mindy Kaling has paved the way for Indian-American actresses. Not only has she starred in notable films, but she also wrote and produced her very own sitcom, The Mindy Project. A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila (2007-2008) A Shot of Love with Tila Tequila was an American dating game show on MTV. During its run, it was MTVs most watched series telecast. Although the show sparked a lot of controversy from conservative organizations, this show continued to help diversify Asian American roles in media.

Aziz Ansari Years Active: 2004-present Born in South Carolina, Aziz Ansari got his start on Parks and Recreation. His claims to fame these days are his standup comedy and his own Netflix show, Master of None. He has won multiple comedy awards and was the first and only South Asian to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. The Last Airbender (2010) Directed by Indian-American filmmaker, M. Night Shyamalan, The Last Airbender was a live-action movie adaptation of the popular series, Avatar, the Last Airbender. Although the show’s main characters were obviously of Asian background, all of the actors cast in the live-action film were white. This is one example of whitewashing in modern Hollywood. The Mindy Project (2012-present) The Mindy Project is a show that focuses on the life of Indian-American obstetrician/gynecologist character, Mindy Lahri, played by Mindy Kaling. In its sixth season, The Mindy Project is a popular romantic comedy that shows a thorough picture of the ups and downs of Lahri’s life. Fresh Off the Boat (2015-present) As the second ever slice-of-life sitcom to feature an Asian American family after the 1994 All-American Girl, Fresh Off the Boat follows a Chinese-American family’s journey and the challenges they face. In its fourth season, Fresh Off the Boat allows APIAs of all ages to relate to the humorous

challenges that arise from cultural differences and racism. Master of None (2015-present) Master of None is a comedy television show that follows Dev Shah on his adventures through life, played by Aziz Ansari, who is also the creator and writer of the show. It has won three Emmys along with other awards. The second season currently has a “100% Certified Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Ghost in the Shell (2017) Ghost in the Shell is an adaptation of the incredibly popular anime film with the same name. However, despite the anime obviously taking place in a neo-Japanese setting with multiple Japanese characters, Scarlet Johansson plays the main character, Motoko Kusanagi. The film attempts to explain that Motoko looks white because she is a robot. Crazy Rich Asians (coming in 2019) Crazy Rich Asians is a movie that will explore the lives of m ega - r ic h families in Singapore. Based on the novel by Kevin Kwan, the film is directed by Jon M. Chu and will star many APIA actors. Mulan (coming in 2019) When Disney announced its intention to create a live-action version of the beloved 1998 animated film, Mulan, activists rallied and demanded that the film not be whitewashed. Disney responded by saying that they would remain true to the original film. A leaked script showed a white male as Mulan’s love interest and savior. After more backlash, Disney scrapped the character.

APIAs in American Cinema | asian avenue magazine


DEFINITIONS Yellowface: When non-Asian actors dress and wear makeup in a stereotypical way to represent Asians. Oftentimes these depictions are offensive and take roles away from actual Asian American actors. Whitewashing: When white actors play roles meant for actors of color.

Yellow Peril: A name for the xenophobia associated with Asians. In the late 1800s, there were many hate crimes perpetuated against Chinese-Americans. In 1882, the U.S. prohibited Chinese immigrants from moving to the United States. Yellow Peril flared up again in the 1920s in order to protect the ‘ethnic purity’ of the United States.

Examples of Yellow Face and Whitewashing

Top: Ghost in the Shell, You Only Live Twice, Dragon Seed, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry Bottom: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Aloha, Cloud Atlas, The Last Airbender Collage by Hyphen Magazine

A soap advertisement from the 1880s, sub-titled ‘The Chinese Must Go’ Credit: Library of Congress

Dragon Lady: A stereotype that shows APIA women as exotic, sexy, mysterious, and potentially evil. Other stereotypes include the geisha figure, Suzie Wong, Model Minority, lotus blossom, and more. APIA representation in cinema has gone through ebbs and flows of popularity. Oftentimes, Asian American actors were pigeonholed into only stereotypical roles, or excluded entirely from Hollywood. Many actors and actresses from earlier eras traveled to Europe in order to practice their art in a more genuine, authentic way. However, if the APIA community continues to demand fair representation and work with writers and producers to develop diverse storylines, more meaningful roles will be available for Asian Pacific Islander Americans. 20

November 2017 | Cover Story

Bringing the ramen culture to Denver!


Mon-Thu & Sat: 5pm - 1am Fri: 5pm - 2am | Sun: 4pm - 9pm

48 parking spots available behind the building!

2907 Huron St. Unit 103 | Denver, CO 80202 | Tel: 720.639.2911

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


12303 E Mississippi Ave Unit 127, Aurora, CO 80012

Phone: (720) 638-3193

For Your Selec�ons

SOUP BASE: Hot-Spicy Broth, Herbal Broth, Corn w/ Bone Broth, Clear Broth, Beef Bone Broth


Open 7 Days a week Sun-Thur: 11:30 am – 9:30 pm Fri – Sat: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm

MEAT: Lamb Slices, Beef Slices, Beef Manifold, Beef Tripe, Pork Belly, Pork Rind, Pork Blood Curd, Luncheon Meat, Chicken, Pork Intes�ne, Beef Meat Ball SEAFOOD: Squid, Mussel, Shrimp w/ Head, Clam, Fish Fillet, Fish Ball, Cu�lefish Ball, Fish Tofu VEGETABLES: Enoki Mushroom, King Oyster Mushroom, White Mushroom, Napa Cabbage, Watercress, Tang Ho, Le�uce, Spinach, Taiwanese Le�uce, Lotus Root, Winter Melon, Chinese Yam, Pea Sprouts, Baby Bok Choy, Wood Ear, Taro Root, Sweet Corn, Pumpkin Slices, Kelp Knot, Sliced Potato SOY PRODUCTS: Tender Tofu, Silky Tofu, Fried Bean Curd Sheet, Yubu NOODLE: Udon Noodle, Instant Noodle, Rice Vermicelli, Green Bean Vermicelli, Korea Rice Cake

Kids 3 years old and under: free; 4-6 years old: $6.99 7-9 years old: $10.99; 10-12 years old: $12.99 Seniors: $17.99

Adult: $19.99

AKI Asian Hotpot ALL You CAN EAT

Photo by Minji Kim


Adult: $19.99 Photo by Christina Onpeng

ki Asian Hotpot Restaurant has become a popular spot in Aurora. The restaurant is frequently packed with families and groups of friends enjoying hotpot. With never-ending ingredients and bottomless broth, customers love the affordable all-you-can-eat option at only $19.99 for adults. Celebrating its grand opening this summer, Aki Asian Hotpot is located in the Pacific Ocean Marketplace shopping center. Its owner, who is from China, aims to provide a traditional Chinese hotpot style, where each person eats from individual pots. Chinese hotpot, also known as Chinese fondue, is one of the most popular meals in China. It consists of a simmering metal pot with broth at the center of a table, and raw ingredients placed beside the metal pot, so people can add and cook whatever they like in the broth. The hotpot has a long history of over 1,000 years in China. It used to be favored only in winter, but recently hotpot has been appearing on tables all year round. Beside the delicious flavor, people love the hotpot cuisine for the social aspects. People gather around, chatting, eating, drinking and having fun. To begin, you choose your soup base: hot-spicy, clear or herbal. A clear soup base has a mild flavor made by cooking seafood, or meat bones like chicken or spareribs with ginger or other lighter seasonings. A spicy soup base uses Sichuan pepper, chilies, red chili oil, etc. At Aki Asian Hotpot, you don’t have to share or split hot pots if your friends prefer a different broth. Every customer receives their own hot pot and can choose

which broth flavor they like. There are various ingredients offered at Aki Asian Hotpot. Meats include beef, pork belly, chicken and lamb. Seafood options are extensive: clam, squid, mussel, shrimp, fish balls and fish tofu. Vegetarian ingredients such as mushrooms, bok choy, cabbage, and tofu can be quick-boiled as well, and are favored by many, particularly those who prefer eating less cholesterol. When the broth is boiling, dip the ingredients in until cooked with your chopsticks. Do not add all ingredients to the soup at once. You should add the items that take longest to cook first, like fish balls and noodles, and then add the thinly sliced meats or green vegetables. At Aki Asian Hotpot, there are also several noodle options to throw into your pot including: udon, rice vermicelli and Korean rice cake. Make sure foods are cooked through before you eat. For example, the fish balls need to float, and the raw meats need to fully change their color. Then you can use the dipping sauces. Towards the back of the restaurant, you will find a make-your-own sauce bar. Mix your choice of Chinese bbq sauce, sesame oil, chili oil, soy sauce, garlic sauce, vinegar, green onions, etc. You can choose what you like to fit your own taste. Lastly, the all-you-can-eat meal ends with a cup of Blue Bunny ice cream to cool down your palate. If the idea of sitting in front of a bubbling cauldron and cooking your own dinner sounds appealing, call up some friends and family to join you at Aki Asian Hotpot.

Aki Asian Hotpot 12303 E. Mississippi Ave Unit 127 Aurora, CO 80012 Tel: 720-638-3193

Open 7 days a week Sun - Thur: 11:30 am – 9:30 pm Fri - Sat: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm Restaurant Peek | asian avenue magazine


bookreviews STREET OF ETERNAL HAPPINESS Author: Robert Schmitz

Pages: 336 | Price: $17.68 Website: Twitter: @rob_schmitz Reviewed by Mary Jeneverre Schultz Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @Jeneverre


November 2017 | Book Review

enlightening, humorous, and at times heart-rending journey along the winding road to the Chinese Dream. Schmitz profiles successful shopkeepers, hopeful young professionals, disillusioned beggars, and more. They invite him into their homes and workplaces, and share their everyday experiences, their troubled histories, their family dramas, and the ambitions that drive them. We meet Zhao, whose path from factory worker to flower shop owner is sidetracked by her desperate measures to ensure a better future for her two sons. Up a flight of stairs, accordion maker and café owner, CK, sets up shop to attract young dreamers like himself, but learns he’s searching for something more. Down the street lives the brazen Auntie Fu, who is sinking money into get-rich-quick schemes while her skeptical husband sells scallion pancakes and turnip cakes to Shanghai’s masses. Along the way, Schmitz makes surprising discoveries that further untangle the intricacies of modern China: a mysterious box of letters that serve as a portal to a family’s dark past, and an abandoned neighborhood where fates have been violently altered by unchecked power and greed. Schmitz’s friendships take him to a remote Buddhist temple, a country wedding, and beyond. His ability to deftly connect the personal to the political, and the contemporary to the historical, adds layers of humanity and empathy to our understanding of China today.



Now in paperback, award-winning foreign correspondent Rob Schmitz provides a fascinating look at China’s largest city, Shanghai, told through the eyes of those who live, work, and dream about their futures there. Anchored by an imposing skyline, modern Shanghai is a global city in the midst of a renaissance, flooded with capital, ideas, and opportunity. Rob Schmitz, the Shanghai correspondent for National Public Radio, is among them. When the twotime Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist moved to Shanghai in 2010, he immersed himself in his neighborhood, forging deep relationships with the people who lived and worked around him. As Schmitz got to know his fellow inhabitants on the auspiciously named Street of Eternal Happiness, their moving stories fueled his curiosity and revealed the remarkable complexities of the city and country he now calls home. Schmitz’s book, Street of Eternal Happiness, provides an intimate, surprising, and involving portrait of contemporary China through the lens of a single street in its largest, wealthiest, and most vibrant city. Through conversations with his neighbors, Schmitz finds a window into China’s new reality that examines the recent economic and cultural shifts on a personal level, while dispensing with tired Chinese stereotypes. The actual Street of Eternal Happiness has its own history. Occupied at various points by the French and the Japanese, it survived decades of Communist campaigns to become a capitalist corridor of shops and restaurants, bearing witness to an empire that rose, fell, and now rises again. Schmitz portrays this two-mile stretch of road as a fascinating microcosm of Chinese society. He reveals how the street has changed, who has been harmed or helped along the way, and how lingering corruption might impact its bright future. Street of Eternal Happiness profiles China’s distinct generations through multifaceted characters who illuminate an

GOODBYE, VITAMIN Author: Rachel Khong




Pages: 208 pages | Price: $17.02 Website: Twitter: @rachelkhong Instagram: @rrrrrrrachelkhong (7 Rs! Yes, I regret it).

Reviewed by Mary Jeneverre Schultz Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @Jeneverre

Listed on the “23 Most Anticipated Books of 2017,” Rachel Khong’s debut novel Goodbye, Vitamin is described as “incredibly poignant,” “a perfectly encapsulated slice of life,” and “laconic, severe, even frighteningly intimate.” Goodbye, Vitamin tells the story of Ruth, 30 years old and freshly disengaged from her fiancé. She finds that life is not quite what she’d planned. She quits her job and moves back to her parents’ home to help with her ailing father, only to discover that things are more complicated than she thought. Her father, a prominent history professor, is losing his memory and is only erratically lucid, and her mother is lucid, yet erratic. As her father’s condition intensifies, the love, hope, and comedy in Ruth’s situation take hold, gently transforming her grief. Khong captures what most Asians, Asian Americans, and Americans in general, are experiencing in their relationship with aging parents. As parents get older, illness may arise, idiosyncrasies may become more sensitive, and as Goodbye, Vitamin illustrates, difficult situations can also be humorous. The so-called “sandwich generation” (those who are raising children of their own while caring for older parents) is played out in this novel. Ruth is an only child caring for her elderly parents. It is her duty, not a burden, to care for the parents who spent their lifetime raising Ruth. On the surface, Goodbye, Vitamin is a deft portrait of the moments, rhythms, and minutiae that make up everyday life; at its core, it is a profound reflection on love and family, redemption and forgiveness, and our very deepest connections. Even with a serious topic like aging parents with diminished capacity, the book brings out the humor that is often necessary to help deal with the day-to-day stress of helping aging parents. Khong, who attended Yale University and the University of Florida, has written both fiction and non-fiction. Her work has appeared in American Short Fiction, The Believer, Pitchfork,

Village Voice and Lucky Peach. In 2013, she was named one of Refinery29’s 30-Under-30. In an e-mail interview, Asian Avenue magazine (AAm) learned more about author Rachel Khong. AAm: What is the inspiration for writing this story? Khong: This novel began with the narrator, Ruth. I had written a short story in which she was the directionless protagonist, and I loved writing in her voice. The Ruth in that story was different from this Ruth — I changed some of the details of her life for the novel — but they have the same outlook and somewhat dark sense of humor. She’s a person who tries not to take life too seriously. AAm: What was the hardest part of writing this book? Khong: This was my first novel, so figuring out how to write a novel was really hard. Period. It was a lot of trial and error. I had written short stories before but nothing longer than 25 pages. It was also difficult finding the time to finish it, because I was also working a full-time job. I started writing the book in 2010, but I didn’t have the tools to write the whole thing right away. It took years of thinking about it, spending time with the characters, reflecting on what I wanted to say, and growing up. Two days a week, I started meeting my friend Mimi at a café to spend an hour writing before work; that was how I finished the book. AAm: What do you want readers to walk away with after reading the book? Khong: Hopefully no papercuts! And maybe a laugh or two. AAm: What advice do you have to share with new writers? Khong: Read more! Read what you love, because that’s the whole point. I don’t know any (successful) writers who aren’t also avid readers. AAm: What hobbies do you enjoy? Khong: Reading and writing are my obvious hobbies. I also love to cook. I’m working on a small cookbook which will be part of a series called Short Stack about one of my favorite vegetables: cabbage. I am also part of a group of Asian women who play mahjong and eat pizza together regularly. We don’t play for money (we play for honor!), and my best-ever hand was an all-bamboo hand worth nine points. Book Review | asian avenue magazine



Nathan Yip Foundation Dim Sum Lunch “Touching the Heart” Through Education

Scott Wong with kids presents a Chinese dessert demonstration.

Kelly Franson with Linda and Jimmy Yip

NYF Board Members: Jimmy Yip, Agatha Kessler, David Thomson and Jane Netzorg


November 2017 | On Scene

By Tarika Cefkin | Photo Credit: Travis Broxton King’s Land, the bustling mega-eatery on West Alameda, was buzzing with excitement on Saturday, Sept. 30. Instead of the usual brunch-goers, King’s Land was filled with nearly 450 friends and donors of the Nathan Yip Foundation, which provides support for underserved schools in rural parts of China and Colorado. This sold-out event was the Foundation’s 9th Annual Dim Sum Lunch. In Cantonese, “dim sum” means “to touch the heart.” The feeling of love, family, and friendship was palpable that day. Linda and Jimmy Yip created the Foundation in 2002 after losing their son, Nathan, in an automobile accident. Since then, the Foundation has built eight schools in China and runs a training program for rural teachers. In Colorado, the Foundation has partnerships with six rural schools and districts, bringing much-needed educational resources to teachers and students. The late-September event raised over $25,000 this year. Christine Chang Gillette emceed, formerly of Denver’s 7News, and a highlight was the event’s focus on youth giving back to youth. Guests heard heart-warming speeches from Luke Stratton, a freshman at George Washington High School, who raised hundreds of dollars for the Foundation by doing chores around his neighborhood, and from Kelly Franson, a senior at D’Evelyn High School, who raised nearly $1,000 through her recent piano recital. Scott Wong, of Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families, joined the fun and led a kid-friendly Chinese dessert cooking demonstration before accepting an award on behalf of Chinese Heritage Camp for its service to the Nathan Yip Foundation. Hearts and stomachs were full. For more information, visit

Traditional Chinese Medicine Seminar


n Sept. 28, the Confucius Institute at Community College of Denver (CCD) hosted a traditional Chinese medicine seminar at CCD’s Lowry campus. Local Chinese medicine practitioner Dr. Daisy Dong presented a brief history of traditional Chinese medicine, an introduction to acupuncture and its applications, the benefits of Chinese herbal medicine, and a comparison of the Eastern and Western medical approach to more than 20 students, faculty, staff, and community members. “As the demands for alternative medicine treatments increase in the western culture, more people are interested in traditional Chinese medicine practice,” said Jane Lim, director for the Confucius Institute. “We were pleased to offer this profound philosophical wisdom and practical knowledge to our community.” Dr. Dong practices at the University of Colorado Hospital and is also the owner of Acupuncture Lifeology, Inc. in Denver. She received her medical training at the Beijing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and has practiced and taught Chinese medicine since 1985. For over ten years, the Confucius Institute at Community College of Denver brings an appreciation of Chinese culture and language to the Denver community. Learn more at

Confucius institute 10-Year Anniversary


onfucius Institute (CI) at Community College of Denver (CICCD) marked its ten-year anniversary with a series of events including, Confucius Institute Day, the Mid-Autumn Festival and Chinese Movie Festival. The annual CI Day event featured a series of art performances, traditional foods, crafts and games. A delegation from China, local political leaders and over 300 local community members attended the celebration. President Shi Qiang Zhang, from CCD’s partner school, University of Jinan, presented a wonder speech at CI Day stressing the importance of bridging minds through language and promotion of cultural diversity. He went on to express the need for having a global mindset in the 21st century, and to overcome differences between people in order to achieve common prosperity. Established in 2007, the Confucius Institute at Community College of Denver (CICCD) is part of an international network of Confucius Institutes—headquartered in Beijing, China—whose purpose is to promote the understanding of Chinese language and culture and to enhance intercultural exchange. Learn more at

Mile-High Happenings | asian avenue magazine


Friends of ENCA Farms now known as Global Seed Savers

Founder and executive director Sherry Manning stands with keynote speaker and anthropologist Padmapani L. Perez

Nourish, in its 7th year, is the annual fundraiser of Global Seed Savers

Denver-based Friends of ENCA Farm announced a name change of its organization at its 7th annual Nourish Event on Oct. 14 to Global Seed Savers. The international organization works closely with smallholder farms to ensure food security

and serves as the alternative to multi-national conglomerates controlling the world’s food supply. Executive director and founder Sherry Manning introduced the name change during the afternoon luncheon. “The name change not only better reflects our programming but our structure as well,” said board president Charles Nicholas, who has served for the last two years. “Managing the global warming crisis is going to require that we think differently about food security.” More than 100 attendees participated in the annual fundraiser, raising more than 15 percent of the organization’s budget. In addition to the luncheon, a silent auction was organized to encourage attendees to bid for their favorite activities throughout metro Denver and collectible items from the Philippines. Board vice president Carrie Evans shared her concerns about climate change and asked colleagues, friends and family to pay attention. “Climate change is wreaking havoc on our agricultural practices,” she said. “We have to be flexible on

what plants will be good for us.” The organization’s highlights of 2017 included: • 30 farmers participated in a Training of Trainers course • Established the first seed library in Tublay, Benguet in May 2017 • Benguet Association of Seed Savers members have led two seed schools for new partners During her keynote speech, Padmapani Perez, Ph.D explained how Global Seed Savers support small-scale farmers in creating local food security and fostering a healthy environment through technical training and the establishment of community-owned and operated seed libraries. With passion and commitment, Perez motivated attendees to look at the big picture, not just the topic of seed diversity but think diversity in biological, food, cultural and economics. Nicholas urges others to get involved by supporting Global Seed Savers financially and through spreading the organization’s message. For more information, visit their website at

Filipiniana 2017 Gala celebrates Filipino American heritage Celebrating, honoring and fundraising took place at the Filipiniana 2017 Gala, sponsored by the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) on Oct. 7 at the Radisson Hotel in Aurora. As part of the celebration of the Filipino American Heritage Month, the Gala honored the success of four inspiring community leaders in Colorado. Lifetime achievement awardess included Joey Bautista and Gloria Williams while the outstanding youth leader award was given to Chona Palmon. The outstanding advocate for Filipino/Filipino America Issues was awarded to Maddie Vines. Williams, a community advocate and former Asian American Hero of Colorado, credited her success in leadership throughout the community to the Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership during her acceptance speech. With great pride, she encouraged her peers and the next generation to continue the work in the community and make a difference. “It takes a village rings true,” said Palmon, who recently turned 35 years old.


November 2017 | On Scene

“Sharing my culture with my children, while other individuals are making sure traditions are passed down reinforces the learning.” During her acceptance speech, Palmon encourages the youth to not focus on “What’s in it for me – WIIFM but how can I make a difference?” Palmon is a volunteer dancer at the Filipino American Community of Colorado (FACC). She sparks inspiration to those wanting to learning the cultural dances from the Philippines. The achievements of Maddie Vines from Colorado Springs were also celebrated. Back in 1997, Vines started her career as a public servant for the El Paso County 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. “I’m so humbled to be recognized for the service work to others,” Vines said. “It’s beyond words.” Serving as a victim advocate in helping victims of crime or family members of murdered loved ones through the criminal justice process allows Vines to expand her skills in virtually all aspects of criminal prosecution to include the assignment of high

profile homicide cases and running the juvenile prosecution unit. She confessed her mom thinks her office is at the courthouse since Vines is always at the site. Outside of her career, Vines stay connected to her Filipino heritage through the Filipino American Community of Southern Colorado through annual events of parades and fundraising causes for high school seniors, adding there are about eight to ten cultural activities in a year. NaFFAA’s mission include uniting, engaging and empowering diverse individuals and community organizations around three key areas: leadership development, civic engagement and national advocacy. Interested in getting involved with the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA)? Visit their website at:

Articles and photos by Mary Jeneverre Schultz Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @Jeneverre

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver held 106th National Day Celebration

Above: Colorado Chinese Language School teachers perform Taiwanese aboriginal dance The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver held a reception in celebration of the 106th National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan) on Oct. 5 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The event was hosted by Director General Jerry Chang and Mrs. Chang. Guests included Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, members from Colorado Consular Corps, Colorado state senators and representatives, as well as local Taiwanese community members. In his opening remarks, Director General Chang extended his deepest sympathy to the victims’ families of the mass shooting tragedy in Las Vegas and to those who suffered damage and loss due to recent hurricanes. He added that Taiwan’s administration led by President Tsai Ing-wen has actively promoted reforms, affirming to further enhance freedom, democracy, prosperity and justice. In addition, Taiwan would also like to make substantial contributions based on the principle of mutual assistance for mutual benefit, which is the core of its policy of steadfast diplomacy. He emphasized that Taiwan has enjoyed a very close bilateral relationship with the United States over the past decades and his office will continue working hard to deepen this good relationship, and to further promote exchanges and cooperation in every field. Moreover, many dignitaries from Colorado and its neighboring states presented proclamations or letters to congratulate Taiwan on this auspicious occasion. The highlight of the reception was the Taiwanese aboriginal dance led by Mrs. Chang and teachers from Colorado Chinese Language School to promote Taiwan’s traditional culture. The dance group also invited guests to the stage, which brought great excitement and joy to the night. The film “Dynamic Taiwan, Embracing the World” produced by the Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was played at the celebration to promote its national image. Several hundred guests attended the reception and expressed “happy birthday” to the country.

Director General Jerry Chang speaks at the 106th National Day Celebration

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams with Director General Jerry Chang and Mrs. Chang

Lily Shen, Wayne Williams and Aurora City Mayor Steve Hogan Mile-High Happenings | asian avenue magazine


Protecting Our Planet through Climate Action on Multiple Fronts


By Minister Lee Ying-yuan, Environmental Protection Administration Republic of China (Taiwan)

limate change is a scientific fact, and its effects are al- transition. It also proready being distinctly felt around the world, threatening vides incentives, such human health, the places we inhabit, and the sustainability of as those involving fiour socioeconomic systems. nancing, investment This includes Taiwan, which this year alone has experienced capital, funding chanseveral extreme weather events. In late July, two typhoons (Ne- nels, and personnel sat and Haitang) struck the island in close succession, a rarely training, to enlist the help of business and industry in developseen event resulting in a record 690 mm of rainfall in the south- ing green energy technologies. ern coastal region of Pingtung over a three-day period. This In short, Taiwan is doing all it can to combat climate change long-duration high-intensity rain broke records and caused se- in line with the Paris Agreement, and is striving to cut carbon rious property damage. Then, in August, northern Taiwan suf- emissions to 50 percent of 2005 levels by 2050. fered a heatwave with sustained temperatures of above 37°C, Taiwan’s efforts over the years to promote recycling and surpassing all heatwaves recorded over the last 100 years. In- waste reduction has caught the world’s attention. In May 2016, ternational scientific reports have also confirmed that average the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled “Taiwan: global temperatures in 2016 were the hottest on record. The World’s Geniuses of Garbage Disposal.” It points out that These examples offer irrefutable evidence that climate change Taiwan, once dubbed Garbage Island, has since become a reis real and already happening, with dire consequences. However, cycling poster child, ranking among the top three countries in we must not feel all is lost. Rather, we must the world for its initiatives to promote a recognize that the planet’s wellbeing is “Taiwan is doing all it can circular economy. These include creating inextricably linked to humanity’s survival, industrial value chain, setting up speto combat climate change an and seize the opportunity to transform the cial circular economy zones, and explorway we live through direct actions. ing business opportunities to make the in line with the Paris Taiwan, an island nation, is heavily exnecessary industrial transformation. It is posed to the worst effects of climate Agreement, and is striving hoped that, by 2022, Taiwan will have bechange. In response to global calls for to cut carbon emissions to come a circular economy hub in Asia, with climate action, we have introduced the a healthy regenerative economy that can Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Manage- 50 percent of 2005 levels continue to grow while reducing waste, ment Act, and formulated the National Cliand help light the way towards a sustainby 2050.” mate Change Action Guidelines on how to able world. control and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Leaders around the world, including the Pope, are increasMeanwhile, the subsequent Greenhouse Gas Reduction ingly calling for more to be done to combat the threats brought Action Plan targets six major areas—energy, manufacturing, by climate change. The leader of Taiwan, President Tsai Ingtransportation, residential and commercial property, agricul- wen, has pledged that this country will be an unrelentingly ture, and the environment—with over 200 policy initiatives, positive force in pursuing the solutions so desperately needed many of them cross-ministerial. The Guidelines also call for reg- to preserve our planet for future generations. Through bilateral ular five-year reviews to ensure effective management. agreements and multilateral cooperation, Taiwan has for a long In order to build capacity for clean energy generation in Tai- time now quietly gone about fulfilling its role as a responsible wan and improve air quality, the government has set an ambi- member of the international community. We want nothing tious target of an overall energy mix of 20 percent renewables more than to work with other countries, and do all that can be and 50 percent natural gas, with coal dropping to 30 percent, done to tackle climate change. We will happily share our expeby 2025. Similarly, it has amended the Electricity Act to spur the rience and knowledge in environmental protection, particulardevelopment of green energy, adopted the Energy Develop- ly with those countries that really need help. Taiwan wants to ment Guidelines and, through public participation, developed be a contributor to the green energy policies, green industries, the Energy Transformation White Paper to help accelerate the and green employment we must create to protect our planet.


November 2017 | Taiwan Update




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