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asian avenue October 2017 Volume 12 Issue 10

Connecting Cultures Linking Lives

PLAN YOUR NEXT FAMILY TRIP TO

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ASIAN MYTH inspired

hALLOWEEN costume ideas

KUNG FU TEA

TAKES OVER DENVER’s TEA SCENE

NAUREEN SINGH

represents U.S. at human rights summit


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Dear Asian Avenue readers,

magazine

We would like to congratulate our friends at Theatre Espirit Asia for celebrating their fifth anniverary! With several productions this season, we encourage you all to stop by one of their shows and support local theater. Kudos to TEA co-founder Maria Cheng (and Asian American Hero of Colorado awardee) for all of her hard work! Being from Taiwan, I am very excited that Denver now has it’s very own Kung Fu Tea serving Taiwanese-inspired tea drinks. While the tea shop was founded in New York, its unique flavors such as winter melon green tea and longan jujube tea remind me of Taiwan. Even though lines are constantly out the door - the flavors are worth the wait! This month we feature two young leaders—Naureen Singh and Amanda Ta—who are among the best and the brightest in Colorado. Naureen, a graduate of CU-Boulder, was selected to represent the U.S. at the International Human Rights Summit, where she spoke at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Amanda, a first year dental student, spend all of her undergraduate life serving as a leader of multiple student organizations. Both Naureen and Amanda value diversity and inclusion, which is of utmost importance in today’s political and social climate. For our cover story, staff writer Mary J. Schultz shares about her family’s trip to Glenwood Springs to enjoy hot springs, caverns, bike riding and even some Asian food! Check out her tips on where to stay and what to do! Lastly, we’d like to congratulate Justin Valas with Asian Pacific Development Center for receiving the Mayor’s Diversity and Inclusion Award for his social justice and advococy work. Our community needs you - thank you for all you do!

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

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October 2017 | Publisher’s Note

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 Wayne Chan, David Tawei Lee, Amy Ng, Tom Shieh

contributing photographers Gil Asakawa, Jeannette Herreria

on the cover Staff writer Mary J. Schultz recently visited Glenwood Springs with her family and shares helpful insights and tips of a trip to the hot springs resort town. Photo by Annie Guo VanDan.

subscriptions To subscribe, e-mail info@asianavemag.com or visit asianavemag.com/subscribe. A one-year 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

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CONTENTS

october 2017

EVENTS

8

Event calendar

Entertainment

9

Riz Ahmed becomes first Asian actor to win an Emmy Award for acting

18

INSIDE STORY

10

Theatre Esprit Asia celebrates its 5th anniversary with a new season

Dessert peek

12

Kung Fu Tea takes over Denver’s (limited) tea scene

TRAVEL

Feature

14

Colorado’s Naureen Singh goes to New York City to represent the U.S. at the International Human Rights Summit

RISING STAR

16

In this cover story, check out tips on where to stay and what to do at the hot springs resort town of Glenwood Springs.

Amanda Ta makes the shift from student leadership and activities to dental school studies

18

This month’s cover story highlights the best family attractions at Glenwood Springs, Colo.

HUMOR COLUMN

22

Wayne Chan’s shares “A Diet Fit For A Frog”

CULTURAL TIDBITS

28

Asian myth inspired Halloween costumes

TAIWAN UPDATE

30

Taiwan is a Valuable Partner for Sustainable Development Goals

Better living

23

Focus on where you want to go

BOOK REVIEW

24

Chemistry by Weike Wang

On Scene

26

14

27

Justin Valas honored with Mayor’s Diversity and Inclusion Award for social justice and advococy work Global collaboration between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Denver Art Museum

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 October 2017 | Table of Contents

27 Find us @AsianAveMag

#AsianAveMag


upcoming events

Paper, Flower - The Ikebana Way Ikebana International Denver Annual Fall Flower Show

Friday & Saturday, Oct. 6-7, 9am to 5pm Denver Botanic Gardens, Mitchell Hall 1007 York St, Denver, CO 80206 For more info: www.ikebanadenver.com.

supporting smallholder farmers and building food security in the Philippines. This year has been one full of growth, change, new program development, new partnerships, and incredible impact. The Nourish event will celebrate the unique and vibrant culture of the Philippines and share about the programs supporting sustainable organic agriculture and seed saving. The event will feature delicious Filipino inspired cuisine prepared The Orange Crunch Catering, an exciting silent auction, and guest speaker, Dr. Padmapani Perez, Counterpart NGO Board President from the Philippines.

refugees fled to the United States for a brighter future and to escape the genocide known as the Khmer Rouge. Many of the children of refugees have faced cultural and economic challenges. Join the discussion to hear the personal stories of Cambodian Americans: Sothary Chea and Ratha Sok. This is a speaker series presented by Asian American Student Services and the Center for Identity & Inclusion at University of Colorado Denver.

Spring Intercultural Champion Awards and Colorful Colorado Dinner Friday, Oct. 20, 6pm to 9pm

The Ikebana International Fall Show is here! The 2017 flower show will showcase beautiful arrangements incorporating paper material into Ikebana. Various types of papers, textures and colors will be artistically combined with natural plants, tree branches, dry material and flowers to create one of a kind arrangements. Four schools—Ikenobo, Ohara, Sangetsu and Sogetsu—will each display their own unique styles. The show will also include live demonstrations by senior teachers, Aki Buckmaster (Ohara School) and Kinko Ohata (Sogetsu School).

Filipiniana Gala and Benefit Dinner Saturday, Oct. 7, 6pm to 11pm

Radisson Hotel Denver Southeast 3155 S. Vaughn Way, Aurora, CO 80014 Cost: Adult $60 | Child $30 For more info & tickets: http://naffaaregion5.org. In celebration of Filipino History Month, the National Federation of the Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) Region V is holding its Filipiniana 2017 Gala to raise funds for their Disaster Relief Fund to assist victims of catastrophes in the Philippines. Part of the proceeds will also support the their regional conference and advocacy program and the Alex Esclamado Scholarship Award for Region V college students. There will be a silent auctions, door prizes, cultural dances, DJ and dancing. Dinner will be accompanied with performances by cultural dancers.

Spring Institute, 1373 Grant St. Denver, CO 80203 Cost: General $65 | Couple $120 For more info: www.springinstitute.org.

Dr. Shirk - The Failure of Political Institutionalization in China Monday, Oct. 16, Begins at 12pm

SIE Complex, 5th Fl. Maglione Hall, University of Denver, 2201 S. Gaylord St. Denver, CO 80208 Register at: www.du.edu/korbel/china/ events/forums.html. Dr. Susan Shirk is the Chair of the 21st Century China Center and Research Professor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California - San Diego. She is director emeritus of the University of California’s Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. She first visited China in 1971 and has been teaching, researching and engaging China diplomatically ever since. Dr. Shirk received her BA in Political Science from Mount Holyoke College, her MA in Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and her PhD in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lunch provided.

Food for Thought: Cambodian American Identity

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 12:30pm to 1:45pm

7th Annual Nourish Event Saturday, Oct. 14, 11am to 2pm

Posner Center for International Development 1031 33rd Street, Denver, CO 80205 Cost: Adult (pre-sale) $45 | Student $20 For more info: https://encaorganicfarm.com. Celebrate the work of Friends of ENCA Farm in

8

October 2017 | Event Calendar

University of Colorado Denver, SCB 2000 1201 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80204 For more info: www.ucdenver.edu/about/ departments/odi/CII/AASS/Pages/Events.aspx The topic of refugees is a hot topic during this political climate, but what happens to the children of the refugees? It was in the late 1970’s into the late 1980’s that millions of Cambodian

Join the Spring Institute for Colorful Colorado: A Celebration of Diversity, to enjoy delicious international foods, peruse exciting auction items, listen to inspirational local activists, and then dance the calories away to the Spanish rhythms of world music masters, the Tito Malaga Band! The Third Spring Intercultural Champion Awards honors local organizations or individuals who display tremendous leadership in the promotion of intercultural and religious diversity. This year’s recipients include: Project Worthmore, a grassroots organization that works to defend refugee resettlement and refugee rights; Interfaith Alliance of Colorado that promotes social justice, religious freedom and interfaith dialogue; and Amal Kassir, a young, female activist that performs slam poetry.

The (Not So) Magnificent Seven Murder Mystery Dinner Thursday, Oct. 26, 5pm to 8pm

Blake Street Tavern - Tailgate Room 2301 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205 Cost: General $50 Reservations required (tables of 8). For more info: www.teatheatre.org. Howdy! Join Theatre Espirit Asia (TEA) for its popular murder mystery dinner! This year, TEA is venturing way out West, with a new interactive play by Jon Vogels, “The (Not So) Magnificent Seven.” Come dressed in your best Western wear for a chance to win a prize for Best Costume! Dinner will be a delicious pasta bar, as a fun play with the beloved “Spaghetti Westerns.” There will also be a silent auction and cash bar.


g

Riz ahmed becomes the first Asian man to win an acting Emmy award The actor won for his portrayal of Nasir ‘Naz’ Khan in The Night Of, a Pakistani/Iranian-American college student accused of murdering a young woman. At the 69th annual Emmy Awards last month, Riz Ahmed won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his starring role as an accused murderer in HBO’s limited series crime drama The Night Of. That makes Ahmed the first man of Asian descent to take home an Emmy award for acting, and only the second Asian performer ever to win, following Archie Panjabi’s win for her role as Kalinda Sharma in The Good Wife in 2010. The Night Of is an eight-part miniseries that follows the intricate story of a murder case in New York City. Ahmed received critical praise

for his star-making turn as Nasir “Naz” Khan, a Pakistani American college student accused in the grisly murder of a mysterious young woman after a night gone wrong. “Wow. This is a tremendous honor to be recognized along so many actors who I’ve watched for so long,” Ahmed said in his acceptance speech. “If this show has shone a light on some of the prejudice in our society, Islamophobia, some of the injustice in our justice system, then maybe that’s something.” The British-Pakistani actor, rapper and em-

cee specifically credited the organizations South Asian Youth Action and The Innocence Project for helping him prepare for the role. Indian-American Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe won Best Writing for a Comedy Series for Netflix’s Master of None. Ansari was also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Dev Shah, but the Emmy award went to Donald Glover for his acting in Atlanta. B.D. Wong also earned a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his part as Whiterose on USA’s Mr. Robot.

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Entertainment | asian avenue magazine

9


5

Theatre Esprit Asia celebrates its 5th anniversary

with a national performance, regional touring, a major award, and a home season of world and regional premieres and two hits from its first year By Annie Guo

10

October 2017 | Inside Story

“We survived five years, and every year Vietnam and China. This work toured rewe have ended in the black! Whew!” says gionally in 2017 at Theatre Company of Maria Cheng, founder and Artistic Direc- Lafayette - TCL and Bas Bleu Theatre of tor of Theatre Esprit Asia, the first and Fort Collins. Wendy Ishii, Artistic Director only Asian-American theatre company of of Bas Bleu was so taken by TEA and its the entire Rocky Mountain region. Well, work that she says, “I want Bas Bleu to be actually more than just “survived,” thrived the northern Colorado extension of TEA! is perhaps a more fitting description. We are going to continue sponsorship of TEA is technically six years old, es- their work.” Madge Montgomery, Artistic tablished in June 2012 by Cheng and Director of TCL has already invited TEA co-founder Tria Xiong. The two met as back in January 2018 to perform its FERactors in the Vintage Theatre’s produc- MATA, another original work that world tion of The Joy Luck Club, both new to premiered and inaugurated TEA’s new the Colorado theatre scene. As the story home at the Aurora Cultural Arts District goes, one asked, “How come there isn’t Theatre to which the city of Aurora invitan Asian-American theatre company in ed TEA to establish as its base in March Colorado?” The other answered, “I don’t of 2015. know. Want to start one?” Thus TEA was Xiong departed TEA in the fall of 2015, born. The first year was spent creating but Cheng remained, becoming its sole the structure of the nonprofit tax exempt Artistic Director and expanding the company: forming a board, raising funds, scope and reach of TEA’s threefold misgathering a company of theatre artists sion to: and finally opening to the public in June 1. give voice to the contemporary of 2013 at the Vintage Asian diaspora experiwith two hit productions, We are so excited for ence, Dust Storm and Spirit & 2. provide creative opthis 5th anniversary portunities to Asian-cenSworded Treks, which will be revived this 2017-18 season of presenting tric theatre artists, and season. 3. foster deeper expowerful, humorous change and understandThe buzz on the company’s innovative repertoire and moving plays about ing among Asian commuand production quality nities and between them the human condition. and the culture-at-large. was immediate. The awards started pouring in and in its Besides the regional four years of presenting three world and touring and national exposure, TEA’s 5th eight regional premieres, TEA has garnered Anniversary Season was also auspiciously accolades and awards from leading critics, launched by Cheng being named by the publications and venues - 20 awards in just Colorado Asian Culture and Education four short years of producing. Network as a 2017 Asian American Hero TEA began its fifth performance year for her work with TEA. An honor already in June of 2017 with an invitation to the received by three TEA Board members – National Festival of the American Associ- Angela Cho, Ivy Hontz and Pam Sweetser. ation of Community Theatre (AACT), the “The enthusiasm for TEA from the first ethnic theatre from any state to have Asian American, the theatre and our volbeen so honored in the Festival’s 48-year unteer communities has been incredible. history. It was one of 12 companies se- We would not be here today without lected from over 200 entries from ten re- their steadfast support.” gions across the nation. “This is our biggest season ever - three TEA won this privilege by placing first productions at home, at least four rein Region VII, winning Best Production, gional tours and an international festival. Actress, Lighting and Peoples’ Choice We are so excited for this 5th anniversary with its world premiere production of season of presenting powerful, humorCOMING TO AMERICA, an original work ous and moving plays about the human of three immigration stories from Iran, condition.”


TEA’s 5th Anniversary Season October 7-29, 2017

| Hearts of Palm by Patricia Milton

A Regional Premiere - This satire is a tale of conscience fighting corruption, love surviving loss and ignorant foreign corporations versus savvy indigenous peoples. Hearts of Palm subverts several well-worn tropes, including white savior complex, gender bias, white male privilege and the notion that women don’t know how to negotiate!

Arlene Rapal

Kevin Hommes

January 12-28 FERMATA by Maria Cheng

Three generations of world class female musicians gather at a villa in Italy to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the patriarch’s passing. Music by Bach, Beethoven and Johann Strauss. “..engaging and subtle...loaded with rich ideas about artistic legacy, familial love, a father’s failings…Cheng is a formidable force.” - Lisa Kennedy, The Denver Post

Tarika Cefkin, Lori Hansen, Maria Cheng, Meegan Annslee Theatre Company of Lafayette, 300 E Simpson St. Lafayette CO 80026. Tickets: 800-838-3006

Marijke Jones

Sara Woodyard

March 9-April 1 Coping with America,

three one-acts directed by Cecilia Pang. All of the Above by Jon Vogels – A super bright Iranian techie muses on the pros and cons of the American Dream. Gunpowder Man by Rick Foster tells of two Chinese workers building the railroads of the American west. Pavithra Prasad’s The Occidental Moon An Indian scientist expounds on his nation’s space program in relation to its ancient texts about the moon.

Lori Hansen

April 27-May 20 Spirit & Sworded Treks

written/directed/performed by Maria Cheng – A comedy on how to maintain a spiritual path in materialistic America. The NY Times says her work is “wickedly funny... exquisitely crafted.”

Dust Storm by Rick Foster - A

rebellious Japanese-American youth comes of age in an internment camp in WWII, inspired by a wise old master painter; directed by Maria Cheng, double cast with Michael Chen and Zachary Drake.

Zachary Drake

Playwright Pavithra Prasad

Unless otherwise noted, all productions are at Aurora Cultural Arts District Theatre, 1400 Dallas Street, Aurora CO 80010. Tickets: www.teatheatre.org or 720-492-9479

June 18-24

Spirit & Sworded Treks by Maria Cheng

International Theatre Festival of World Fest in Venice, Florida Theatre Espirit Asia celebrates five years | asian avenue magazine

11


It’s a tea takeover!

Kung Fu Milk Tea

By Annie Guo

Mango Green Tea

Matcha Crepe Cake

With a line out the door and around the building from open to close, Kung Fu Tea (KFT) was welcomed warmly during its grand opening on July 2, 2017. That day, the Kung Fu Tea team sold more than 1,500 orders of the Taiwanese-inspired drinks. With the ability to customize each drink, such as ice level (more ice) and sugar level (less syrup), each drink is created by preference and given a 30-second shake. The uniqueness of the drinks is what motivated co-owners and sisters, Lian and Shuang Crossland to open the Denver location. Six years ago, the sisters were interested in opening a tea shop in Denver. After trying teas from multiple companies, they found that Kung Fu Tea had the best quality and taste. In New York City at the KFT headquarters, they trained on how to open a franchise. KFT was founded in Flushing, Queens, New York in 2009. Supplies and ingredients are shipped from warehouses in New York and Los Angeles. When the Denver tea shop first opened, the staff ran out of two months worth of supplies in eight days and had to get a shipment sent overnight. Denverites are loving this new addition to the mile-high dessert and beverage scene.

High school and college students now have a hang out spot, namely students getting off classes at Thomas Jefferson High School down the street. On weekends, young people bring board games to play, which KFT plans to soon also provide. “I didn’t realize so many Asian Americans lived in Denver, until Kung Fu Tea opened,” said a customer who frequents the tea shop. The KFT team noticed the same, commenting that nearly 90% of their customers are Asian Americans. Many have heard of the KFT name or visited another location in California, New York or Texas. KFT’s popularity has also boosted traffic for businesses in the shopping center—that have thanked them. While there are dozens of menu options, the most popular drink remains the tried-andtrue Kung Fu Milk Tea, making up 20 percent of all orders. Coffee is also popular, especially in the mornings. At KFT, you can order a coffee milk tea and even add boba, which you can’t get at the the Starbucks next door. What also makes KFT unique is that they make many of their own ingredients, such as the honey, matcha, herbal jelly and pudding. Teas are brewed overnight and prepped in the mornings. Desserts such as crepe cakes and steamed cake called mushi pan are also a hit. Seasonal drinks—pumpkin oolong tea, taro milk and brown sugar ginger tea—are coming this fall to keep you warm!

6365 E. Hampden Ave #102 Denver CO 80222 Tel: 720-370-8888 Lychee Punch

Kung Fu Tea’s new Denver location off I-25 and Hampden Ave. is packed with customers.

12

October 2017 | Dessert Peek


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Naureen Singh represents US at Human Rights Summit

By Annie Guo

Colorado’s Naureen Kaur Singh was selected to represent the United States at the International Human Rights Summit in August. As the US delegate, she had the opportunity to give remarks at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to an audience of human rights activists. The 23-year-old leader began her speech by sharing an incident that propelled her passion for human rights work: “When I was in seventh grade, a note was left in my class that read ‘go back to your country because America isn’t for people like you.’ I was caught off guard as a young teenager, as I didn’t see myself any differently compared to my classmates.” This note served as a catalyst for her to fight against bullying towards Sikh children. She would go on to organize interfaith events in her role as policy director for Colorado Sikhs. She concluded her speech by discussing how Sikhism had influenced her life’s mission of fighting against injustice for all communities, not just her own. The summit featured speakers from all over the world and performances by poets and rappers who lyricized about human rights. The keynote speaker was by Oscar Arias Sanchez, Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of Costa Rica. UN Representatives from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Canada and Panama were also in attendance. At the summit, Singh was excited to be amongst other youth from all around the world that share her drive to make the world a more free, equal, and just place. “If I am allowed to live a life free of slavery and with freedom of expression, then so should others. It pains me deeply to know that many kids in this world are being forced to undergo

14

October 2017 | Feature

horrible things, whether it be trafficking or discrimination. And they probably don’t even know that they have human rights.” Singh recently visited India, where she saw so many young children working labor jobs that she became numb to it. According to Singh: “That’s what makes advocating for human rights so important. Seeing violations of human rights should never become normal. There should be an outcry in every single country on this globe until these violations ceases to exist.” Singh’s inspiration to change the world largely comes from her parents. In the early 80’s, her parents immigrated to the US from India. Her father served in the US Army for 28 years, retiring as one of the highest ranking officers to wear a turban. His service is what brought their family to Colorado Springs, where she grew up with her brother and sister. “My father had to fight 28 grueling years with the US Army so he can keep his turban, an article of faith for Sikhs. Even though it was challenging as an immigrant, he never let that deter or prevent him from keeping on the good fight,” she explains about her father’s bravery. Singh’s mother has also been inspirational. She has always been extremely supportive of her passion to address injustices; despite any resistance, her mother has continued to be right beside her. Being a member of the Sikh faith has allowed Singh and her family to remain brave even amidst adversity. Although Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world, she finds that oftentimes, Americans have either never heard of it or completely misunderstand it.


About Naureen

School: University of Colorado - Boulder Ethnicity: South Asian Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado Quote she lives by: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson Describes herself as: spunky, strong-willed, kind Hobbies and interests: public speaking and debating, dancing and hiking “In the Sikh faith, we believe everyone is equal, regardless of caste, creed, race, religion, gender. It doesn’t matter—we are all one. The history of Sikhs is rooted in the very fact of fighting against injustice towards any community.” Knowing that she is a part of a faith that has demanded justice for the past 500 years inspires her to believe that she too can continue that legacy in speaking up and standing out. Singh’s life has unfortunately been bookended by two national tragedies. She recollects: “When I was in first grade, the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center happened. When I was in 12th grade, the Oak Creek Wisconsin shooting happened. A gunman walked into a peaceful worship service and killed six innocent worshippers, making it the largest shooting to take place in a house of worship at the time.” While growing up Sikh American has at times been disheartening, she also feels empowered to be who she is. “Being a Sikh-American has meant to embody bravery in everything I do. Just like many AAPI communities who are fighting to be recognized as equals in this country, being a Sikh-American is about fighting alongside them and pushing through whatever resistance might come.” At CU-Boulder, Singh was involved on the Cultural Events Board, which was a part of the Student Government that focused on filling cultural voids on campus. She was also involved in Boulder Bhangra Crew, Sikh Student Association, and the Arts and Sciences Student Government. Outside of campus, she was a SikhLEAD participant and a vocal activist about interfaith issues. She considers one of her greatest accomplishments to be her experience as an E3! Ambassador with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in 2015. “As an E3! Ambassador, I engaged in issues that impact the AAPI community, such as mental health and education,” she said. “But the issue that always spoke to me on a personal level was anti-bullying because of her experiences going to school

in Colorado Springs.” “My classmates would see my long hair or my father’s turban, and treat me differently. In a post 9/11 era, being brown became something to be feared.” With her platform as an E3! Ambassador, she was able to organize sessions on anti-bullying, and educate AAPI students who were being bullied about the governmental resources that were available to them. She even organized an anti-bullying Google Hangout session with the White House on the issue.

I would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support I have received since my attendance at this summit. Many Colorado businesses helped me pave the way to the UN, and I was truly touched by the immense display of support. I would also like to thank Asian Avenue magazine for showcasing Asian Americans in Colorado and providing this platform for narratives to be shared. - Naureen Singh Naureen Singh | asian avenue magazine

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Amanda Ta reflects on her

journey into dental school Student leader Amanda Ta considers her greatest accomplishment to be her acceptance into the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, one of the best dental schools in the nation. “Dental school is extremely competitive, especially at CU where the acceptance rate is 3% with a class size of 80 students,” she says. She is “very proud of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into this process—and more to come in these next 4 years!” She believes dentistry is a versatile field that combines scientific, engineering, and artistic skillsets, so she is able to get the best of multiple worlds. She also looks forward to being a “professional smile maker.” While she currently feels she is drinking from a firehose, with lectures, labs and exams each week, she is grateful that the University of Colorado fosters a supportive and inclusive environment for its students. This is particularly important to Ta because of her values of inclusion and empathy. She says, “I wish the world was more empathetic. Everyone is fighting a battle of their own, and the world would be a better and more accepting place if we all took a step back to try to see life from another’s point of view.” Her perspective comes from growing up in a Vietnamese home. Her family immigrated to the US in 1980; she considers them her main support system. “I

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October 2017 | Rising Star

definitely would not have made it this far in life without their constant guidance and endless love.” She adds, “I have an older sister who is the bomb and my number one role model... my parents are also pretty tight.” During her undergraduate years, she was active at CU-Denver, serving as the president of the Vietnamese Student Association, Co-Chair of the Council of Asian Student Leaders and Finance and Funding Senator for the Student Government Association. As VSA president, she spearheaded a charity gala that raised $3,500 for a nonprofit organization seeking to provide clean water filtration systems in Vietnam. CU Denver VSA was also recognized at a national conference for raising the most funds in the region. While working towards obtaining her bachelor of science degree in biology and minor in interdisciplinary research methods, she enjoyed being involved in club sports and student organizations. “I made most of my friends through being involved and I never felt alone on campus because of these connections. It made me feel like I was a part of something bigger at CU instead of just being a student,” she reminisces. Ta was also the Captain of the CU Denver Cheer and Dance Team and volunteered as a camp counselor for Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families’ Chinese Camp. She graduated in May 2016 and

is now a first year dental student. She is currently involved with Colorado American Student Dental Association and Delta Sigma Delta Fraternity. “Seeing courage, resilience, and perseverance in others inspires me to go out into the world and do good. The people I admire most, such as my parents, have exemplified these qualities and have definitely shown me that the best things in life don’t come easy.”

Amanda N. Ta

Vietnamese-American | 23 years old University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus Hometown: Aurora, CO Describes herself as: altruistic, loyal, animated Hobbies: dancing, hiking, petting dogs, lifting weights, DIY projects, impromptu karaoke sessions Fun facts: She helped organize and performed in a flash mob proposal on 16th Street Mall that has gained over 1 million online views; and she modeled in a runway show for 303 Magazine.


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


Family time in Glenwood Springs By Mary Jeneverre Schultz Photos by Jeannette Herreria

U

nder four hours from downtown Denver, Glenwood Spring0s is the perfect summer and fall weekend getaway for family fun. The summer months of July and August are peak months as visitors and tourists visit this mountain town just outside of Interstate 70, a heavily, traveled interstate through Colorado from west to east. An increase of Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is visible throughout downtown Glenwood Springs and outlying tourist attractions. The increase might come from Japanese hot springs expert Mayumi Yamazaki, who visited Glenwood Springs during early summer months this year. Her blog has motivated an increase in tourism around hot springs. In fact, Japan ranks sixth in web site searches on seeking information about the mining town, according to Glenwood Springs Tourism Promotion Quarterly report. Other interested Asian countries include China. A Chinese delegation visited Glenwood Springs ‘for its ski package possibilities as the government encour: aged tourism to the mountain ski towns in Colorado. Local owner Henry (Ming Xing) of Zheng Bistro moved to Glenwood Spring 11 years ago. To expand the taste buds of local residents, Ming Xing offered a wide variety of healthy Asian cuisines. “I wanted customers to be able to come to one restaurant and be able to taste flavors from across Asia,” he said. “Not just Chinese, but a bit of Thai and Japanese as well. I’ve strayed away from very traditional dishes and changed them to suit the American taste.” Local resident tour guides, Uber drivers and hotel personnel confirmed July and August are high visitation months, even higher than the winter season. Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge – While

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October 2017 | Travel

there are a dozen hotels and lodges throughout the mountain town, Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge is located one block, across the street from the pool. Easily accessible from I-70, Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge offers amenities suitable for family travel such as a refrigerator and microwave. Hotel accommodations also include hot and continental breakfast food to start the day by the pool. Three operating hot springs are found in Glenwood Springs: • Glenwood Hot Springs • Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves • Ironwood Mountain Hot Springs Glenwood Hot Springs features the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool filled with water from the Yampah Spring. Nearly 3.5-million gallons of water flows daily. Images of this 405-foot pool show crowds of children, families, couples and sunbathers enjoying the warm waters, averaging between 90 to 93 degrees. The neighboring therapy pool keeps a temperature of 104 degrees. Outlying buildings include snack stand, restaurant, gift shop, and bath house. Ironwood Mountain Hot Springs reopened its facility in 2015. Designed with 16 naturally-shaped mineral pools, the area is situated along the Colorado River. Temperatures are posted daily beside each mineral pool, ranging from 99 to 108 degrees. Just around the corner from Ironwood Mountain Hot Springs, families and thrill seekers can enjoy the fun of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. An aerial tramway, several cave tours, swings over the canyons and recently-opened Haunted Mine Drop pave the way for mountain thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. Colorado residents can opt to spend a day here instead of heading out to California or Florida for their amusement parks

of Magic Mountain or Disneyland. In fact, USA Today rated the Haunted Mine Drop one of nation’s top newest rides. Loaded at ground level, passengers will experience a sudden drop of 120 feet into a shaft. The ride pulls the historical stories of mining accidents and ghost stories into the ride, highlighting apparitions of old miners. After a day of standing in lines at the adventure park, families will opt to enjoy some nature with a hike, a bike ride or both. Rent a bike from Blue Sky Adventures, known as the original bike rental and shuttle company in Glenwood Springs. Other outfitters are available but happy customers raved about Blue Sky on Facebook and TripAdvisor. A van shuttle will take visitors 14 miles east from town to a drop-off location at Bair Ranch. Along the way during the shuttle ride, the seasoned guide will point out all the rest stops and interesting camera opportunities. A few miles into the bike route, Hanging Lake and Sprouting Rock will be a three-mile, vertical hike for anyone who wants to view spectacular scenery of Colorado waterfalls. During the 14-mile bike ride, visitors can take a break at four rest areas, complete with restroom facilities, fresh drinking water, picnic area and photo opportunities of rafters passing by on the river. Highlights of the trail include towering canyon walls, local wildlife such as moose, beavers and various birds, local plants and flowers, tremendous scenery of limestone and granite cliffs and of course the natural hot springs that put Glenwood Springs on the map. In the first part of the bike ride, Hanging Lake becomes a great diversion to lock your bikes at designated area and prepare to climb for about 1.5 mile up to this geologic wonder. It is one of the few places in the world showing a lake formed


Adrenaline junkies can sit in an unassuming swing, launching out 1,300 feet above the Colorado River on the Giant Canyon Swing. by travertine deposition where the natural geologic and hydrologic processes continue to operate as they have done for thousands of years. As a result of these geological qualities, it was designated a National Natural Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior in 2011. Aside from the geology terms, this places takes your breath away. Photographs don’t do it justice and seeing it in person makes it feel so surreal. A well-designed boardwalk becomes a viewing platforms for photographers, hikers and nature lovers. The trails up to Hanging Lakes include wooden bridges, jagged stones, uneven rocky terrain and steep-stone stairs. Near the top, handrails are visible but with crowds of hikers, it becomes an impossible path to climb up. Annually, park services calculate about 100,000 visitors. Park rangers are visible and can assist those who hurt themselves during the trail. They also are policing the area to ensure guests and visitors don’t contaminate the area with empty water bottles or snack wrappers. After an afternoon of hiking and biking, head over to Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves, the only known natural vapor caves in North America. In fact, this historic attraction is situated at the end of the bike trail from Glenwood Canyon, a perfect ending to a long, bike ride. Visible from I-70, Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves is a well-known landmark since late 1880s. The word “yampah” means big medicine in the Ute Indian language. At least, take a mineral bath to soothe the aching muscles of the hike or bike ride through the canyons. Visits to the Vapor Caves are part of most massage or spa

Hanging Lake is a popular hiking destination in Glenwood Springs, with about 1 million visitors annually. It was listed as a National Natural Landmark in 2011.

treatment. Day passes are available, too. The caves, reaching the upper temperatures of 112 degrees, are located near the back of the building. Visitors descend into a staircase while the steam of Sulphur (or rotten eggs) hit the nostrils. Signage warn visitors to stay quiet so guests can enjoy the solitude and steam of the therapeutic, mineral waters. Before becoming a commercial attraction, the caves were used by the Ute Indians, who regard the caves as a sacred place of healing and rejuvenation. Owner Patsy Steele shares Ute Indians visit the place monthly to honor the sacred tradition. In fact, one of the caves showcases a pictograph, probably drawn from one of the Ute Indian ancestors. This is not a place to rush in and out. Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves are places with temperatures, averaging 110-112 degrees. To cool down, a solarium is located upstairs and even going outside. During the historical tour, Steel indicates 34 minerals are found in the natural, untreated, healing waters. After soaking in mineral baths, biking through the canyons and standing in long lines at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, it’s time for a leisure dinner. Take the pedestrian bridge and walk over to downtown Glenwood Springs for enjoyable libation and delicious cuisines. Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company offers a variety of their brews. Favorites include: • Grizzly Creek Raspberry Wheat • Hanging Lake Honey Ale • Vapor Cave India Pale Ale Still in need to try more mountain brews, check out Glenwood Brew Gar-

den, a place to sample familiar beers from Coors to unique ones from Eddyline in Buena Vista. The brew garden even offers out-of-state beers for those who don’t want to venture past state lines. Notable restaurants include: • Masala & Curry • Zheng Asian Bistro • Sweet Adventures Hearty in southeast Asian flavors of India, Masala & Curry offers their entrees in abundant, generous portion. The naan bread is cooked to perfection with fluff and airiness in each bite. The curry dishes are filled with Indian spices of cardamom and turmeric. Found in the newer part of Glenwood Springs, just across the river from Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Zheng Asian Bistro is packed with a variety of Asian cuisines such as Japanese, Thai and Chinese. Don’t forget to end the day with ice cream. Almost every other pedestrian, guest and visitor, walking through downtown Glenwood during the evening hours, are holding some kind of ice cream, found at Sweet Adventures. The ice cream parlor sells about 32 flavors, offering sundaes, ice cream floats, shakes and malts. From adrenaline rush to nature walks, there’s something for everyone. Packed with fun and adventures, Glenwood Springs is one of the best weekend, mountain towns for the whole family. As California transplants, I-70 was driven yearly to visit family. For the last 25 years, the Schultz family vowed to spend a weekend in Glenwood Springs. It was accomplished the first weekend of August 2017. Follow Mary J. Schultz on Instragram @Jeneverre. Glenwood Springs | asian avenue magazine

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Attractions, Hotel and Restaurants in Glenwood Springs, CO Glenwood Hot Springs Resort

Address: Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge 415 East 6th Street Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 Telephone: (800) 537-SWIM (7946) http://www.hotspringspool.com/ Prices: Depending on availability, room size and season, summer rates start at $259 to $538. Weekends are full so book at least three months in advance. Winter rates, not including holidays, range from $179 to $418. Tips: 1. Breakfast is included in hotel stay. 2. Gift shop offers discount to hotel guests. 3. Pool opens at 8 am during summer and is available to hotel guests’ day of check-in. Unlimited access to the pool is situated across the street.

Glenwood Hot Springs Pool

Address: 401 North River Street Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 Telephone: (970) 947-2955 www.hotspringspool.com Prices: Swim passes are included with your hotel stay. Annual passes are sold if you frequent the pool more than once. An annual family pass start at $582. Tips: 1. Try all the pools. 2. Towels are provided but you might feel comfortable bringing your favorite towel from home. 3. Wear your flip flops. With high traffic of visitors, it’s better to stay on the safe side of using protection under your feet.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Address: 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 Telephone: (800) 530-1635 www.glenwoodcaverns.com Prices: Summer FunDay Pass – Tram, Cave Tours & Attractions Adult $54 | Child (3-12) $49

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October 2017 | Travel

aches and pains.

Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon

Tips: 1. The park honors discounts from AAA. 2. Start your day when the park opens, guests won’t have to wait in line too long. Lines start getting longer late morning to mid afternoon. 3. Cave tours are informative and temperatures drop dramatically, especially during the summer, hot months.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs

Address: 281 Centennial Street Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 Phone: (970) 945-4766 www.ironmountainhotsprings.com Prices: Adult $25 | Child $17 Tips: 1. Visit the website to learn about spa etiquette 2. Ask about the pools with the stones for feet to walk on and get a natural feet massage. 3. Bring a waterproof camera for beautiful shots of the Colorado river and unexpected appearance of wildlife like the huge beavers.

Address: White River National Forest 900 Grand Avenue Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 Phone: (970) 945-2521 www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver/hanginglake-trail Prices: Free for anyone who can get to this trail head but this could change in 2018 from a proposal to charge for trail access fee. Consider donating to the ranger station to keep up with the maintenance of this trail. Tips: 1. Wear comfortable shoes. 2. Bring plenty of water. 3. Check the website for closures due to maintenance.

Blue Sky Adventures

319 6th Street Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 Phone: (877) 945-6605 www.blueskyadventure.com Prices: Adult bike rentals start at $32, while youth prices begin at $24 per day. Tips: 1. When making a reservation, the company will charge 10 percent of the total to ensure guests begin on time for their adventure. 2. Take one of their business cards located on the counter. If you get lost or

Yampah Hot Springs & Vapor Caves Address: 709 E. Sixth Street Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 Phone: (970) 945-0667 www.yampahspa.com Prices: Daily Vapor Caves - $15

Tips: 1. Purchase the history book. It’s filled with historical photographs. 2. After physical activity, visit the Vapor Caves. 3. Take a mineral bath to soothe all the

Frank Schultz, 47, and Joey Schultz, 12, prepares for the 14-mile bike ride through Glenwood Canyons.


get a flat, you can call them for pick up or directions. 3. Employees ensure you are comfortable with the bike rental, changing bike pads or adjusting heights.

Glenwood Springs Brewing Company Address: 402 7th Street Glenwood Springs, CO 81650 Phone: (970) 945-1276 www.glenwoodcanyon.com

Tips: 1. Try a sampler. 2. No need to take the car. A pedestrian bridge makes this place accessible. 3. Patio seating is available.

Glenwood Brew Garden

Address: 115 6th Street Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 Phone: (970) 945-1005 www.glenwoodspringsbrewgarden.com Prices: Taster flight on four beers - $7.50 Tips: 1. Taster flights are the best way to try as many as you can sample in one sitting.

2. It’s less than a block away from the hotel. 3. Food trucks operate in the patio area.

Masala & Curry

Address: 730 Cooper Ave Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 Phone: (970) 945-9898 https://www.masalaandcurry.com/ Tips: 1. Closed on Mondays. 2. On request, they will adjust the spice level. 3. Ask the server’s favorite entrees.

Zheng Asian Bistro

Address: 35 C Market Street Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 Phone: (970) 928-9077 www.zhengbistro.com Tips: 1. Located inside a shopping strip area. 2. Follow them on Facebook. 3. They offer gluten-free menus.

Sweet Adventures

Address: 722 Cooper Avenue

Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 Phone: (970) 945-7529 http://glenwoodadventure.com/area-info/sweet-adventures-ice-cream-in-glenwood-springs Tips: 1. Samples are available for those who can decided between sweet flavors. 2. Great gift ideas inside this store. 3. Staff are generous with the portion size.

Plan your trip to Glenwood Springs by checking out the Visitor’s Center. Address: 802 Grand Avenue Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 Phone: (970) 945-6580 www.visitglenwood.com

Tips: 1. Follow them on their social media feeds such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Google Plus. 2. Obtain a brochure about Glenwood Springs. 3. Stop by the office for any discounts on nearby attractions and don’t forget your AAA card.

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Glenwood Springs | asian avenue magazine

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A Diet Fit For A Frog By Wayne Chan

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I am on a diet. I feel like I say that a lot. Actually, you can probably figure out how old I am by the number of times I say I’m on a diet every year. It’s like counting the rings in the cross section of the tree. Ah, you can see here this ring in 2007 that he was back on a diet, but if you look closely he falls off the wagon here after going to an “all you can eat” pizza place and you don’t see another ring until late 2008, which we unfortunately refer to as the “pasta-zoic” era. So yes, I’m back on a diet. This time, I’m on the low carb diet. It’s not Atkins, it’s not the caveman diet, or the Mediterranean diet. If I recall, my diet is called, the “If it looks good and is full of flavor, it’s absolutely not allowed” diet. The problem I’m having with this low carb diet, being Asian, is that it’s not that easy counting calories or carbs when you’re eating Chinese food. Before you say it, I know that I could live to be 100 if I just decided to eat nothing but bok choy and tofu. Wait, Bok Choy and Tofu? Aren’t they an Asian hip hop group? And yes, I know eating fried rice or noodles is loaded with carbs, so those are off the list. Setting aside the idea that a life without fried rice or noodles leaves very few reasons left for living, I have tried my best to figure out what is OK to eat. It’s not as easy as you think. Take lotus root for example. I like lotus root. My wife Maya knows how to cook them with some pork that is just out of this world. But is lotus root high in carbs? It’s a root, right? Well carrots are a root and they’re low in carbs, but so is a potato, which is high in carbs. So, which is it? Of course, I’m sure a bunch of you are on your smartphones right now looking up lotus root carbs. Don’t worry – I’ll do it for you. According to Google, raw lotus root has 1.4 carbs per every 0.3 ounces. That’s your answer, right? That’s the problem – I have no idea. Why are they specifying “raw” lotus root? I’ve never eaten a raw lotus root. I haven’t been in a situation where I’m swimming in a pond, come across a lily pad and start gnawing on the lotus root underneath. I eat them cooked. So what happens to the carb count when you cook a lotus root? I can’t find that information at all. Does the carb count skyrocket to 10? Does it drop to zero? Why would the carb count change based on whether you cooked it or not? And if the answer is that it doesn’t, then why even specify that you’re measuring “raw” lotus roots? These are the questions I have, and that’s just for one vegetable! Then I read that lotus root is loaded with starch but low on the glycemic index. Wait, what? So, what they’re saying is that the lotus root, while it may have a lot of starch, which until now I thought meant it was high in carb, but the low glycemic score means that it doesn’t raise your blood sugar quickly, which is a good thing. Well, if that’s the case, I need to find a lot of starchy foods with low glycemic scores. Let’s see… • Donuts! Nope. • Pizza! Nope, not that either. • Hash Browns! Shoot. • Donuts! I just wanted to check again to be doubly sure… Apparently, lotus root is one vegetable that I like that works for my diet. So, tonight, I’ll be having roasted lotus root, covered in a delectable sauce of pureed lotus root, accompanied by mashed lotus root, sitting on a medley of sautéed lotus root. And for tomorrow, Bok Choy and Tofu.

October 2017 | Humor Column


focus Focus on where

I recently had the privilege of spending a few days with some of my high performance, entrepreneur friends at a world-class, 315-acre rally racing facility called Dirt Fish in Snoqualmie, Washington. I love seeking new experiences and adventures, because the mind is much more open in unfamiliar settings. While in new domains, the smallest details (which seem unrelated on the surface), magically reveal themselves as timely applications in another other area of life – one that we desperately need to see from a fresh perspective. Here are three things that I was reminded of:

being ready to pull the emergency brake, observing the next turn on the course, keeping a distance from the other car, etc. My entire bandwidth was consumed and laser-focused with the task at hand – not on my grocery list or the email that I didn’t respond to. There is power to being singularly focused. Many of us think about our families when we’re at work; and then, we think about work when we’re with our families – never fully being at power in either environments. To be at your peak performance in anything and operate from a state of flow, you must be 100% present.

you want to go By Tom Shieh

1. vISIoN

In rally racing and in life, you must let your vision lead. The urge is to react to what’s going on, but it’s imperative to look ahead. Our vision needs to be focused upon where we want to go, and not upon the ditch that we’re trying to avoid. In fact, our cars didn’t even have rear-view mirrors. Similarly, your biggest “failure” is in the past, don’t waste any more energy looking back at it. Direct your attention fully ahead and let your vision guide you. Don’t just focus on your financial woes, focus on what is necessary to build wealth. Don’t just focus on avoiding divorce, focus on what would create a spectacular marriage. Don’t just focus on what you lack, focus on your dreams of abundance.

2. presence

If you’re distracted while racing and your mind is wondering around, you’re toast. You must be fully present and in the moment with mindful awareness. There were times where we were going over 60mph on a dirt road with trees, rocks, concrete walls, and other vehicles. At any given time, you can be easily overwhelmed with all the input. You’re listening to the co-driver, shifting gears, stepping on the clutch, using both feet for the brake and throttle,

3. emergency brake

Part of our course required times where we would pull the emergency brake to start the drifting process. Additionally, our instructors would sometimes pull on it to help us stabilize and control the vehicle, which I was extremely thankful for. The further we want to go in life and the faster we go, the more vital it is that we have 1-2 people in our lives that has access to the emergency brake of our life. Who in your life has the authority to tell you “no”? Tom, I own my own business; I’m the CEO; I’m the head of the household; I’m the leader in my community... I don’t care who you are. EVERYONE must have a level of accountability – a trusted advisor, mentor, friend, or spouse that can help provide you stability and control when you cannot see what’s going on yourself.

Connect with Tom: linkedin.com/in/tomshieh facebook.com/tomshieh

Better Living | asian avenue magazine

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bookreview Chemistry Author: Weike Wang Website: www.penguinrandomhouse.com/ books/549723/chemistry-by-weike-wang Pages: 224 pages ISBN: 1524731749 Price: $10.84

EIKE WAN W G

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

Three years into her graduate studies at a demanding Boston university, the unnamed narrator of this nimbly wry, concise debut finds her one-time love for chemistry is more hypothesis than reality. It’s an ideal book for all Tiger Asian parents, who pushed their children to achieve beyond their capabilities. This book highlights how one’s life could come crashing when pressure and stress evolves into daily rigor. The female narrator is tormented by her failed research--and reminded of her delays by her peers, her advisor, and most of all by her Chinese parents, who have always expected nothing short of excellence from her throughout her life. But there’s another, nonscientific question looming: the marriage proposal from her devoted boyfriend, a fellow scientist, whose path through academia has been relatively free of obstacles, and with whom she can’t make a life before finding success on her own. Eventually, the pressure mounts so high that she must leave everything she thought she knew about her future, and herself, behind. And for the first time, she’s confronted with a question she won’t find the answer to in a textbook: What do I really want? Over the next two years, this winningly flawed, disarmingly insightful heroine learns the formulas and equations for a different kind of chemistry--one in which the reactions can’t be quantified, measured, and analyzed; one that can be studied only in the mysterious language of the heart. Taking us deep inside her scattered, searching mind, here is a brilliant new literary voice that astutely juxtaposes the elegance of science, the

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October 2017 | Book Review

anxieties of finding a place in the world, and the sacrifices made for love and family. WEIKE WANG is a graduate of Harvard University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry and her doctorate in public health. She received her MFA from Boston University. Her fiction has been published in or is forthcoming from Alaska Quarterly Review, Glimmer Train, The Journal, Ploughshares, Redivider, and SmokeLong Quarterly. During an email correspondence, Wang provided her insights about writing her book. To capture her humor, Asian Avenue shares this interview in a Q&A format. Asian Avenue: What inspired you to write this novel? Weike Wang: A sense that not many struggling scientists were portrayed in fiction. And if a scientist were portrayed, he/ she knew everything, could figure things out quickly, had life together, was stoic/objective to a fault, nerdy, quiet, glasses. I suppose all of the same stereotypical characteristics are given to Asian Americans. In my experiences, both are far from true. Scientists and Asian Americans feel the same gamut of emotions as any other human feels. Asian Avenue: What do you want readers to walk away from after reading the novel? Weike Wang: This is somewhat in line with the first question. That there are other characters out there. Not everyone fits the mold. Also I sometimes feel that Asian parents get a bad reputation.


Perhaps because of the whole Tiger Mom trend. I would hope that readers can sense this narrator’s complicated feelings with her parents. How much love and appreciation she has for them. But also how much anxiety. I believe that that mixture of feelings is what any child feels for a parent. Asian Avenue: What are some of your future projects? Weike Wang: Ha, that is a good question. I hope to keep writing. Currently I’m working on a long term friendship/love story. Another future project would be get a job teaching at a university. Asian Avenue: What do you want to tell your new fan base? Weike Wang: Please stick with me! When I write, I do sense that I have a responsibility to represent my generation, background, culture, in the most accurate way, but of course fictionalized. Also I hope to encourage young writers/scientists to pursue what they wish to pursue. I did not make it to writing via a direct path, nor do I think a direct path to anything is that interesting. A large subconscious impediment I had (and still have) is that I did not feel that someone like me could be a writer. So a readership and fan base means a great deal. Asian Avenue: Is there anything you want to share? Weike Wang: Having a sense of humor is important to being a writer/a person. There cannot be darkness without also lightness. As a reader, I feel that humor is often missing from

Asian American literature as well as immigrant literature. Everything is quite serious. And this is true. Our experiences were difficult, hard. Our parents were difficult, hard. My own story, I did not come to the states until I was 12. I moved across countries, states, started in 10 different schools. I still distinctly remember the pain of learning English and fitting in. Imagine: a fifth grader trying to mumble her way through Goosebumps in front of the class during a reading game called Popcorn. A girl with a name as easily to make fun of as mine. But recently I just rewatched National Lampoons summer vacation, the movie in which a family drives across country to an amusement park and a string of disasters befalls them. My boyfriend loves this movie because it is the great American car trip and that was his upbringing. But in rewatching, I also felt the movie was also the great immigrant experience. Dark at times, but at other times intensely funny. Intensely funny at how badly some things could go. Intensely funny at how a family is stuck together for the indeterminable future and by the end of the movie, regardless of what happens, or how crazy the parents become--the father at one point pulls out a be be gun and pretends it is a real gun--remain a family. I ask you, isn’t that too what being in an immigrant family is like? Asian Avenue: How old are you? Weike Wang: Born 1989. Now the year of Taylor Swift. But also an important year in history. Tiananmen square incident. Collapse of the Berlin wall. Madonna’s Like a Prayer. And gas being 97 cents a gallon.

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Chemistry | asian avenue magazine

25


onscene Justin Valas honored with Mayor’s Diversity and Inclusion Award for social justice and advococy work

Photos by Gil Asakawa Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and members of his com- ized communities to organize together in a collective voice. With munity commissions honored individuals and organizations a focus on economic justice and immigrant rights, Justin’s ability with the 2017 Mayor’s Diversity and Inclusion Awards on Sept. to find intersectionality and bring AAPIs to the forefront of con19. The an awards ceremony themed “Denver’s Commitment to versations without minimizing or dismissing other communities Welcoming and Celebrating All” was hosted by the Denver Immi- epitomizes this year’s theme of “Welcoming and Celebrating All.” “In his community work, he is grant & Refugee Commission. just as active in representing AA“In Denver, we stand firmly for PIs and finding opportunities to the ideals of inclusion, acceptance educate different communities on and opportunity,” Mayor Hancock AAPI history, needs, barriers, and said. “These are our values. And the much more.” individuals and organizations we’re In Valas’ acceptance speech, he honoring with these awards are said: “When I think of a city, and proof that we will continue to work what makes a city feel like home, together against hate and will not it isn’t the buildings or landmarksallow it to divide us or our city.” but the people. The stories of the Nominated by the Denver Asian American Pacific Islander Compeople and our communities mission (DAAPIC), Justin Valas was make Denver an amazing place.” Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock speaks at the one of the honorees. Valas is the Valas was previously a board 2017 Mayor’s Diversity and Inclusion Awards. Health Policy Advocate at Asian member of Mile High Japanese Pacific Development Center. American Citizens League, worked for the Sakura Foundation, DAAPIC shared in their nomination: “Justin is one of those rare and has volunteered with the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. individuals who is completely dedicated to social justice. Apart According to Valas, “We should be diverse and inclusive, but from his many policy and advocacy roles in the community, Jus- that shouldn’t be where we stop. We need to continue working tin’s connection to the local AAPI community is deeply involved.” towards equity for our communities, investing in our communi“He consistently finds spaces in his professional hat to increase ties, and ensuring that the people that make Denver an amazing awareness of issues concerning AAPIs to mobilizing marginal- place are able to remain part of our city and communities.”

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October 2017 | On Scene


A.

C.

B.

Global collaboration between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Denver Art Museum Written and Photos by Mary Jeneverre Schultz Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @Jeneverre

A. This Ganesha statue is the highlight of the exhibit, lent by the National Museum of Cambodia. Photo credit: DAM B. This is the only statue of Ganesha that visitors can rub for fun.

C. Tianlong Jiao, curator of Asian Art of the DAM, demonstrates the intricacies of the oil pigments on canvas of the art called Shiva and Incarnations of Vishnu. Ganesha: The Playful Protector, from Cambodia, is on display at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) through Octover 28. The collaboration with the National Museum of Cambodia started a year ago when DAM returned a 10th century statue, the Torso of Rama. The 62-inch, sandstone statue, looted during the country’s civil war, is missing its head, arms and feet. Officials from DAM said it acquired the statue in 1986 from the Doris Weiner Gallery in New York City but learned new facts about its provenance. The return started the beginnings of an international exchange. “It’s the first collaboration between both museums,” said Khom Sreymom, conservator of the National Museum of Cambodia and representing the Kingdom of Cambodia, adding that it is the fifth collaboration in the world. As part of an ongoing collaboration, the National Museum is loaning a statue of Ganesha, from the 7th to 8th century that forms the centerpiece of the exhibition. The 29-inch tall, cross-legged figure, featuring human arms and an elephant head, is known as one of the earliest Ganesha icons in mainland Southeast Asia. The Mayor’s Office declared October 7, the start of the exhibition, as Ganesha Day. “It’s exciting to see (DAM) show an international reputation,” said Kent Rice, executive director of Denver

Arts and Venues. During the opening presentation, DAM director Christoph Heinrich described it as playful and pleasant. “It’s an image that makes you laugh,” he said. The exhibit includes pre-Angkor artwork, along with 17 additional sculptures, paintings and textiles from the DAM’s own collection depicting the Hindu deity. Only one “Touchable Ganesha” is available for those who want to rub the belly for good luck. In addition, a short video explaining the cultural significance of Ganesha, plays in the corner of the exhibit. Ganesha, who has been widely worshipped since the 5th century, originated in India as a Hindu god, who removes obstacles and is known for granting wealth and success. Ganesha has crossed both geographic and religious boundaries, inspiring numerous representations throughout the Asian subcontinent over time. “The exhibition will trace Ganesha’s story of becoming one of the most worshipped deities in Hinduism and even in the Buddhist and Jain religious traditions,” said Tianlong Jiao, curator of Asian Art of the DAM. “The narrative will highlight the diversity and the continuity of the workshop of Ganesha in South and Southeast Asia.” Mile-High Happenings | asian avenue magazine

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Asian Myth inspired Halloween costumes That time of year is here again. The air is chillier, leaves are starting to fall, and the nights are getter longer. Spooky decorations are appearing on doorsteps and windowsills, while costume warehouses pop up in the shopping centers. Halloween is the one of the most iconic holidays in the U.S.—a chance for people to dress up like ghouls and vampires, go through haunted houses and corn mazes, and generally give each other a good scare (and an excuse to eat some candy). So in preparation for the end of the month, when we realize that we have yet again put off getting a Halloween costume, here are some Asian creatures to help inspire that culturally-influenced last minute outfit.

By Amy Ng

Chinese Dragons:

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Yuki Onna:

Unlike their western counterparts, dragons in Chinese culture are almost always seen as a benevolent creature. They are often seen as deities, and are believed to have the power to control the weather—especially rain. Instead of a ferocious beast spitting flames and hoarding treasure, Chinese dragons are depicted with flowing manes and whiskers, antlers on their heads, and a long elegant body that glides through clouds and rivers and lakes. Dragons are a symbol of power, prosperity, and good luck.

These are found within Japanese legends as beautiful women that appear to people lost in the mountains during snowstorms. There are many different versions of the Yuki Onna story, and differ by regions in Japan. In some stories, they are harmless and simply vanish. In other stories, they lure men into the depth of the cold winter mountains, where they freeze to death. They typically have long black hair with blue lips, and wear a white kimono (though sometimes they appear nude).

Costume idea: A full body green or gold outfit, a white boa, two white or yellow pipe cleaners, tape, antler headbands, and a YouTube video on how to draw scales on your face with makeup.

Costume idea: White kimono (or go naked; just kidding. Don’t do that.), blue lipstick, a long, black wig.

October 2017 | Cultural Tidbits


JIANGSHI:

These are the Chinese version of zombies, though they appear throughout other East Asian folklore as well. They are re-animated corpses that are generally depicted with white or greenish skin. Its body is stiff with arms stretched out, and it moves by hopping. They are usually wearing a Chinese official outfit from the Qing Dynasty and have a paper talisman (with a sealing spell) hanging over their face. They can look from a relatively normal person to a rotting corpse. Jiangshi are said to kill living creatures by absorbing their life energy (qi). Many things can bring the Jiangshi to life; among them an improper burial of the corpse or having a black cat walk over a grave during a thunderstorm. Costume idea: Long black garment, loose fitting black paints, face paint, yellow paper and some red paint, black hat (as close to the traditional Chinese official style as possible), YouTube tutorial on zombie makeup (optional).

The monkey King: Sun Wukong aka The Monkey King is the protagonist of the famous Chinese legend, Journey to the West, Sun Wukong is a magical monkey famous for his wit and mischievous antics. He flies around the sky with a cloud and wields a staff that can shrink and grow to his will. The Monkey King is a skilled fighter, and has the ability to shapeshift, conjure things, and create clones of himself by pulling out hairs on his body. He is afraid of no one and even wreaked havoc in the heavens. Unfortunately, the trickster was eventually caught up in his own games and punished for his antics. He is imprisoned under a mountain for 500 years, until a monk comes along asking Sun Wukong for help on his journey. The monk frees the monkey, but not before getting tricked into wearing a magical headband that gives him unbearable headaches if he misbehaves. And this is only the beginning of the epic story. Costume idea: Monkey ear headband, yellow martial arts outfit, soft black shoes, fuzzy eyebrows and sideburns, a tail, head piece, staff, YouTube makeup tutorial (optional).

Halloween Costume Ideas | asian avenue magazine

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Taiwan is a Valuable Partner for Sustainable Development Goals New York is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. As with visitors from other countries, those from Taiwan love to experience first-hand the city’s famous attractions—the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and, of course, the very nerve center of global affairs: the United Nations Headquarters. These landmarks—the latter in particular—are symbols of equality, diversity and freedom. Regrettably, the brilliant luster of these ideals has become tarnished of late as more and more visitors from Taiwan find themselves being turned away from the UN grounds, discriminated against simply because of their country of origin. The UN is about people, yet the universality of human rights that the UN proclaims does not extend to Taiwan and its 23 million people. This mistreatment dates back to 1971, when our government lost its representation in the organization—and in the intervening decades, Taiwan has met with challenges and isolation with respect to its international situation. Nevertheless, this adversity has propelled us forward and we have never retreated, for we believe very strongly that those who follow the path of virtue can never truly be alone. While traveling the world to carry out my duties as minister of foreign affairs, I have always marveled at how Taiwan’s experience in such areas as environmental protection, public health and medicine, agriculture, education and ICT has helped our partners develop and grow. We are committed to continuing our interaction and cooperation with our friends and partners, and to maintaining global peace, security and prosperity through mutually beneficial collaboration. Despite Taiwan’s efforts and the recognition they have earned, despite the need for universality, and despite the repeated pledge to leave no one behind, the UN seems content to leave the 23 million people of Taiwan behind. In May of this year, Taiwan was refused attendance at the 70th WHA, despite having participated as an observer over the previous eight consecutive years. Rejecting Taiwan—which has invested over US$6 billion in international medical and humanitarian aid efforts since 1996, benefiting millions of people worldwide— runs counter to common sense, and creates a blind spot in the World Health Organization’s operations, just like the one that cost lives during the 2003 SARS epidemic. This unjust treatment, however, has not and will never deter Taiwan from carrying out its duties both to its people and to the interna-

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October 2017 | Taiwan Update

tional community. As the world’s 18th largest trading and 11th freest economy, Taiwan has brought its laws and regulations into line with the UN’s human rights conventions, and in terms of living up to democratic values, Taiwan has worked as hard as any country— and perhaps harder than most—to advance equality. The Taiwanese people elected their country’s first female president in 2016, and 38 percent of their lawmakers are women. Taiwan is also home to a vibrant civil society whose civic organizations constantly reach out to the world. And whenever disasters strike, rescue workers from Taiwan’s nongovernmental organizations are there on the ground, providing assistance, with their devotion and professionalism clear for all to see. Taiwan is currently working on its first Voluntary National Review, which will document many of its concrete achievements regarding the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In terms of public health and medicine, for example, in recent years Taiwan has worked alongside a host of other countries to fight such infectious diseases as MERS, Ebola and Zika. Taiwan has also been promoting a green economy and green energy, aiming to raise the proportion of renewable energy generated for the country’s power supply to 20 percent—five times the current level—by 2025, while also aiming to

By David Tawei Lee, Ph.D. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan) attending meetings and conferences held at the UN’s New York headquarters and at the Palais des Nations in Geneva simply because they hail from Taiwan. Similarly, to the outrage of the international press community, Taiwanese journalists are not allowed to cover UN meetings in person. These discriminatory measures put in place by UN bureaucrats—targeted specifically against the people of Taiwan—are inappropriately justified by the invocation and misuse of 1971’s General Assembly Resolution 2758 (XXVI). While it seated the People’s Republic of China in the UN, this resolution did not address the issue of representation of Taiwan and its people in the organization; much less did it give the PRC the right to represent the people of Taiwan. It is important to stress the political reality here, which is that the PRC does not now, nor has it ever, held jurisdiction over Taiwan. Indeed, as evidenced by the aforementioned ban on Taiwanese inside the UN headquarters, the PRC exerts far more influence on the UN than it does on Taiwan. The preamble of the UN Charter speaks powerfully of the organization’s mission to “reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.” The govern-

“As we embark on this great collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.” - Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

lower carbon emissions to at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. Holders of ROC passports enjoy visa-free travel or other forms of travel convenience to 165 countries and territories, which speaks to the respect that Taiwan’s tourists, businesspeople and academics have earned worldwide. Yet, they are unable to take even a single step inside the Headquarters of the UN. For years, representatives from Taiwan’s many nongovernmental organizations involved in indigenous, labor, environmental and women’s rights have been barred from

ment and people of Taiwan strongly believe that their involvement, especially when the UN is calling for the universal implementation of the SDGs, would be to the benefit of all. The absence of Taiwan, on the other hand, will only continue to cripple the effectiveness of this global effort. Taiwan can do much to help the world build a more sustainable future. The people of Taiwan need the international community to support our aspirations and our right to fair treatment by the UN. At the very least, stop turning us away at the door.


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Asian Avenue magazine - October 2017  

Cover: Glenwood Springs Trip