Asian Avenue magazine - November 2018

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asian avenue magazine November 2018 Volume 13 Issue 11

Connecting Cultures Linking Lives

TURKEY OR NO TURKEY? How Asian Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving


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The Confucius Institute at

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The Confucius Institute at Community College of Denver is a Chinese language and cultural learning center, established in 2007 with the support of the Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), to promote Chinese language training and intercultural understanding. Our programs and services include: n Noncredit Chinese language and cultural workshops n Private Chinese language tutoring n Chinese language proficiency testing n Scholarships to study in China n China summer camps n Seasonal Chinese cultural events n Seasonal professional development training for Colorado K-12 Mandarin teachers n An educational resource center For more information about the Confucius Institute, contact: Jane Lim n 303-352-6510

November 2018 in this issue EVENTS


Event calendar




A Tycoon’s To Do List



Japanese American Resource Center of Colorado celebrates 10th anniversary



Get Cooking: Shopping in Asian markets often makes better sense



Asian Americans prepare for this year’s Thanksgiving with turkey, mashed potatoes, dumplings and... lobster! An ‘Asian Thanksgiving’ means a mish mash of dishes for the holiday feast.



How Asian Americans celebrate Thanksgiving





Asian Americans breaking barriers in areas including rap music



These Are They features 160+ phenomenal Random Acts of Kindness honorees


FilAm Property Connections expands its impact with trip to the Philippines

National news about Asian American people and communities



The common Chinese term to “add oil” meaning to “keep going” is in the Oxford English Dictionary




12 6

November 2018 | Table of Contents


Book Review: A River of Stars and interview with author Vanessa Hua


2018 National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) Region 5 Filipiniana Celebration Global Seed Savers hosts 8th Annual Nourish Event to celebrate all things Filipino and seeds Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver held National Day Celebration



Climate Change: Global Challenge Requiring Global Response

ASIAN AVENUE MAGAZINE P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222-1748 Tel: 303.937.6888 E-mail:

Find us @AsianAveMag


Dear Asian Avenue readers, The holiday season is upon us! How do you and your family celebrate Thanksgiving? Now with our blended families, there are many traditions that make each celebration unique. For my family, we often enjoy Taiwanese hotpot as our main course. A turkey is prepared and we slice the meat to be eaten inside Chinese steamed buns (or baos) with hoisin sauce. Both Chinese and American dishes are at the table, including desserts like sticky rice cakes (and maybe a Butter Braid if someone was supporting a fundraiser that year). And this is what we call a Chinese Thanksgiving! Read our cover story to see how other families celebrate. Also in this issue, learn about why shopping at Asian supermarkets is a great idea! Not only can you get fresher meat, seafood and produce, often the prices beat the other grocers! See our list of local Asian grocery stores and give them a visit as you plan your next shopping list! At the very least, stop in for some hot sauce where you will find dozens of options (not only Sriracha)! Lastly, happy 10th anniversary to Japanese American Resource Center of Colorado (JARCC)! Congratulations for a decade long effort of preserving and communicating the Japanese American experience and ensuring that Coloradans understand and appreciate the bravery and contributions of the Issei, Nisei and their descendants.

Christina Yutai Guo, Publisher Asian Avenue magazine | Published by Asian Avenue Magazine, Inc. P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222-1748 Tel: 303.937.6888 |


asian avenue Publisher & Founder CHRISTINA YUTAI GUO

Marketing Manager JOIE HA


Photographer TRANG LUONG

Senior Designer C.G. YAO



Staff Writer AMY NG

on the cover


In the U.S., Asian Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with their own twist. Each family comes together a little differently for the feast—some prepare a traditional American turkey, while others prefer Asian dishes.

Looking to promote your business? Asian Avenue magazine offers businesses the most cost-effective way to reach consumers in the Denver/Boulder metro areas and beyond. For more information, call 303.937.6888 or e-mail us at for our media kit and ad rates.

contributing writers Wayne Chan, Shirley Chang, Aurelia Grinstead, Amber Inthavong, Sherry Manning, Patrice Fujisaki Sauter, Bill St. John, Gloria Williams, Dr. Lee Ying-yuan

contributing photographers


Jeannette Herreria, Joanne Liu, Andria Lo, Jessica Moy, Jan Ogawa, Milt Omoto, Prum Ty

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Asian Avenue magazine (ISSN 19321449) 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.

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Publisher’s Note | asian avenue magazine


upcoming events 41st Denver Film Festival

October 31 - November 11 Multiple venues in Denver For more info or to purchase tickets, visit

With 200+ films from more than 35 countries, Denver Film Festival screenings happen all around the city of Denver; at the Sie FilmCenter and the UA Denver Pavilions, the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, and at the Festival Annex located at the McNichols Civic Center Building. This year 11 films being featured are categorized under the genre “Asian,” including Chinese film “Ash is Purest White,” South Korean film “Burning,” and Japanese film “Shoplifters.” Over the past four decades, the Denver Film Festival has striven to elevate film as an artform, reflect the social conversations of the day and work with those in the community to create an engaging and entertaining environment. The Denver Film Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to bringing communities together through film.

A Family Caregiver’s Journey Presentation Wednesday, November 7 | 10am to 12pm Filipino-American Community of Colorado 1900 Harlan St | Edgewater, CO 80214 For more info, visit


November 2018 | Event Calendar

After his parents became ill, retired Major General Antonio “Tony” Taguba and his siblings found themselves unprepared to care for them. Faced with tough decisions about healthcare and finances, they found a way to care for their parents the best they could. Join General Taguba in an important discussion of family caregiving and how we should prepare to care for our loved ones now, not when there is a medical crisis. Food and refreshments will be served by Filipino Community of Colorado (FACC). This event is sponsored by FACC and AARP Colorado.

A Forum for US: A Storytelling Circle for Participatory Community Engagement Saturday, November 17 | 11am to 12:30pm Boulder Public Library 1001 Arapahoe Ave | Boulder, CO 80302 For more info, contact Jashodhara Sen at This forum invites South Asian immigrant women and community members to share their stories in first-person to ensure personal ownership which is structured around the theme, immigration, and nationality. As a community, we will practice sharing and be listening to each other’s stories to understand our neighbors and value their unique experiences. The event is organized as part of a community-based fellowship, in partnership with the Boulder Public Library. Light refreshments included.

Send community events to

All Things Japanese Sale

Sunday, November 18 | 10am to 3pm Sakura Square Mezzanine between 19th & 20th Street on Larimer Street For more info, visit The annual sale is hosted by the Japanese American Resource Center of Colorado, a nonprofit organization. The general public is invited to shop the Japanese related items and goodies! If you are interested in being a vendor, contact Dean at 303-457-1810 or

Stand-Up Comedian Henry Cho at Comedy Works December 6-8 | Various show times Comedy Works South 5345 Landmark Place Greenwood Village, CO 80111 Tickets: $27 For more info or to purchase tickets, visit henry-cho.

Do you like clean comedy? Henry Cho is the comic for you! Henry Cho’s adult but clean comedy is something everyone can enjoy.

Henry Cho has various TV and film credits to his name. He has made appearances on NBC’s The Tonight Show, CBS’s The Late Late Show, and NBC’s Young Comedians Special. He served two years as host of NBC’s Friday Night Videos and has had many guest roles on various network sitcoms. Henry was co-creator, co-producer and co-writer of The Henry Cho Show.

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A Tycoon’s To Do List By Wayne Chan

It’s not easy being insanely, crazy, filthy rich, but somehow, some way, I’ll manage. You see, tonight is when they will draw the numbers for the Mega Millions lottery, which since no one has won in months, is now worth over one billion dollars. It just so happens, that in all those months of no one winning, I didn’t even bother playing. Now that the jackpot is over a billion dollars, I figured, sure, why not? I’m in for twenty. I’ve read that the odds of winning this lottery is well over 300 million to one. But since I didn’t even bother to play any of the other drawings, my chances were really more like a trillion to one. Now that I’ve invested (yes, I used the word “invested”) my hard earned $20, I figure my chances are now…300 million divided by twenty, carry the four…maybe 50/50. By the time you read this, I will be on my way back to the 7/11 where I bought my tickets to cash in. I hope they have big bills or it’s going to take me a few trips. Now that we’ve all established that I will win tonight, I’d better start doing some planning. After all, it’s not all fun and games. I have responsibilities to take care of. First, we have kids. I need to make sure I take care of them. One million dollars. That should do it. Now, on to the $999,899,000 I have left. Next – our home. We live in a nice home in the suburbs with terrific neighbors. The only problem? That mortgage. I’ll have to pay a monthly mortgage until the year 2058 before this house is completely ours. But now, with my newly acquired tycoon status, I can pay off the whole mortgage and do a few renovations to boot. I always get a sore back after playing tennis every week. How did I ever manage without having a built-in sauna room in my house? What am I – a barbarian? And then there’s our pool. Nothing really wrong with the pool, but how on earth could I have ever survived hav-


November 2018 | Humor Column

ing a pool without a swim up bar where I can play poker while sitting in the pool? It doesn’t really matter that I don’t drink or really ever gamble. I need the bar to make room for the automatic French fry dispensing machine. Let’s not forget about the car. I usually drive a 2007 Ram truck. That has to go. Let’s go with the stretch SUV-limo with the built-in pinball machine. And while we’re at it, let’s include the automatic French fry dispensing machine option as well. As a matter of fact, let’s just simplify things. For anything else on my tycoon wish list, just add the words, “include the French fry option”. I’ll know what it means. For those of you who may be thinking that I’m getting a little ahead of myself – well, maybe so. Just to humor you, let’s say for some unfathomable reason that I don’t win the big jackpot tonight. What will I regret not having? Actually, not all that much. I can’t imagine having a more perfect partner in my wife, regardless of how much money I have. Same goes for my son who seems to be really making his way in college. Even with my two developmentally disabled kids – even with their challenges, they are healthy, happy, and making their way as well. I’ve got neighbors who lined up to deliver hand cooked meals to us when I had a minor operation. Friends who call just to say hello, and an extended family who make an effort to stay in touch because well, that’s just what families do. If you think about it that way, I guess it doesn’t really matter what happens tonight. I’ve already hit the jackpot.

JARCC (Japanese American Resource and Cindy Kondo, representing the Nisei as well as photos and artifacts honoring Center of Colorado) celebrated its 10th Veterans Heritage Foundation. the Military Intelligence Service and the Anniversary on September 29 at SimpThe program began with “kagami-bi- 442nd Regiment which served with the son United Methodist Church in Arvada. raki” meaning “opening the lid”, a cere- U.S. Army during WWII. At a special appreciation luncheon for mony performed at celebratory events in From 2012 to present, JARCC has partits 100+ members, Chef Ken Kao, former which the lid of the large sake barrel is nered with several Colorado organizasous chef of Martin Yan’s “Yan Can Cook” broken open by a wooden mallet. tions including the Japanese American TV show, prepared and served two deliHighlights of JARCC’s accomplishments Association of Colorado, Japan Founcious entrées accompanied by flavorful were featured on a historical timeline dation, Japan America Society, VSA and side dishes brought byJARCC members. which include the Agricultural Commu- Access Gallery, Denver Film Center, Nisei After graduating from the prestigious nities and the Larimer Street Projects in Veteran’s Heritage Foundation, Brighton California Culinary Academy in San Fran- 2009, showcasing photos of the 100+ Japanese American Association, Mile cisco, Ken made his inHigh Japanese Amertroduction to various ican Citizens’ League, Bay Area restaurants. A Greeley Japanese chance meeting with American Citizens’ celebrity chef Martin League, History ColYan turned his career in orado Center and the a totally different direcSakura Square Fountion by being invited to dation. help develop recipes In 2017, the most noBy Patrice Fujisaki Sauter | Photos by Jan Ogawa and Milt Omoto for Martin’s book, “Martable “Japanese Immitin Yan’s China,” as well grants/Japanese Ameras the companion PBS icans Playing Baseball series, “Yan Can Cook”. and Softball in ColoraKen worked as a do” exhibit opened and Shadow Chef for the is now on display at the incomparable Master Sakura Square mezzaChef Martin Yan which nine at 19th and Larled to organizing culiimer. It showcases the nary tours and demonhistory and artifacts strations around the of Japanese American world. baseball teams from JARCC was founded 1901 through 1970. by a group of individLooking forward to uals to fulfill a dream March 2019, “An Eveof creating a place to ning with JARCC” will preserve and share the feature Motown Legexperiences of Japaends Revue with Ron nese Americans in Colorado. The grass- businesses and the Denver Buddhist Tem- Ivory’s “One on One and the Miles Apart roots efforts led to the opening of the ple which dominated a 10 square block Band”, a meet-and-greet evening of enJapanese American Resource Center of vicinity in downtown Denver after WWII. tertainment and introduction to other Colorado in June 2008. The JARCC misIn 2010, JARCC was the recipient of the Denver communities. sion statement pledges “to be a vibrant William Hosokawa Grant. Bill HosokaIn July 2019, JARCC will partner with resource preserving, educating and com- wa was the editor of the Hart Mountain the Pacific Rim Cultural Exchange and municating the evolving Japanese Amer- Relocation Center’s newspaper and later the city of Broomfield to launch the Inican experience in Colorado”. worked as a columnist and editor of The ternational Youth Baseball Tournament Attending the luncheon were Consul Denver Post for 38 years. and Festival bringing in several youth Junya Inoue, representing the ConsulJARRC is presently the archival re- baseball teams from Japan and Hawaii ate-General of Japan; Calvin Hada, Pres- source for the Rocky Mountain Jiho, a to compete with local Colorado high ident of the Japanese American Associ- community newspaper published in schools. ation of Colorado; Vicki Schaepler, Save 1962 in both English and Japanese, and Under the vision of Lawton Shinsato, Japanese Hall and the Legacy of the chronicling the Japanese American life- the tournament and festival “will open Japanese in Nebraska; Stacey Shigaya, style in Denver. the doors between Japan, Hawaii and Program Director of Sakura Foundation; In 2011, JARCC hosted “A Tribute to Colorado to become an international Jolie Noguchi, co-owner of Pacific Mer- Military Intelligence Service and WWII youth baseball tournament that will be cantile and co-chairperson of the Japa- Veterans” featuring photo collections one-of-a-kind!” nese American Community Graduation from the Heart Mountain WY, Tule Lake For more information or to get involved Program with co-chair June Kurobane, CA and Amache CO relocation camps with JARCC, visit

Jarcc Celebrates 1 0 t h anniversary

Inside Story | asian avenue magazine


GET COOKING: SHOPPING IN ASIAN MARKETS OFTEN MAKES BETTER SENSE By Bill St. John Asian supermarkets, such as Pacific Ocean Marketplace (above), stock a variety of canned fruits and vegetables, as well as dozens of varieties of sauces, noodles and other dried goods. I’m guessing that most non-Asians don’t shop at Asian grocers because they just don’t want to pick out their dinner. From a fish tank. Or maybe the picking out’s OK, but when the guy whacks the fish on the head to kill it, that’s the deal breaker. Or the gutting. Maybe the odors of an Asian grocery turn off nonAsian shoppers. (It’s the packaged dried fish.) Or the durian, the spiky-skinned fruit banned on the Singapore metro. Or, in the meat aisle, the packaged chicken feet. Or the hundreds of cans, bottles, bags, and tins labeled in languages with letters made of Pick-up Sticks. Get real, people. You call yourself cooks? Then you go to where the food is best, whether you’re comfortable about getting it or not. In truth, Asian grocers aren’t merely the best places to buy groceries if you’re cooking Asian. Sure, they have 26 varieties of soy sauce or chili paste or rice cooking wine. Each. And as many turns on rice noodles or ramen packages as the stars at night. But they’re also among the better groceries for most vegetables and fruits, period. And for most cuts of pork. And fresh mushrooms. And dried mushrooms. And fresh fish. The latest-available U.S. Census data (2010) shows that the cities of Denver and Aurora average four per-


November 2018 | Feature

cent Asian (in order of predominant country of origin: Vietnam, People’s Republic of China, India, Japan, Philippines, Korea). But I’m telling you: the other 96 percent ought to be doing a lot more of its grocery shopping at these Asian folks’ grocery stores. What cooks want, most of all, in their cooking ingredients is freshness; grocers achieve that with turnover. The more something is purchased, the quicker a fresher item replaces it. At an Asian grocer, that’s the case in the produce, most meat and certainly the fish aisles. And compared with non-Asian grocers, the prices are not only competitive, but commonly far less. (Examples on a recent visit: limes, four for a dollar; squashes at 68 cents a pound; scallions for 29 cents a bunch). Let’s say you really are cooking just “Western” tonight. Still, an Asian grocer often makes better shopping sense. All of these, for merely a few examples, are far less costly at an Asian than at a “Western” market: shrimp, heads on or off; oxtail or bony beef for soups or stews; chicken parts for gelatinous broths; indeed, whole fowl of most any sort. What I love above all, for my own meat-based cooking, is the true nose-to-tail possible pork purchase. For instance, many French preparations call for “lardons” to start. Cookbooks will say, “blanch sticks of salt pork” or “slice uncured bacon” in order to approach getting at real French lardons. Bill St. John lives and writes in Denver.

In France itself, these are the small pieces of raw, un-smoked, uncured, unsalted pork belly rendered in a pot. Well, if you’re after raw, un-smoked, uncured, unsalted pork - belly or otherwise - the array at an Asian grocer can be unnerving. When I cook for my gluten-averse friends, I shop at Asian grocers for rice-based ingredients (rice papers in any number of forms; rice noodles of any size; various sorts of rice grains, brown, sweet or white) and buckwheat noodles or tapiocaand bean-based noodles, flours or ingredients. Sure, you can get some of the same at non-Asian grocers, but neither will the selection or variety be as extensive, nor the price as low. Yes to wonton or dumpling skins - fresh or frozen - when I don’t want to roll out pasta for tortellini; yes to grey squash at 69 cents a pound when down the street it’s a dollar for zucchini; yes to lemongrass stalks as long as my leg for a third the price of the wee package of sticks of the same hanging in the herb section of the mega-mart.

Yes to panko instead of Asian grocers are canned breadcrumbs; yes among the better to Korean pears in December; yes to fresh, real sesgroceries for ame oil, sweet soy sauce, sweet-hot Korean gochumost vegetables jang that wasn’t tinned two and fruits, years ago; yes to palatable cooking wine; yes to 50-cent period. ramen packages with terribly interesting flavors. Yes to smells and greenery and sweet cookies made in Indonesia. And seaweed treats and gummy bears as large as my thumb and persimmons with still-taut skin. And yes to raw, un-smoked, uncured, unsalted pork. And live fish.

Purchase a whole fish at Pacific Ocean Market to take home for your next dinner.

The produce section at H-Mart in Aurora has some of the best prices in the area.

LOCAL ASIAN SUPERMARKETS Asian Food Market 2833 28th St Boulder, CO 80301 Tel: 303.541.9377 HOURS: 10am - 7pm Daily; 10:30am - 6pm Sundays

H Mart Westminster 5036 W. 92nd Ave. Westminster, CO 80031 Tel: 720.287.5340 HOURS: 8:30am - 9:30pm

Asian Pacific Market 615 Wooten Rd, Ste 160 Colo. Springs, CO 80915 Tel: 719.573.7500 HOURS: 9am - 8pm

Lao Market 7302 Federal Blvd. Westminster, CO 80030 Tel: 303.428.3290 HOURS: 9am - 7pm

H Mart Aurora 2751 S. Parker Rd. Aurora, CO 80014 Tel: 303.745.4592 HOURS: 9am - 9:30pm

Little Saigon Supermarket 375 S. Federal Blvd. Denver, CO 80219 Tel: 303.937.8860 HOURS: 9am - 9pm

Lotus Asian Market 844 S. Buckley Rd. Aurora, CO 80017 Tel: 303.752.3235 HOURS: 9am - 7pm

12303 E. Mississippi Ave. Aurora, CO 80012 Tel: 720.858.8818 HOURS: 9am - 9pm

Pacific Ocean Marketplace 2200 W. Alameda Ave. Denver, CO 80223 Tel: 303.936.4845 HOURS: 9am - 8pm

Pacific Mercantile Company 1925 Lawrence St. Denver, CO 80202 Tel: 303.295.0293 HOURS: 9am - 6pm

6600 W. 120th Ave. Broomfield, CO 80020 Tel: 303.410.8168 HOURS: 9am - 8pm

Viet Hoa Supermarket 225 S. Sheridan Blvd. Lakewood, CO 80226 Tel: 303.975.9900 HOURS: 9am - 8pm

Asian Supermarkets | asian avenue magazine




Growing up between two cultures was a fun way to eat food in different ways and experience the best of multiple worlds. We asked Asian Americans in Denver how they grew up celebrating Thanksgiving and their plans for this year’s holiday.



We celebrated Thanksgiving at my grandma’s house with all my aunts and uncles. She had eight kids, so Thanksgiving was a large party of cousins and lots of food.

This year...

I plan to spend Thanksgiving at my daughter’s new condo in Denver. Her husband enjoys cooking so it will be nice not to rush around to buy all the ingredients needed for the Thanksgiving feast.

My favorite thanksgiving food...

I love sweet potato with marshmallows. Rice, pork adobo and pancit (noodles) are also still part of my Thanksgiving meal.

our family traditions...

I’ve missed Thanksgiving with a large family, but I enjoy making new memories with my children, even if they protest about rice being included in the holiday meal.


November 2018 | Cover Story


I have fond memories of my mother’s cooking and always looked forward to eating whatever she put on our table especially during the holidays like Thanksgiving. My mother really enjoys trying out new foods and recreates them on her own. She tells us this funny story about the first time she attempted cooking a turkey since as American

children we were asking for turkey. She said she used soy sauce and all of these other Asian ingredients. She quickly realized that this wasn’t the type of turkey we wanted. As time went on, my mother has now perfected her American-style turkey. It’s juicy and delicious especially when you make turkey congee the next day with the leftovers. Actually, my whole family loves to cook and we love to eat.

This year...

We’re all traveling to New Jersey, which is where one of my sisters currently lives. My mother is still cooking the turkey (since that’s her specialty) and the Chinese dishes and we’re all helping with the other traditional American Thanksgiving dishes. I’m excited that I get to spend time with my family as my children and I will be over there for a little over a week. My parents are especially excited to see their grandchildren.

My favorite thanksgiving food...

The lobster and steak – Chinese style. I could eat just that and have a satisfying Thankgiving meal.

our family traditions...

Thanksgiving is the biggest holiday for our family next to Chinese New Year. I come from a restaurant family, so every year, for as long as I can remember, we have had a huge feast that my mother and father prepared. We would not only have turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, and the usual traditional American Thanksgiving fare, but we’d also have lobster, shrimp, and steak all cooked Chinese-style. The morning of Thanksgiving, my mother will cook some meal. Yes, a separate meal. It might be noodles or home-made dumplings. We’ll watch the Macy’s Day Parade and Best in Show! In the evening, we invite friends and family over, too. To this day, I’ll have friends who’ll remind me how great our Thanksgiving meal was 20 years later. These days since my siblings and I are all adults, we pitch in and make our own dishes to add to the feast. It’s always fun to plan with my siblings, months in advance about what we’re all thinking or planning to make for Thanksgiving.

Joanne’s mom proudly admires her Thanksgiving Day turkey.

Photos provided by Joanne Liu.

Celebrating Thanksgiving | asian avenue magazine




When my dad first came to the United States, he loved everything about it, like the open road, clean air and friendly people. He was very thankful when he came to the US. After he brought my mom and us over a year later, he celebrated and enjoyed every day the blessings that this country offered compared to South Korea. He once told me that back then, S. Korea had no jobs, was riddled with crime, and didn’t have many opportunities. For every Thanksgiving, he personally made the turkey and all the trimmings. Normally, my mom or my grandmother would cook and prepare our everyday meals. Except on Thanksgiving and Christmas, my dad would cook up a feast. On those days, we felt like all the other Americans and not outsiders. And we celebrated Korean Thanksgiving (Chuseok in September) too. However, it was more of a communal event held at our local church, where we all came together as fellow immigrants in a new country celebrating our fortunes. We would eat bulgogi and songpyeon— singing and laughing. It was fun times.

This year...

We’ve decided to take time off from our family obligations. Normally we would road trip for the entire week to visit my Kansas City family (who unofficially adopted me during my college years and my in-laws). We are taking advantage of cheap international airfares and giving the kids a generous one week vacation to visit Paris instead. To make up for the lack of a Thanksgiving turkey that no one else wants, I will be having a Hungry Man Dinner the night before we leave for Paris, TV trays included.

My favorite thanksgiving food...

Whenever I visit my in-laws and KC family, I always look forward to some traditional Hmong cuisines. Pho, stuffed chicken wings, boiled greens, sticky rice, raw beef larb, spring rolls, egg rolls, squirrel and venison are all fantastic! Once they prepared freshly harvested smoked wild boar! The best pork I’ve ever tasted! When I’m visiting my dad in L.A. now, we always look forward to the delicious Korean ribs spiced raw crabs, nengmyun (cold soupy noodles), tteokguk rice cake soup and tons of dumplings.

However, a turkey Thanksgiving dinner will always be in my heart.

our family traditions...

Growing up in a Korean family can feel very sheltered. Even though we went to the same public schools, we really didn’t diverge far from our Korean community. It was only after I left for college that I opened up to the greater world around me. Until college, I didn’t realize how large and colorful the world is. Now, thanks to all the different friends and family who have grown to love and support each other, we have Chinese dim sum, Indian cuisines, Hmong food, Japanese food, Swedish food, and lasagna! And being a blended family, my girls can now have all the best values of their cultures and leave out the baggage. It really is a better, tastier and love filled outcome to be a part of this great melting pot we call the United States of America. Where else can people from all over the world share and blend the best of their native cultures for a richer outcome for everyone? God bless the United States and all its immigrant and product of immigrant citizens.



I grew up celebrating Thanksgiving eating hot pot with family. Once my brother and I were old enough to understand the meaning of the holiday, we asked my mom to incorporate turkey and mashed potatoes alongside our hot pot meal.

This year...

This year is a unique celebration as my husband and I will be having a traditional Taiwanese wedding reception in Taiwan during Thanksgiving.

My favorite thanksgiving food...

My favorite Thanksgiving food is and always will be the pumpkin pie from Costco! The Asian side of me loves the value of the delicious pie.


November 2018 | Cover Story

Photos provided by Annie Guo VanDan.



For us, it was one of the few days my parents closed the restaurant. It was a day off. We took the day off and shared with one other family that also owned a restaurant, too. Then, the moms and dads would play mahjong. As kids, we would play mahjong, too. For Thanksgiving, we ate unusual dishes instead of turkey. When we did have turkey, my mom would include a different type of stuffing that included sticky rice with Chinese sausage, green onions and soy sauce. If we didn’t have turkey, we would have ham, BBQ pork or cold chicken. My siblings and I all married Caucasian spouses. So my parents don’t go crazy in serving Asian dishes and stick to the traditional American style. They don’t want to shock our Caucasian, Western counterparts. I think the last thing they want to see is a chicken with its head or skin that is pasty.

This year...

We will be spending Thanksgiving with my wife Jessica’s family and having the traditional American style dinner.

My favorite thanksgiving food...

I love mashed potatoes. It is my go-to food.

our family traditions...

This year, it might be different. Every year is different. Depending on who is hosting Thanksgiving—maybe we’ll include both Asian and American cuisines. Some years, it might be my family and parents because my siblings are spending Thanksgiving with their in-laws. Since my wife cooks some Asian dishes, my mom might include her “nontraditional” Chinese dishes as well.

Below: Clif and Jessica’s first time hosting Thanksgiving at their house in 2014.

Photos provided by Jessica Moy.

Clif and and his wife Jessica’s first Thanksgiving turkey together in 2008.

Jessica’s mom, Diane, learning the tricks of mahjong from the Moy family in 2010.

Celebrating Thanksgiving | asian avenue magazine


ASIAN AMERICANS BREAKING BARRIERS A visit to Salt Lake City leads to connecting with fellow Lao Americans and learning about how to break barriers and stereotypes. For first generation Asian Americans, the challenges are all too familiar. Our parents came to the U.S. as immigrants and we grew up with the expectation to maintain our culture, while trying to fit in as the average all-American. We face the pressure from our parents to keep up with our language and traditions, while we also search for our own identities. One commonality I’ve found with other Laotian Americans is our constant need to identify exactly who we are. Growing up, classmates never heard of the country Laos and even into adulthood, we have to explain over and over again: “It’s a country in Southeast Asia, right next to Thailand!” Despite the lack of awareness of the country, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Laotian Americans have begun to shine. We’re breaking barriers now and creating a place for us in the world of writing, acting and music! As an aspiring writer, I’ve set a goal to meet other influential Laotian Americans -- to ask questions and discover what it takes to do the unexpected and find a place for ourselves. When I traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah to meet Laotian comedian and YouTuber BGZTV, I was fortunate enough to get more than I expected. This popular YouTuber in the Laotian community introduced me to some of the most incredibly talented rap and hip hop artists (also Asian American). A dynamic group of six men who came from California to Minnesota, delivered an eye opening experience that I was not prepared for. These emerging artists have known each other for many years, supporting one another through social media at a distance. Although powerful independently, together they created something unforgettable. Illphatic (@illphatic), from Minnesota, talks of how incredible a thing it is that music can pull them all to perform together on this day.

By Amber Inthavong @coloradocaribou

Eranetik (@eranetik) of California is a talented b-boy who’s dedicated many years of his life to music; he advocates for community building and being an active part of the temple. Gee Q (@geeqpham1904), also from California, came off as intimidating, but really had a calming and caring presence. He transformed immediately once the mic was in his hand. Yung Jae (@yungjaemmm) explained that before going on stage, “It’s like a rollercoaster, the anticipation builds up, but once you get out there, the rest is a ride.” Heartbreaka (@heartbreaka), a dedicated performer and songwriter of Bad Life Records, is an unstoppable force who is going places. Lastly, BGZTV (@BGZTV) Lao comedian and YouTuber was very easy to converse and connect with, largely due to his huge sense of humor. A YouTube video that became unexpectedly viral launched his career that led to a tremendous online following. He talks about video editing in school and creating comedy that’s relatable to Asian Americans. The reality is, for us to have a successful place in writing, acting and music, we have walls to go up against because we aren’t considered in the first place. If you ask whether anyone has heard of our names, the responses may be: “What can an Asian American write about? What kind of roles can they play on a TV show or movie? Can they even produce rap music?” This is changing, because we are paving our own path. We will not let the fact that we are children of immigrants be the only thing that we are. We will preserve our culture and heritage for generations to come because we are proud and it’s our duty. But we will also create a place for us here. We will break down barriers as Asian Americans.

“We have walls

to go up against

because we aren’t considered in the first place.”


November 2018 | Entertainment

Special thanks to @Salt_Lake_Entertainment, Long Huynh, Thuy Ho and Nam Le | Photo Credit @shot_by_prum_ty

On September 29, a book signing of These Are They: Celebrating Random Acts of Kindness was held in Aurora, Colo. The book, written by sisters Elinora Reynolds and Betty Funderburke, features short stories shared by contributing writers about random acts of kindness.

about the book

Title: These Are They: Celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Authors: Elinora Reynolds and Betty Funderburke Cover Art by: May Tran Foreword by: Senator Rhonda Fields

ABOUT Sisters Enterprise May Tran is the artist who painted the book’s cover art. She was a nominated honoree in 2015. Her biography is on page 156 and her refugee story “An unforgettable day” is on page 239.

“Acts of kindness has nothing to do with my hands. But everything to do with my heart.” ~Dr. D. Cenece Dixon, President Barack Obama Lifetime Achievement Recipient

Sisters Enterprise is a nonprofit organization established by sisters Betty Funderburke and Elinora Reynolds to help change people’s lives for the better. Through promotion and recognition of kind and selfless people who perform random acts of kindness (RAOK), Sisters Enterprise demonstrates how one person can make a difference by engaging in RAOK in big and small ways. For this reason, Sisters encourages everyone (young and old) to boldly step out to make a difference by helping others while expecting no compensation in return. By making positive strides to make our community and world a better, kinder, and more livable place by doing one good deed at a time, Sisters Enterprise will continue to serve as a cheerleader (and active participant) for those who do the right thing by using themselves as an example of what is possible.

Purchase a book for $19.99 and support Sisters Enterprise at SQUAREUP.COM/STORE/SISTERS-ENTERPRISES E-books are also available for download on Below left to right: Publisher Amy Collette, co-author Elinora Reynolds and book cover artist May Tran


Mama always told us that doing nice things for others should be a natural, common-sense, outward gesture that comes from the heart and results in treating others as we would like to be treated. These Are They is a collection of biographies and short, inspirational stories that reflect the lives of our community’s finest citizens. We call them RAK-tivists. These stories of hope, overcoming, and encouragement are bound to inspire many to reach out and touch someone in a special way. By sharing their random acts of kindness stories and experiences, readers will learn ways to positively impact the lives of others by extending genuine, kind and caring random acts of kindness to friends, family and even strangers. At the end of the day, after reading These Are They, we hope you will agree that it’s not what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. Rather, it is about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better and what you’ve given back. After all, service to others is the rent we pay for being on this earth and an excellent way to pay it forward.

Book Signing | asian avenue magazine


bookreview A RIVER OF STARS Author: Vanessa Hua Price: $27 | Pages: 304 ISBN: 978-0399-1787-788 Publisher: Ballantine Website: Follow Vanessa on Twitter @vanessa_hua

Reviewed by: Mary Jeneverre Schultz Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @Jeneverre In this powerful story of motherhood, immigration, and identi- in attempting US citizenship in how the main character, Scarlett, ty, A River of Stars will take you on an emotional rollercoaster with places all her trust in the legal system but to only have her only tears one minute and laughter the next. savings taken away. Scarlett Chen, from China, is on the run. She is eight months It is an eye-opener to learn about the maternity tourism cenpregnant and stranded in Los Angeles after her married lov- ter in the west coast areas of California and Nevada. The details er sends her to a secret maternity center to give birth, thus be- of how a house is converted into a maternity center is grim. The stowing their baby with a priceless advantage: U.S. citizenship. owner indicates her connections in the US, while still threatening But when she is betrayed, she flees, setting off a hunt for her and the mothers to behave. Supporters will not help with hospital bills her unborn baby. In the stolen getaway van, Scarlett discovers a or obtaining the best care for an unborn child. pregnant teenage stowaway, another escapee from the maternity Hidden in plain sight, the protagonists were able to make a center. Hiding out in San Francisco’s Chinaliving and rent a below-standard room town, they must reinvent themselves. among other Chinese immigrants, who In pursuit, Scarlett’s lover treks from a became nosy neighbors but at the same crumbling Chinese village to a futuristic time kept watch on the 20-something girls Silicon Valley genetics lab. He must decide with newborn babies. Friendships were where his true loyalties, and greatest love, made across generations. Alliances were lie -- Scarlett must stop running and comcreated to keep the new mothers safe from mit to a future. other predators, who prey on immigrants. Told with empathy and wit, A River of Author and columnist forThe San FranStars is an entertaining, wildly unpredictcisco Chronicle, Vanessa Hua has been writable adventure which is also timely. As the ing about Asia and the diaspora in jourrise of a new Chinese population and the nalism and in fiction. She received a Rona - Author Vanessa Hua perils faced by immigrants to the United Jaffe Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award, States, this novel allows those to reassess a Steinbeck Fellowship in Creative Writing, the role of women in the world and contemplate what it means as well as honors from the Society of Professional Journalists and to be American. Novels like Hua’s are more important than ever. the Asian American Journalists’ Association. This escape from the “maternity tourism center” near Las Vegas Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, has a lot of laughs, while the section on the protagonists trying FRONTLINE/World, The Washington Post, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere, to figure out how to make money and become legal US citizens and she writes a weekly column for The San Francisco Chronicle. was heartbreaking. Readers could feel the angst of near misses She lives in northern California.

“I try to shine a light on untold stories, the kind of stories that reflect the world we live in, that might inspire a change in thinking and a change in action.”


November 2018 | Book Review


with Vanessa Hua

Asian Avenue: What inspired your novel A River of Stars? Vanessa Hua (VH): While living in Southern California and pregnant with my twin sons, I began hearing about maternity hotels getting busted. What’s a maternity hotel? There’s an underground industry to house Chinese women coming to the U.S. to give birth, so that their children will receive U.S. citizenship. Neighbors were asking why there were so many pregnant Chinese women coming and going into suburban homes. It sounded like a brothel in reverse! What was it like, I wondered, to be so far from home and family at one of the most vulnerable times in your life? When I was pregnant, I found that people treated me very generously, very kindly—offering me a place at the front of the line, or giving up their seat. They asked me when I was due, if I was having a boy or girl, and shared stories about their families. But when you have a dozen pregnant women under one roof, who gets the most sympathy and good wishes, who is the Queen Bee? It seemed like a situation ripe for drama—and ripe for comedy.

Photo credit: Andria Lo

VANESSA HUA Author of A River of Stars

Asian Avenue: What do you want readers to walk away with after reading your novel? VH: You might have seen that study that suggests that literary fiction fosters empathy, by helping you go deeply into a character’s thoughts and feelings. That’s something I’ve strived for as a writer. In my journalism and in my fiction, I try to shine a light on untold stories, the kind of stories that reflect the world we live in, that might inspire a change in thinking and a change in action. I hope that A River of Stars becomes one of those novels for readers, and that they’ll find characters they can identify with, enter a vibrant new world, and that they can share that experience with others. Asian Avenue: When you’re not writing, what are your hobbies and/or interests? VH: I love running, hiking, swimming, baking, and going on adventures in nature with my family. Asian Avenue: Anything you’d like to share with your audience? VH: It’s been devastating to learn what’s been happening at the border, to see families torn apart. They’re coming here in search of a better life, just like my family, just like the characters in my novel. A River of Stars | asian avenue magazine


SPCF’s Real Estate Management students.

FILAM PROPERTY CONNECTIONS EXPANDS ITS IMPACT Going on an international business trip was far beyond my imagination or expectations when I was first taking my real estate classes. When a friend asked me if I ever thought about becoming a realtor in 2013, little did I know how that day would change our lives and the way we make an impact on other people’s lives. Serving the community has always been my mission and I have always been passionate about helping people. Finding a profession that allows me to do both and help families and individuals reach their American dream of home ownership and at the same time give back to the community is such a great blessing. In September, I had my first international business trip to the Philippines to share the Keller Williams gospel. Founded in 1983, Keller Williams is now the world’s fastest growing and largest real estate franchise by agent count with more than 975 offices and 186,000 associates around the globe. The franchise is also No.1 in closed units and sales volume in the United States topping it with over $80 billion at the end of 2017. Keller Williams is home to over 6,800 agents


November 2018 | Real Estate

including those who are in Asia specifically China, Vietnam, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Cambodia and Philippines. Keller Williams is the only real estate company that has developed a profit share system that other companies are now trying to adopt. One of my trip’s highlights was giving a lecture to over 50 students of Systems Plus College Foundation (SPCF) in Angeles City, Philippines about the basics of a real estate transaction in the U.S. The purpose of the lecture was to collaborate and expand the students’ knowledge about international transactions. As of yet SPCF is the only college that offers real estate management courses in the province of Pampanga. However as the demand for real estate continues, it is expected that more universities will start offering the course. Four and a half years ago, we started from humble beginnings to now building a very successful and thriving real estate team. We have closed over 65 transactions with a volume of over $20 million dollars. 60% of our business comes from the Asian community and we are forever grateful for

By Aurelia Grinstead Founder and Team Leader, Filam Property Connections with Keller Williams Preferred Realty

KW Philippines Operating Principal Rolando Acuesta (third from left) and other KW Franchise owners.

the trust and overwhelming support that we continue to receive. During the trip, I was also asked to share our journey of “Building a Business Worth Owning and a Career Worth Having” at a Keller Williams Regional meeting. I was asked to give an inspirational talk in front of seasoned and successful real estate agents about how we worked to make an impact for the more than 50 families we have served.


This year one of our clients chose Project Pearls as the recipient of our Making an Impact, One Home at a Time program where we donate five percent of our commission to our client’s charity of choice. Project Pearls is a grassroot nonprofit organization based in the Philippines founded by Melissa Villa, a resident of San Francisco, CA. The organization aims to elevate the lives of those poorest of the poor through education and daily nourishment with a mission to “help

the underprivileged children in the Philippines by giving them peace, education, aspiration, respect, love and smiles. A total of $400 was donated to the organization to be used for their “Adopt a Pearl’s Family this Christmas.” The organization has more than 500 scholars to date and offers a daily feeding program in Tondo, Manila. Filam Property Connections is grateful for the opportunity to bring smiles to 20 families this Christmas and grateful to our clients who allow us to have these “experiences worth having, while building a business worth owning and living a life worth living” -- topics I presented about during my trip. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the thriving Asian community because we are a part of it.

Fil-Am Property Connections made a donation to Project Pearls to help children in the Philippines.


CHINESE RESTAURANT 2000 S. Havana St. Aurora, CO 80014 Tel: 303.745.1373

Open Hours: Monday-Sunday 11am-9:30pm Closed Tuesdays

Northeastern Steamed Bun Pickled Cabbage with Pork Pot Seaweed Shrimp Dumpling Soup Taiwanese Style Braised Beef Noodle Pan Fried Pork Dumpling Pan Fried Buns with Beef H Hot and Spicy Beef Pot Steamed Twisted Roll Fried Leek Dumplings



UNIQUE, DELICIOUS, UNFORGETTABLE! FilAm Property Connections | asian avenue magazine


AsAm Chinese American Physician will be the Next President of Planned Parenthood


lanned Parenthood announced that Dr. Leana Wen, head of Baltimore’s health department, will serve as its sixth president. “For more than 100 years, no organization has done more for women’s health than Planned Parenthood, and I’m truly honored to be named its president,” said Dr. Wen. “As a patient, I depended on Planned Parenthood for medical care at various times in my own life, and as a public health leader, I have seen firsthand the lifesaving work it does for our most vulnerable communities. As a doctor, I will ensure we continue to provide high-quality health care, including the full range of reproductive care, and will fight with everything I have to protect the access of millions of patients who rely on Planned Parenthood.” Dr. Wen has received numerous accolades for her work. She was named one of Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders and one of Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare. She received the American Public Health Association’s highest award in 2016.

Chinese American Contributions to Yosemite Formally Recognized


he California State Assembly has formally recognized the contributions of Chinese Americans in building Yosemite National Park. Assemblyman Frank Bigelow presented the resolution at the Yosemite Gateway Partners Fall meeting to the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California. “For too many generations we have limited our stories about the people who were involved with special places like Yosemite. In this complex and challenging society we live in, just talking about John Muir is not enough,” Jack Shu, Co-Founder of the Sing Peak Pilgrimage, said to Gold Rush Cam. “Hopefully this resolution will help move us to provide park visitors a more complete and richer history. By commemorating this inclusive past may we all be inspired to become better human beings.” The resolution reads, “Despite anti-immigrant sentiments and racism, Chinese immigrants became an indispensable workforce by taking on jobs that were not desired by others and performing tasks so well that today their accomplishments illustrate the highest levels of human achievement.”

Harvard on Trial: Applicants on Special List Allegedly Receive Stronger Consideration for Admission


rivilege has its benefits as the trial accusing Harvard of anti-Asian bias revealed what was widely suspected: Harvard opens its gates wide if you’ve got a rich daddy. The lawyers for Students for Fair Admissions—the anti-affirmative action group that filed the lawsuit contending that Harvard limits its Asian admissions—questioned Harvard’s Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons about the admissions process at the elite Ivy League school. One of the plaintiff’s attorneys, John M. Hughes, tried to show that Harvard favors the rich and well-connected by introducing some internal emails. The emails indicated that some of the admitted students were children of donors, calling them “superb additions to the class.” The dean defended Harvard’s special treatment of applicants with donor ties as “important for the long-term strength of the institution.” He noted the tactic helps to secure funding for scholarships, among other things. The trial, which questions the use of race in evaluating applicants, is expected to last three weeks and, through appeals, will likely wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court and could impact affirmative action programs in education and employment.


November 2018 | National News



Cast of Crazy Rich Asians Named Justin Yoon Best Breakout Ensemble Becomes Notre Dame’s All-Time Leading Scorer


opefully this is the first of many awards to come. The Hollywood Film Awards will honor the cast of Crazy Rich Asians with a Hollywood Breakout Ensemble Award. It will be presented November 4 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The cast features Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Sonoya Mizuno, Chris Pang, Jimmy O. Yang, Ronny Chieng, Remi Hii and Nico Santos. In an interview with the Borneo Post, Yeoh said she “was very upset” when she

originally received the script written by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim. “Eleanor was written as nasty, mean, mean, not nice at all. I don’t think that Eleanor comes from that motivation. She comes from the love of her son and what it takes to be the wife and the strength that’s necessary when you put the needs of your family before your own.” She praised director Jon Chu for his willingness to change the script. The film has a worldwide box office of $230 million with a release in China still to come.

Fresh Off the Boat Takes New Twists in Season 5


resh off the Boat enters its fifth season. Randall Park looks back in amazement. He had no expectations the show would last this long. “When we did the pilot, I hoped we do a good pilot. I didn’t even expect the pilot to be picked up as a series,” he told. “Especially at that time, there was no show like it. We just kept getting picked up. Got picked up again and now we’re on season 5. It’s wild.” Some might argue the success of Crazy Rich Asians on the big screen would not have been possible without the success of Fresh Off the Boat on the small screen.

One of the big additions to the show this year is a Chinese American family moving down the street from the Huangs. No longer are they the only Asians on the block. “That’s going to be an interesting thing now that there is more than one, how does that impact everybody? Are you going to be friends just because you’re the same ethnicity and race? Does that bond you immediately or is there more to it than that?” This season will also focus on the maturation of Eddie (Hudson Yang) and the rest of the children.


icker Justin Yoon has become Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer, breaking a record that has stood for 33 years. NBC Sports reports Yoon’s extra point giving the Irish a 38-16 lead over Virginia Tech set the record. He went on to kick another point after attempt giving him 322 career points-a record that is sure to grow as long as he stays healthy in this his senior season. Yoon said that it wasn’t that long ago that he knew nothing about football. “I didn’t know Tom Brady or anything. Like nothing,” he said. “I was clueless.” Yoon grew up playing hockey, soccer and lacrosse. It wasn’t until high school when a coach saw him kick a soccer ball that he was urged to try football. When he did, he started hearing whispers he could play football in college. “I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? I just started doing this,’ “ Yoon recalls saying back then. Yoon was born in Cincinnati, but raised in Seoul until the age of 10. He is thankful for the opportunities given to him. “It’s a blessing. I mean not many people get this opportunity, and the fact that I even have a chance is all thanks to everyone here,” he said. AsAm News | asian avenue magazine


Chinglish phrase “jia you” makes it into the Oxford English Dictionary KEEP IT UP!



By Annie Guo VanDan Last month, I was excited to see news articles circulating that the Chinese phrase “jia you” was an official entry in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). My Chinese friends on Facebook shared the news links with pride, as this phrase is a commonly used among us. These two words 加油 derived literally from the Chinese saying “jia you” in Mandarin or “ga yao” in Cantonese mean to add oil, which is a metaphor for inserting fuel into a tank to keep a car moving. The phrase is used as a way to cheer someone on and to not give up – such as “come on,” “persevere” or “keep going!” It is equal to the Japanese phrase “ganbatte!” with the same meaning. Big exam coming up? Jia you. Basketball game? Jia you. Baby wakes up five times a night? Jia you. You can do it! You got this! Although this saying is very commonly used in the Chinese language, there is no English expression that is quite the same.

The discovery of the phrase in the dictionary was supposedly made by Associate Professor Hugo Tseng from Taiwan’s Soochow University, who wrote a column about his finding in Hong Kong’s Apple Daily on Oct. 14. Although after the column ran, others found that the phrase had actually been in the dictionary since 2016. “To directly translate ‘jia you’ into ‘add oil’ - this is a form of Chinglish that many English teachers will correct. However, it has become popular to the point that the Oxford English Dictionary has accepted it and recognized its place,” he wrote in Chinese. The entry describes the phrase as being of Hong Kong English origin, and defines it as “expressing encouragement, incitement or support”, as in “go on! go for it!”. Sources suggest that the expression originated as a cheer at the Macau Grand Prix in the 1960s, according to an editor’s post on the dictionary’s website. When it comes to getting more words influenced by Asian languages into English diction, all I have to say is “jia you!”

The Oxford English Dictionary is updated on a quarterly basis. For more information, visit 26

November 2018 | Cultural Tidbits

2018 National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) Region 5

FILIPINIANA CELEBRATION A 20th anniversary celebration and fundraiser for Mending

By Gloria Williams

Faces during Filipino

Photos by Jeannette Herreria

With Philippine Consul from San Francisco Jed Martin A. Llona as keynote speaker, the 2018 Filipiniana celebration of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) Region 5 and the collaborations of its member organizations was quite a success.

American History Month The event was a three-fold celebration: 1. 20th anniversary of NaFFAA 2. Filipino American History Month; and 3. a fundraiser for Mending Faces, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that was founded in 2010 in Colorado to restore hope and provide a brighter future to those whose lives are burdened by cleft lip, cleft palate, and other deformities. The organization is a member organization of NaFFAA Region 5. The event was very well attended with the presence of NaFFAA National Executive Director Jason Tengco, who kept the attendees abreast of what is happening in the NaFFAA national scene. The invocation by Pastor Ramon Navarro of Crosswind Church was very moving. Awards were given that evening to: • Giselle Rushford for Lifetime Achievement Award • Ed and Nativided Anolin for Outstanding Leadership Award • Nora Elefante for Outstanding Leadership Award • Marie Fe Woods for Outstanding Youth Award

During his acceptance speech, Ed Anolin thanked the “trailblazers” such as Donna LaVigne and Giselle Rushford in paving the way and “inspiring the youth in the community.” On the other end of the spectrum, Maria Fe Woods accredited her success to “family” met through the Filipino community. “My work has only begun,” she said, adding that she is holding on to the culture of the Philippines. New officers were installed that evening including Gloria Williams as the new chair, Olive Joy Bell as vice chair—who did a fantastic job as chairman of the celebration and as emcee, Georgette Johnson as Secretary, Mary Lou Petersen as Treasurer, and Natividad Anolin as Auditor. Cultural performances by the Crosswind Church Dance Troupe and the Philippine American Society of Colorado (PASCO) dance troupe were first class and enjoyed by all. The evening’s live band Juan Direction (The Pinoy Band) from Crosswind Church and their singers were fantastic. Guests did not sit down from dancing; they just danced the night away. On Scene | asian avenue magazine


Bill McDorman describes the power of seeds. On Saturday, October 20 over 140 guests gathered at the Posner Center for International Development to support Global Seed Savers during our 8th Annual Nourish Event. Guest enjoyed a delicious Filipino meal prepared by The Orange Crunch Food Truck and Catering, Filipino Coffee from Venture Coffee Company, and a beautiful silent auction with a wide array of local entertainment and beautiful Filipino handicrafts! All who attended enjoyed a powerful day that celebrated seeds, our growing community, and most importantly, the hard work and dedication of our small-holder farmer partners working together to increase food and climate security in the Philippines and around the world. Karen Lee Hizola, our dynamic Philippines Country Manager, shared a heartfelt keynote that painted a vivid picture of the Filipino struggle and why seed saving is at the core of ensuring families stay together. Her passion for our work rang through and she received a well-deserved standing ovation after her keynote address. Thank you Karen for making the long journey to be with us and for sharing your story and passion for your country and for making our world a better place! Bill McDorman, Founder and Executive Director of the Rocky


November 2018 | On Scene

GSS Board of Directors with Karen Lee Hizola, Philippines Country Manager. Mountain Seed Alliance, joined Global Seed Savers in the Philippines in 2016 to host a Seed School training for over 60 Filipino farmers. He gave an emotional talk sharing that 30 years ago he started a small website entitled International Seed Saving Institute and now 30 years later this work is happening because of Global Seed Savers. We are humbled to be partners with the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance in this critical work and are so grateful for our continued collaborations and Bill’s guidance and mentorship. In addition, Meta Sarmiento brought down the house with his powerful hip-hop and spoken word poetry describing his journey as a Filipino growing up in Guam and now an artist making his way here in Denver. His passion and raw talent left the crowd mesmerized. Thank you Meta for sharing your gifts with us and supporting our mission! The 8th Annual Nourish Event was the most successful to date, grossing over $22,000 to support our partner farmers in establishing community owned and operated seed libraries and ensuring their continued resiliency in the face of climate change. Thanks to all that helped make this event such a success! To learn more about Global Seed Savers please visit our website at:

Meta Sarmiento performs spoken word poetry.

Global Seed Savers 8th Annual Nourish Event A Heartfelt Day Celebrating All Things Filipino and Seeds By Sherry Manning

Karen Lee Hizola (left) and Sherry Manning (right), GSS Executive Director.

Local elected officials and honorable guests attended the 107th National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan) celebration on Oct. 5, 2018.

Director General Jerry Chang (right) and Mrs. Chang (middle) with Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams (left).

TAIPEI ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL OFFICE IN DENVER HELD 107TH NATIONAL DAY CELEBRATION By Shirley Chang The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver held a reception in celebration of the 107th National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan) on October 5 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The event was hosted by Director General Jerry Chang and Mrs. Chang. Special guests included U.S. Congressman Mike Coffman (R-CO), Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, members from Colorado Consular Corps, Colorado state senators and representatives, as well as local Taiwanese community members. In the opening remarks, Director General Chang mentioned recent positive developments between the United States and Taiwan, such as the Taiwan Travel Act has been signed into law, the American Institute in Taiwan completed its new office compound in Taipei, and the U.S. announcing new defensive arms sale to Taiwan. Director General Chang added that Taiwan is one of the most important stakeholders in the Indo-Pacific, and is prepared to share its experiences in democratization and economic development with other countries.

Director General Chang also emphasized that Taiwan is always grateful for American friendship and support. He quoted the remarks made by the U.S. State Department: “The United States has been, is and always will be Taiwan’s closest friend and partner.” Moreover, many dignitaries from Colorado and its five service states presented proclamations or letters to congratulate Taiwan on this auspicious occasion. The highlight of the reception was the Denver Cherry Creek High School Orchestra playing famous folk songs including Jasmine and Craving for the Spring Breeze. The music reminded the Taiwanese community of their home country and brought joy to the event. The film “People Centered, Joint Happiness” produced by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was played at the celebration to promote the national image. Several hundred guests attended the reception and cheered together to wish the country happy birthday!

Director General Jerry Chang and Mrs. Chang with Congressman Mike Coffman.

Cherry Creek High School Orchestra played famous folk songs at the event. Mile-High Happenings | asian avenue magazine


Climate Change:

Global Challenge Requiring Global Response By Dr. Lee Ying-yuan Minister of Environmental Protection Administration Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan)

Continued growth in emissions of greenhouse gases around the world has caused abnormal and extreme weather events such as heatwaves, droughts, and catastrophic torrential rains. These events are no longer just abstract future scenarios; they are happening today in all corners of the globe. Average temperatures in Taiwan in the past two years have been the highest in 100 years. Since 2017, rainfall has dropped, affecting Taiwan’s hydroelectricity generation. Indeed, these recent developments are having a considerable impact and pose a significant threat. Other parts of the world have witnessed similar trends. During the 2018 summer season, many countries across the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Asia, North America, and North Africa have experienced record-breaking heatwaves and deadly wildfires that seriously jeopardize human health, agriculture, natural ecosystems, and infrastructure. To further implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and achieve the goals outlined therein, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in addition to faithfully conducting important projects, consultations, and negotiations, has also invited parties from various fields to join the Talanoa Dialogue, so as to take full advantage of the collective wisdom of humankind in formulating workable solutions to climate change. As a member of the global village, and in line with the Paris Agreement, Taiwan has actively encouraged all stakeholders


November 2018 | Taiwan Update

to do their part and strengthen efforts toward reducing carbon emissions. The government is investing in other equipment and technology that can help reduce pollution, offering subsidies to encourage people to replace older vehicles as well as promoting electric vehicles. The pursuit of economic growth often comes at the expense of environmental degradation and depletion of natural resources. According to research by the Global Footprint Network, human consumption of natural resources is outpacing the ability of the planet’s ecosystems to regenerate resources by a factor of 1.7. In order to find a proper balance between economic development and environmental protection, Taiwan is promoting the circular economy as part of the Five Plus Two Innovative Industries program. There is a widespread international consensus that the circular economy plays a vital role in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. Taiwan has already made significant progress over the past two decades in recycling and reusing resources. In fact, in 2017, Taiwan’s resource recovery rate was 52.5%, a ratio surpassed only by Germany and Austria. The recycling rate of plastic bottles in Taiwan in 2017 was 95%. And during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, about half of the 32 teams in the tournament wore jerseys produced with recycled bottles from Taiwan. Looking to the future, Taiwan will continue to strengthen technological R&D and innovation, so as to bolster recycling

while building integrated industrial value chains. The goal is to achieve a situation in which there is zero waste and everything that can be recycled is recycled. Taiwan is more than willing to share its technology and experience with the international community. By advancing environmental sustainability, we can ensure that our planet remains as uniquely beautiful and habitable as it has been more for millions of years. All countries and parties should take part in this common endeavor. Having benefited tremendously from industrialization, Taiwan is now fully committed to playing a key role in saving the planet and its precious ecosystems. Taiwan is ready and willing to share its knowledge and experience in environmental management, disaster prevention and warning systems, energy efficiency enhancement technology, and application of innovative technology. Climate change is a matter of our planet’s survival, and should not be reduced to a political issue. Taiwan has long been unfairly disregarded by and isolated from the United Nations system. This has not discouraged us. On the contrary, we have doubled our efforts. In a professional, pragmatic, and constructive manner, Taiwan will seek meaningful participation in international organizations and events, and fulfill its responsibilities as a member of the international community. Let Taiwan join the world, and let the world embrace Taiwan.

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