Asian Avenue magazine - February 2020

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magazine February 2020 Volume 15 | Issue 2

V isi t VANCOUVER Chinat o wn


Denver Takayama: A 60 Year Friendship


Valentine Denver Date Ideas

Restaurant Peek ANISE

Modern Vietnamese Eatery

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Be Ready. Census2020


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The Confucius Institute at

Community College of Denver 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

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Chinese hotpot is a communal eating experience, in which you order different ingredients to boil inside a simmering pot of broth. Think of it as Asian fondue where everyone at the table cooks their own food!

How to eat Hotpot?

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2020 Stone Soup: Gathering Community, Nourishing Children Friday, March 20, 2020 | 7:30am to 9:00am The Curtis, 1405 Curtis Street, Denver


Minh Lê Author of Drawn Together Minh Lê, author and early childhood policy expert, will be the keynote speaker at the Mile High Early Learning’s 2020 Stone Soup 7th annual event. Minh is the author of Drawn Together—winner of numerous awards including the 2019 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. Minh is also a federal early childhood policy expert who has worked in education at the national, state, and local level—both in and out of the classroom. All proceeds will support Mile High Early Learning’s mission: to enable all children to succeed in school by providing resources and education to inspire a lifetime of learning and self-sufficiency. Contact Nathan Harlan at or 303.962.2634 for more information on how to attend or support the event. Mile High Early Learning serves 7,000+ children and families annually



2020 in this issue

Valentine’s Day has become an internationally celebrated holiday. Get some local date ideas and learn about how the day of love is celebrated in Asia.




Event calendar



CU Boulder uncovers the legacy of Japanese and Japanese Americans at the university



Simpson United Methodist Church: there’s always room at the table Denver and Takayama reflect on a 60 year friendship in 2020



Denver AAPI commissioner Patrick Walton shares an op-ed on increasing AAPI visibility in Denver



Need some ideas on how to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Denver? Check out these things to do with your S.O.


Travel to Vancouver to visit the largest Chinatown in Canada



Anise brings a modern twist to Vietnamese cuisine to Denver



Learn about dog breeds of Asia and try not to immediately go out and get one of these cuties



Book Review: The White Devil’s Daughters by Julia Flynn Siler

9 February 2020 | Table of Contents



How Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Asia—or not




Movie Review: The Gentlemen starring Henry Golding as the villain gangster is in theaters now





A weekend honors Japanese American WWII veterans at History Colorado John Yee posthumously honored with Martin Luther King Jr. Business Award Chinese students at CSU celebrate Spring Festival

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

Find us @AsianAveMag #AsianAveMag

Dear Asian Avenue readers, Ahh - can flu season come to an end please? Take care of yourselves and your families, especially the elderly and young, during these next months. It is said that flu activity peaks between December and February, but can last as late as May. We are almost out of the clear for one of the worst flu seasons in years. Meanwhile, the Wuhan coronavirus has been declared an international emergency by the WHO. Locally, some Chinese new year events were cancelled last month as a precaution. The Far East Center hosted a weekend of celebration and unveiled a mural painted by Ratha Sok that represents cultural unity and inclusion. The message of this mural is timely as we are experiencing heightened anxiety caused by the virus. We urge you to stay informed on the issue and not resort to exclusion or racism based upon fear. This pandemic shows us, after all, that we are all human with the same vulnerabilities. In this issue, our feature articles highlight the incredible relationship Colorado has with Japan and the active Japanese American community we have locally. This year Denver celebrates a 60-year relationship with Takayama as sister cities. At CU-Boulder, Japanese/Japanese American history has been pulled from university archives. And lastly, Simpson United Methodist Church has become a home for Japanese Americans and looks to the future with new strategies for growth. Annie Guo VanDan, President Asian Avenue magazine | Published by Asian Avenue Magazine, Inc. P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222-1748 Tel: 303.937.6888 |

Publisher & Founder CHRISTINA YUTAI GUO

Marketing Manager JOIE HA





Graphic Designer/Videographer LIJIN ZHAO

Staff Writer AMY NG

Web Designer JASON ZHANG


on the cover


Valentine’s Day is a time to show love to the special person(s) in your life. Check out our date ideas if you’re looking for some inspiration. Photo by: Mitch Dao IG:

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 Fran Campbell, Joie Ha, Adam Lisbon, Patrick Walton

contributing photographers Abigayle Tarsches 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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President’s Note | asian avenue magazine


Event Calendar Chinese New Year 2020 Sat. Feb. 8 | 2pm to 5pm Silver Creek High School 4901 Nelson Rd, Longmont Cost: Free and open to public

The Asian-Pacific Association of Longmont, Colorado is celebrating the 10th anniversary of their Chinese New Year family event. New this year is a lantern festival and handson/virtual reality activities available for people of all ages. Cultural performances including taiko drums and kung fu, and Chinese food samples will be shared! Also, learn about Chinese tea culture! Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau Film Wed. Feb. 12 | 6:30 to 8:30pm

Denver Museum of Nature & Science 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver Cost: Free and open to public with $5 suggested donation This moving documentary profiles Eddie Aikau: legendary big wave surfer, pioneering lifeguard, peacemaker, and crew member of the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule’a. Eddie began surfing at age eleven. A discussion with the audience will follow the film.


February 2020 | Event Calendar

Day of Remembrance 2020 Sun. Feb. 16 | 1pm to 3pm History Colorado Center 1200 Broadway, Denver Cost: Free and open to public Contact for more information Join for keynote speaker Mitch Maki, CEO of the Go For Broke National Education Center in Los Angeles, who will pay tribute to the heroes of the Military Intelligence Service. These Nisei soldiers were not famous, but they were instrumental in the allied victory in the Pacific, and in the U.S. Occupation postwar Japan.

A Thousand Paper Cranes Tues. Feb. 18 | 6pm to 8pm Sie Film Center 2510 E Colfax Ave, Denver Search “I Am Denver” on EventBrite This evening with I Am Denver includes a reception, screening and Denver Talks discussion of its documentary film A Thousand Paper Cranes: How Denver’s Japanese American Community Emerged from Internment. In Japanese culture, one thousand paper cranes carry on their wings the folders’ prayers for healing, good fortune and wishes come true.

The Merchant of Mumbai Feb. 20 - Mar. 29 The BiTSY Stage 1137 S. Huron Street, Denver Cost: $5 per ticket

Gambling everything on love and friendship, three compatriots embark on a crazy journey. When fortunes take a turn for the worst, a mysterious lady saves the day. Join us for a rollicking Bollywood Bash as we prove that the spirit of the law is greater than the letter of the law. And yes, there will be epically large dance numbers! The BiTSY Stage provides high quality theatrical productions for the whole family. Colorado Dragon Film Festival on Wellness Feb. 20-23 Sie Film Center 2510 E Colfax Ave, Denver Cost: $90 for festival pass $15 for film tickets

Join the CO Dragon Film Festival in celebrating the creative ways that wellness expresses itself in o ​ ur community relationships, food, identity, healthcare, LGBTQ health, and the arts! The film festival will feature documentaries such as Love Boat: Taiwan, as well as discussions on topics including healthcare and mental health.

4th annual Denver Travel & Adventure Show Feb. 22-23 Colorado Convention Center 700 14th Street, Denver Tickets: $15 General shows/denver The Denver Travel & Adventure Show is the preeminent travel marketplace in the Denver area. It is the place to get great travel story ideas, interview travel experts and show executives on travel trends, and capture amazing photos all under one roof. The showshowcases hundreds of captivating worldwide destinations.

Friendship Cup Sat. Feb. 29 | 9am to 6pm Colorado School of Mines, Lockridge Arena, Golden Tickets: $7 General $5 Senior 65+ | Free under 4 The Friendship Cup was established to promote karate-do and to provide a venue to make new friends, to see old friends, to share technical knowledge, and of course, to engage in spirited competition. The public is invited to watch the competitions.

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CU Boulder uncovers the legacy of Japanese and Japanese Americans at the university By Adam Lisbon The University of Colorado Boulder has a Japanese and Japanese American legacy stretching back over 100 years. The first known Japanese national to graduate from the university was Sosuke Ochiai in 1911, receiving an MD, going on to work as a physician in Hawaii. The first known Japanese American alum was Yoshio Tashima from Brighton, Colo., graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering. The CU Boulder Archives has been uncovering this unique history thanks to the CU Japanese and Japanese American Community History Project, supported by a grant from the CU Boulder Outreach Committee. In fact, the Japanese American community has been especially active at the uni-

versity for many years, bringing a cosmopolitan spirit and atmosphere of inclusion to the campus. The Archives has notes and photos from clubs, photos from year books, and administrative documents addressing CU’s efforts to recruit Japanese Americans out of Amache and onto campus, as well as documents highlighting moments of racial discrimination and harrassment. Missing from this story are the personal, day-to-day experiences of the Japanese

History has not only happened but is happening now to all of us. We may often see ourselves as not having a story to contribute to a legacy, but the small objects, letters, and photos from your lives today are the

George Masunaga, middle, on the 1940 CU baseball team, Coloradan.

Japanese language class shot focused on the sensei at CU Boulder in 1943.

The Okamoto family with Bob Mandelstam, Dave Parkes, Roger Pineau, and Bob Kinsman in 1953.

and Japanese American faculty, staff, and students at the university. We are working with community members to preserve oral histories, photos, letters, scrapbooks, videos, and other objects that represent their time here at CU. These documents will be digitized for public research and scholarship online on the CU Digital Library and also preserved in perpetuity in the Archives as a vital and unique piece of both the university and Colorado’s history for scholars and students to come.

scholarly artifacts of tomorrow’s researchers. Archives are a place to preserve family and community histories, and it is our mission that the CU Boulder Archives captures more diverse voices as part of that history. If you are a CU Boulder alum or current or former faculty or staff member, who is Japanese or Japanese American, we would love for you to participate in the CU Japanese and Japanese American Community History Project. You can contribute your story of your time at CU through an oral history interview or donating photos, letters, or other materials. Contact the head of the CU Boulder Archives, Megan Friedel at megan. Adam Lisbon is an assistant professor and Japanese & Korean Studies librarian at CU Boulder. Feature | asian avenue magazine


“Our church is at a crossroads that presents us with a unique and exciting challenge. The challenge is to pledge our many talents and energy to the survival of our beloved church. We are so fortunate to have so many devoted and faithful members that are unwavering in their support for our existence and our place in the greater Japanese American community.” - George Kawamura, Simpson Ad Council Co-Chair

Simpson United Methodist Church: 113 Years of History, Fellowship and Community Simpson United Methodist Church (Simpson) has a long histoHina Matsuri is a doll festival and celebration of Japanese culry of fellowship and worship within the Japanese American com- ture, including a tea ceremony, ikebana display (floral arrangemunity in Colorado. The church began in a small boarding house ments), martial arts demonstrations and musical entertainment. for Japanese immigrants in 1907 and has expanded to be a mul- It occurs the first weekend in March – this year on March 7 and 8 ticultural congregation deeply rooted in the Japanese American from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. The Annual Asian Food Baculture and experience. As a church, Simpson believes in a loving zaar will take place on May 2, 2020 and the Arts and Crafts ShowGod who is near to everyone, and that God’s love comes through case be in October. All of these events proudly share Japanese and one’s personal encounters each day. Japanese American traditions with the community. Pastor Leah Simpson has always served as a safe haven Coleman and church leaders recognize the confor those who face racial prejudice. Church leadgregation’s passion for honoring and embracing ers recognized the importance of the Japanese its rich Japanese heritage and culture. American community to gather in support of Pastor Leah says, “The Japanese American each other, develop leadership skills and create culture and history are relevant to today’s socinetworks. During and after WWII, church leaders ety and the stories of the past must never be supported and heralded Governor Ralph Carr’s forgotten.” efforts to allow Japanese and Japanese AmeriAs Simpson celebrates its 113-year history, cans to find refuge in Colorado. the congregation has reflected on the many Ministries at the church have enabled its changes that have occurred in the life of the members to forge lifelong friendships and rechurch. In 2019, the church faced the reality lationships over the decades. In the late 1940’s, that has befallen many churches in the nation: a basketball team was formed that played in namely, a multitude of competing priorities in the Colorado Nisei Basketball League. A Little people’s lives. Simpson was faced with a choice: Traditional Japanese dolls are League baseball team was then formed, folbe the stewards of a declining church or take on display for Hina Matsuri: lowed by the Simpson Bowling Team which action and embark on a committed, proactive Doll’s Day in Japan continues to this day. Celebrating Japanese plan to sustain and grow the church. Simpson culture is also a critical and meaningful component of Simp- congregants and Pastor Leah chose to be proactive. son. Many cultural events presented by the congregants are still After much self-examination, the church volunteers developed thriving. and implemented a comprehensive strategic plan for the revital-


February 2020 | Feature

Pastor Leah Coleman blesses a new member of the church at a baptism.

The Strategic Planning Committee are now implementing their plan to expand the church’s presence and community outreach.

ization of Simpson. A planning team of 12 church members was and the larger Japanese American community. brought together along with two volunteer consultants to deDedicated and enthusiastic congregants have brought energy velop the strategic plan, which is rooted in Simpand grace to the hard work of implementing the Address: 6001 Wolff Street son’s vision statement: “to be a vibrant spiritual strategic plan. Due to the generous and gracious Arvada, CO 80003 community that honors our Japanese American gifts of past and present members of the congre10AM Sunday worship; cultural heritage, welcomes involvement from a Japanese-language service in gation, the financial future of the church is secure the Nichigo Chapel dynamic membership and builds a sustainable for the near future. legacy for future generations.” Simpson United Methodist Church has many Holy Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month Priorities of the plan include expanding the gifts to offer its congregants and the Colorado and all are welcome. church’s presence and outreach to the neighborcommunity. It has embarked upon a sacred jourhood and the broader Japanese American comney and welcomes all who wish to join them. munity, and enhancing the Japanese culture within the church “There is always room at the table.”

Simpson United Methodist Church | asian avenue magazine


Denver and Takayama: A 60 Year Friendship By Jessalyn Herreria Langevin

The 2019 student delegation from Takayama are met at Denver International Airport

This year Denver and Takayama will commemorate 60 years since becoming sister cities. Such a momentous year warrants a large celebration set for June. In the meantime, hearing about Denver and Takayama being sister cities raises some questions. Where is Takayama? What is a sister city? And finally, what does having Takayama as a sister city mean for Denver? Takayama is a city in the Gifu Province of Japan. The Gifu Province is found in the center of Japan, similar to the way Colorado is in the center of the United States. The name Takayama means “tall mountain” which describes the regional geography. The city is located in the Japanese Alps with its highest point being 10,470 feet. Given its name and geographic location, it’s no wonder that Denver, the Mile High City, chose Takayama as a sister city. So what is a sister city? By definition, sister cities are two communities in different nations that have joined together to learn

more about each other and to develop friendly meaningful relationships. They may also be called twin cities. The relationship is typically recognized by top government officials from both of the communities or cities in an official ceremony. Denver and Takayama’s official relationship began in 1960 making Takayama the second sister city of Denver Sister Cities International (DSCI). In these 60 years, the two cities have partnered in annual high school student exchange programs, yearly adult trips to Japan, and cultural collaborations such as joint concerts and initiatives. This is all made possible through the work of Denver Takayama Sister Cities Committee. More information to come soon but the 60th Anniversary Celebration is not to be missed. Learn more about the Denver Takayama Sister Cities Committee and their upcoming events at You can also find them on Facebook at

2019 DSCI Annual Meeting

The 2012 student delegation to Takayama

The first delegation to Takayama in March of 1961


February 2020 | Feature

Musicians from Takayama perform at the 2015 Cherry Creek Arts Festival


A Seat

at the Table:

Partisanship and a divided America seem to sum up the political realities of 2019. While there are always instances of the Coloradan spirit of collaboration and determination, the tone of the national conversation seems to have found its way into our state. Similar to many in the Asian American Pacific Islander community (AAPI) I find this tone stands in direct opposition to the values instilled by my family. With 2020’s political rhetoric ramping up and as one of the fastest growing racial groups in America, the AAPI community can no longer afford to be absent from the conversation within our state and local politics. We must influence a process that both reflects our interests and values through agreement on common issues, elevating our collective voices and addressing the glaring lack of AAPI representation in elected office. As business owners, professionals, educators, faith leaders and civil servants AAPIs are integral members of Colorado’s social fabric. It is a myth that we are not civically engaged, in fact Colorado AAPIs navigate a complex informal system to address issues within our own community. According to the Center for American Progress, AAPIs will constitute nearly 10% of eligible voters in the U.S. by 2036. With our newfound voting power, a wider integration into the larger population, and a decreasing isolationism from the political process, we have an obligation to make our issues known. Issues such as immigration, healthcare, housing, and economic development all have distinct implications on our community. It is important that we develop a policy platform that is inclusive of all AAPI needs supported with disaggregated data. It is equally crucial that we build off our existing network of strong leaders to become

A New Year’s Resolution

better organized and consistent in messaging. Once that message is developed it must be delivered. Denver’s Asian American Pacific Islander Commission has had an ongoing digital media campaign called #Visible which highlights the diversity of the AAPI in Denver and comments on the seemingly invisibility of our community. Our lack of visibility, however, is not because we choose to be silent but rather a value in hard work and persistence. This tenacity is not only cultural but born out

We know that greater diversity at any level of leadership stands to benefit everyone. of a generation of immigrants and refugees who had no option but to rely on themselves in the face of a system that could be cruel and at times racist. It is our responsibility to break this narrative within our own community and prove that changing the system is possible when we use the power of our collective voice and vote. We know that greater diversity at any level of leadership stands to benefit everyone while greatly increasing access, opportunity and the better protection of all minorities. The incredible progress made by the Black and Latinx communities in Colorado have prompted policies that address many issues that have historically contributed to the oppression of minorities including AAPIs. However, it is not

enough to have the interests of AAPIs represented through others. There are issues that require our own self-advocacy and need to be articulated through the lens of our own community. From a complete lack of representation in the state legislature to underrepresentation on city councils and school boards across the state, it is not possible to inspire the future generations of AAPIs to use their voice if we are not seen using ours. With a new year comes a fresh start and the opportunity to change the narrative of the past. After an objectively divisive and politically turbulent 2019, and a looming presidential election promising more of the same, the Asian American Pacific Islander community should be asking themselves if what they hear and read truly reflect the values of our community. If the answer is no, let us commit to strengthening our political organizing across Colorado’s AAPI community and identify a single platform. Let us find a louder voice when we feel like we’re not being heard. Let us increase our visibility through better representation in elected statewide and local office. And let our new year resolution, at the start of a new decade, be about AAPIs in Colorado finally taking our seat at the table.

Patrick Walton is a member of Denver’s Asian American Pacific Islander Commission and Denver’s Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships Advisory Board.

DAAPIC Column | asian avenue magazine


Cover Story

To take your S.O. on the perfect Valentine’s date, several factors need to be considered to reach success with your significant other. Is it just one evening or a weekend getaway? Are you dating or married? What is the budget? Here are some ideas to cover all bases:

MARRIED COUPLES: OPTION 1 After spending many Valentine’s Days together, date night this year may be a chance to plan for an upcoming vacation, share stories about funny neighbors, or discuss career strategies. Head over to Comrade Brewing for a casual evening to sample some of its award-winning brews. The brewery partners with several local food trucks so you can also order food. Budget: Parking is free. Fourounce glasses are available to sample beers, costing $2.50 to $4, depending on the beer. A regular eight-ounce glass can cost $6 to $7.50. Food truck charges about $12 per person for appetizers. Estimated Cost: $55 (flight of four beers, two eight-ounce glass of beers and meals from the food truck) More info:


February 2020 | Cover Story

OPTION 2 A night of laughter is always a good idea. Start it off with dinner at Lucy’s, the restaurant that partners with Comedy Works at Greenwood Village. When you tell the host you are also watching a show, they will ensure your meal is expedited and seat you closer to the front. Budget: Parking is free. Tickets range from $14 to $50. Dinner for two is $20 to $50 per person. Estimated Cost: $200 (dinner and a show for two) More info:


OPTION 3 Instead of a late night date, how about a daytime activity with your better half? Snowbirds will love heading out to the Colorado mountains to ski or snowboard. With Valentine’s Day so close to President’s Day, it’s easy to plan a weekend getaway. But last-minute planning will leave you out in the cold; start researching online for the best prices and deals.

Budget: Ski resorts open as early as 7 a.m. Visit Loveland for day passes ranging from $75 to $155 depending on specials. It’s cheaper to buy lift tickets online. Rental for equipment can range $40 to $80 a day. Lunch for two at the lodge could cost up $40. Estimated Cost: $510 (for one day) More info:


NVER TINE’S IDEAS OPTION 3 Support the arts by checking out your local community theater. Denver is filled with a wide selection, including Vintage Theater, Curious Theater and the Arvada Center. All three options provide a wide variety of topics from social commentary to classics; it’s hard to choose which one to watch when you there are many local theaters in the area.

OPTION 1 Interested in finding out if your new boyfriend or girlfriend is smart? Head over to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for numerous activities like the traveling exhibits and IMAX documentaries. Budget: Buying online saves $1. It’s typically $19.95 per person. IMAX costs about $7 per person. Planetarium admission costs about $5 per person. An average lunch for two could cost $30 depending on selection at the cafeteria. Estimated Cost: $94 (a day at the museum)

OPTION 2 Enjoy an evening of beautifully crafted sushi and sake pairings prepared by GetFed Concepts and Colorado Sake Co. Menu will include BBQ Yakitori style Chicken, Thai Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Eggplant. Following the first course will be a sushi tasting. Chef Taylor will prepare Beef Cured Hamachi, Miso Salmon, and Spicy Tuna. Budget: Tickets are $90 per person for the three course dinner. More info:

More info:

Budget: Depending on the schedule, time and type of production, prices per person range from $16 to $45. Estimated Cost: $90 More info:,,

Valentine’s Day | asian avenue magazine



Valentine’s Day

is Celebrated in Asian Cultures It is believed that Valentine’s Day was created by the giant card company so that cards, chocolates and fancy dinners could be celebrated on February 14. But is Hallmark really behind the day of love that is now recognized as an international holiday? In the Roman Catholic tradition, there are three St. Valentine’s: 1. The first St. Valentine was a priest and physician in Rome. Eventually, St. Valentine was also arrested, condemned to death for his faith, beaten with clubs, and finally beheaded on Feb. 14, AD 270. 2. The second St. Valentine was the Bishop of Interamna (now Terni, located about 60 miles from Rome). Under the orders of Prefect Placidus, he too was arrested, scourged, and decapitated, again suffering persecution during the time of Emperor Claudius II.

By Mary Jeneverre Schultz


February 2020 | Cover Story

3. The third St. Valentine suffered martyrdom in Africa with several companions. However, nothing further is known about this saint. In all, these men, each named St. Valentine, showed heroic love for the Lord and His Church. Over time, St Valentine’s name began to be used by individuals to express their emotions to those they love. Nowadays, most countries have adopted the Western customs of buying chocolates, greeting cards and a romantic night out on the town. Other Valentine’s customs include buying jewelry, fancy namebrand purses and of course, roses.


In Japan, women show appreciation with chocolates. The “obligatory” chocolate, usually given to friends, colleagues and platonic male buddies, this chocolate is called “giri choco.” It is affordable in price. For boyfriends, the other chocolate is called “honmei choco,” also translated as “true feelings chocolate.” This chocolate is usually made by high-end brand names and luxurious packaging. Men can’t return gifts until March 14, which is called the “white day.” One month later on March 1, men return the favor by giving sweet stuff. Originally, it was marshmallows but now it’s anything sweet.

CHINA The Chinese calendar dedicates several dates to celebrate love. The Lantern Festival is typically marked on the 15th day of the first lunar month, coinciding with February 14. In the olden times, the Lantern Festival was one of the few evenings curfew wasn’t imposed, allowing villagers to stay outside to admire the beauty of the lanterns, probably one of the few times for singles to meet significant others. Another date in the Chinese calendar is the Qixi Festival, also known as the Double Seventh Festival, which takes place on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month (usually August). Since the Han dynasty, this festival is based on the love story of “The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl.” Let’s not forget the singles. Singles’ Day is celebrated on November 11 which is written 11.11 or one-one-one-one. Known in China as the “bare sticks holiday,” Singles’ Day began as an anti-Valentine’s Day led by students at Nanjing University.



South Koreans follow the same customs as Japan, celebrating both Valentine’s Day and White Day. In addition, South Koreans celebrate Black Day on April 14, an unofficial holiday for singles to get together, dress in dark colors and drown their woes in big bowls of jajangmyeon (noodles in black bean sauce). It’s an opportunity for some restaurants to host jajangmyeon eating contests on this day.

INDONESIA As one of the largest Muslim populations, Valentine’s Day is not celebrated publicly. However, the sales of chocolates and greeting cards are higher than normal.


The Thais love their flowers. Because Thailand is near the equator, they don’t give chocolate as a gift since it melts too fast. Music, especially love songs, is heard throughout the country. Couples and lovers visit Trimurti Shrine, covered with red roses, in Bangkok as a way to make offerings, good luck wishes and love.

THE PHILLIPPINES This island country takes this occasion to make it a wedding. In recent years, 150 couples got married in southern areas such as Palawan. Motivated by branding ads, young couples have participated in lip locking activities, starting at midnight when everyone kisses at once.

PAKISTAN Government officials prohibit Valentine’s Day festivities. So TV and radio stations do not create any special programming, regarding love during this time frame.

In this country, where the Taj Mahal is dedicated in love, Valentine’s Day is a relatively new holiday. However, the country has staged protests on the streets and online. Young couples are forced to get married if they are caught showing public affection.

CAMBODIA Teenagers enjoy Valentine’s Day. But the government warns teenagers that the holiday contradicts their “Khmer values.” The country’s Ministry of Education issues its annual warning not to engage in premarital sex. The government also uses the holiday to educate the country’s population about the issue or sexual consent. Valentine’s Day | asian avenue magazine



A Wok Around


By Mary Jeneverre Schultz

Millennium Gate on Pender Street in Chinatown


27.7% South Asian




Southeast Asian So




Mixed visible minority




West Asian


Source: 2011 Census


February 2020 | Travel

Instead of walking around downtown Vancouver aimlessly, take a guided tour around Chinatown to learn about history, heritage, culture, immigration and racism. Long-time Chinese-American resident Bob Sung takes visitors, guests and tourists from around the world through a three-hour jaunt around the historic Chinese district of this coastal city. “I just want to share my Chinese heritage,” said Bob Sung, owner and tour guide of A Wok Around. Vancouver Chinatown ranks second in land-size after San Francisco and has the third-largest population of Chinese (after San Francisco and New York), according to TripSavvy, a travel site. Chinatown in Vancouver, British Columbia, is Canada’s largest Chinatown. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden After walking through the iconic Chinatown arch, the meeting place begins at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, a public park that offers daily tours to explain the historical and cultural significances in Vancouver. This attraction offers a serene setting of a pond filled with

water lilies, frogs and turtles. Photogenic spots include Asian pagodas, statues, and interesting architectural designs. Narrowest Building in the World One block away from the garden, visitors will check out the Sam Kee Building, the narrowest commercial building in the world, according to the World Guinness Book of Records. Built in 1913, it is six feet wide and 100 feet long, and another photogenic spot for tourists. Ming Wo Retailers Professional chefs, cooks and foodies can browse through the store for rice cookers, steamers, rice paddles, sushi knives, woks and everything else needed for a well-stocked kitchen. Since 1917, this family-owned retailer is jammed with so many possibilities. Close to the entrance of the store, a display of light bulbs used throughout the years is hung up for all visitors to view and understand the history behind these store fixtures. Walking through the Streets Murals show the history of immigration

while statues honor the contributions of some of history’s noted figures. Chinese letters are displayed throughout some of the buildings. Produce markets, mini grocery stores, fish stalls and herbal retailers are also found throughout Chinatown. Newton Bakery This bakery was used as a dim sum restaurant in a scene from Always Be My Maybe. Sung shared the restaurant was closed for a day to shoot the restaurant scene between Ali Wong and Randall Park. Selling 1,000 tarts daily, the bakery was the perfect place to sample an apple tart. “Not only a tasty treat, it also represents the enterprising Chinese spirit in the face of racial profiling (from the 1940’s to present day),” Sung said. Tapioca cakes, custard pies, taro turnovers, eggrolls, BBQ pork buns were displayed in large quantities so customers can select just by pointing at the display case. The bakery also brags about coverage from CNN as the “must-visit restaurant.” Guo Hua herbal medicine store Surrounded by dried herbs, dried ginseng, seeds, mushrooms, sun-dried insects, bats, and snakes, this herbal medicine store offers a wide variety of remedies for those practicing traditional Chinese

medicine. It’s a sight for the eyes as customers walk through the aisles. Cures for backaches to migraines, there is a Chinese recipe for kinds of ailments. Apothecaries These stores offer souvenirs representing Chinatown. With vibrant colors, these retailers sell items venerating the dead and the revered ginseng, and are known to provide energy or jewelry made of green jade. Butchers Samples of cured Chinese BBQ pork is offered to Sung’s tour group. Armed with toothpicks and napkins, Sung hands out seconds and thirds to everyone, savoring the fusion of sweet and sour all at one time. Murals and statues Throughout this area, murals are visible for tourists and locals to learn about the immigration history of the Chinese. Some of the buildings showcase plaques as a way to indicate the significance. Fish and produce markets These markets are littered all over Chinatown. Just follow your nose. The wet market showcases freshly caught fish of all kinds. Other seafood, such as shrimps, crabs and lobsters, are favorites of home

cooks, chefs and neighboring restaurants. Produce markets display fruits and vegetables for the Chinese dishes. They could include bitter melons, squash, dragon fruit, mangoes, and papayas. Other delicacies could be tofu, soy products and dried food as flavorings for the Asian cuisine. Dim sum and tea The tour then stops for dim sum at Jade City. Inundated with platters on a Lazy Susan table setting, diners can sample a slew of dumplings, noodles, steamed buns and even chicken feet. Of course, rice and hot tea accompany the dim sum feast. Sung teaches his tour group to pour tea for each other rather than for yourself. Already crowded with diners, Jade City offers a large space for huge tables of family dining and rolling carts. The colors of red are visible throughout the restaurant. Most TripAdvisor comments indicate this restaurant is the preferred dim sum establishment. To end the tour, Sung guides everyone to The Chinese Tea Shop. In an intimate setting, owner Daniel Lui demonstrates the complexity of tea varieties and how to make tea for his guests. Heading to Vancouver? Sign up for this guided tour of Chinatown in downtown Vancouver at

VANCOUVER’S CHINATOWN HISTORY 1788: The first recorded Chinese presence in British Columbia (BC), when 50 Chinese workers and sailors were hired to work at a British trading post in Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island.

1858: Gold was found on the Fraser River, luring the first major migration of Chinese people to British Columbia.

1885 - 1923: More than 82,000 Chinese immigrants paid a tax to Tour guide Bob Sung shows the large pork buns in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

enter the country.

1893: The city government had passed a law that the section of

Pender Street between Carrall and Columbia was the only place which could have laundry businesses.

1900: 36 Chinese laundries in Chinatown 1904: Canton Alley was named and became an area for trade, political, and cultural activities which fostered the expansion of Chinatown. Enjoying the views at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

1911: More than 3,500 Chinese lived in Vancouver. Credit: Vancouver Chinatown Business Improvement Area Society Vancouver Chinatown | asian avenue magazine


Restaurant Peek

ANISE 865 N Lincoln St Denver, CO 80203 Tel: 303.830.3934

Anise: Vietnamese food with a modern twist By Mary Jeneverre Schultz Photos by Lijin Zhao

Southeast Asian cuisines are exploding in metropolitan areas. Chefs are following suit by establishing their restaurants in “walkable” neighborhoods. Serving downtown Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood, Anise is centrally located at the intersection of Lincoln Street and 9th Avenue. The owners of Anise are luring diners, who enjoy pho, the popular street food in Vietnam which is a hot bowl of beef broth, served with rice noodles, herbs, meat, lime, cilantro, and bean sprouts. They hope adventurous diners will expand their taste buds by trying out other platters while dining at Anise. “We plate all our dishes to make them look modernly attractive,” said Quyen Trinh, owner of Anise. “The aim is for diners to eat with their eyes before they taste our food.”


February 2020 | Restaurant Peek


“Because of pho’s popularity, new customers tend to come to Anise to try that dish first. After they’ve tasted and enjoyed our pho, those same customers typically branch out in their next visits and try other exciting dishes on our menu,” Trinh said.

Below: Anise is one of the few Asian restaurants in Colorado that has table cloths, a full bar, and an extensive wine list.

Vietnamese Cuisine

Bun Cha Hanôi - This dish is cooked Hanoi style with pork sausages served over rice noodles and a side of dipping sauce. To enhance the richness of the dish, Anise plates the dish with grilled pork loins and assorted vegetables and herbs. Originating from Hanoi, Bun Cha Hanoi was featured on one of Anthony Bourdain’s episodes as he enjoyed the popular dish with President Obama.

Cha Ca La Vong - For those who require gluten-free options, this is the ideal dish for you. The La Vong-style fish is filled with flavors of turmeric, galangal and ginger. The Swai fish is served on a skillet with rice noodles on a bed of basil, cilantro and daikon. This iconic dish of Hanoi provides a perfect combination of sweet, savory, sour and umami tastes.

Location, Location, Location

Located on Lincoln Street, Anise is the closest Vietnamese restaurant to downtown. So out-of-town guests craving Vietnamese food can easily take a five-minute Uber ride to this prime location.

Why Anise?

Star anise stands as a main spice for pho. So, the husband and wife team believed it was a fitting name for their modern Vietnamese eatery. This ingredient produces a sweet licorice taste. Before it is used as a spice, star anise is dried, which turns it into a deep brown or rust color. In savory dishes, the solo ingredient pairs well with beef or poultry. Opened less than a year ago, the restaurant attracts a ton of foot traffic. “As Anise is still in its infancy and is opened seven days a week, we rarely have time for fun. It may sounds cliche, but we enjoy entertaining our customers and seeing our customers leave Anise happy,” said Trinh. With arduous hours, Trinh and her husband Long Nguyen enjoy spending their free time with their two children, Hayden and Evelyn.

Below: Owner of Anise Quyen Trinh (left) and her husband Long Nguyen (right)

restaurants in Colorado that has table cloths, a full bar, and an extensive wine list,” he said. ”What we want to do with Anise is to break the stereotypical Asian restaurant mold and to introduce the American public to a modern Asian eatery that is also 100 percent authentic.” The restaurant is planning special events later in 2020 to include sake tasting and whisky pairings. “We believe that there is nothing wrong with pairing a nice glass of wine with your favorite Vietnamese dish,” Trinh said. “Taking your date out for a nice intimate dinner (without breaking the bank), enjoying happy hour after a long day of work, or rooting for your favorite sport teams in front of our 70” TVs—you can do all of that here at Anise.” Visit the restaurant’s website to see their full menu at

Unique offering

“While there are a lot of Asian restaurants in Colorado in general and a lot of Vietnamese restaurants in particular, we find that there are not too many that are good ‘date night’ type restaurants,” said Trinh, who manages the front house of the restaurant. “We want our restaurant to have a modern look and feel, hence the name Anise with ‘Modern Vietnamese Eatery’ as the tagline.” The restaurant keeps to its modern theme of fresh, healthy and fun. “Our restaurant is one of the few Asian Anise | asian avenue magazine


Dog Breeds



By Jessalyn Herreria Langevin

Shih Tzu

Originally kept by the royal families of the Ming Dynasty, the regal Shih Tzu hails from China. These small but lovable dogs are known for being friendly, good-natured, and highly adaptable. Their small size makes them suitable for apartment living and their hair, rather than fur, will appease the dog lover who suffers from allergies. Studies suggest that the Shih Tzu is one of the fourteen oldest dog breeds and there are plenty of legends to support this claim. One such legend claims that Buddha traveled with a little dog, similar to a Shih Tzu, that changed into a lion when thieves attempted to rob and kill Buddha. The fierce lion chased the thieves away, saved Buddha, and then turned back into a little dog.

Photo Credit: Casey Bouman

According to legend, Buddha kissed the little Shih Tzu after it saved his life. The result is the white spot on its forehead.

Looking at Cooper, it’s hard to believe that a Shih Tzu could turn into a lion, but legend has it one did.

The Shiba Inu is ranked as the most popular dog in Japan as well as one of the most popular dogs on the internet. There are countless Shiba Inu memes in which the fox-like Shibu Inu expression is utilized to express a variety of emotions. Shiba Inus are typically small and athletic but bold and good-natured. Weighing around 20 pounds, Shiba Inus are full of spunk and personality which can make them difficult to train. That being said, Shiba Inus are highly intelligent. Given its popularity in Japan, it’s no wonder that such a breed originated in Japan. Of the six dog breed that came from Japan, the Shiba Inu is the smallest of them all. Traditionally, Shiba Inus were used as hunting dogs for small game and birds. There are several theories as to how Shiba Inus were named. One theory suggests that the archaic meaning of the word “shiba” relates to the small size of the dogs. The word “inu” means dog in Japanese. Regardless of their size, Shiba Inus have a big personality.

As half Shiba Inu and half mini Australian Shepard, Payson looks very much like a fox. Photo Credit: Kelsey Sackett


February 2020 | Cultural Tidbits

Photo Credit: KaLok Fung

Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus like Dino and Gizmo are small but fierce. Photo Credit: Vince Ching

If you’re like most Colorado residents, you’ve grown an appreciation for the great outdoors and have likely seen or met another great lover of the outdoors: the dog. While Asian countries might not be necessarily known for their love of dogs, there is a plethora of dog breeds that originate from Asia. Below is just a sampling of the various Asian dog breeds. Bred in monasteries to be companions to Tibetan monks and nomadic herdsmen, this shaggy, medium-sized dog is believed to be a symbol of good luck. Known as the Holy Dog of Tibet, Tibetan Terriers were never sold but rather given as gifts of thanks. Today, the Tibetan Terrier is a somewhat uncommon breed of dog. Its name is misleading as they do not possess the tendency to chase rodents or have the sharp terrier personality. Rather, Tibetan Terriers are more watchdogs - sweet and affectionate towards their family but quick to alert their loved ones to anything unusual. The shaggy, Holy Dog of Tibet is well suited to Colorado winters as their double-coat (which is good for allergy-sufferers) keeps them warm while their snowshoe-like feet help them plow through the snow.

Tibetan Terrier

Like many Tibetan Terriers, Charley is affectionate but reserved. He’s also a little mischievous. Photo Credit: Jessalyn Langevin Photo Credit: Dan Langevin


Suki, the Akita is a large but loyal and fearless dog. Photo Credit: Islin Munisteri

Akitas were bred in northern Japan and originated in the province of Akita. It is believed that they once guarded Japanese nobility and were used to hunt birds and large game animals, including bears. The breed was introduced to America by Helen Keller after she heard the story of Hachiko, a famous Akita. In the 1920s, Hachiko became famous for his daily ritual of meeting his owner at the train station every day at 3 pm. After the owner died, Hachiko continued his daily ritual until he himself died ten years later. Hachiko’s loyalty is one of the most well known traits of Akitas. They are utterly devoted to their family but tend to be quite stubborn and wary of strangers. Due to their large size and stubbornness, they typically are not recommended for first time dog owners as they require quite a bit of training. They are also not recommended to anyone that hates drool or dog hair. Akitas easily weigh over 100 pounds and shed a lot. That being said, Akitas are big, bold, and loyal dogs. If you are inspired to become a new dog owner to one of these wonderful breeds of dogs, please do some more research and do not make the decision lightly. Owning a dog is typically a 10-year minimum commitment but the rewards are plentiful. Special thanks to KaLok Fung, Casey Bouman, Kelsey Sackett, Vince Ching, and Islin Munisteri for providing pictures of their furry family members. And of course, to Charley, for being the furry inspiration behind this article. Jessalyn Langevin is the proud owner of a beautiful Goldendoodle and a big sister to a certain Tibetan Terrier. Follow her dog-related and non dog-related adventures on Instagram @ MemoryRevenge and Twitter @JessALangevin. Dog Breeds of Asia | asian avenue magazine


Book Review

The White Devil’s Daughters: The Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown Author: Julia Flynn Siler ISBN: 9781101875261 Pages: 448 | Price: $28.95 Publisher: Knopf Reviewed by Mary Jeneverre Schultz


his book provides an eye-opening account of the valiant work of a handful of Christian women against the enslavement of Asian girls in San Francisco’s Chinatown from the mid1870s well into the next century. In her impressive work of research and storytelling, San Francisco-based journalist and author Julia Siler delves vigorously into a shocking story of racism and oppression. Well past California’s ratification of the 13th Amendment, the white male authorities largely looked the other way when boatloads of Chinese girls and vulnerable other women arrived as cargo from overseas and were quickly corralled into work as prostitutes and indentured servants. They were valuable fodder to feed the “pent-up demand for sex” by the solitary male Chinese workers who had been lured in great numbers by the gold rush of 1848 as well as those who fled the turmoil in South China’s Pearl River delta region in the 1860s. The notorious brothels of Chinatown also attracted a considerable white clientele. Rising first to meet the need of girls and women who managed to escape their horrific fates were the wives of Presbyterian missionaries. From their modest Presbyterian Mission House on Sacramento Street, on the edge of Chinatown, these brave women, especially the house’s superintendent, Margaret Culbertson, sheltered the refugees, defying their gangster handlers; taught them skills such as reading and sewing; served as their advocates and translators in court; and often arranged for them respectable marriages to Chinese men. Donaldina “Dolly” Cameron, who began working at the Presbyterian Mission Home in 1895, sits at the heart of the story. Cameron pulled her institution through the 1906 earthquake and expanded its services to provide community child care. Siler avoids an overfocus on the contributions of white women by weaving in those of women such as Cameron’s assistant Tien Fuh Wu. This strong story will fascinate readers interested in the history of women, immigration, and racism.


February 2020 | Book Review


SILER Photo Credit: Abigayle Tarsches

What do you want readers to walk away with after reading your novel The White Devil’s Daughters? It’s a small group of people making large change. The book is about a handful of women, who established a safe house and touched arguably lots of lives. It struck me how during this time frame, women began a project with very little power and made power happened. This cross-cultural project, between Caucasian and Chinese, worked together. It’s hard to believe this small group of pioneers faced dynamic threats such as earthquakes and firestorms. It’s unbelievable how they navigate through these crises. In 70 years, there is a long swath of history. The characters are vivid. It is a story of inspiration, knowing the resiliency and grit. I’m proud to be part of historians and writers that share stories of women in power. What inspired this novel? Initially, the idea for this book started as a history of San Francisco. I came across this story after conducting research. I grew up in San Francisco and had no idea. History has overlooked Cameron House. I wanted to give voice to this chapter in American history. It took me more than five years to research and write this history. One challenge I faced was convincing the rescue home to open its private records to me. For more than a century, it had been protecting the confidentiality of the women and girls who took refuge there. But over time they came to trust me and to believe that I would tell these stories with respect and care. Eventually, they allowed me to review key case files, including the infamous “Broken Blossoms” case in the 1930s that centered around two residents of the home who courageously testified against a powerful trafficking ring. See the full interview with Julia at

Movie Review

Movie: THE GENTLEMEN Director: Guy Ritchie Writer: Guy Ritchie Stars: Henry Golding, Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery, Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant Rating: R Running Time: 1h 53m Genres: Action, Crime

Released last January 24, the star-studded movie, The Gentlemen, is a boisterous, shoot ‘em up, testosterone action flick. The story plot moves quickly, making the time spent in the theater fast. The British and Irish accents are part of the movie, so there are a lot of never-heard-of phrases thrown around. The Movie & Cast Matthew McConaughey’s character is pondering the idea of selling his multi-billion drug trade in Great Britain. Competitors come forward to bid on the enterprise. It’s fascinating how the empire is making tons of money. Director and writer Guy Ritchie pokes fun on some of his previous movies by referencing them or showing props. Fans of Guy Ritchie will pick it up immediately. The characters of Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant, Charlie Hunnam, and Michelle Dockery add to the storyline. It felt like everyone on the set, while filming, was having fun. Director Ritchie motivated them to ad lib on the set. Lots of male eye candy for audiences. Of course, all the men are well-suited with sophistication, while the solo female character is wearing pleasing couture to make one wish they could pull off her sleekness. The attire is reminiscent of the gangster apparel of the 1920s, a sort of modern nostalgia.

An Asian American Male Joins the Cast Henry Golding’s character is Dry Eye, a role as a gangster and villain. It’s almost disconcerting after watching “rom-coms,” where he plays the dreamy, romantic lead in several movies. Golding said, “It’s always so refreshing to really be able to embody a character that’s almost the polar opposite to what you are.” His intention is to be well-rounded as an actor and to portray a wealth of characters. So far, Golding, “Prince Charming of Asia,” has played roles including a dark and mysterious murder suspect, a quirky bike messenger enchanting his love interest, and a gay Vietnamese man in search of himself. 2020 starts him with this role as a ruthless British gangster. The Film’s Downside Crazy words are used throughout the movie. It appears the director enjoys using slangs and “difficult-to-use” verbiage. Critics indicate some racism, so if you get offended easily, this isn’t the movie for you. The story also jumps around so you need to focus closely. And the accents, while endearing, can be hard to adjust to; after a few scenes, you will start to comprehend the plot. Reviewed by Mary Jeneverre Schultz

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Movie Review | asian avenue magazine


On Scene

A weekend of programming honors Japanese American WWII veterans at History Colorado’s Portraits of Courage exhibition The Japanese Arts Network, Nisei Veterans Heritage Foundation, and Japanese American Resource Center of Colorado—with additional support from the Nikkeijin Kai, Sakura Foundation and Pacific Mercantile Company—honored Japanese American WWII Nisei (second generation) veterans and celebrated L.A. based photographer Shane Sato’s intimate veteran portraits with a duo of events in relation to Go For Broke National Education Center’s exhibit at History Colorado Center, Portraits of Courage: Sharing the Legacy and “Go For Broke” Spirit of Japanese American Veterans. On January 18, Courage + Valor: Japanese American WWII Veterans—Their Stories and Legacy, featured a film presentation and narration by news reporter and documentary filmmaker David Ono, co-anchor of ABC 7 Eyewitness News in Los Angeles. Ono narrated live, sharing stories of the Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team who was sent to rescue the Lost Battalion in Europe during WWII, accompanied by stunning aerial shots of the former war terrain in France and Italy as they stand today. Photographer Shane Sato and oral historian Robert Horsting provided insight into the deeply personal stories of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence veterans ‘behind the lens.’ The afternoon concluded with a special ceremonial book and photo presentation to Colorado’s living veterans and family members of those who have passed, as well as an insightful Q&A with Ono, Sato, and Horsting alongside Colorado Nisei veterans Tootsie Tsutsui, Sam Bungo, and Hason Yanaga. “These men fought the battle for freedom and equality, risking the ultimate sacrifice for a better future for me and for future generations,” Sato shared. “This is not just Japanese American history—it is American history.” On the following day, January 19, Stories of Courage: Beyond the Lens—Artists Sharing Stories invited local Colorado artists


February 2020 | On Scene

Photographer Shane Sato explains how he got Dick Momii, a Japanese American veteran, to loosen up when Momii said he was a boxer. Momii’s portrait is on the cover of Sato and writer Robert Horstnig’s new book, The Go For Broke Spirit. and community leaders to find inspiration in the stories of the Portraits of Courage veterans, as well as to share their own personal stories of courage. The evening began with an Aztec blessing of the land by musician and composer, Asia Fajardo-Diamond. Soprano Margaret Ozaki Graves reflected upon the portrait and story of Hawaii veteran Tom Yamada with a traditional Japanese poem and song, singer-songwriter Adam Estacio paid tribute to local veteran and fellow East H.S. alumnus, Sam Terasaki, with a rendition of Bruce Springstein’s ‘No Surrender.’ African drummer Fatu Henderson led the group in a drum spiral workshop and shared her own person story of courage, followed by moving stories from visual artist Stephanie Tanny, Asian Pacific Development Center Executive Director Harry Budisidharta and Vietnam refugee and immigrant Ivy Ha. The evening’s program concluded with a reflection statement from artist Jamie Laurie (also known as Jonny 5 from the Flobots), accompanied by Courtney Ozaki on the Japanese taiko drum. A preview of the upcoming production Peace on Your Wings was presented by Clarynne Blanchard. This original musical tells the story of Sadako Sasaki, a 12-year old girl who died from leukemia resulting from radiation caused by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Photographer Glenn Asakawa and ‘Building Bridges’ artist Eriko Tsogo encouraged everyone to share their own stories of courage through interactive installations in the atrium of History Colorado. The exhibit Portraits of Courage: Photographs by Shane Sato will be on view at History Colorado Center through February 17 and additional programming to commemorate the 2020 Day of Remembrance, hosted by the Mile High Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) will take place at History Colorado Center on Sunday, February 16 from 1-3 p.m. Article provided by Courney Ozaki

John Yee posthumously honored with Martin Luther King Jr. Business Award During one of the many events in mid-January that celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of our APIA leaders was acknowledged for his work and advocacy on behalf of our community. On January 17, John Yee was posthumously awarded the 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Business Award. The 35th annual award luncheon celebrated community leaders and corporations that proudly represent the spirit of Dr. King. Over 500 people attended the luncheon at the Denver Hilton Downtown Grand Ballroom. Yee was one of an inspiring group of awardees which also included Dr. Jandel Allen-Davis; Ball Corporation; the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless; Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler; the

Women’s Bean Project and Bishop Acen Phillips. The luncheon was produced by Stephen Straight and moderated by journalist Tamara Banks. Yee was nominated for the award by the Asian Chamber of Commerce. As a teacher, social advocate, community leader and interpreter for the heroic WWII Flying Tigers, Yee possessed the “content of character” that Dr. King espoused. He led an extraordinary life in which he devoted his time to friendship and good will between the East and West – so much so that he was instrumental in establishing the Kunming/Denver Sister City Committee in 1985. Yee passed away in March 2019 at the age of 97. The award was presented to his wife,

Nai Li Yee. She accepted the inscribed statuette from former State Legislator, Founder of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Business Awards and Denver Marade, Wilma J. Webb. Nai Li was warmly greeted by Mayor Michael Hancock, former Governor John Hickenlooper, Governor Jared Polis – and given an especially heartfelt hug from Mayor Wellington Webb who had travelled with John and Nai Li to Kunming, China in support of the Denver/Kunming Sister Cities initiative. Nai Li commemorated the event with representatives of the Asian Chamber of Commerce and her friends from the Kunming/Denver Sister City Committee. Article provided by Fran Campbell

nese New Year celebrations held at center during the weekend of January 25. The Far East Center is a longstanding and important cultural center in West Denver and a bastion of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Pan-Asian culture in Colorado. This is a place where community comes together, making it an ideal location for a mural celebration in collaboration with the artist, census community partners, and local business owners. The mural being unveiled during Lunar New Year encouraged participation

in the upcoming 2020 Census by showcasing themes of cultural unity and inclusion. Among other immigrant populations, Asian American Pacific Islanders are least likely to participate in the 2020 Census which means the community is at risk of losing important resources for children and families. The weekend was celebrated with lion and dragon dances, performances of tai chi, K-pop dance, fan dance, and a children’s fashion show in traditional lunar new year attire.

Far East Center unveils mural in celebration of Lunar New Year By Joie Ha The Far East Center welcomed Councilmember Debbie Ortega to say a few words and unveil the 2020 Census Community mural to kick off the annual Far East Center Chinese New Year Celebration that saw thousands of community members attend. Councilwoman Ortega used her Arts and Venues Imagine 2020 funding to sponsor a mural by Westwood artist Ratha Sok at the Far East Center on Federal Boulevard. The official unveiling of the mural coincided with the annual Chi-

Mile High Happenings | asian avenue magazine


On Scene

Chinese students at CSU celebrate Spring Festival By CSU Chinese Student and Scholar Association Spring Festival is the most important festival for Chinese people and it is a time when all family members get together, just like Christmas. The Chinese New Year is popularly known as the Spring Festival in China. Because it starts from the beginning of Spring (the first of the 24 terms in coordination with the changes of nature) and marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

Group photo of all staff members of the 2020 Spring Festival Gala

“Unbridled” Song

Group photo of all performers at the event

“Hotel California” Instrumental Performance

Strictly speaking, the Spring Festival starts every year in the early days of the 12th lunar month and lasts until the mid1st lunar month of the next year. During this time, the most important days are the eve of Spring Festival and the first three days of Lunar New Year. Colorado State University Chinese Student and Scholar Association (CSU CSSA) holds a Spring Festival Gala every year

“Swalla” Dance Red envelopes that CSU CSSA prepared for gala attendees

“Dongxiang Feng” Dance


February 2020 | On Scene

and it is free for everyone to come. This year during the event, CSU CSSA prepared red envelope for all attendees. Red envelopes are gifts presented at social and family gatherings at holidays such as Chinese New Year. The red color of the

envelope symbolizes good luck and is meant to ward off evil spirits. The act of requesting red packets is normally called tao hongbao. Red envelopes are usually given out to unmarried members of the next generation, regardless of the receiver’s age and income. Instead of money, CSSA members prepared small gifts in the red envelopes wishing all a happy new year. The Spring Festival Gala welcomed the year of the rat 2020 with many performances and dances. Thank you to all the students, parents and leaders! We would also like to thank all the guests and staff for everyone’s hard work to make this a successful event! Last but not least, CSU Chinese Students and Scholar Association wish you all good luck in 2020. the year of the rat!

Asian Avenue magazine celebrates

Director General Jerry S. Chang, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver, joins the lion and dragon dance.


annual Lunar New Year Dinner

Former State Rep. Paul Rosenthal and State Rep. Colin Larson present a commendation to Asian Avenue magazine.

Murphy Robinson, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Denver welcomes attendees by saying “happy new year� in Chinese.

Judy Tran performs a traditional Vietnamese fan dance to celebrate the new year.

The Colorado Asian Cultural Heritage Center kicks off the event on January 18 at Empress Seafood Restaurant with a traditional lion and dragon dance. Photos by Lijin Zhao

Dr. Lynn Tran McDonald shares her neurologically-based chiropractic services.

Mile High Happenings | asian avenue magazine


MED PAY ON YOUR AUTO POLICY A car accident is tragic for the families who lose their loved ones. While the emotional impact can be devastating, the financial costs like medical bills and lost income for families can be overwhelming. It is imperative that we all carry the appropriate amount of insurance on our auto policies. Insurance industry experts estimate that in Colorado alone, there are 4 out of every 10 cars on the road without insurance. And another 40% of those drivers do not have a valid driver’s license. In this first of a series of articles, we are going to discuss Medical Payments, aka Medical Expenses or Med Pay on your auto policy and the importance of the coverage. Colorado is a Med Pay statutory state, so if you decline the coverage, you MUST sign a form with your agent stating that you decline the coverage. The same goes for Uninsured Motorist coverage, which we will address in our article next month. Med Pay coverage is not expensive, on average about $10-$12 dollars per month for increments of $5,000 of coverage. In the event of an auto accident, Med Pay covers you and all of your passengers in your vehicle, no matter who is at fault in the accident.

There is also Med Pay coverage on your homeowner policy, on business owner policies and on commercial building policies. The coverage is designed to pay for ambulance, urgent care, emergency room, chiropractic visits, etc., when someone is injured. Med Pay will always pay out first after an accident. It pays out per person and will pay up to the coverage limit for reasonable medical expenses. In Colorado, the minimum coverage is $5,000 and maximum is $25,000. If you decline coverage, you must sign a declination form and return it to your agent. If you decline coverage, then your health insurance would be primary and you would be subject to your deductible and any restrictions on specialty care. You should not decline Med Pay coverage on your auto insurance. Health insurance companies are becoming more resistant to paying for injury care related to auto accidents. Med Pay coverage is greatly needed for those who do not have health insurance and get into an auto accident, as they would have at least their coverage limit available for medical care. Have more questions? Give your agent a call today and check out the Med Pay FAQ’s.

Frequently Asked Questions Medical Payments on your Auto Policy

What is it? Medical Payments or Med Pay/ Medical Expenses is coverage that pays for you and your passengers for reasonable medical expenses that result from an auto accident no matter who is at fault.

Why have it? Never reject Med Pay. The coverage is inexpensive and will help pay for an ambulance visit, ER visit and chiropractic care after an accident. Med Pay always pays first.

Who does it cover? You and all your passengers up to coverage limits no matter who is at fault in the accident.

What does it cover? Pays for reasonable medical expenses up to coverage limits that result from an auto accident. Med Pay pays first after an accident.

How much should I have? MINIMALLY $10,000. We suggest to purchase as much coverage as you can afford. Your agent can help you figure out appropriate coverage.

Aim High Chiropractic specializes in treating motor vehicle accident patients at our four clinic locations and has been doing it for 24 years. We are very familiar with relieving pain, navigating the insurance system and with our network of attorney partners, can help refer patients to a great attorney for advice and assistance. Call today for more information at 303.922.2977. 30

February 2020 | Advertorial


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