Volume 16 Issue 10
Chinese Miners Settled in Colorado in the 1870s Box office hit Shang-Chi is celebrated for its Asian representation
Asian Girls Ignite empowers young women to tell their own stories
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PRESIDENT’S NOTE Dear Asian Avenue readers, Thank you to Stephanie with KUNC for providing the cover story for this issue. We encourage you to take time to learn more about the history of Chinese miners in Colorado in the 1870s. At the time, there were only about 125 Chinese people in Gilpin County. They were considered the lowest ethnic group and relegated to the scraps from abandoned mines to find gold. In 1874, a fire destroyed most of the wood buildings on Main Street and the business district. A few years later, in 1880 downtown Denver, a race riot broke out when two Chinese men were accosted while playing pool at a saloon on 16th and Wazee. Nearly every Chinese-owned business in the city had been burned down, dozens of Chinese people were injured, and one man, Sing Lee, killed. These were the experiences of Chinese immigrants when they first arrived in Colorado. Colorado Asian Pacific United (CAPU) is now working to retell the stories of Asian American history. In August, the organizers held an event in downtown Denver which included a touching tribute honoring members of two families whose ancestors lived and operated business in Denver’s Chinatown. Representatives of the families spoke about their great-grandfathers’ and other family members’ experiences in Denver through the century-and-half they’ve been in Colorado, including serving in the US military during WWII. Learn more about CAPU at: fb.com/ ColoradoAPUnited. In this issue, we celebrate the strengths and achievements of our community. Through Asian Girls Ignite, middle and high school girls feel a sense of pride about their identities by connecting with each other and sharing their stories. Recent films such as Shang-Chi and Blue Bayou exemplify the growing Asian representation on the big screen. U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu thanks her fans with a speech in Mandarin. Yes, representation matters. Building community matters. Sharing stories matters. Let’s keep making waves. Annie Guo VanDan, President | Asian Avenue magazine | asianavemag.com | @asianavemag
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EVENTS: Upcoming event for Fil-Am History Month and Halloween
ENTERTAINMENT: Shang-Chi, Squid Game, and Blue Bayou
INSIDE STORY: Asian Girls Ignite empower middle and high schools girls to tell their own stories
COVER STORY: Chinese miners faced racism and violence in Colorado’s mountain towns
BOOKS: Mysterious and spooky books to read this Halloween
NEWS: Women’s Singles U.S. Open finalists celebrate their Asian descent CULTURE: What is Double Ten Day and Fil-Am History Month? ON SCENE: Denver’s historic China town is remembered ON SCENE: Denver Art Museum announces new curatorial appointees ON SCENE: Nan Desu Kan anime convention returns ON SCENE: Full Moon Festival shines at the Zeppelin Station
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October 2021 | Table of Contents
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Publisher & Founder CHRISTINA YUTAI GUO President ANNIE GUO VANDAN Editorial Director MARY JENEVERRE SCHULTZ Graphic Designer/Videographer LIJIN ZHAO Web Designer JASON ZHANG Marketing Manager JOIE HA Editor DAMIAN SIU Staff Writer PATRICIA KAOWTHUMRONG Intern KIANA MARSAN
on the cover Colorized print of William Chin’s family portrait. Chin is the son of Chinese immigrant and Colorado pioneer Chin Lin Sou. Courtesy: William Chin Family Asian Avenue magazine (ISSN 1932-1449) reserves all copyrights to this issue. No parts of this edition can be reproduced in any manner without written permission. The views expressed in articles are the authors’ and not necessarily those of Asian Avenue magazine.
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upcoming events inVISIBLE | hyperVISIBLE
Art Exhibit, Public Lecture & Workshop on Asian America Now - October 10, 2021 RedLine Contemporary Art Center 2350 Arapahoe Street, Denver More information at redlineart.org/invisible-hypervisible
inVISIBLE | hyperVISIBLE, a public humanities project on Asian America, consists of an art exhibition, artist talks, public lectures, and community-building workshops. The theme inVISIBLE | hyperVISIBLE captures the struggles of Asians and Asian Americans to survive and thrive in the face of strong anti-Asian sentiment. inVISIBLE | hyperVISIBLE showcases Asian and Asian American artists, scholars, performers, and community organizers from
different ethnic, gender, and geographic backgrounds.
Moda Filipiniana Gala 2021 Saturday, October 9 | 6pm to 11pm Radisson Hotel Denver - Aurora 3155 South Vaughn Way, Aurora More information at naffaaregion5.org
NaFFAA Region V (Rocky Mountain Region) invites you to their annual Gala, Moda Filipiniana 2021, showcasing designs by Filipino-American designer Kirsten Regalado to be modeled by Filipino-American organizations’ leaders and community members. This year, the gala is will benefit of the NaFFAA Region V Disaster Preparedness Fund to provide financial assistance to the Philippines in response to future disasters.
FREE self defense classes
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Trunk or Treat at Far East Center
Thursday, October 28 | 5pm to 7pm Far East Center | 333 S Federal Blvd, Denver Free and open to the public Email FarEastCenterCO@gmail.com for more information or to join as a vendor. Celebrate Halloween with the Westwood Community and the City of Denver at Trunk or Treat with Far East Center. If you’re looking for a safe, fun, and free event for the whole family, stop by Far East Center for music, games, food, and entertainment. Come dressed in your best outfit; top three costumes will get prizes! This event is open to the public and everyone is welcome to come. Go car to car to see the decorated trunks full of candy!
Join the Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC) and Aurora Police Department for FREE self defense classes! These classes will boost your confidence and equip you with basic self defense techniques to mentally and physically prepare you for emergencies. Classes are for ages 15+, accommodations for different languages are available. We are offering Basic Self Defense and Women Only classes. These classes are offered at two different locations: APDC: 1537 Alton Street, Aurora, 80010 Central Library: 14949 E Alameda Pkwy, Aurora, 80012 Sat. October 9, 2021, 2 - 3:30 PM @APDC | Women Only
Wed. October 20, 2021, 3 - 4:30 PM @Central Library | Basic Self Defense Sat. November 6, 2021, 2 - 3:30 PM @APDC | Women Only Wed. November 17, 2021, 3 - 4:30 PM @Central Library | Basic Self Defense
Sat. December 4, 2021, 2 - 3:30 PM @ APDC | Women Only Registration with a partner is required to ensure your safety during COVID-19, masks are encouraged.
Wed. December 15, 2021, 3:00 - 4:30 PM @Central Library | Basic Self Defense
Register today at: apdc.org/aapi-self-defense-classes Event Calendar | Asian Avenue Magazine
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: Why an Asian superhero matters
The Marvel film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings smashed the record for Labor Day weekend openings with $75.5 million in ticket sales. The Friday-to-Sunday gross for Shang-Chi, Marvel’s first film led by an Asian superhero, ranks as one of the best debuts of the pandemic, trailing only the previous Marvel film, “Black Widow” ($80.3 million in July). Overseas, it pulled in $56.2 million for a global success of $127.6 million. The groundbreaking flick features Marvel’s first Chinese superhero and an all-Asian-led cast. When, in 2018, Black Panther hit cinemas, it grossed $1 billion worldwide and brought Marvel Studios its first ever Oscars. But its impact was about more than money and awards – with a predominantly black cast and crew, led by star Chadwick Boseman and director Ryan Coogler, it sent a message to Hollywood that there was a huge thirst for black stories that was still not being properly catered for. Now Marvel will be hoping to leave behind a similar cultural footprint with its first Asian superhero film. Directed by Asian-American filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton, the story inspired by Chinese folklore, and martial arts action sequences, Shang-Chi is the latest sign that Hollywood is listening to calls for more Asian representation on screen. Last year, Disney also released its live-action remake of its animation Mulan. Fans believe that the fact that Shang-Chi is an Asian superhero film is significant and empowering to young Asian Americans. Shang-Chi helps correct the history of unpleasant portrayals of Asian characters in Western media. One of the earliest depictions of an East Asian character in Hollywood was silent film star Mary Pickford in the 1915 film Madame Butterfly, in which she appeared in yellowface as a Japanese geisha. Madame Butterfly has long been criticized for its racial stereotypes and caricatured
October 2021 | Entertainment
depictions of Asians. In this context, Shang-Chi’s predominantly Asian cast feels important – and especially so at a time when the FBI has reported a 70% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the US in 2020. In another study, it was found that New York saw a 223% spike in reports of anti-Asian hate crimes in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period the previous year. While the violence seems to have been in part fuelled by the spread of anti-Asian misinformation related to the pandemic, some believe that, as far as longer-term causes go, the negative depiction of Asian characters on the big screen has played a role. Not being portrayed positively leads to a certain level of racism. Earlier this year, when a shooter killed eight people, including six Asian women in Atlanta, he reportedly told police he had a sex addiction and was trying to eliminate “temptation” that he thought they posed. Meanwhile, on screen East Asian women have historically been over sexualized. Research shows that despite the odd high-profile success like Crazy Rich Asians, Asian representation in Hollywood remains pretty dire. A USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative report suggests that out of 1300 of the top-grossing films between 2007 and 2019, only 44 depicted an Asian or Pacific Islander lead or co-lead, and in the majority of cases that was Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Meanwhile a quarter of the Asian or Pacific Islander characters featured in these films died by the end of them. Screenwriter and creative strategist William Yu says Shang-Chi represents a turning point “where we can see these types of Asian characters who are not only heroic but also have flaws and a range of experiences that make them complex and interesting.” Furthermore, many younger children are also seeing for the first time a superhero who looks like them on screen.
South Korean show Squid Game may become Netflix’s most watched show yet
“Squid Game” is a South Korean dark social satire in which desperately impoverished people are enticed to compete in children’s games with deadly stakes for the chance to win a life-changing cash prize. Since its Sept. 17 debut on the streaming service, it has become an online craze, sparking memes and fan theories and becoming the No. 1 show on Netflix in 90 countries. Squid Game may become Netflix’s most watched show yet, said Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos. With virtually no press or marketing in the U.S., it joins a recent list of successful foreign language series for Netflix stateside (including “Lupin” and “Money Heist”) and will likely stay at the top of the pop-culture conversation as long
as people keep telling their friends to watch. A season 2 of “Squid Game” is almost a guarantee at this point, given the ending of the series which heavily implies the games will continue. The series was created and written by Hwang Dong-hyuk. Hwang said he originally developed the script in 2008 when he was in a bad financial situation and living in a Manhwabang; however, he feared the storyline was “too difficult to understand and bizzare” at the time. International viewers and social media users have obsessed over the nine-episode series as well as aspects of the show including dalgona cookies, a popular Korean candy, and the game red light, green light.
Director Justin Chon depicts a Korean American adoptee story in Blue Bayou Currently in theaters, “Blue Bayou” is an American drama film written and directed by Justin Chon. “Blue Bayou” had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in July 13, 2021 and was released in the US on September 17, 2021, by Focus Features. Born in South Korea and raised by adoptive parents in Louisiana, Antonio LeBlanc (Chon) works as a tattoo artist to support his pregnant wife Kathy (Alicia Vikander) and his stepdaughter (Sydney Kowalske). When a scuffle with Kathy’s ex-husband leads to Antonio’s arrest, he risks deportation as an adoptee—despite Louisiana being the only
home he’s ever known. At a moment when borders are being closed, this film is urgent in understanding a broken immigration system and contemplating the meaning of home. Chon has been working on this movie for four years. The movie is based on true stories Chon heard from Korean adoptee friends as well as research that revealed a broader crisis for Asian American adoptees. He consulted adoptees throughout the writing process. In the U.S., the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 grants citizenship to all children adopted from overseas, but it does not protect anyone who turned 18 before the law was passed.
Entertainment | Asian Avenue Magazine
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EmPOWERs GENERATIONS THROUGH STORYTELLING Since October 2020, Asian Girls Ignite (AGI) has been building a strong community of Colorado Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) girls and women to celebrate their individual and collective power. Through shared stories, they elevate their voices, explore their identities, and care for their wellbeing. Co-Founders Joanne Liu and Mehgan Yen believe that every girl carries immense power and guide the organization with these fundamental values of connection, respect, growth, and empowerment. Liu grew up in a predominantly white suburb outside of Boston, MA where she was one out of two Asian girls in her class in middle and high school. She recalls an experience when a friend said to her, “Joanne, sometimes I forget that you’re Asian.” At the time, she was excited that her friend considered her one of them. Not until college when Liu started meeting more Asians, joining Asian clubs, and learning about Asian American history for the first time did she realize how much of her identity was ignored outside of her home. Today, Liu is mother of two young children including a 9-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son. Thinking about them growing up in the predominantly white state of Colorado, she asked herself, “How can I ensure that my children have a different experience growing up?” That was when the idea for Asian Girls Ignite was born. AGI is committed to lifting the limits on the ways AAPI girls and women are seen, heard, united, and empowered. They do this by creating spaces where AAPI girls feel they belong, valued, and can live authentically. They cultivate AAPI girl empowerment to honor themselves, their values, and communities. They connect AAPI girls to each other and to AAPI women who are positive representations of
October 2021 | Inside Story
themselves in their communities, and they provide experiences for AAPI girls to find tools, strategies and opportunities to help them grow. AGI’s team consists of four AAPI women from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Co-Founders Liu and Yen are supported by Esther Song (Youth Wellness Advisor) and Doen Lee (Programming Coordinator). Beyond the team, numerous AAPI girls and women volunteers help them co-design and participate in their programs. AGI launched their first event in the fall of 2020 and piloted a total of eight virtual events from October 2020 to May 2021. AGI believes that storytelling has the power to connect people. They can help disrupt misconceptions and assumptions, build community, and develop a sense of belonging. At each event, students play community building games and listen to women’s stories about growth, development and resilience. Students connect with women through reflecting on how they relate to those stories. In July 2021, AGI held their first summer program for 15 students that included in-person and virtual components. Students explored how representation can shape how we are viewed by society, how we view ourselves, and the implications of the lack of representation. Through storytelling, students connected with each other and women representing various industries (health, activism, creative arts, food science, education, media, and entrepreneurship). Students explored the power of their voices through improv and creative activities. To strengthen community bonds, the program ended with a community gathering of students, families, and staff. Last month, AGI kicked off the school year with storytelling on positive identity and hiking for their middle school
program and an ice cream social for their high school program. This month, middle school students are invited to a virtual storytelling session to discuss the power of names and how names can shape identities. The high school program will visit the Colorado Supreme Court to speak with two AAPI women judges who will discuss their journeys and the implications of the lack of representation in their field. Asian Girls Ignite’s vision is to empower the next generation of AAPI women to live authentically by honoring themselves, their values, and their communities. They welcome anyone who identifies as a girl, queer, or gender-expansive. AGI hopes that girls will feel empowered to write their own stories.
UPCOMING EVENTS The Power of Storytelling: Identity & Representation When: Monday, October 18, 2021 | 1PM - 4PM Where: Colorado Supreme Court Who: High School Pilot Program Participants RSVP: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Students are invited to take a tour of the Colorado Supreme Court, Connect with storytellers, Judge Sueanna Johnson and Judge Neeti Pawar, and discuss the implications of the lack of representation in the US judicial system. The Power of Storytelling: My Name, My Identity When: Sunday, October 24, 2021 | 1:30PM - 3:30PM Where: Zoom Who: Colorado Asian & Pacific Islander girls in Grades 6-8 RSVP: https://tinyurl.com/aginames A person’s name may be the greatest connection to their own identity and individuality. Some might say it is the most important word in the world to that person. It is also a word that allows people to make quick judgments and assumptions about us. Join Asian Girls Ignite as we hear from storytellers and discuss the power of names and how they can shape our identities. Asian Girls Ignite | Asian Avenue Magazine
Chinese Miners Faced Racism, Violence As Mountain West Sundown Towns Excluded Them
In the late 19th century, Chinese miners lived in the Dostal Alley section of Central City in Gilpin County, Colorado. | Courtesy: Gilpin County Historical Society
By Stephanie Daniel / KUNC Linda Jew sits at a table in the Douglas County library near Denver. She’s looking at an old black-and-white photo. “The lady on the top is my mother Wawa,” she says. The monochromatic family portrait features nine people. Three young boys wear suits, while four girls pose in dresses. Their parents sit in the middle. “That’s Willie Chin holding one of the twins,” she continues. Missing from the photo is Willie Chin’s father, and Jew’s great-grandfather, Chin Lin Sou. In 1856, Chin emigrated from China to San Francisco as a young man. He was over 6 feet tall, had blue eyes and eventually worked on the transcontinental railroad. “Because he spoke English so well, they asked him to help organize the Chinese to build the railroads from California to Utah,” Jew says. Thousands of Chinese immigrants laid tracks for the railroads and when that work ended, they needed other jobs.
October 2021 | Cover Story
Many joined Americans and white Europeans who came west to find gold, silver and other riches, said William Wei, a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder and former Colorado state historian. “There were a lot of Chinese railroad workers who moved on to become miners,” said Wei, author of Asians in Colorado: A History of Persecution and Perseverance in the Centennial State. “Not welcomed at all” One of Colorado’s first big gold camps was established in what is now Gilpin County and the towns of Central City, Blackhawk and Nevadaville. Prospectors from countries like Italy, Ireland and England flocked to the area to extract the mineral through hard-rock mining. By 1860, Central City had 10,000 residents. A group of Chinese miners settled in the area, including
Chinese population in Colorado from 1860-1890. Courtesy: Adam Rayes / KUNC Colorized print of William Chin’s family portrait. Chin is the son of Chinese immigrant and Colorado pioneer Chin Lin Sou. Courtesy: William Chin Family Chin. His mastery of English opened a lot of doors and he ended up supervising other Chinese workers. “The big leader of the community in Central City was Chin Lin Sou, who became extremely wealthy from mining, laundry and property investments,” said David Forsyth, executive director of the Gilpin Historical Society. “He was very highly respected by pretty much everyone.” At the time, there were only about 125 Chinese people in Gilpin County. They were considered the lowest ethnic group and relegated to the scraps from abandoned mines to find gold. They used a method called placer mining, commonly referred to as panning. In Central City, the Chinese lived in an area called Dostal Alley. They mainly kept to themselves, said Forsyth, and for the most part other groups left them alone. “You had incidents — there are newspaper stories about a group of boys, you know, harassing some Chinese miners, throwing rocks at a Chinese guy’s house,” he said. Things escalated in 1874 when a fire destroyed most of the wood buildings on Main Street and the business district. “It was originally blamed on a Chinese religious rite that had just gotten out of hand because it did start in the Dostal Alley section,” he said. “(There was a) massive amount of damage.” No one was killed or seriously hurt, and insurance covered a lot of the rebuilding costs, Forsyth said. But people were mad. “There was actually a mob that kind of formed. And they were going to just go tear apart the Chinese section, what was left of it at that point, after the fire,” he said. “Chin Lin Sou stepped in and got them calmed down and some other people in town got them calmed down.” This peaceful resolution stands in contrast to treatment the Chinese received in other Colorado mining towns and
“The problem that the Chinese experienced was (that) they were competitive in, if you will, the labor market.” - William Wei across the American West. As these immigrants increased in number, so did anti-Chinese sentiment. “The problem that the Chinese experienced was (that) they were competitive in, if you will, the labor market,” Wei said. The Chinese laborers were reliable and willing to work longer hours for less pay, but they made enough money to support their families back home. They were tolerated, Wei said, because there was a chronic labor shortage. But when they started taking jobs that white people thought belonged to them, economic and cultural tensions heightened. “There were some places that they were able to establish themselves, but were subsequently driven out of them,” he said. “And other places where they were not welcomed at all.” “Racism was rampant” The 1870 census shows that Chinese people were living in Nevada and the territories of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. The greatest number lived in the Idaho Territory, where they made up almost 30% of the population. But 15 years later, the Idaho Statesman newspaper published an article titled “How to Get Rid of the Chinese.” Bigotry rippled through the Mountain West. One example was in Leadville, Colorado, a city about two hours west of Denver. Chinese Miners in Colorado | Asian Avenue Magazine
“Some of the things that were being said to keep them out were really just totally racist.” - Stephen Whittington
Today, Dostal Alley is a casino and brew pub in Central City, Colorado. Courtesy: Stephanie Daniel / KUNC
Stained glass window honoring Chin Lin Sou in the old Supreme Court chamber of the Colorado state Capitol in Denver, Colorado. Courtesy: Stephanie Daniel / KUNC “Some of the things that were being said to keep them out were really just totally racist,” said Stephen Whittington, executive director of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum. “‘They’re clannish. They’re dirty. They drowned their children.’ Just ridiculous things like that.” A group of Chinese workers were run out of town a couple years before the silver boom started in 1879. “There were 16 Chinese men living in Leadville who had been hired to dig a ditch,” Whittington said. They had just started working when a group of white men from a neighboring town showed up and threatened them. “The men packed up and basically took off,” he continued.
October 2021 | Cover Story
A year later, another Chinese man showed up in Leadville to open a laundry service. Soon after he arrived, some residents created explosives and blew up his cabin while he slept. The man survived but quickly left town. There was an unwritten rule, said Whittington, that “John Chinaman” was not allowed to enter the city limits and no other Chinese ventured there for decades. Today, Lake County’s population is less than 1% Asian. “I am unfortunately not really surprised that people did not like them,” Grace Parker said. The 21-year-old grew up in Leadville and is working at the mining museum for the summer. “If you’re not Caucasian, like white, you are usually attacked,” she said. “Which is really sad to hear about because I’m not part of that majority.” Parker is Chinese and was adopted by a white family as a baby. As a kid, she never learned about this part of Leadville’s history but says she’s always felt comfortable living here. “Growing up, I never really had a problem with anything racial or anybody not like me because of my race,” she said. The exclusion of Chinese laborers from the history of the American West does not surprise Rachel Shearer. “I don’t have a whole lot of information just because not much was recorded about it,” she said. Though Shearer works for the Nederland Mining Museum in Boulder County Parks, even she doesn’t know much about the Chinese that lived there. But an article from 1874 references a non-violent incident in the town where 40 men forced them out. The mining company and local leaders published a letter resolving to find the perpetrators. “As the Rocky Mountain News reported, they were incensed by the mob violence. They did not agree with it,” she said. “But in the same article, they do point out that this was a despised race, the Chinese.” These newspaper articles were written from the perspective of those in power at the time, Shearer said — wealthy, white Protestant males. “Racism was rampant,” she said. “Equality and inclusion (were) not even on their radar.” In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act. It suspended Chinese immigration and prevented those already in the U.S. from becoming citizens. This was the first legislation in American history to broadly restrict immigration. It was not repealed until 1943.
Linda Jew (right) and her cousins William Chin (center) and Patricia Jung (left) are the great-grandchildren of Chinese immigrant and Colorado pioneer Chin Lin Sou. Courtesy: Stephanie Daniel / KUNC Descendants of a “Colorado Pioneer” At the Douglas County Library, Jew, who tells people she’s the “fourth generation of a Colorado pioneer”, is reminiscing about her great-grandfather Chin Lin Sou. “He got a good reputation as being an honest, good man that they asked him to be the sheriff of Central City,” she says. “But he said, no, he has enough trouble being Chinese, let alone being the sheriff of this territory.” Chin brought his wife over from China and they had seven kids. He eventually moved his family to Denver’s Chinatown, which was destroyed by a violent white mob in 1880. Chin stayed in the city, though, and some of his descendants still live in the area today. Jew and her family have worked to ensure the contributions of Chin and other Chinese immigrants are remembered locally and nationally. “America wouldn’t have been built if it wasn’t for the Chinese, because the railroads opened up the country,” she says. William Chin, Jew’s first cousin and Chin’s great-grandson, is proud of his family lineage and acknowledges the hardships they faced. When he was a kid, he visited Blackhawk and Central City with his dad and uncle who worked up there. But, he said, a lot of their family history was lost be-
cause it wasn’t recorded. “I don’t think you ever completely do away with racism,” he says. “Because you always have those people that are going to point other people out.” Even though Chin Lin Sou was highly respected, he wasn’t immune to racism. In 1977, he was honored with a stainedglass portrait at the state Capitol. He is wearing a red Mandarin collar, but Jew says this is a misrepresentation — he was stereotyped. Chin never dressed like that; he always wore a Western suit. This story was originally published by KUNC on Sept. 13, 2021 and is republished with permission. It was edited by Jackie Hai, KUNC’s digital editor, with contributions from Dave Rosenthal, managing editor of the Mountain West News Bureau. This story is part of the Mountain West News Bureau’s series, “After The Sun Goes Down” — listen to and read the full series at kunc.org/sundown. The Mountain West News Bureau is a collaboration of public media stations that serve the Western states of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Chinese Miners in Colorado | Asian Avenue Magazine
Halloween season is the perfect time to read mysteries, end-of-the-world, dystopia and horror stories Compiled by Mary Jeneverre Schultz As autumn escorts in rustling leaves, shorter days, sweater-type weather, it’s time to curl up with a book. Let’s look at these recent and/or soon-to-be released books by Asian and Asian American authors.
be watching the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan. My Sweet Girl by Amanda Jayatissa Hardcover: $26 | 372 pages Published by Berkley ISBN 9780593335086
The Woman in the Purple Skirt by Natsuko Imamura Hardcover: $23 | 224 pages Published by Penguin Books ISBN 9780143136026
Voyeurism, manipulation and obsession are part of this book’s theme. In a suspenseful narrative, the author tells the story of workplace politics and social structures through rumors and innuendos that becomes a page turner for the reader. Daily, the Woman in the Purple Skirt sits on the same park bench as part of her routine. Unaware, someone is watching her – the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan, who stays out of sight and observes her. Luring her to a job as a hotel maid, the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan recruits her. Shortly after, the Woman in the Purple Skirt is having an affair with the boss. Everyone knows it. With all eyes on the Woman in the Purple Skirt, no one is paying attention to the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan. Perhaps, everyone should
October 2021 | Books
The book follows Sri Lankan-American woman, Paloma Evans, as she tries to discover who murdered her roommate after all evidence of his death has been erased. Recently cut off from her parents’ funds, she decides to sublet the second bedroom of her San Francisco apartment to Arun, who recently moved from India. She then finds him face down in a pool of blood. She flees the apartment but by the time the police arrive, there’s no body—and no evidence that Arun ever even existed in the first place. Paloma is terrified this is all somehow tangled up in the desperate actions she took to escape Sri Lanka so many years ago. We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen Hardcover: $28 | 336 pages Published by MiraBooks ISBN 9780778331391 Jamie woke up in an empty apartment with no memory and only a few clues to his identity, but with the ability to read and erase other people’s memories—a power he uses to hold up banks to buy
coffee, cat food and books. Zoe is also searching for her past and using her abilities of speed and strength…to deliver fast food. And she’ll occasionally put on a cool suit and beat up bad guys, if she feels like it. When the archrivals meet in a memory-loss support group, they realize the only way to reveal their hidden pasts might be through each other. As they uncover an ongoing threat, suddenly much more is at stake. With countless people at risk, Zoe and Jamie will have to recognize that sometimes being a hero starts with trusting someone else—and yourself.
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala Paperback: $16 | 316 pages Published by Berkley Prime Crime ISBN 9780593201671 The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer.... When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant and must deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic drops dead moments after a confrontation with
Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case. With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longganisa, Lila takes on this twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block. Lies We Bury by Elle Marr Paperback: $16 | 286 pages Published by Thomas & Mercer ISBN 9781542026192 Two decades ago, Marissa Mo escaped a basement prison—the only home she’d ever known. At 27, Marissa’s moved beyond the trauma and is working under a new name as a freelance photographer. But when she accepts a job covering a string of macabre murders in Portland, it’s impossible for Marissa
not to remember. Everything is eerily familiar. To determine the killer’s next move, Marissa must retrieve her long-forgotten memories and return to a past she’s hidden away. But she won’t be facing her fears alone. Someone is waiting for her in the dark. Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto Paperback: $16 | 295 pages Published by Berkley ISBN 9780593333037
What happens when you mix one “accidental” murder with 2,000 wedding guests, and then toss in a possible curse on three generations of an immigrant Chinese-Indonesian family? You get four meddling Asian aunties coming to the rescue! When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her aunties to help get rid of the body. But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend? Reprieve by James Han Mattson Hardback: $16 | 403 pages Published by William Morrow ISBN 97815266535631 When Bryan, Jaidee, Victor and Jane team up to compete at a full-contact escape room, it seems simple. Hold your nerve through six
of his recently deceased daughter at the Batagaika crater, where researchers are studying secrets now revealed in melting permafrost, including the perfectly preserved remains of a girl who appears to have died of an ancient virus. terrifying challenges; collect all the red envelopes; win a huge cash prize. But the real horror is unfolding outside of the game, in a series of deceits and misunderstandings fueled by obsession and prejudice. And by the end of the night, one of the contestants will be dead. A startlingly, soulful exploration of complicity and masquerade, Reprieve combines the psychological tension of classic horror with searing social criticism, deeply layered individual narratives to present a chilling portrait of American life. How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu
Hardcover: $28 | 304 pages Published by William Morrow ISBN 9780063072640 Release date: January 2022 For fans of Cloud Atlas and Station Eleven, a spellbinding and profoundly prescient debut that follows a cast of intricately linked characters over hundreds of years as humanity struggles to rebuild itself in the aftermath of a climate plague—a daring and deeply heartfelt work of mind-bending imagination from a singular new voice. In 2030, a grieving archeologist arrives in the Arctic Circle to continue the work
Imposter Syndrome by Kathy Wang Hardback $23 | 357 pages Published by Custom House ISBN 9780062855282
Julia Lerner is living in Moscow, a recent university graduate in computer science, when she’s recruited by Russia’s largest intelligence agency. She’s then in Silicon Valley as COO of Tangerine, one of America’s most famous technology companies. One afternoon, Alice Lu discovers some unusual activity. The closer Alice gets to Julia, the more Julia questions her own loyalties. Page-turning cat-and-mouse chase and hilarious satire, Impostor Syndrome is a shrewdly observed examination of women in tech, Silicon Valley and the rarely fulfilled but ever-attractive promise of the American Dream. The Secret Talker by Geling Yan Hardback: $19 | 150 pages Published by Harpervia ISBN 9780063004030 Hongmei is the perfect Chinese wife: beautiful, diligent, passive. Glen is the perfect American husband: intelligent, caring, well-off. From the outside, Hongmei and Glen’s life in the San Francisco Bay Area seems
perfect. But at home, their marriage is falling apart. Post-its left on the fridge are their primary form of communication. A psychological story at its core, The Secret Talker elegantly examines how repressed desire and simmering silence can upend even the most idyllic marriage. As Hongmei pursues her stalker, her identity and agency come into question, and the chase curveballs into a captivating journey of self-actualization. How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao Paperback $18 | 352 pages Published by Bloomsbury ISBN 9781547603978
This Young Adult thriller follows scholarship student Nancy Luo and her friends at an elite Manhattan prep school after their bestfriend-turned-rival Jamie Ruan is found dead. But once Jamie’s death is ruled a homicide, and an anonymous figure threatens to expose everyone’s deepest, darkest secrets on the school’s social media app, Nancy decides to find the real killer—even if it’s one of her friends. This book contains depictions of abuse, self-harm, violence, parental neglect, panic attacks, drug use, mental illness. Please read with caution.
Halloween Reads | Asian Avenue Magazine
Competitors in the US Open Final exude Asian representation Emma Raducanu is British Romanian Chinese and Leylah Fernandez is Canadian Ecuadorian Filipino.
Emma Raducanu wins the U.S. Open When Emma Raducanu won the U.S. Open on September 11, she was hailed as the first British woman to claim a Grand Slam title in 44 years. But because she was born in Toronto to a Chinese mother and Romanian father before moving to a London suburb as a toddler, fans in multiple countries celebrated her as a sports hero and a cultural ambassador. In referencing her mother, Raducanu said: “She’s always instilled a lot of discipline and respect for other people into me, so I think that having parents like I do, they always push me, they have high expectations so I’ve always tried to live up to that.” She also said how it’s a “really such a coincidence” that her two favorite players, whom she models her game after, are former Chinese player Li Na and Romanian’s Simona Halep.
Tennis stars Emma Raducanu and Leylah Annie Fernandez competed in the US Open Final on September 11, 2021. Raducanu became the first British woman in 44 years to win a grand slam title, defeating Fernandez 6-4, 6-3 at Flushing Meadows, New York. “I really want to congratulate Leylah and her team on an incredible fortnight,” said 18-year-old Raducanu during the trophy ceremony. “She played some incredible tennis and beat some of the top players in the world. It was an incredibly difficult match but I thought the level was extremely high.” Raducanu, who also became the first ever qualifier in the Open era to win a grand slam title, reflected on the dramatic final game after she grazed her left knee while serving for the match and was forced to take a medical timeout when break point down. The grand slam rulebook mandates that players must receive treatment if they are openly bleeding. After her speech, Fernandez, 19, returned to the microphone with a final word towards the crowd. “I know on this day it’s especially hard for New York and everyone around the United States. I just want to say that I hope I can be as strong and resilient as New York has been the last 20 years,” she said. 18-year-old Raducanu was born in Toronto to her father who came from Bucharest, Romania and her mother who was from Shenyang, China. The family moved to England when Raducanu was 2-years-old. 19-year-old Fernandez was born in Montreal to an Ecuadorian father and Canadian Filipino mother.
Leylah Fernandez of Canada (left) and Emma Raducanu of Britain (right) pose with their trophies after Raducanu won the US Open women’s singles final. | Courtesy: TPN/Getty Images
October 2021 | National News
What is the Double Ten Day or National Day of the Republic of China?
Flag Raising Ceremony (top) and National Day Celebration of the Republic of China in Denver
The Double Ten Day commemorates the start of the Wuchang Uprising on October 10, 1911, which ultimately led to the collapse of the imperial Qing Dynasty. The revolt led to the founding of the Republic of China on January 1, 1912. The revolt marked the end of the Qing Dynasty that had been established in 1644 by the Manchus. Since the start of the nineteenth century the power and control of the Qing court had been on a decline and at the start of the twentieth century, Sun Yatsen led an uprising of nationalists. Overseas Chinese played a key role, since the nation’s founding father Sun Yat-sen, a medical doctor by training, received financial support mainly from the overseas Chinese communities abroad to overthrow the imperial Qing Dynasty and establish the second republic in Asia in 1912. During the establishment of the Republic of China (ROC), Taiwan was under Japanese rule, which began in 1895. In 1945, after Japan surrendered in World War II, Taiwan was placed under the control of the ROC, and Sun Yatsen was elected provisional president of the new republic. Outside Taiwan, the National Day is celebrated by many overseas Chinese communities. Ceremonies and parades occur yearly in the Chinatowns of San Francisco and Chicago. Celebrations are also held in Denver by the Chinese American Council of Colorado, Denver Chinese Culture Center, and other organizations.
What is Filipino American History Month? In 2009, the U.S. Congress recognized October as Filipino American History Month of the achievements, contributions, and legacy of the Filipino American community. It also provides a link between Filipinos in the U.S. and Filipinos in the Philippines by showcasing their shared culture and heritage. Prior to that, the Filipino American National Historical Society proposed the first annual Filipino American History Month to commence in October 1992. October was chosen to commemorate the arrival of the first Filipinos who landed in what is now Morro Bay, California on October 18, 1587. It is also the birth month of Filipino American labor leader Larry Itliong. Filipinos are the second largest Asian ethnic group in the U.S. with about four million Filipino Americans. This year in Denver, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) Region V invites community members to its annual gala on Saturday, Oct. 9, Moda Filipiniana 2021, showcasing designs by Filipino-American designer Kirsten Regalado to be modeled by Filipino-American organizations’ leaders and community members at the Radisson Hotel in Aurora. The gala will benefit the NaFFAA Region V Disaster Preparedness Fund to be able to send financial assistance quickly to the Philippines when the country experiences crises, such as its estimated 20 typhoons a year. Culture | Asian Avenue Magazine
Denver’s historic Chinatown is remembered with a colorful event Most people in Denver – even longtime Denverites – don’t know that the city’s popular Lower Downtown district or LoDo was once home to a thriving Chinatown. Chinatown’s past has been long forgotten as recent immigrants have spread out and settled away from downtown Denver. But an August 8, 2021 event helped remind people of that lost history. It hasn’t helped that Denver’s Chinatown was nearly destroyed on October 31, 1880 when thousands of White people tore through the neighborhood destroying property and beating one man, Look Young, to death. Although the Chinese returned to LoDo and rebuilt their homes and businesses, that anti-Chinese race riot was used as an example to pass the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, the only law restricting immigration by nationality ever in American history. Denver’s Chinatown continued into the 20th century — a Chinese Masonic Temple stood in LoDo into the 1920s and ‘30s, and an American Chinese Club existed after WWII – but there’s now no trace left of the community. That is, except for one “Lower Downtown District Walking Tour” plaque on a building across the street from Coors Field, the baseball stadium that recently hosted the MLB All-Star Game. The title on the plaque rads “Hop Alley/Chinese Riot of 1880,” and the text focuses on the existence of opium dens (“hop” was a negative term for opium) even though many of the customers were White, and names three White business owners who protected some fleeing Chinese with-
October 2021 | On Scene
out naming Look Young. The white-centric view of Chinatown doesn’t capture the vibrancy of the district, which had been described in newspaper articles of the time. In 2020, the members of the Denver Asian American Pacific Islander Commission (DAAPIC), which serves as a connection for the AAPI community with the mayor’s office, began planning efforts to remove the offensive plaque. Earlier this year, those DAAPIC members joined with other community leaders and allies including architects and academics to form Colorado Asian Pacific United (CAPU). CAPU’s first project is to Re-envision Denver’s Historic Chinatown. Although CAPU has the support of city government – the Mayor’s office and the councilwoman who represents the LoDo district – as well as business and historic district associations to replace the current plaque and find expanded ways to celebrate Denver’s Chinese history, the plaque removal and plans to put a mural on the wall of the building where plaque currently hangs have been placed on hold. No one, from CAPU to the mayor’s office to local media, have been able to get the owner of the building to respond to requests for permission to change the plaque. Proposed new text for a historical marker to replace the current plaque was presented by Dr. William Wei, a history professor at the University of Colorado and former Colorado State Historian Chinese (attached in separate document). He celebrated the presence and influence of in Denver. The event was kicked off with a colorful, acrobatic lion
By Gil Asakawa
dance performance from Boulder-based Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu that included a touching tribute honoring members of two families whose ancestors lived and operated business in Chinatown. Two lions came to the feet of the family members and bowed down respectfully, as audience members teared up. Representatives of the families also spoke about their great-grandfathers’ and other family members’ experiences in Denver through the century-and-half they’ve been in Colorado, including serving in the US military during WWII. CAPU plans to host other public events to continue education the public about the lost history of Chinatown. Annual Lunar New Year celebrations (with more lion dances) are planned, as well as eventually, a possible “international district/Chinatown” similar to the one in Seattle that combines Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese communities in one business district. Long-term goals even include a dream of an Asian American museum in Denver’s LoDo. All of these would fit CAPU’s mission to “celebrate, education and collaborate” to tell the stories of Asians and other communities of color in Denver. CAPU has a Facebook page at fb.com/ColoradoAPUnited. The organization launched a GoFundMe campaign to help it achieve its goals at gofundme.com/f/reenvisioning-denvers-historic-chinatown. Gil Asakawa is a former Denver Asian American Pacific Islander Commission member, and a founding member of CAPU. This article was originally published with AsAmNews.
Denver Art Museum Announces New Curatorial Appointees
Hyonjeong Kim Han and Einor Keinan Cervone join Asian Art Department
The Denver Art Museum (DAM) announced on Sept. 22 the appointment of two curatorial leaders in the museum’s Asian art department. “The Denver Art Museum is committed to continuing to expand the range of perspectives we offer and to present multifaceted stories of artistic creation to our community and beyond highlighting our global collection,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM.
Hyonjeong Kim Han, Joseph de Heer Curator of Asian Art In the culmination of an international search, Hyonjeong “HJ” Kim Han was selected as the museum’s new Joseph de Heer Curator of Asian Art. Han will oversee the museum’s Asian art collection—which includes objects from China, India, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia and the Himalayas—as well as continuing the mu-
seum’s commitment to bringing world-class special exhibitions to Denver and showcasing its own stunning collection. Han comes to the DAM from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, where she had been the Department Head and Associate Curator of Korean Art since 2010. Previously, she served as Associate Curator and Acting Department Head of Chinese and Korean Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Seven special exhibitions she curated at the Asian Art Museum include Likeness and Legacy in Korean Portraiture (opened August 27), Couture Korea, Mother-of-Pearl Lacquerware from Korea and In Grand Style: Celebration in Korean Art during the Joseon Dynasty. A specialist of East Asian art history, Han has broad experience as an art advisor, researcher, lecturer and art writer/columnist. She holds a BA and MA from Seoul National University, South Korea, an MA (Honors with Distinction) and completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Einor Keinan Cervone took up her position on Sept. 1, joining the DAM from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where she was the Mozhai Foundation Curatorial Fellow in the Department of Chinese and Korean Art. Prior, she was an Associate in the Department of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History working with The Berthold Laufer Collection, as well as a Visiting Scholar at Academica Sinica in Taipei, before receiving her doctorate from Harvard University. Cervone fosters a broad range of research interests with particular focus on Ming and
Einor Keinan Cervone, Associate Curator of Asian Art Qing painting, Asian lacquer, Chinese ceramics, and contemporary ink art. She has taken part in various exhibitions including Where Truth Lies: The Art of Qiu Ying and Ink Dreams: Selections from the Fondation INK Collection. Her exhibition on Asian lacquer is slated to open next year at LACMA. Cervone received her BA from Israel’s Tel-Aviv University and her PhD in Pre-modern Chinese Art and Literature from Harvard University. “With the appointments of Han and Cervone, as well as the promotion of Douglas Wagner as Curatorial Associate, the Denver Art Museum’s Asian Art Department is able to provide a more diversified expertise inside the organization, in particular on Korean, Chinese and Japanese art, more representative of the cultural richness of the Asian continent,” said Chief Curator Angelica Daneo. On Scene | Asian Avenue Magazine
Nan Desu Kan: Weebs Unite for Anime Convention Photos and Article by Shin X Huynh
After having to cancel its 2020 event, the three-day Nan Desu Kan (NDK) anime convention made its glorious come back located at one of Colorado’s newest facilities, the Gaylord Rockies Resort. Upon entering, the excitement was felt through the hallway’s traffic. A conglomerated group of people of all ages and cultures joined to celebrate their love for Japanese animation and culture. The event was filled with talented and famous voice actors, artists, dedicated cosplayers, onsite games and food. With the array of attractions and activities, there wasn’t a dull area or moment. The dedicated 24-hour open area for tabletop and video arcade games area was a much-welcomed surprise. With the traditional Japanese arcade style games and contemporary system consoles with a multitude of fighting games—all that was missing was my own arcade stick! I felt
Full Moon Festival at Zeppelin Station featured Asian-owned restaurants, food trucks, and cafes
an unusually satisfying feeling watching a Zero Suit Samus cosplayer play the actual character in Super Smash Bros Ultimate—it was definitely nerd-vana! In the exhibit hall, the focus shifted to the vendors and artists. So many artists with beautiful prints were featured. The diverse styles of artwork attracted convention goers, who were happy to support and purchase their work. Not to mention delicious Japanese snacks and quirky souvenirs were offered at most vendors. This included irresistible “surprise” bags filled with mystery goodies, figurines of favorite anime and video game characters, and of course, a large full body pillow shaped like the fan favorite Waifu— what a sweet dream. Although masks were required, it didn’t put a hindrance on the memorable experience. Next year, NDK will celebrate its 25th anniversary on Sept. 2-4, 2022!
The Zeppelin Station hosted a celebration of the Full Moon Festival on September 24. The festival marks the end of autumn harvest and traditionally is a time to give thanks to the god. It’s also a special occasion for families and friends to gather and enjoy the celebration. Local Denver DJ Peter Hoang kept the party going, while guests visited vendors with their destination passport cards. Guests received an entry
to a raffle for a grand prize by collecting stickers as they dined around and supported participating Asian-owned businesses, which included Not Yo Mama’s Cupcakes, Tea Street, Pho King Rapidos, Mukja, Yuan Wonton, Dead Veggies, and Ti Cafe. Vendors donated to the Colorado Asian Pacific United, an organization formed by AAPI community leaders to help re-envision Denver’s Historic Chinatown Project.
Full Moon Festival on Sept. 24 at Zeppelin Station | Photos by Patrick Perico, Crazy Hungry Asians of Colorado Facebook Group
October 2021 | On Scene
Volleyball Tournament Fundraises for Afghan Refugees Twenty teams played in a volleyball tournament, in which the funds raised were donated to Lutheran Family Services. “Due to recent events with Colorado welcoming in refugees from Afghanistan, we deeply felt this organization is where we wanted the proceeds to go,” said Kristi Leung, co-organizer of the tournament. Lutheran Family Services have helped resettle refugees and asylees in the Rocky Mountain region since 1975. “As our casual volleyball meetups grew quickly in frequency and number of players, we saw it as an opportunity to give back to the community,” said Leung. “We hope our donation helps these refugees become self sufficient and integrate into our won-
derful Colorado communities.” The top three winning teams received prizes. First place went to “Team Fam Bam” (Nicholas Touch, Tony Touch, Sabrina Touch, and Justin Vuong. “Team BFC” took second place, and “Team Kiss My Ace” finished in third. These charity events bring the community together for a good cause and connect people with similar passions: be it playing competitively, watching amazing matches, or volunteering to help run the event. Organizers Kristi Leung, Aggie Im, Trish Leung, Josh Libid, and Andrew Tran thank all of the participants and volunteers for helping run such a fun and worthwhile event. They hope to host more in the future, so keep an eye out for their next charity event!
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NATIONAL DAY CELEBRATION, OCTOBER 10, 2021
Going for for Gold Across the globe, one thing has the power to unite nations like no other: sporting events. That magnetic force was on full display this past summer as the people of Taiwan turned their rapt attention to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games. Vying against the world’s top contenders across 18 different sports, Team Taiwan’s 68 athletes did their compatriots proud with a haul of 2 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze medals. This best-ever showing proves the great strides Taiwan’s athletics have made since Yang Chuan-kwang clinched the country’s first medal at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. With their unflagging efforts and indefatigable determination, Taiwan’s sports competitors are sure to keep standing tall for their nation and winning the hearts of the people as they go for the gold at future games.
ROC (Taiwan) Embassies, Consulates and Missions Photos courtesy of Sports Administration, Ministry of Education
wishes a Happy National Day for the Republic of China (Taiwan)!