What is it about the Asian Culture?

January 14, 2015

On Tuesday January 13, I briefly mentioned the 6th Annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration that took place in San Francisco on May 15, 2010. This post continues with that event.

There were Chinese, Thai, Tibetans—and even the Falun Gong (using another name to disguise who they were)—a free Burma booth, and booths for Dragon Boat Races, and the Lion Dance.

I was there with President Margie Yee Webb of the Sacramento branch of the California Writers Club (CWC), Frances Kakugawa, and Teresa LeYung Ryan. That year, the CWC’s booth was in front of the San Francisco library.

Authors Frances Kakugawa and Teresa LyYung Ryan at the CWC booth

It’s estimated that 100,000 people attends this street celebration each year.

Many people stopped by our booth to talk about China and/or buy books. By noon, I went for a walk toward Little Saigon. Booths lined the street for blocks. It was obvious from what I saw that all of Asia’s cultures have been influenced by China one way or another.

Lion Dance booth

California Dragon Boat Races

The Chinese believe in lucky symbols and bamboo plays a part in that belief.  China was the super power in Asia for more than two thousand years. At one booth, I stopped to take a few photos of a Chinese band playing traditional Asian music.  All the instruments I’ve written on this Blog about were there.

The silk trade started in China and there was a booth with a woman creating tapestries from silk thread.

Even the Glamour and Grace of Miss Chinatown USA was represented.

It was a long and rewarding day that went by too fast, but it was a harmonious day.

Lloyd Lofthouse (me)

When I was still teaching (1975-2005), I learned that by the third generation, the children of most immigrants are assimilated by American culture.

If that is true, why is it that Asians—as an ethnic group—have the lowest incidence of STDs, the lowest unemployment rate, the lowest incidence of drug use and the lowest incidence of teen pregnancy?

In fact, American Asians, including Chinese, tend to graduate from high school with higher GPAs and complete college at rates more than any ethnic group—including White—in the United States. For instance, the Institute of Education Sciences reports that in 2011-12, 93% of Asian/Pacific Islanders; 85% of Whites; 76% of Hispanics and 68% of Blacks, graduated from high school on time.

In addition. The U.S. Census reports that 48.3% of Asian-Americans have earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 29.7% for Whites, 16.3% for Blacks and 13.5% of Latinos.

Why is education more important to Asian Americans than the other ethnic groups? When I say important, I support that claim by the graduation rates and not by what someone might say. Saying an education is important to you and then you don’t graduate, reveals the truth.

I think the answer is simple, and I’ve talked about this before in other posts—the collective family culture with a strong belief in the importance of education and respect for teachers and elders, and the public schools where I taught for thirty years had a small percentage of Asian students. Most of them always earned higher grades and were concerned about any grade lower than an A. Even an A- minus might worry some Asian-American students. I also seldom had behavior problems from the Asian-American students I taught in the same classes where every racial group was represented.


Opening Ceremony of the 2014 San Francisco Asian Heritage Street Celebration

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Honorable Mentions in General Fiction
2012 San Francisco Book Festival
2012 New York Book Festival
2012 London Book Festival
2009 Los Angeles Book Festival
2009 Hollywood Book Festival

Finalist in Fiction & Literature – Historical Fiction
The National “Best Books 2010” Awards

 E-book_cover_MSC_July_24_2013

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Why Asian-Americans and/or Chinese-Americans Cannot Eat Bitterness in America

July 6, 2011

On April 25, 2011, Nadra Kareem Nittle wrote, Are U.S. Universities Discriminating Against Asian Students? The answer to Nittle’s question is “YES”.

The reason I researched and wrote this post was because of John Putnam’s Chinese in the Gold Rush and my three part series on The Chinese in America.

After all, how many Caucasions, African Americans and Latino students would have to start at a two or four-year state college if Asians filled 40% of the seats at Ivy League universities? To understand what this means, discover the facts from Recognizing Good Parenting Parts 4 to 8 to learn who works harder (on average).

In The Chinese in America – Part 3, I wrote, “of the continued discrimination against Asian-Americans and Chinese in the US by other ethnic groups, which includes Caucasians, African Americans and Latinos.”

In the US, since the Civil Rights era preferential treatment favored African-Americans and Latinos since Asian-Americans tend to swallow their bitterness instead of protesting violently as the other minorities have.

For example, the NAACP says it fights for social justice for all Americans. However, facts demonstrate that the NAACP tends to favor legislation that focuses on benefits for African Americans. If this were not true, there would be no need for political organizations to serve Latinos and Asian-Americans.

In fact, Africana Online says, “The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has been instrumental in improving the legal, educational, and economic lives of African Americans.” There is no mention of the other minorities that suffer from racism in the US.

However, Latino Political Clout is growing in America to challenge the NAACP’s voice.

The recent US Census indicated Latinos continue to become a bigger chunk of the American population. With growing numbers come a series of political and social changes to the country. The numbers indicate a growth in Latino political influence will change American politics. Source: rt.com (click on “Latino Political Clout”)

We know that the number of votes a minority such as African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans deliver equals political influence.

African American political organizations demonstrate the power of this influence.

Congressional Black Caucus

California Legislative Black Caucus

Black Leadership Forum

Georgia Legislative Black Caucus

Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus

Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus

South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus

Latino American political organizations are challenging African-American influence.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

League of United Latin American Citizens

National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), the non-partisan leadership organization of the nation’s more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials, which has the NALEO Educational Fund — the nation’s leading 501 (c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.

Mexican American Political Association

California Latino Legislative Caucus

Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP)

As demonstrated, Asian American political organizations have a long way to go to catch up to African-American and Latino political influence. You may notice two of the Asian-American organization focus on Chinese-Americans, which represents about 3.5 million Chinese US citizens dividing the potential influence of 14.5 million Asian-Americans.


What has the NAACP done to end global slavery? Find the answer at NAACP International Affairs Goal

 Asian-Americans and Chinese-Americans are crippled by their cultures when it comes to increasing political influence in the US since Chinese parents teach their children to eat bitterness.

In China, the tradition of “eat bitter” has been passed down from generation to generation. “Eat bitter” is a literal translation of Chinese "吃苦", which refers to endure hardship including discrimination.

Chinese American Political Association

Chinese American Democratic Club

Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus

80-20 Initiative

Asian Pacific Americans for Progress

The 2010 census shows us minority influence is not equal since there are 40 million African-Americans, 26.7 million Hispanic or Latino Americans but only 14.5 million Asian Americans.  Numbers count since more people shout louder.

Elected officials from local, state and national levels would rather have Asian-Americans claiming racism than the larger ethnic populations that often act out their rage at not getting what they believe they are entitled through violence such as burning and looting businesses and wrecking vehicles during riots.

Discover the Timeline of Race Riots from 1980.

When has the US seen a race riot caused by a mob of Asian Americans? Instead, the few times any action has been taken, Asian-Americans resort to the legal system that may favor the larger, more vocal and violent minorities in America.

I suspect that “Eating Bitterness” was influenced by Taoism, Buddhism and Confucius while in the West the warlike and often-violent religions of Christianity and Islam do not follow the same path.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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Linking the Dragon Boat Festival to Rice Cakes

June 10, 2011

A friend reminded me of the Dragon Boat and Rice Cake Festivals that took place in China earlier this month.

These festivals came about because of the suicide of Ch’u Yuan (343 – 289 BC), an aristocrat of the Ch’u State. He is considered one of ancient China’s greatest and earliest recognized poets.

History/myth tells us that the festival celebrates and honors Ch’u Yuan, who drowned himself in the Mi Lo River as a protest against his government’s actions.

What we do know is that when he was banished from his home, he left in despair feeling his exile was unjust. As he traveled about, he wrote poetry, observed shamanistic folk rites, and learned of legends that influenced his work.

The Dragon Boat Festival, held on the fifth month of the Chinese lunar year, originates from the search for the poet’s body. A popular legend says villagers raced in their boats to the middle of the river and desperately tried to save him, but were unsuccessful. They threw the rice filled dumplings or rice cakes into the water as a food offering to distract the river’s god and the fish away from his body.

The Dragon Boat Festival is also celebrated in San Francisco (and many other cities around the world) and I learned that a Dragon Boat race takes place in San Francisco Bay. While Dragon Boat races are being held in China this month, San Francisco holds its races in September 17-18, 2011 from Treasure Island.

In Beijing, China, the Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Duanwu Festival, was celebrated early in June.

As for the rice cakes, I suggest watching the embedded YouTube video to see how they are made, which demonstrates a process similar to how my wife makes them.

However, besides the essential sticky rice, the other ingredients are optional.  Sticky rice cakes may also have raisins and black beans added. For centuries, Silk Road caravans leaving China carried rice cakes as rations since they have a long shelf life.

When I checked a list of China’s Public Holidays, the only one listed for June was the Dragon Boat Festival. Then I read that “Zongzi”, traditional rice cakes wrapped in bamboo leaves, are eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival, which is a three-day holiday.

Discover more about Chinese dragons

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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Chinese in the Gold Rush – Part 1/2

June 5, 2011

Guest post by John Putnam

Of all the diverse peoples that poured into California after the discovery of gold, none stood out more than the Chinese. Radically different in dress, language and culture these new men were first welcomed because of their willingness to work hard for low wages at any task presented them.

John McDougall, the 2nd Governor of California, described them as “one of the most worthy of our newly adopted citizens.”

At the start of 1849 only 54 Chinese were in California. By1852 there were nearly 12,000 living here and only seven of them women. Because of turmoil in Canton another 20,000 would arrive that same year.

A community of Chinese Americans quickly grew in San Francisco. They marched in Fourth of July parades and rejoiced at California’s statehood, but celebrated their lunar new year in their traditional way.

In 1852 a Cantonese opera was performed at the American Theater and in 1854 a Chinese language newspaper began publishing.

The Kong Chow Association formed to help the new arrivals adapt to their new home. Then another, the Chew Yick, elected Norman As-sing, an English speaking owner of the Macao and Woosung Restaurant as their leader. Soon there were six associations called tongs that combined to form the Six Companies to better represent Chinese interest.

Continued on June 6, 2011 in Chinese in the Gold Rush – Part 2

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Reprinted by permission. First published May 23, 2011 in My gold rush tales. John Putnam is the author of Hangtown Creek, a thrilling saga of the early California gold rush.

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The Falun Gong and Costco

April 25, 2010

Before going into the Orpheum Theater that night, I thought Falun Gong was a Christian sect. After all, there are more than forty Christian sects. But during the performance, I discovered that Falun Gong was not Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish. Falun Gong promoted individual peace and harmony through belief in several gods.

If you are curious, you may find a few members of Falun Gong outside the Chinese embassy in San Francisco. They are almost always there when we go to pick up visas before traveling to China. You may even see the pictures they have set up showing victims of torture. 

Falun Gong protesting outside Chinese embassy in San Francisco

A year later, while shopping at Costco, I discovered a table and display for a Chinese musical. The people at that table were dressed in Ming or Tang Dynasty costumes, and I was intrigued to say the least.

Then my wife whispered in my ear, “That’s Falun Gong.” I had no idea these costumed people were selling tickets to the same production we’d already seen at the Orpheum. I quickly left.

See “Controlling Opinions” http://wp.me/pN4pY-pe

 
 

 


Brain Washing on Stage is Not Dirty Dancing

April 24, 2010

Gao Fangpi brought a fellow member of the Falun Gong to our house a few days before a New Year’s show. While we were sitting around the kitchen table sipping tea, the two women pitched the benefits of their group in soft voices. It was obvious that they had been trained like an Amway salesman is, but not as flashy.  

My wife and I were invited to attend the Falun Gong show in San Francisco at the Orpheum Theater. The tickets were eighty dollars each. Putting on that show in that theater must have been costly and I suspect eighty dollar tickets would not raise enough to cover the expenses.  

 My wife asked Gao Fangpi where the money came from to pay for the show, since it was on tour to several cities in Western countries in North America and Europe. Gao Fangpi admitted that the CIA subsidized the show.

See Wearing China’s Shoes http://wp.me/pN4pY-1p