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Friday, November 30, 2007

The China syndrome

Article in the Chinese Daily, The China syndrome with a great quote:

"A successful China is not something to fear, a China that fails is what threatens us," Pei said.

Dr Pei Minxin, senior associate and director of the China Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Dr William Overholt, Director of RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy and the author of a new book on the United States, China and world politics.

What a great prompt to give a Social Studies class!

Is it the right question to ask - for what is the definition of failure? Different parties may have different definitions of failure...


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Learning Chinese Christmas Gift Recommendations

One of my favorite books due to the high quality and I highly recommend the book.

I Won't Bite Traditional Chinese
I Won't Bite
Our Price: $14.95
Sale Price: $13.45
You Save $1.50!

I Won't Bite. A great touch and pop-up book that is in English, Simplified & Traditional Chinese, and Pinyin! One of our top sellers and out of stock often. Pop-up book invites children to explore & learn about various animals by touching! Great learning book for very young ages. Large Hard Cover. English/Chinese.

Monkey King! - So many to pick from and all great reads. From Monkey King and The Magical Monkey King: Mischief in Heaven by Ji-Li Jian (paperback) in English to the bilingual Chinese and English books - with both the Chinese and English making sense! The Making of the Monkey King, Monkey King wreaks havoc in Heaven, and Monkey King wreaks havoc in Heaven I recommend the bilingual versions even for those who don't read Chinese, the illustrations are great and the English is correct. There are so many bilingual books where you get strange translations when a word for word translation is done (Dr. Suess comes to mind, which is why I don't sell it).

And for the Harry Potter Fans, the complete set of 7 books of Harry Potter Complete Set - Traditional Chinese for only $150 (if bought separately $196.56.

A great value is the Teach Me More Chinese Bundle! - CDL020 $39.95, bought separately $48.50. The Teach Me Series has popular songs in both English and Chinese and includes a booklet. This is a great activity to do with your child.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I have a Dream - MLK

In Dr. Martin Luther King's famous speach, I had a Dream contains among other wonderful quotes:

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.

Fast forward a few years, and a Chinese Sculptor is working on a memorial to MLK for the National Mall. Headline from SF Chronicle - State NAACP joins protest of Chinese artist chosen for MLK monument

One part of the CA NAACP request I do agree with is American Granite should be used due to the symbology. Using Granite from China for a monument to Dr. Martin Luther King, a great American is just asking for problems, not to mention dumb politically. On the choice of the sculptor, my opinion is they should find the best sculptor in the world to honor Dr. Martin Luther King.

Difficult subject since race and nationality is still an issue in the US 44 years after his speach. I believe the US society has gone further done the road to a color blind society, but still has a ways to go.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Learning Chinese System including textbook, workbook, and CD!

10 Level Learning Chinese System - Practical Chinese

"Practical Chinese" book series, also known as "The Effective Way of Learning Reading, Writing, and Speaking Chinese" was originally written for the author's three American born children to learn Chinese. It is designed to teach Chinese as a second language, focusing more on daily conversation and verb usage, which is different from the traditional learning style that emphasizes writing. When the book series was first introduced, it unexpectedly became overwhelming popular.

Learning Chinese Coloring/Activity Book, Simplified Characters

Level Descriptions
Beginner 1 - Numbers, People, Occupations, Family Members
Beginner 2 - Self-Introduction, greeting, animals, likes/dislikes.
Level 1 - My family, schools, friends and myself
Level 2- Self-introduction and self description
Level 3 - calendar, interests, occupations, toys, animals...
Level 4 - Daily conversation (shopping, directions, time, ...)
Level 5 - Introduction to the Chinese Festivals
Level 6 - Introduction to the Chinese Dynasties
Level 7 - Introduction to the Chinese famous people, inventions, and events.
Level 8 - Introduction to the Chinese Idioms and phrases

Games for Learning Chinese, Traditional Characters - provides more than 50 learning activities to make learning fun, easy, and more effective.Cd's/Cassettes are available for each level of textbooks from beginner 1 to level 8.

Wendy Lin, the author is a Chinese teacher and has two master degrees from US universities.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Chinatown's - In unexpected places

San Luis Obisco had a Chinatown. The city is just north of Santa Barbara and has the other Cal Poly where they make half the Rose Float (I went to Cal Poly). The population of California at one time was 10% Chinese. Another story about the tunnels of the Chinatown in Fresno - An urban legend has resurfaced This time in the LA Times. Third article I have read about Fresno's Chinatown. What this added was that Chinatowns were seen as a mysterous place that all sorts of strange things happened. My take from that is it's easier to hate people when they are seen as different.

Exploring Chinatown: A Children's Guide to Chinese Culture onsale!

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Chinese Dresses - Description Questions

Please excuse the whining. I have been writing descriptions today and I am a bit confused.

An example: Qipao, Girl's Red Traditional Chinese Dress

Girl's beautiful red Qipao, traditional Chinese dress. Qipao is also spelled sometimes as qi pao and in Cantonese is known as cheongsam. The Qipao was the traditional Chinese clothing worn during the Ching Dynasty (1644-1911 AD). This elegance red Qipao Chinese dress will transform your little girl to a beautiful and elegant Chinese princess!

This Qipao Chinese dress features a mandarin collar, cap sleeves, side slits, back zipper, and hand sewn Chinese knotted buttons (frog buttons). The satin fabric is patterned with beautiful golden plum blossoms and bamboo leaves.

The description frustrates me! I know, everybody else has about the same description (most worse), but there should be more. Sounds like time for a visit to the Los Angeles Library, online the information is sparse (and that's being nice).


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Chinese American - Who are they?

Definition of Chinese in the US is really interesting because it's all mixed up! Most marketers have no idea how confusing it is, so it's easy to upset this giant group that is labeled Chinese Americans.

Gold Rush Chinese - Some Chinese who came over here in the Gold Rush. Good friend of my Father's who is from Sacramento. Amount of Mandarin he knows - zero. Some Cantonese.

Taiwanese American - Came over starting in 1960's with change of immigration law. You have FOB (Fresh Off the Boat, which should change boat to plane). My daughters comments are these are the coolest since they have the latest fashions. Two subgroups are 49's (people who fled the communist revolution in 1949 and those who were in Taiwan before. Have ABC - American Born Chinese. Generations 1, 2, 3, etc. If can read Chinese, prefer Traditional Characters. Do not send them letters in simplified Chinese Characters. Tips - avoid talking politics and figuring out what the difference between Red, Green, and Blue are.

Overseas Chinese - Example of a friend from Thailand, who is ethnic Chinese (descendant of Chinese Traders).

China - Starting after Nixon restored relations with China. Big boost after Tianamen square in immigration. Lots of people used a law congress passed to stay in the US. Prefer simplified Characters. Many regions of China, so lots of variety. Probably from coastal areas because that is where the economic growth has happened. Fujian, Guangjou, Beijing are popular provinces. Education and wealth varies tremendously.

And all of the above groups do inter-marry :-)

Religion - Varies from none to Christian to Islamic to Buddhist.

Food - Great!


Friday, November 23, 2007

Chinese For Kids, Learning Chinese is Fun Blog

I just posted a link to an excellent blog on Learning Chinese for Kids. What is great about the blog and associated web site is the focus on actual material for Learning Chinese. And it's FREE! So if you want to see some children songs, or read great commentary I suggest take a look at the Learning Chinese for Kids Blog. The blog is written by a teacher at a German School in China, for their Chinese Club.

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Made in China on the Sly

NY Times Editorial on Luxury companies who make items in China on the sly. Typical tactics include black on black labeling for those labels with country of origin. Putting the last 90% (like the handles) on in France or Italy, or just changing the made in label. Pretty hypocritical.

What I liked was the part of the story that included Xenophobic (fear or contempt of foreigners).

Luxury brand executives who declare that their items can be made only in Western Europe because Western European artisans are the only people who know what true luxury is are being not only hypocritical but also xenophobic.

China makes a lot items for export, some junk, but also a lot of items with high quality. The headache is figuring out which are the high quality items (like ipods and a huge amount of the world's electronics).


Chinese Gardens in the US

Per the LA Times they are redoing the Chinese Garden at the Huntington Library and it's spectacular from the pictures.

Chinese Garden in the US I have been to include:
Other Chinese Gardens in the US:
Portland Classical Chinese Gardens Portland, Oregon
Montreal, Canada (somehow I missed this while I was there).
National Arboretum,
Washington, DC
Missouri Botanical Garden, Chinese Garden, St. Louis, MO
Chinese Scholars Garden, Staten Island, New York
Seattle Chinese Garden, Seattle, Washington
Kansas is planning one.
Minnesota is also planning one.

Ten Mile Day - Railroad that linked the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Over 6000 Chinese worked on it at one point. Building of the Transcontinental Railroad.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Target and Chinese Cultural non-education

Target would be wise to have some cultural sensitivity in their pricing. I was in Target last night looking with my wife for a last minute item for our Thanksgiving Feast. And on impulse bought my daughter a DVD she had been asking for. I hesitated, because the price ended in double 44, the video was priced at $9.44 for Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (Interesting differences with the 1971 version I grew up with). Having that double 4 in the price, since the number 4 has a similar sound as death is unlucky in the Chinese Language in Mandarin, and even in the Cantonese Dialect. So Target is selling videos with a price that says double death or unlucky per Chinese Superstition. The reason they were doing this is local supermarkets were selling video's at $9.99 I am sure. Japanese has the same issue with the number 4. Some buildings in Asian Countries even skip the number and have floors 1235 etc. Just as some buildings in the US don't have a 13th floor. It's also harder to sell a house with a number 4 in it to people who have this belief. There was even a study out of UCSD saying more ethnic Chinese and Japanese had heart attacks in the fourth month.

I don't know if I believe in that, but it would have been nice if the price was $9.38 or at least $9.50. Not that I blame the issue I had with the sink last night, or with the pour turkey today on that, But I am not buying any more video's at that price - why chance it :-)

Since I live in a heavily Chinese area, it was a bit surprising on Target's pricing. I am sure they don't use 3 6's when pricing. Or may be they do. I think the local Walmart was ending some of the prices in 88. I know the local auto dealers and home sellers caught on to this finally a couple of years ago. I should re-phrase this, the successful ones have since it shows their cultural sensitivity in an area that has a large amount of people that believe in this. Cruise around are area and look at the license plates of Mercedes driven by Asians, you will often see a lot of 8's because that means Wealthy (and Father). Another example of this is phone numbers. ChildBook is guilty of this with our phone number of 909-595-8882 (my wife is great at getting the right numbers, the number for our first apartment years ago after we moved went to a bank). Banks are interested in being wealthy.

I also remember being in a hospital with my wife when my daughter was born, and the hospital staff wanted to give us a room with the number 4 in it. Luckily we managed to change the room. I hope things have improved since then. For any organization providing goods and/or services to a community that his heavily Chinese, this type of knowledge should be basic.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Beautiful Turkey Coloring Picture

Beautiful Turkey Beautiful bird. Cartoon version of a Beautiful Turkey. ChildBook has an entire section of Free Chinese Children Coloring Graphics, Pictures Printable and Free Chinese Children Coloring Characters - Printable.


Three Gorges Dam - Strange Politics

Lots of open press in China about possible issues with the Three Gorges Dam. WJS today had an article on the proposed fixes. It's great that China's government is being open about the problems, but why now? The amount of political capital by Li Peng that was invested in building the dam was huge. It has been talked about since Sun Yat Sen, around 1911.

Here are the possibilities:

1. Chinese Government sees so many potential issues they want them in the open before they explode (literally). Moving a 4 million people could have some issues, especially when some of these people have already been moved once and had corruption problems with their payments.

2. May be the Olympics are involved and China is becoming more open.

3. May be there is some type of internal power struggle going on or a way to show how the government is going to admit issues as part of an anti-corruption campaign.

Now back to subjects related to Chinese Learning Materials.


Chinese Feng Shui vs. Vaastu shastra

Feng shui? Forget it. Vaastu shastra is now attracting followers per an article in the SF Chronicle. I appreciate this quote:

Lawlor agrees: "Feng shui always offers a cure, like hanging a mirror or a crystal. That's appealing to an American mind-set."


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Chinese - Most Beautiful Language?

Mandarin is the most beautiful language in the world, she declared, and is set to overtake English to become the new international language.
"Everyone is learning Mandarin today because they want to do business with China, and everyone who knows Mandarin must be proud to use it," she claimed.

From an article in a New Zealand Paper.

The question would be with which Chinese Accent? Since the person was from Beijing, I would guess in her opinion it would be the Beijing Accent. But some people prefer the Taiwan accent since it's softer and seen by some as trendier. The official language in China is standard Mandarin, which is what would be considered Beijing accent, but not the old Beijing accent (confused yet). Wikipedia article that has a good map. There is a bit of controversy over who makes better Chinese tutors due to differences in standard Chinese accent and Beijing accent.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Chinese Cold Remedies

Gingseng Soup is a a favorite remedy in my family. I have also seen similar potions such as on this page. On actually drinking them, I think my wife has given up on me. I just don't have the stomach for them :-)

I did not realize there were differences:
Chinese herbs are often very effective remedies against the common cold, but they can usually only be found in Chinatown. It is essential to take the appropriate remedy for your symptoms because there are important differences between the various types and in Traditional Chinese Medicine all colds are not created equal.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Telling Jokes in Chinese

Time has an article on differences between expat and HK Jokes that is interesting, even if it's about Cantonese. One of my favorite Doonesbury cartoons is when Ambassador Duke is telling a joke, and his translator tells the Chinese audience to laugh.

There is a lot of culture in jokes, so as a general idea only tell jokes to your own culture until you get really good at Chinese and understand a bit of the culture. Here is a blog entry on sarcasm in China. It makes the point on jokes as does the times article the punchline is a little bit later than done in the US. Even with UK humor, there is a difference with US humor (and we share a common language theoretically). I still remember in High School an exchange student from Australia who was at the board and asked for a rubber. In Australia, that means an eraser. In the US it has a different meaning (trying to keep this blog rated G).

Another example of cultural difference is the meaning of white (death) in China, where in the US it means weddings. I still don't understand why Asia has gone into White Wedding Gowns, I like the idea of a Red one.

To see some cultural differences, get the Fun with Chinese Characters. The humor is a little bit different than what you have in the US and is not 100% political correct.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

China's Restrictions on US Imports

Interesting article in the NY Times on China's restrictions on US imports. Restrictions on imports has been a staple of many countries so they can protect their domestic industries and build them up. Historically this has been done with tariffs, but with the WTO that supports the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (typically abbreviated GATT) that has resulted in a decrease in tarrifs as well as empowering countries to take others to court (WTO). So protectionism has become a bit more careful... China recently started requiring inspections of medical equipment imported from abroad. This is one sector the US has been doing well in. The result of this is to favor domestic suppliers. Same thing is happening in Cell Phones and other standards. For example with the DVD standard, all DVD Players and even disks need to pay a royalty fee to the various patent holders (all non-Chinese Companies). So if China can develop their own standard, it helps local industries. Economist has some great articles on China's economy, their technology development challenges, and intellectual property issues.

All of the above is probably a bit confusing. Simply - China wants to move up the food chain of value in producing goods. Another Economist article mentioned how little of the pie China gets for the iPod, where all the real margin goes to companies outside China even though it is assembled in China.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Simplified vs. Traditional Chinese Characters - Which to Learn

This is a touchy subject and there are good arguments on which to learn. Yesterday I was speaking with someone and he referred to Traditional as the correct ones. I commented that someone from China would refer to simplified as the correct ones. I sell products for both and a 10 Level System for Learning Chinese I just got has books for both.

Here are the arguments on which is better, Traditional Chinese Characters or Simplified Chinese Characters:

Traditional Chinese Characters are better because they have a logical order of strokes, have a huge history behind the stroke order, and are easier to learn since less memorization is needed. Traditional Chinese Characters are used in Taiwan, HK, and most newspapers in the US. If you can read simplified, you can read traditional. Simplified Chinese Characters just removed some strokes and it was not done logically/systematically, so more memorization is needed for simplified. Traditional Chinese Characters are also called complicated. Traditional Chinese Characters are also prettier. And with computers, the stroke issue has become less important ( I had not heard this one before).

2. Simplified Chinese Characters is easier to learn since their are less strokes which increased literacy in China. Simplified was implemented after the 49 Revolution by Mao in the 60's. Here is a wikipedia article about the debate on Simplified vs Traditional Characters, it's interesting.

The best comment I read a while ago on the debate was China did not go far enough in the simplification and there is still too much memorization required.

You can usually tell if a person is from China or Taiwan by which system they prefer.

A great book that shows the beauty and history of Chinese Characters is Long is a Dragon. Highly recommended book.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Why Learn Mandarin Chinese, not Cantonese

I occasionally get these requests for Learning Cantonese. So why don't I offer Cantonese material? Why not Taiwanese.

I actually have some data for my decision. I bought some stories with tapes (tells you how long ago it was) in Cantonese. I then E-Mailed the people who had asked me to stock Cantonese items. Those items took so long to move, and it was not that many since it was only a test.

Mandarin is the language to learn for Chinese. The Chinese governments (yes, plural) since the revolution of 1911 have done an incredible job of promoting the use of Mandarin in China. Originally Mandarin was only a regional tongue spoken around Beijing. A person I met in her 40's from Guangdong (Canton) Province spoke fluent Cantonese, but could understand Mandarin. Her son in his 20's was fluent in Mandarin. This shows the spread of Mandarin. The written language is independent of the verbal. So my wife was able to borrow books in college from a friend from Hong Kong, when they could not speak the same language. There are lots of dialects in China (at least 14).

So what is happening to Cantonese is it's becoming a home language. An article today mentioned how China is again promoting study in Mandarin and English, where it used to be Mandarin and Cantonese after China took over HK. A quote from HK's Educational Minister explains the reasoning (English is needed for business, and Mandarin for connecting to the Mainland).


Monday, November 12, 2007

Horrible English and Chinese

I have seen a few items made in China or Taiwan that have horrible English on them. The same thing happens with Chinese. It's popular to get Chinese Tattoos in the US, and this site http://www.hanzismatter.com/ has examples of bad use of Chinese. One web site just put some Chinese characters on it because it looked nice! The NY Times had an article with some examples of bad Chinese Tattoos last year. The NY Times story mentions one clinic that removes about 5-6 Chinese tattoos per week because they meant something different than intended.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Grade Schoolers Learning Chinese symbolic of World Changes

Minneapolis schools are offering Chinese after school for grade schooler in Grades 1-5. The teacher is probably one of the 63 or so Chinese Teachers from China, since there is a shortage of Chinese teachers in the US. The program is being met with interest by students.

If your local school does not offer Chinese, here are some tips for having your child Learn Chinese. And some help if you need to have the Discussion on Why Learn Chinese.

Interesting quote from Fund manager and investment author Jim Rogers who hired a Chinese nanny soon as his daughter was born: The 19th century was the century of the United Kingdom. The 20th century was the century of the U.S. The 21st century will be China's.

I don't 100% agree with that quote. I may be biased since I was born in the USA. China definitely will have a greater presence in the world both economically and politically in the 21st century than the 20th century. It's amazing the amount of progress that has been made since Deng's modernization started in 1978. The amount of people who are no longer living in poverty. Over 200 Million people in China are no longer in Poverty (declined from 260 Million to 50 Million in 1997), and China has become the manufacturing hub of the world. Huge change from where China has been for say the last 200 years economical and political presence in the world. There are considerable challenges for China to continue the growth including environmental, political, economic, and social.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

About Us - Why bring up our daughter bilingual in Chinese/English

The about us section of ChildBook.com is extremely personal. It talks about how my wife and I started ChildBook because of our frustration of finding material to bring up our daughter bilingually in English and Chinese. Local bookstores had a horrible selection and were often over priced. Yesterday, I saw a book of 40 children songs in Chineses and cd for $21 that I sell for $9.95. And my selection is a lot larger for children items than them and the quality is high. It's hard to find materials that are of good quality. Sometimes books have great Chinese, but then you look at the English and it's strange... Or the Chinese is translated word for word, which makes for very strange Chinese. Dr. Suess is an example that does not translate well into Chinese (and I don't carry). It's much easier if you carry the right product since then you don't get into returns (I hate those). It's astonishing how low ChildBook's return rate is compared to the Industry average. And ChildBook has a nice return policy. ChildBook to me is the type store that I would like to shop in and feel proud to have my name attached to it.

A while ago, a competitor actually stole content including word for word of my about us page. They finally made some changes on that after I complained (I could have made their life really miserable, but I like to play nice). It's minor, but since it's about my family's journey of raising our daughter, it's a bit personal and I don't appreciate it.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Congestion Pricing - NY Chinatown

NY is considering congestion pricing in the Manhatten Chinatown. NY actually has more than one Chinatown. The one in Flushing (where my cousins lived) was more Taiwanese, one in Brooklyn, and one in Manhatten. On ChildBook's page of US Chinatowns I actually list all three.

Relevant Book:
Exploring Chinatown: A Children's Guide to Chinese Culture

Things to do:
*Laurence Yep book I need to add.
*Revise Chinatown's page. Right now I could give it grade of B, but A's are better than B's!


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Another Chinese Toy Recall

Not lead this time, but a chemical in Aqua Dots made in China and may be a supplier used a cheaper chemical in the manufacturing. Smaller company based in Australia that may bankrupt them. Just when there have not been any recent made in China lead recalls.

Of course the Thomas the Train that recalled the recalled replacements in September due to lead paint.

I am surprised with all the publicity, even a supplier hanging them self, anyone would be dumb enough to substitute a cheaper part.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Fluent Chinese - Possible Future PM of Australia

The leader of the opposition, Mr. Kevin Rudd MP, who may be the next PM in Australia speaks Chinese. So at a recent state dinner he was chatting with the President of China, while the current PM was not part of the conversation. I wonder if any of the US Presidential Candidates speak Chinese? Or how long till a President of the US will?

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Chinese Adoption Story

NY Times has a nice article/blog, Finding Zhao Gua By Jeff Gammage, bout a parent going with her daughter looking for more information on the daughter's birth parents and the person who found their daughter. Nice blog entry by itself and part of a series that will explore Adoption and the American Family. Lots of great comments on the story with some different viewpoints.

Related Resources:


Monday, November 5, 2007

Chinese Schools

It's amazing the interest in teaching Chinese in the public schools. An article about a school that has introduced Chinese into Middle School in their district!

What I am very interested in is the couple of public schools in the US that have implemented a true bilingual Chinese and English program. There are also a couple of private schools that have done this. My list of Chinese Schools in the US and Canada along with some suggested questions you should ask to choose the right school for your child. For public schools, there is actually a shortage of Chinese Language Teachers.


Chinese Gambling

Casinos gamble Asian clients are a good investment shows how Atlantic City is targeting Asian gamblers. Same thing is happening in Las Vegas as they have targeted both people from China, as well as the local Asian population. There is a cheap bus that goes from Rowland Heights to Las Vegas everyday (meets in front of 99 Market on Nogales). Las Vegas even has a Chinatown now! US gambling companies have also invested in Macao. The positive for me is if you go to casinos in the US, at least the Chinese food has improved.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Chinatown's Hidden Side

Time Magazine's article about Hillary Clinton's Chinatown donor issue gives some interesting peeks into Chinatown Culture.

Key points from the article:

  • Chinatown economies are built almost entirely on cash transactions, tremendously high savings rates and a tradition of financial secretiveness.
  • Few Chinese-American workers in New York City's several Chinatowns will reveal how much they really make.
  • It is not uncommon to see waiters and dishwashers among other so called menial workers who are capable of paying for cars, plunking down large initial premiums for insurance policies or making sizable down payments on homes or apartments — in cash.
  • Banks of Chinatown centered in Canal Street in Manhattan have combined deposits of $6 billion, behind only the ritzy Upper East Side ($8 billion) among New York City neighborhoods.

What the article missed was the province/ethnic origin angle in Chinatown of the donors (Fujian) that I mentioned before Chinese Associations & Clinton Fundraising


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Chinese Nursery Rhymes

Chinese Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes has nothing to do with Mother Goose, but is a collection of Forty One Traditional Chinese Children Nursery Rhymes ( verses, riddles, and game rhymes) in a bilingual format including ones on lady bugs, kites, and bumps on the head. Also includes the rhymes in Chinese traditional characters. The collection of Chinese Children poems, lullabies, counting rhymes, and songs from the Chinese oral tradition is complemented by illustrations inspired by classic Chinese art (meant for kids, so a bit cartoonish). Reviews by customers of the book have overall been positive, even if some of the Chinese words used are a bit higher level than you would expect in a children's book. Paperback. Children's - Grade 2-3, Age 7-8.

Why the name Chinese Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, to communicate the idea these 41 nursery rhymes are comparable to the European Mother Goose. So in this book you will not find a translation of Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Peck is a term of measurement for a 1/4 a bushel or 8 dry quarts that my daughter actually saw in one of her classes.


Friday, November 2, 2007

How to Raise a Smart Baby

Article I found on WebMD. I agree with the idea that parent time can't be replaced by video's and what research has shown is babies learn from people. What we did in our house was basically ban the TV, except for Video's we selected. Luckily, we live in an area with poor TV coverage and we refuse to get cable - an extremely unpopular decision with a younger member of the family. That makes Grandparents house very popular since they have cable.

With video's for Learning Chinese, I suggest watching them with the child so you can talk with them about it to further their understanding. I would compare watching video's to the teachers who just have their students watch video's everyday (yes, they do exist). The best teachers are ones who combine different techniques with children. That can be combined with Learning Chinese Singing songs with your child. Use Learning Chinese Flash Cards in combination. Do some fun coloring projects. Remember that most people don't have a photographic memory, so repetition helps and try to make the words part of daily life.


Chinese Adoptee Mother to carry Olympic Torch!

Congratulations! And I did vote :-)

To all of our dear, dear friends of Half the Sky - YOU made it happen!

This week in Beijing we got some wonderful news. Thanks to the concerted
efforts of our most extraordinary HTS family, I am going to carry the
Olympic Torch in Beijing!!

I do not yet know if I will be permitted to run with the children. That
will be up to the Olympic Committee. But you can be sure of one thing:

Whether or not I am allowed to run WITH the children, the world will know
that I am running FOR them.

Thank you, everyone, for helping to share the Olympic spirit with China’s
orphans. I know that those children who are old enough to understand will
be so proud that they have a place in China’s grand celebration.

With love and thanks beyond measure,


Jenny Bowen
Executive Director
Half the Sky Foundation

Half the Sky was created in order to enrich the lives and enhance the prospects for orphaned children in China. We establish and operate infant nurture and preschool programs, provide personalized learning for older children and establish loving permanent family care and guidance for children with disabilities. It is our goal to ensure that every orphaned child has a caring adult in her life and a chance at a bright future.

Want to receive our free Half the Sky newsletter, full of stories and photos, via regular mail? Just go to our website www.halfthesky.org and click on "Join our Mailing List."
If you no longer wish to receive email updates from HTS, please send a blank email to: leave-half_the_sky@titan.sparklist.com


Thursday, November 1, 2007

China's Rose Parade Challenges

Pasadena, CA city council continues to debate China's Entry into the Rose Parade. From a political prospective, smaller organizations have a chance to have their voices heard concerning China. The Pasadena City Council is in a lose lose situation no matter what they do, somebody will be unhappy saying they did to much, or to little.

Avery Dennison Corp. contributed half the cost of the float, which is not surprising since the founder of Avery who went to one of the Claremont Colleges, Pomona, organized a trip to China that made a lasting impression on him. Avery used to sponsor Claremont College students and recent alumni to spend a year in China having an adventure, but this looks like it has been discontinued. I applied for riding steam trains in China, but other worthier projects were chosen that year.

What I liked about the Avery China Adventure program was it gave a chance for students to really learn the Chinese culture by experiencing China by living there. The lists of projects that was done is amazing, from magicians to hiking remote areas to wine making to looking for gibbons. All adventures that were out of the ordinary.


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