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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chinese New Year Events - Growth in

I have been doing the largest list of Chinese New Year Events in the US and Canada since 2004. What I have noticed is there is an increase in the number of events. The question is why?

Some guesses:

1. Casino's have figured out many Chinese love Chinese love to Gamble. So it makes economic sense. Casino's in Las Vegas have been having Chinese, HK, and Taiwan pop stars play at their Casino's.

2. Increase in the Chinese population in the US. Around 3 Million in the US in 2005 per census figures. Asian's are 3% of the US population.

3. Number of parents who have adopted Children from China. Around 62,000 adoptions in the US of Children from China.

4. Increased interest in China due to it's increased economic power.

5. Perhaps the Internet has made it easier to find Chinese New Year events.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Chinese Kindergarten Activities

Some suggestions:

1. Have the teacher read a book on Chinese New Year and or Zodiac. Here is a Chinese New Year Lesson Plan I put together that includes the Red Envelope Idea. Another project is have them make their own Red Envelope out of construction paper.

2. Have them play some Chinese Games

3. Coloring Projects for kids including Chinese New Year Symbols

4. Bring in Chinese Food for the kids to eat for lunch (using Lunch Specials). If you can, but 8 items since 8 is a lucky number (and can be part of the lesson). If you can get the rice sticky rice cakes with a sweat filling inside would be something exotic. Chinese bakeries carry them wrapped in banana leaves (this may be too authentic, which leaves Panda Express or equivalent).

5. Fortune Cookies are not Chinese, but kids probably won't know the difference.. Interesting history. Post of mine on Fortune Cookies and where they are from.

6. There are a lot of customs for Chinese New Year. That would make a great lesson and activities. Like cleaning up the class room.

7. A book I have that has more activities for project is:
Celebrating Chinese New Year An Activity Book

You can also I am sure find them on the Internet. Making a paper lantern is a fun activity and I have seen some wonderful paper lanterns.

8. Per the Good Luck Life, The Essential Guide to Chinese American Celebrations and Culture

Tangerines sound like Luck in Chinese.
Oranges deliver sweetness and wealth. When giving fruit, it should always be in even numbers and avoid the number 4 (unlucky number because it sounds like Death in Chinese). 8 sounds like Wealthy and Father.

9. Chinese Supermarkets also have cookies and candied fruit for Chinese New Years. The cookies are at reasonable costs. The rolled ones that look like egg rolls would be a good choice (and don't cost a lot).

I hope this helps!


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fat epidemic hits Asian kids, too

From the Orange County Register Fat epidemic hits Asian kids, too

Key Points from the article:
  • Asian American families tend to be less physically active, more home-oriented and more screen-oriented than other groups
  • Asian teens consume more fast food than their white counterparts
  • Asian and Pacific Islander children compared to other ethnic and racial groups are also least likely to get their daily portions of fruits and veggies
  • Overweight Asians develop diabetes and other chronic diseases at lower thresholds of obesity.
An additional problem becomes peer pressure. When the kids want to fit in, so they demand junk food. I remember once when I was growing up at an Asian friends house, a friend's mother had cooked something really nice (the mother is an A+ cook). And the younger brother wanted McDonald's. Another problem is a lot of Chinese Fast Food, is really not very Chinese. Many dishes are deep fried and add a sweet sauce to them.

Another issue not mentioned in the article is how some Chinese parents like to have fat kids. They are cuter and seen as healthier. Not to mention the issue of single children from China, the little emperors and empresses that are spoiled by the entire family.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

2016 - What will it be like

Interesting article in the NY Times Sunday Magazine. Definitey food for thought.
Waving Goodbye to Hegemony By PARAG KHANNA. Summary -Just a few years ago, America’s hold on global power seemed unshakable. But a lot has changed while we’ve been in Iraq — and the next president is going to be dealing with not only a triumphant China and a retooled Europe but also the quiet rise of a ‘‘second world.’’
Trends that the author sees increasing China's Influence:

1. Investment by China in both Africa and South American. Not to mention China.
2. Chinese entrepreneurs immigrating to Africa and other countries.
3. Declining population in the Soviet Union.
4. Immigration into former Soviet Republics by Chinese entrepreneurs.
5. Exportation of arms.
6. Rise of trade by other Asian countries with China.
7. Increase in the number of Chinese students studying in Europe. After 9-11 the US made it harder for students to get into the US for studying.
8. China will push relations built on respect for sovereignty and mutual economic gain.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Practical Chinese Update

Per the author she is going to work on levels 5-8 in Simplified of the Learning Chinese Ten Level Series called Practical Chinese. The series is selling well. The best seller is the workbooks in both Traditional and Simplified Chinese that are a great way to start learning Chinese for Kids:

Learning Chinese Coloring/Activity Book, Traditional Characters
Learning Chinese Coloring/Activity Book, Simplified Characters

I probably have to do some tweaking on the products, because each level of the series has a textbook, workbook, and CD. I have noticed some people buying the textbook and Workbook, but not getting the CD. Or the Textbook and Workbook, but no CD. So I need to somehow remind customers of the related products


Learning Chinese Coloring/Activity Book, Traditional Characters
Learning Chinese Coloring/Activity Book, Simplified Characters
Beginner 1 - Numbers, People, Occupations, Family Members
Beginner 2 - Sel-Introduction, greeting, animals, likes/dislikes.
Level 1 - My family, schools, friends and myselfHyperlink
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 meant for those who can already read Chinese for leading games.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Chinese Asian Representation in Colleges

The challenge is Asian's, as a percentage are over represented at the best colleges in the United States. 10-30%, even if they are only 4% of the population. So in order to keep the right racial mix, Asian students at many colleges need to have higher test scores than any other ethnic group, including white, to attend. In state colleges, many states have banned the use of racial quotas for college admissions including California and Michigan. The result at UC Berkeley has been an increase in Asian students attending. An article about Asians at Berkeley called Little Asia on the Hill that I just found from the NY Times! Last time I found the article my blog died, with a post I had been working on for over an hour. Which resulted in a much shorter post :-) My daughter's school sent 30 students to UC Berkeley last year, and her choir graduates seem to go to UCLA or UC Berkeley.

One Chinese student even filed a lawsuit against Princeton for discrimination in admissions. Good quote "are the Chinese being treated as Jews were in the 1920-1940 for College Admissions?"

Another related post:
Chinese American Education Expectations

My opinion. The historical definition of race is getting all messed up and institutions have not caught up with how fast society is changing in an extremely positive way. Examples include mixed races, adoptions, etc. The competition for getting into colleges is getting more and more. Grades, Study Skills, and College Admission Books is a new section I just added.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

New Chinatown - Rowland Heights Restaurants

At the local Hong Kong Market Plaza in Rowland Heights, there were three restaurant suites all empty. Dragon Noodle, also known as Supreme Dragon , then empty suite, then Good Time Cafe, then empty, empty, and the market. In another part of Rowland Heights, it appears a
Vietnamese Restaurant that used to be a Taco Bell has closed.

Supreme Dragon
is a great place for Beef Soup and Steamed Dumplings at a pretty good price. It's survived by having fast service and good prices. Good Time Cafe is a Taiwanese Cafe. My favorite their is pork chop rice, that is actually a fried pork chop over rice that includes a soy sauce egg. The name makes you think fried rice. A place opened right next to it one time, also selling Taiwanese Food. Not very nice of the plaza management to allow this. Good news was Good Time Cafe survived this, and their competitor is no longer there.

Restaurants have a high degree of risk. That is one of the challenges with chinesediner.com was how to keep it up to date, with restaurants going out of business all the time. The challenge is people could falsely enter a restaurant has gone out of business. And who would have time to check if a restaurant has truly gone out of business. chinesediner.com was a Chinese Restaurant Finder I had set up for a while, but closed down because of the maintenance issue.

Dim Sum For Everyone!
Our Price: $6.99
Sale Price: $5.99
You Save $1.00!

Dim Sum For Everyone! Great book about a little girl's visit to a Dim Sum restaurant.
Cooking with Kids - Exploring Chinese Food, Culture, and Language
Cooking with Kids - Exploring Chinese Food, Culture, and Language
Our Price: $24.95

Should your kids Learn Chinese Cooking? And some Chinese? Then get this DVD for ages 8-12 that includes much more than just Chinese cooking! It gives your kids a fun way to learn Mandarin Chinese tones, words, and phrases.
The Ugly Vegetables by Graced Lin
The Ugly Vegetables by Graced Lin
Our Price: $6.95

A little girl wonders why she and her Mom are growing plants in their garden that are so different from their neighbors'. Recipe for Ugly Vegetable Soup included!
Fortune Cookie Fortunes by Grace Lin
Fortune Cookie Fortunes by Grace Lin
Our Price: $6.99

After a young Chinese American girl opens fortune cookies with her family, she notices that the fortunes seem to come true, in a story which includes brief notes on the history of the fortune cookie.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chinese New Year - LA Zoo

Los Angeles Zoo is having some Chinese New Year Activities! The graphic they have done is very cute.

Lunar New Year CelebrationFebruary 9 & 10, 2008
10am - 4pm

Lunar New Year Celebration

Join us in celebrating the Lunar New Year at the Los Angeles Zoo!

  • Visit the Zoo's rodents and learn more about them in celebration of Year of the Rat
  • Enjoy Asian delicacies at the Lunar New Year buffet
  • Visit artisan booths and shop for authentic souvenirs

  • Receive lucky red envelopes, fortune cookies, and other fun sponsor giveaways
  • Take part in an origami workshop and make your own animals
Comment/Editorial. A bit frustrating, I checked out the LA Zoo Web site beginning of this month to update my Chinese New Year Event Information. No info. Then I go to my bank and get a coupon with Information yesterday. At least now I have the information!
100+ Chinese New Year Events/Calendar for the US and Canada


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hong Kong Disneyland

Disney per the Wall Street Journal at their Hong Kong Disneyland has been adding local content such as the God of Wealth. Mickey and Minnie have also gotten Chinese Outfits!

Visitors pose with the bearded Chinese god of wealth,
one of Hong Kong Disneyland's characters. Wall Street Journal.


Travel Guides in Chinese - New York, Boston, Washington DC

Nice service - VGP Travel Guides in Chinese for New York, Boston, and Washington DC. A customer asked me if I knew of a travel guide for NY in Chinese. So I did a bit looking and did not find anything. So I sent E-Mails to the Chinatown Web Sites for NY and the NY Visit Web Site. The NY Visit Web site replied to me with the VGP site.

New York also has three Chinatowns located in Flushing (Queens), Brooklyn, and Manhatten. My list of Chinatowns of the United States. There is even a museum MOCA - Museum of Chinese in the Americas!

Associated Products:

Exploring Chinatown: A Children's Guide to Chinese Culture
Our Price: $22.95 Sale Price: $19.95 You Save $3.00!
This is a book for kids, families, and teachers who’d like to get more out of their visit to Chinatown than an “I escaped Alcatraz” t-shirt or oversized pencil. It’s a guide to what makes Chinese culture, well, “Chinese.” It covers almost everything, from how to order in a restaurant, and what not to do with chopsticks, to how to write characters in Chinese and how to make potstickers. It tells about herbal medicine shops, temples, and tearooms.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chinese Zodiac

A new book I am carrying is Animals In The Stars - Chinese Astrology For Children by Gregory Crawford. The illustrations are well done as are the descriptions on each page. It's nice to see a dragon done right. There is a page for each of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac and also goes over the story of the Zodiac (why Rat is first). The only minor suggestion would have been explaining how the Chinese Calendar actually is a lunar calendar, so the first day of it is not the same as the Gregorian Calendar which is what most people use. So for this year for example,Chinese New Year is on February 7th. So if have a child who is born February 6th in 2007, they are actually still in the Year of the Pig. My wife for example is still the same sign as I am in the Chinese Zodiac, even though we are born in different years of the Julian Calendar. Calendar of Dates for the Chinese Zodiac.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King Day

The speach by Martin Luther King - I Had A Dream is incredible and every time I read it I appreciate it more. It is hopeful, truthful, and still relevant today - 45 years after it was delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

Only in 1967, 4 years after Dr. Kings speech did the Supreme Court in Loving vs. Virginia overturn anti-Miscegenation Laws that barred marriage between races saying it violated the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th amendment.

14th Amendment
Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Relevant Links:
Racism Against Chinese in the US

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Why Learn Chinese

Good Reason to Learn Chinese by Chris Lin. Nice article.

Chris is the author of Mandy and Pandy say, "Ni Hao Ma?" Board Book with CD. Chris is an ABC (American Born Chinese, FOB is Fresh of the Boat, which should be updated to Plane). I am looking forward to their next book in the series. I like how Mandy and Pandy is a cardboard book (tough for small kids) and includes a CD.

Mandy and Pandy say,
Mandy and Pandy say, "Ni Hao Ma?" Board Book with CD
Our Price: $12.95

Mandy and Pandy say "Ni Hao Ma" is a stimulating children's book with CD that teaches kids Chinese in a fun and easy way.


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