MN Disaggregation Of Ethnic Data

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On a brilliant Sunday afternoon close to 100 people came to the Chinese Heritage Foundation's 7th annual open house at Gramercy Park to celebrate another eventful year in the Foundation's young history. Under the watchful eye of gourmand Yin Simpson a festive table of hors d'oeuvres (hot crab dip, tea leaf eggs, peanut puffs, almond cookies, pea pod chips and fresh fruit, etc.) greeted attendees upon their arrival. A warm hum of conviviality abounded as old, as well as newly found, friends sat next to each other and got caught up on community news.

On a brilliant Sunday afternoon close to 100 people came to the Chinese Heritage Foundation's 7th annual open house at Gramercy Park to celebrate another eventful year in the Foundation's young history. Under the watchful eye of gourmand Yin Simpson a festive table of hors d'oeuvres (hot crab dip, tea leaf eggs, peanut puffs, almond cookies, pea pod chips and fresh fruit, etc.) greeted attendees upon their arrival. A warm hum of conviviality abounded as old, as well as newly found, friends sat next to each other and got caught up on community news.

The theme of the program centered on engaging the young while remembering the old. Ida Lano began the program by introducing the Foundation's grant recipients from the past year, many of whom were young students. Thirteen-year-old Sarah Becker attended the National History Day competition in Washington, D. C., while second and third graders at Yinghua Academy were treated to an engaging lecture/recital by cellist Evan Drachman and pianist Mary Au. Two recent graduates of Patrick Henry High School were able to attend a week-long training and performing arts program, in Chinese, at the International Meeting of the Confucius Institute headquarters in Beijing, China. Following along a student's path, Dr. Gary Cohen, chair of the History Department at the University of Minnesota, gave an update on the CHF endowed graduate fellowship in his department. To date, three CHF fellows have completed their PhD programs and returned to Mainland China and Taiwan to begin their teaching careers. A concert by the China National Broadcasting Chorus, organized by the Minnesota Chinese Dance Theater, rounded out the Foundation's grant activities.

Margaret Wong then introduced the Foundation's Chinese Minnesotans of Note awards for 2011. The recipients were 19 Chinese American men who served in the U.S. military forces during WWII. Families of several of the deceased veterans were on hand to receive posthumous award certificates on their behalf. Among them were families of William, Thomas and Robert Wong (Betty Hum), Albert Wong (Mary and Mona), Phillip Huie (Leslie Huie; Maryanne Lo and Oy Anderson; John and Carol Huie), Fred Wong (Pearl, Judy, Karen, Patricia, Janice and Ronald), Danny Woo (Lila and Linda), Richard Hom (Blanche, Daniel and Chris Fong), Albert Hum (Allen). Families of George Sing Gee and Walter Hong were not able to attend. 

Of the two veterans currently residing in the Twin Cities, Fred Hum was unable to attend. But Archie Hum, accompanied by daughter Missy and her husband, was on hand and generously shared his reminiscences of his WWII times in the Philippines. At present the Foundation has little information on the following veterans and would appreciate any information on them: Bing Hum, Henry Lee, Lim H. Wo, Harlan Wong, and Walter T. Wong.

For many of these veterans, this was the first time their valor was publicly recognized.  While it was unfortunate that it did not come during many of their lifetimes, their surviving families were visibly moved by this belated recognition. They were appreciative of CHF's goal to keep this little-known history of our community alive and expressed their quiet pride in their husbands and fathers in different ways. Some wanted their mothers to savor that moment of public recognition alone, while others chose to stand with them. Ron Wong spoke eloquently of his father's (Fred) abiding dedication to his adopted country and recalled many family vacations centered on visiting military bases. All survivors expressed their heartfelt appreciation for this spotlight on their loved ones.

CHF Friends chair Greg Hugh concluded the program with a brief report on the Foundation's acclaimed annual outreach event, A Passage to China, at Mall of America last April. The dates for 2012 will be April 21 and 22.

As attendees bid each other good bye, the Foundation looked forward to another year of meaningful pursuits in our community. For more information on the Foundation, please visit www.chineseheritagefoundation.org.

Photos courtesy of Bob Bergad and Will Ahern 

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CHINAINSIGHT (CI) is published monthly ((except July/August and November/December are combined) by China Insight, Inc., an independent, privately owned company started in 2001 and headquartered in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

CHINAINSIGHT is the only English-language American newspaper to focus exclusively on connections between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Our goal is to develop a mutual understanding of each other’s cultures and business environments and to foster U.S.-China cultural and business harmony.