By Greg Hugh | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Chinese Heritage Foundation (CHF) recently honored Bill and Mary Ferrell, owners of Royal Foods, headquartered in Hopkins, Minn., for being long-time supporters of CHF’s event “A Passage to China” that had been held annually at Mall of America since 2006.

Yin Simpson, CHF board member, and I met with the Ferrells at their office and presented them with a framed painting along with a letter of appreciation from CHF Executive Director Pearl Bergad.

I “recruited” the Ferrells to provide storage space for the ever-accumulating props for the event since 2005, which included two life-size terra cotta warriors that must weigh thousands of pounds!  At that time, I was committee chair of “A Passage to China” and I was able to solicit the Ferrells’ support because they were great neighbors of mine.  Not only did the Ferrells provide CHF with the much needed storage space, they also were kind enough to provide transportation of all this material to and from their warehouse in Hopkins to Mall of America each year.

Disclosure: Greg Hugh, publisher of China Insight, which partnered with CHF to create “A Passage to China,” served as CHF’s Board chair from 2005 to 2014.  China Insight has chronicled the event over the years and you can read these articles at, check the May issues under the “Past issues” tab

By Linda Mealey-Lohmann, Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society

The site dedication ceremony for the St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden took place on July 9, during the opening ceremony of the Dragon Festival at Phalen Park.  

A parade of lion dancers from Hui’s Lucky Lion Dance Team led a procession along Lake Phalen from the dragon boat docks to the future China Garden site.  Once at the site, Carole Hyder, international feng shui expert and China Garden advisor, performed a feng shui site dedication ritual at the future site of the Changsha Aiwan Pavilion replica, which involved ringing a special bell and scattering seeds and other ingredients with symbolic meanings.  Hmong Elder Uncle Charles Vu gave a Hmong blessing at the site of the future Hmong Cultural Plaza nearby.  A sign announcing the China Friendship Garden was placed in the ground.  

By Pearl Bergad, executive director, Chinese Heritage Foundation

As the Sept. 10 world premiere of the opera “Dream of the Red Chamber“ to be produced by the San Francisco Opera (SFO) draws near, the Chinese Heritage Foundation Friends (CHFF) has been working hard to put together a memorable weekend in San Francisco for attendees.  In addition to working with SFO to create a webpage for online ticket discount to the world premiere, CHFF is also working on a pre-premiere sumptuous banquet on the evening of Sept.  9.  Individuals interested in these events should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as possible.  SFO expects the world premiere to sell out quickly.

To familiarize attendees with the story of “Dream of the Red Chamber” and its background, the University of Minnesota is creating a new online course on “Dream” for the public.  Ann Waltner, who teaches in the Department of History at the University, is in charge and says, “This online course is free and open to the public.  It will feature segments on the characters in the novel, on the controversies surrounding the text, commentaries, and adaptations of the novel, including television shows and movies.  A special feature of this course will be attention to early 19th century women writers' responses to the novel and illustrations of the novel.”  This course will be hosted on the James Ford Bell Library website ( and will be available in early July from the library's home page.  There may be an option to take the course for credit (which would of course involve paying tuition).  Anyone interested in that possibility should contact Waltner directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

By Tao Peng, contributor

This year marked the 13th year of Dragon Festival in St. Paul.  The festival, as always, took place on the second weekend in July.  There were a total of 28 dragon boat teams in the festival’s signature dragon boat race: 16 teams raced on Saturday and 12 on Sunday.  In addition to race trophies, there were awards for “Best team spirit” and “Best team T-shirts.” 

By Cheng RuZhao

The famous Chinese Renmin University Affiliate High School troupe (RDFZ), led by Mr. Tan DaSheng, deputy director of the Foreign Cultural Relations Bureau, Chinese Ministry of Culture, gave two spectacular local performances for Spring Festival events in February.  Also accompanying the troupe were Miss Zhang Yi, director of Foreign Affairs of RDFZ; Miss Liu Xiaohui, vice principal of RDFZ and Miss Ya Na, art director of RDFZ.

By Elaine Dunn

There was a good buzz inside the Gramercy Park party room in Bloomington on March 8 where the Chinese Heritage Foundation was going to present an update on its “Dream of the Red Chamber” commission.  A dream and vision by Ming Tchou, the founder of CHF, was inching ever closer to reality.

By Liu Xiaohe, TCCDC

To celebrate Chinese New Year, Twin Cities Chinese Dance Center (TCCDC) presented “Dance of Joy V” on Feb. 7 & 8 at The O’Shaughnessy, Saint Paul.

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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.