Chinese and Taiwanese in America


Recently I scored great deals on a few books. At Moe’s Books in Berkeley I bought:

And then at Compass Books (owned by Books Inc.) in San Francisco Airport, I bought:

Total amount:  $73.83 $22.98. Saved over $50. Sweeeeet.

On KCSM, I caught the last half hour of a fascinating documentary called Beijing or Bust. It follows six Chinese-Americans who move to Beijing to live and work, as they discuss their reactions to a rapidly changing China and their dual identities as Chinese and American. (I later found out that the filmmaker, Hao Wu, has been detained by the Chinese government without a stated reason and has been denied access to a lawyer. Argh!) It will air again on KCSM this Sunday at 2 AM. Fire up the VCR… (I'm too cheap to get a Tivo)

New York Times: Classes in Chinese Grow as the Language Rides a Wave of Popularity

With encouragement from the Chinese and American governments, schools across the United States are expanding their language offerings to include Chinese, the world’s most spoken tongue, not to mention one of its most difficult to learn.

At a new generation of Chinese restaurants in New York, you don’t have to worry about the food being Americanized. That’s because the Chinese food is via other countries, including Korea, India, Madagascar, Cuba, and Peru. One Chinese-Peruvian dish called lomo saltado — a stir fry of beef, onions and tomatoes seasoned with soy sauce and served over french fries or fried potatoes — isn’t even considered Chinese in Peru, much like how Americans don’t consider hot dogs and hamburgers to be German food.

Thanks, Rich: Gish Jen writes about the “wonderful Chinese restaurants exhibit” at the Museum of Chinese in the Americas.

My previous post on an African-American boy who sings Chinese opera reminded Rich of a former Chinese scholar named Abigail Washburn who sings bluegrass songs in Chinese. She is currently touring China and getting a good reception.

Ever since I read a New York Times article on Chinese-Americans in the Mississippi Delta, I’ve been fascinated by the idea of the Chinese-American experience away from the urban coasts. Looks like I’m not the only one: Berkeley artist Indigo Som has an ongoing project called the Chinese Restaurant Project. The latest exhibition is called Mostly Mississippi: Chinese Restaurants of the South, which is being shown at the Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco. Ms. Som is speaking there today at 3:00 about her project. (Too bad I can’t go.)

Also, you can contribute to her project! She is conducting a survey of Chinese restaurant experiences, and is collecting take-out menus from every Chinese restaurant in the U.S. Maybe I’ll get a few for her while I’m up in Portland next month…

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