Past Events

03/06/20 Cinequest Film: “Far East Deep South” @ California Theatre SJ

By Brenda Hee Wong, 2020 CHCP Director

New CHCP Advisory Board member Nathan Louie, along with his team of greeters clad in his beautiful Chinese robes, posed on the red carpet at the California Theatre with Baldwin Chiu, Larissa Lam, and their 6-year-old daughter Caliya. Baldwin Chiu (aka Only Won) and Larissa Lam are a music and filmmaking husband-wife team and have been past CHCP Speaker Series presenters. The couple premiered their documentary film, “Far East Deep South,” at this Cinequest Film Festival event. The documentary tells the Chiu family’s journey to find their grandfather’s remains in Cleveland, Mississippi.

Watch their new music video below, highlighting Asian American history while putting their own twist on a song from the hit musical “Hamilton.” It’s a family affair with their daughter Caliya (aka Lil’ Won)! Be sure to watch other music videos by this talented couple, available on YouTube.

Feb 2020 Gathering: Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History @ MOCA NY

02/22/20 & 02/23/20 Marysville Bok Kai Festival & Lost Chinatowns Conference

By Brenda Hee Wong, 2020 CHCP Director

CHCP collaborated with the Chinese American Pioneer Heritage Committee on a conference held Feb. 22/23, 2020 to increase knowledge of the “LOST CHINATOWNS”, almost 100 communities abandoned because of Chinese Exclusion, discrimination, violence and economic displacement. The conference was held in historic Marysville Chinatown, once the second largest in the US, to honor the Chinese Americans’ role in building California—especially the railroads, roads, wineries, mines, delta levees, water and irrigation systems and agricultural farmlands. CHCP Director Brenda Hee Wong exhibited 24 panels and spoke of San Jose Chinatowns. CHCP Advisory Board Member Gerry Low Sabado did the same to recognize the Chinese of Pacific Grove/Monterey. Organized educational & cultural events were held in conjunction with the 140th Anniversary of the Bok Kai Parade, Bomb Festival, and Moo Lung, restored oldest parade dragon.

Bomb Day, or “Yee Yeut Yee” in Chinese, takes its name from the colorful firing of the bombs highlighting the celebration, which is in tribute to the Chinese Water God, The Bok Kai.  The video above shows one of 14 bombs set off that day along with thousands of firecrackers! A ring wrapped with red ribbon shoots out from the bomb which creates the mad dash to grab the ring which has a number attached for a special good fortune message.  The message is read to the owner of the ring back at the temple. The person able to grab the ring is rewarded with a big “li see”, a red envelope usually from a business that wants the good luck message.

02/16/20 Chinese New Year Celebration @ History Park SJ

02/08/20 Yuki Teikei Haiku Society Tour of CAH Museum

By Alison Woolpert, Yuki Teikei Haiku Society Member

Roger Abe set up a wonderful tour of the Chinese American Historical Museum in History Park San Jose. The museum building, a reconstruction of the original 1888 Ng Shing Gung Temple or “Temple of the Gods” served the Chinese community as a cultural center.

Docents Brenda Hee Wong and Anita Wong Kwock explained that the two-story brick building was used not only as a meeting place, but also as a school where children could study calligraphy and the Chinese classics, a hostel, and a place to worship. The upstairs temple houses the original carved and gilded teak wood altar that has been lovingly restored. Along with the many artifacts of daily life and celebrations showcased downstairs, there is a pictorial timeline starting in 1850 to the present that shows what was going on in the USA, San Jose, and China.

Following the tour, members spent time in History Park and later gathered at the Markham House to share our haiku from the day.

Attendees: Roger Abe, Patricia Machmiller, Philip Hsieh, Linda Papanincolaou, Eleanor Carolan, Joan Zimmerman, Amy King, Carolyn Fitz, Marilyn Gehant, Noreen Brennan, Clysta Seney, Mimi Ahern, Carol Steele, Alison Woolpert

Haiku poetry and Testimonials from members of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society (YTHS) CAHM Visitation/Tour

It was a thrill to be in the haiku group with Roger Abe (YTHS) on our recent visit to your beautiful Ng Shing Gung temple museum. Your collection is so rich. I appreciate the splendor of the temple area. Downstairs I was especially intrigued by the schoolroom exhibit, the clothes, and the pottery, all of which give such a strong sense of lived lives. I can only imagine their joys and sorrows, but more clearly now, thanks to your museum.

You expressed an interest in the haiku that some of us wrote. You will have noticed that we write “modern” haiku as well as the classical 5-7-5 syllables. But we do try to include an indication of season. Below are the two haiku that I read. In the first one “blossom” suggests spring. In the second one, “first meal” suggests the New Year.

broken blossoms
the finger-length lotus shoes
for bound feet

first meal
scratching his name
on his new rice bowl

Best wishes,
(Joan) Zimmerman

Great presentation!

two children
board the winter trolley—
double happiness

a stranger finds rest
at the feet of spring mountains
Temple of Five Gods

Roger Abe

Very insightful tour of Ng Shing Gung, Temple of the Gods.

My haiku:

year of the rat
we take the stairs to the Temple
of the Five Gods

I look forward to returning to Ng Shing Gung in the future to spend more time.

Alison Woolpert

The Saturday tour was a very memorable event. The museum that you have created is certainly well done; what an asset to the San Jose community you have provided.
Here are some haiku that I wrote reflecting on the day:

the colorful head
of a paper lion—
spring in a glass cage

decorated staves
of the Eight Immortals—
grand majesty orchids

red silk slippers
handmade for the newborn—
snow moon

Patricia J. Machmiller

02/01/20 Lunar New Year Outreach @ Children’s Discovery Museum

01/18/20 Lunar New Year Outreach @ Westfield Valley Fair Mall

By Christian Jochim, 2020 CHCP Secretary

CHCP joined Valley Fair’s Chinese New Year Celebration on January 18, 2020, with CHCP President Dave Yick and Director Brenda Wong helping, along with Director Liz Chew (event lead and photographer).

01/13/20 CHCP Membership Dinner Meeting @ China Stix Restaurant

01/12/20 Student Docent Ice Cream Social @ History Park SJ

01/12/20 Traveling Exhibit @ Westfield Valley Fair Mall