E-Newsletter of the Organization of Chinese American Women by tfs77260

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									            E-Newsletter of the Organization of Chinese American Women

                                             February 2010

                           Welcome to Volume II of OCAW E-Newsletters!

(from Linda Devine)

Happy New Year! And thank you to all who contributed articles, information, and photos for this e-
newsletter which kicks off the second year of publication. Thanks also to my husband Ed for assisting me
once again with the preparation and inclusion of the photos.

As always, I would be grateful for any suggestions that you might like to make to improve the publication.
Please feel free to contact me at: devinefive@att.net.

For the 2010 e-newsletters, I hope that we can maintain the same high level of quality and quantity that we
achieved last year. With everyone’s assistance, I am confident that we can accomplish this goal!



                                           Opera International

(from Muriel Hom)

Opera International’s 2010 Opera

Opera International will present Verdi's “La Traviata” on Sunday, July 25, 2010, at 4:00 PM at The Music
Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Maryland. It will feature the stellar cast of Jessica Stecklein,
Soprano; Yingxi Zhang, Tenor; Chen-ye Yuan, Baritone; and Hai-bo Bai, Soprano, with full orchestra,
chorus, staging, and surtitles. It will be conducted by Ed Roberts and staged by Muriel Von Villas. This
summer’s production is a performance not to be missed.

For best available seating, call Opera International at 301/365-3479. Ticket prices are $50 $40 $30 $20. Send
a note with what tickets you desire, along with a check and a self-addressed, stamped envelope, to: Opera
International, 6711 Loring Court, Bethesda, MD 20817.


Vocal Master Class

Simon Estes, famous international Bass-Baritone, will conduct a Vocal Master Class on Saturday, March
27, 2010, from 2 to 4 PM, at the Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church, 201 Fourth Street, SE, Washington,
DC. All are welcome to attend this class by an operatic legend. Suggested donation is $20.

For further information, call Dr. Caroline Gibson at 301/499-1099 or Muriel Hom at 301/365-3479. This
event is part of The Singers' Project/DC Federation of Music Clubs Legacy Series.
                                                        -2-


                                      Presidential Classroom Scholars

(from Pauline Tsui)

OCAW has long valued the Presidential Classroom program, and for many years we have been a steadfast
sponsor. Last year, OCAW selected four candidates from the Silicon Valley Chapter to be 2009 Presidential
Classroom Scholars. These young people participated in the week-long program in Washington, DC, this past
summer.

The following are essays written by our four scholars, describing their experiences, their impressions, and
how they benefitted from the program.


By Grace Lee – Communications and Journalism Scholar

This summer I was one of the lucky few who were selected to go to Presidential Classroom in Washington,
DC. At first, I did not know quite what to expect from this program. For the first time I was told to wear
business attire every day, wake up at times when the sun had barely risen, go through numerous security
checks, and stay awake for every long 18-hour day. Though it was an exhausting week, my experience at
Presidential Classroom went beyond what I expected, and I also gained much more than I thought by just
being in the atmosphere of the nation’s capital and being with a wonderful group of people who shared a lot
of great advice and jokes with me.

During the communications and journalism week at Presidential Classroom, I was able to explore Capitol
Hill, listen to experienced senators and figures from the media, as well as soak in the historical events that had
happened in these very rooms and in this very place. As I stood at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, in the
exact spot where Martin Luther King, Jr. had made his “I Have a Dream” speech, I was washed over with the
greatest respect for the people who had fought so hard for change. Presidential Classroom also offered me
rare opportunities inside places that are seldom opened to the public, such as inside the CIA and the Pentagon.
Besides these high security points, we also visited most of the memorials in Washington, DC, as well as the
Washington Post and the Newseum.

Visiting all these historic sites, as well as meeting people from all over the United States, its territories, and all
over the world, was truly amazing. I was able to hear firsthand stories of the chaos in Honduras from a friend
who lived there; talk to people who lived a completely different culture from me, although they too lived in
the states; and hear the stereotypes and the struggles of those who still suffer from racial or cultural barriers,
yet see their excellence and potential and recognize that though we are all different and face different
obstacles, we all strive toward the same goal. I can only be humbled by my experience and honored in being
in the presence of this amazing group of students, instructors, piece of history, and mindset of this nation.


By Eric Sun – Science, Technology, and Public Policy Scholar

Sleeping at midnight. Waking up in 6 hours. Breakfast in 15 minutes. Speaker for two hours or so. Bus
boarding. Touring DC wearing business attire in 90-degree weather. 80 students, soaking in sweat. Debates
and group collaborations for several more hours. 80 students, still relatively sweaty. Wrapping up the day
with another speaker. In our rooms by 11, in our beds by 12, maybe asleep by 1. Some called it insanity.
Presidential Classroom called it “challenging the leaders of tomorrow.”
                                                      -3-


The week I spent with Presidential Classroom was indeed what the mission had advertised, and not a series of
activities devised solely for the purpose of sucking out the souls of high school students. Despite the rigorous
and exhausting schedule, Presidential Classroom accomplished its mission statement by placing its
participants out of their comfort zone. This may have come in multiple forms, such as wearing business
attire, wandering in the Smithsonian, or trying not to pass out due to lack of sleep. However, the most
important aspect of the new environment that Presidential Classroom had placed its students under was
diversity. The fact that there were many different colored faces was irrelevant. Rather, the diversity was
comprised of the many different ideas and viewpoints on issues from the students and speakers from
Presidential Classroom. A good leader must embrace the diversity that his followers are comprised of, and
make compromises while excluding no one. Only by following this methodology can a leader improve the
lives of others. There comes a time in every person’s life in which he or she will take up a position of
leadership, voluntarily or not. It is up to this person to embrace that diversity, to compromise with it, and
ultimately improve life for his followers. And that is what I learned from my experience at Presidential
Classroom.


By Jenny Peng – Global Health and the Environment Scholar

For me, the Washington trip was a learning experience. I have to admit, when my parents first signed me up
for this scholarship, I was not happy about it. I did not want to waste my summer by being academic. But
now that the trip is over, I realized that I would not trade it for anything.

One of the high points of this trip would definitely have to be visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in
Arlington Cemetery. Seeing the Guards put so much work into their discipline really touched me. Every
movement was like a well-oiled machine, and everything had to be perfect because they were representing
their beloved country.

Living in California, I have always felt disconnected from the workings of our nation’s political system.
However, my visit to Capitol Hill really changed my perspective on things. Being on the House Floor was
amazing as I thought about all the laws that were made here. I felt the most connected to our country than I
have ever felt in my life when I was there.

Furthermore, it hit me just how homogenous Almaden Valley really was. Being around so many international
students was a very cultural experience, and I feel that my world view has been broadened by it. Just from
my roommates alone, there was a Caucasian girl from Wyoming, an African American from Florida, and a
Latina girl from Puerto Rico! And seeing how thrilled they were to be in this program just heightened my
own excitement.

The Presidential Classroom gave me something I never had a chance to come in contact with before, and the
experiences I have gained in this program are something I will never forget.


By Flora Chang – Global Health and the Environment Scholar

If a single moment can turn your life around, then how much can a week change you? For me, that single
moment was when I received OCAW’s congratulatory letter informing me I had won one of four scholarships
to Presidential Classroom; and that week was an inspiring, eye-opening experience shared with eighty other
students in our nation’s capital. In fact, it was almost remarkable how so many people from twenty-three
states, a United States territory, and four foreign countries managed to work together and even form
                                                      -4-


friendships despite the slight language barrier between the English-speaking Americans and the Spanish-
speaking Puerto Ricans. It was as if we were all from one nation and not from a divided world.

At home, it is so easy to forget that there are other perspectives we had not already considered. However,
thrust into a large group of people with backgrounds vastly different from one’s own, it was mildly refreshing
to encounter so many sharp minds with diverse yet bright ideas. Split up into smaller groups of about twenty,
we grappled with issues plaguing the world today – such as AIDS and global warming – and even devised
feasible solutions that could be internationally effective. It is one thing to wonder what one can do about a
problem; it is another to come up with a plan to solve it.

In the end, the entire week was a rewarding experience. It was nice to see that despite the tensions between
countries, it is possible for a diverse group of people to collaborate on a project and do so successfully.
Thank you, Presidential Classroom, for the wonderful memories you have given me; and thank you, OCAW,
for awarding me the scholarship that allowed me to participate in this program.



                                    News from the Maryland Chapter

(from Christina Wong Poy)

2010 Officers

OCAW-MD Chapter Board Members for 2009 have agreed to continue serving as officers for 2010. They
are:
     President – Christina Wong Poy
     Vice President – Patricia Fenn
     Programs Chair – Camilla Ng
     Secretary – Virginia Woo


OCAW-MD’s 2009 Activity and Event Highlights

Since Christina volunteered OCAW-MD to be the chapter to lead off OCAW’s "Cycles of Life" project and
the result was its successful "Cultural and Generational Gap" program in March 2009, most of their activities
for the year were tied into that theme. The Maryland Board also made a concerted effort to address the
interests of the membership (book club readings, community service, cooking workshops, cultural lessons,
exhibits, and field trips) as surveyed in a March poll. The Chapter exceeded its goal – of offering one activity
per month – by planning, organizing, and hosting 13 separate cultural and community-serving activities in
2009.

January 2009 –
 Chinese Lunar New Year Dumpling Gathering (1/24/09)
      Members and guests enjoyed making two kinds of jiaozi (vegetable and pork) and har gow (shrimp)
      dumplings, as well as eating two canard a l’orange (Peking style ducks) and a variety of noodle and
      vegetable side dishes provided by members in celebration of the Year of the Ox.
                                                    -5-


February 2009 –
 3-Leg Field Trip (2/22/09)
      Calligraphy Class at the Chinatown Community Cultural Center
      Lunch at Full Kee in Chinatown
      The Freer Gallery’s “Guest of the Hills” Exhibit

March 2009 –
 Workshop session: Cycles of Life Project (3/28/09)
      Cultural Gap based on
       Generational Gap
       Overseas Chinese vs. China-born Gap

April 2009 –
 Cherry Blossom Walk in Kenwood – Membership Drive with VA Chapter (4/4/09)
 Buddhist New Year “Songkran” festival at Wat Thai in MD (4/12/09)
 Potomac Viewing Stone lecture and slide presentation at the US National Arboretum (4/18/09)

May 2009 – Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
 Dragon Boat Festival Zhongzi-making gathering (5/2/09)
      See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbAdFGEciWc for wrapping directions.
 Dragon Boat Festival (5/16/09 & 5/17/09))
      Our crew placed 9th out of 38 teams in the first day’s 200-meter races, and 24th out of 33 teams in the
      500-meter races.

August 2009 –
 Opera International’s 2009 Operatic Vocal Gala Concert at The Music Center at Strathmore in North
   Bethesda (8/23/09)
       Professional talent showcased and directed by our very own Mimi Hom.

September 2009 –
 Jook and Books – co-sponsored with OCA-NOVA (9/26/09)
      A Breakfast and Book Talk where we served jook (rice porridge) – a traditional Chinese comfort
      food, and American breakfast. Post-breakfast, author Veronica Li provided a slide presentation. Ms.
      Li's first book, "Journey Across Four Seas," is a memoir of a woman's odyssey through 50 years of
      turbulence in Asia, from Hong Kong to Chungking to Nanking to Bangkok and then to the Four Seas
      to the US. Ms. Li's second book, "Nightfall in Mogadishu," is a page-turning thriller of Somalia,
      based on historical events in Mogadishu.

October 2009 –
 Autumn Hike (10/31/09)
      A circuit hike along the Potomac River from Riverbend Park to Great Falls and back was enjoyed by
      14 hikers and capped off with a burger at Ray’s Hell Burger.

November 2009 –
 Fannie Mae 22nd Annual Help the Homeless Walkathon
     In our 9th year of chapter participation, we raised $1150 with 23 walkers and one greyhound.

December 2009 –
 Holiday Dinner (12/13/09)
                                                    -6-


        Even after rescheduling our scrumptious dinner at Wong Gee Restaurant in Wheaton, MD, due to
        snow, we collected over 55 pounds of canned/boxed food and raised $90 in contributions for the
        Manna Food Center in Gaithersburg, MD, so that others in our community could eat.


OCAW-MD’s Upcoming Activity

Sunday, February 21, 2010, at 3:00 PM
 Chinese Lunar New Year Dumpling Gathering – We will welcome the Year of the Tiger with jiaozi
   and har gow dumplings, as well as other delectable dishes, at the home of Josephine Lo. If you are
   interested in participating, please contact: ocawmaryland@yahoo.com.



                                    News from the Virginia Chapter

(from Veronica Li)

Cooking Classes

OCAW-VA has held several cooking classes for members of Families with Children from China (FCC). The
purpose is to educate the adopted children about the culture they came from. What touches the heart of
Chinese culture more than food?

The last class took place last fall in the house of an FCC member. About twelve children attended, ranging in
age from 7 to 12. Master chef and then OCAW-VA President Rita Shan demonstrated her family recipe for
scallion pancakes. To engage the children in the hands-on experience, Rita provided a set of tools and
ingredients to each child. Standing by to assist were the parents and OCAW-VA volunteers. The children
dug their little fingers into the dough and had as much fun as playing in a sandbox.

While waiting for the dough to rise, Veronica Li taught the children to make almond cookies. At the end of
the day, everyone was happily tasting the scallion pancakes and munching on almond cookies.

The demand for such classes is high, and the chapter will continue to hold them in the future. Planning any
event in this snowy winter, however, has proved to be a challenge!


Following are some photos of the event.
-7-
                                                    -8-




                                 News from the New Orleans Chapter

(from Betty Butz)

February is a month of celebratory displays in New Orleans. As the Saints are on their way to the Super
Bowl, all manners of confetti in black and gold are in every household. Mardi Gras season is also here as we
are reminded by gaudy parade floats being prepped for show in purple, gold, and green. This year,
Valentine's Day will coincide with Chinese New Year Day. So the Year of the Tigress will be observed in
heart-throb red plus all the other colors. Our city is energized by all the joyous happenings, and everyone
wants the Saints to win the game so that we can legitimately brag about ourselves as the Come Back City.

 (Editor’s Note: Betty submitted the chapter’s news prior to the National Football League’s Super Bowl
XLIV which took place on Sunday, February 7. Although the Indianapolis Colts were favored to win the
game, the New Orleans Saints played strong and won the contest by a convincing score of 31-17, much to
                                                     -9-


the delight of most of the country, who have witnessed and sympathized with the city’s struggles since
Hurricane Katrina. Congratulations to the Who Dat Nation!)


Installation of 2010 Officers

The New Orleans Chapter met on December 19 for the installation of officers for the year 2010. The
ceremony was conducted by Past President Dr. Lingyan Shu at Panda King Fine Dining Restaurant in
Terrytown. Dr. Shu reminded the new officers of the duties and responsibilities expected of each one and
wished them a successful new year.

The officers installed were as follows:
        President – Betty Butz (incumbent)
        Vice President – Vickie Scott
        Secretary – Nancy Yeung
        Treasurer – Mangjee Yeh

A set of cloisonne miniature vases and silk roses donated by Betty Butz was presented to the officers to honor
the occasion. A sumptuous dim sum tea was enjoyed by all who came to witness the installation.


Next Meeting

The chapter’s next meeting will be held on Saturday, February 27, at 1:30 PM.



                                 News from the Silicon Valley Chapter

(from Monica Hsiao)

Annual Holiday Member Social Event

The annual holiday member social event was held on Sunday, January 17. Activities included an etiquette
workshop, food tasting and recipe sharing, and teaching line dance and classic dance. It was a pleasant
afternoon, and all the participants had a great time.


Below are some pictures taken at the event.
- 10 -
                                                 - 11 -




Upcoming Events

Health seminar on March 14
Hiking and lunch social in early May



                                   News from the Hawaii Chapter

(from Puanani Woo)

Dear OCAW members throughout the United States:

This is our news from Hawaii. We have two themes we’d like to share. They are (1) roots and connections,
and (2) the future – themes we know you, too, believe in.
                                                    - 12 -


(1) Roots and Connections

For us in Hawaii, 2010 begins the 21st year of the existence of OCAW Hawaii Chapter. We were founded in
1989 as a Chapter with an initial membership of 32 ladies. We acknowledge the founding of OCAW
National in 1977, 33 years ago, by former Ambassador to Nepal, Julia Chang Bloch, and Pauline W. Tsui.
Mrs. Tsui has deep, family, and continuing Hawaii connections.

In August of 2009, OCAW Hawaii Chapter celebrated its 20th year with a luncheon extravaganza at the Royal
Hawaiian Hotel Monarch Room in Honolulu. This successful event was chaired by the magical touches of
Blossom Tyau and Phyllis N.T. Shea. We ended the 2009 year with a membership of 46 members.

We have two very important local organizational roots we acknowledge – the alpha and omega, or beginnings
and the end. They are the United Chinese Society of Hawaii aka UCS, established 125 years ago to pull
together the numerous Chinese organizations under one roof for collaboration and support of each other, as
each separate organization serviced and continues to service the needs of its members; and the Palolo
Chinese Home/Palolo Chinese Home Women’s Auxiliary aka PCHWA, created to service the needs of the
indigent, sick, and dying Chinese, and today, this service is open to all qualifying individuals.

Mrs. Ginny Young is president of the UCS this year, 2010. She is the first woman president in its 125-year
history. This is a phenomenal move from an all-Chinese male dominated organization. She has broken this
glass ceiling in Hawaii with her worldly intelligence, an impeccable business sense, and compassion. In
2009, organization membership in the UCS numbered 118 organizations, and this number is expected to
remain relatively steady.

Mrs. Gladys K. Lee, our 2010 OCAW Hawaii Chapter secretary, is the longtime president of the PCHWA.
She is a brilliant, detailed, compassionate business woman, active and respected in other Chinese-oriented
organizations.

OCAW Hawaii Chapter honors and thanks Ginny and Gladys for their dedicated service to our beloved
community of Hawaii.

(2) The Future

(a) Updating our Bylaws

My major administrative goal this 2010 is to initiate a process to amend our OCAW Hawaii Chapter Bylaws,
written in 1989, and never updated. This is an unpopular task but is a vital one, especially since we are
federally recognized as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization under the umbrella of OCAW National. We
will update in line with National’s AMENDED BYLAWS final draft edits 3/8/06.

OCAW National and its Chapters are a business, although not-for-profit, and must be run like a business: an
approved set of rules and regulations which are its Bylaws and committee operating procedures, an agenda,
minutes, proposals for activities, a quorum, majority vote, activity completed, results reported and filed.

(b) A National Conference?

As China takes its rightful place on the world’s stage, there is talk among some of us to co-sponsor a two-day
conference on “Asian/Pacific Women and Their Role in America and the Pacific Basin Today.”

Would other Chapters like to dialogue on this matter?
                                                      - 13 -


Maybe each Chapter could be represented by an ad hoc chair plus someone from National, and this group
could be a Focus Group to dialogue on the do-ability of this idea. I can’t see it happening in 2010, but it’s a
good activity for another year.

(c) Scholarships for Girls in Rural China?

Some members are very interested in this National program and would like to know more about it. One of
our Board members is an experienced travel agent. And there are numerous travel agencies in Hawaii
specializing in travel to all parts of China. Hawaii people are always on the go.

We in Hawaii look forward to working with National and all Chapters for common purposes. Let’s do keep
in touch.

Sincerely yours,
Mrs. Puanani Woo
President, 2010 OCAW Hawaii Chapter



                    General Articles and Items of Potential Interest to Members


(The articles in this section were submitted by Faith Breen.)


The following is an article about what it was like to be part of a generation of Chinese who fled from the
mainland to Taiwan. It was sent to Faith by a former OCAW member, June Williamson.

Faith believes it is worth reading. It is reprinted below in English, but it can also be read in Chinese. See
the following link, where the Chinese version appears: http://www.thelastndr.org/home-the-last-
generation-of-ndr.html

The Last Generation of Nei Di Ren
Written by Xin Huai-Nan; translated by K. C. Lu

The last generation of Nei Di Ren (people from the hinterland) refers to a group of people who were born
between 1937 and 1950 in mainland China or Hong Kong, grew up in Taiwan, and now reside in the United
States. We are a minority among minorities. Fifty years from now, when Chinese historians study this
period, they will find that we, the Nei Di Ren, are a unique group of people. Caught between Eastern and
Western cultures, juggling ideas that are imported as well as homespun, and facing the transition from the old
to the new world order, we have held on to our Chinese heritage, the bad along with the good, while eagerly
embracing western civilization. We are the last generation of Nei Di Ren who, gradually, will be gone with
the wind.

We were born into a chaotic time marked by continuous warfare. The older among us were born during the
Sino-Japan war, the younger during the civil war between Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalist army and Mao Tze-
Tung's People's Liberation Army. Many were born in Sichuan province and have names like Yu-Sheng (born
in Yu, aka Chong-Qing, capital of The Republic of China during the Second World War), Rong-Sheng (born
in Rong, aka Cheng-Du, capital of Sichuan), or Jia-Ling (after the poetically beautiful river flowing through
Sichuan). Although we were born during wartime, most of us were too young to remember the
                                                      - 14 -


hardship of the refugee years. We followed our parents to Taiwan and became "inlanders" to the natives. We
did not choose this path, but, looking back, we know it was the first significant break in our lives. If we had
not escaped to Taiwan, I believe at least one-third of us would have perished under Mao Tze-Tung's
communist regime. And if we did manage to stay alive, our children would have had a very different life
ahead of them. In short, we are a lucky group of people who were snatched away from the tiger's mouth at
the last minute.

We spent our childhood in Taiwan; some in the northern cities, and others in the southern fields. We have
worn the clumsy wooden clogs, gone barefooted, played cops and robbers, and slept on the Ta-Ta-Mi (an old
Japanese-style straw mat). Although we were short on material possessions, we never went hungry. Many of
us grew up in "Juan Cun" (literally “spouse village”), a compound of state-provided housing for the
dependents of government and military personnel. Many criticized us for never learning to speak Taiwanese
and not being "Taiwanese" enough after spending our formative years on the island. However, this was not
our fault. The government at that time was trying to establish Mandarin as the official language on the island.
We had no opportunity to speak Taiwanese at school and could not learn it from our parents at home since
they themselves did not speak it. It is unreasonable to place the blame on us.

We are perhaps the most studious group of people in the history of China. Starting from elementary school,
middle school, high school, college, to graduate school, we had to pass examinations after examinations to
advance ourselves. Each of us had to "conquer the five gates and slay the six guards" (legendary feat of Guan
Yu, a heroic figure during the period of the Three Kingdoms around 220 AD). We are true veterans of the
"academic advancement" battles. After college, most of us went on to seek advanced degrees abroad. Many
chose the fields of science and engineering. The reason was simple: it was easier to find a job in those fields
in the US after graduation. However, all of those choices that seemed so correct at the time planted the seeds
of insecurity and limitation during our professional careers and throughout our lives. The United States is not
the land of our birth, and Taiwan but a distant memory. Too often we are made to feel like some forlorn
traveler listening to the blowing of the political winds in a lone boat picked out by the moonlight. In Taiwan,
first we were called Nei Di Ren; later, we were addressed as Wai Sheng Ren (people from other provinces) to
differentiate us from the provincial Taiwanese. Yet when we go to China, we are treated as Taiwanese. In
the US, we are the first generation immigrants. We are children of Chinese parents, and parents of American
children. It seems all our lives, no matter where we reside, we are destined to be transients instead of settlers.

In terms of political beliefs, we rejected the "white terror" perpetrated by Chiang Kai-Shek's government.
Nor could we identify with the "red terror" that is the communist one-party dictatorship practiced in China.
We love Taiwan more than we love China, but we are not the "New Taiwanese" who deny their Chinese
heritage. We are Chinese Americans who are proud of the Chinese blood that courses through our veins.

Before the age of 40, we aspired to be liberalists with a conscience. After the age of 40, many of us chose to
vote the Democrat ticket because it is the party for the underdogs, even though we identified more closely in
ideology and action with the Republicans. A few of us became politically impassioned during the Diaoyu Tai
Movement. But most of us view political movements with the detachment of a bystander. We have
witnessed two absurd political farces in our lives: one is the so-called Cultural Revolution instigated by Mao
Tze-Tung and his cult followers that decimated a generation of Chinese scholars and almost ran the country
into the ground; the other is the ongoing saga of Lee Deng-Hui, ex-president of the Republic of China and ex-
chairman of the Nationalist party, turning against his own party and bringing it to the brink of destruction. It
is no wonder that we cannot bring ourselves to have faith in politicians.

Girls of our generation wore plenty of petticoats over full skirts, danced the jitterbug, listened to Connie
Francis, and dreamed of James Dean. There were no taxis then. On a date, we either walked if it was not too
far, or took a rickshaw if it was some distance away. At that time, the canal along Xin Sheng South Road
                                                     - 15 -


flowed in the open air. I often think the young of today view the relationship between men and women with
too much casualness and directness. Once at a party in Taipei with a group of colleagues from a famous
literature magazine, the subject of the transcendental stage of the men/women relationship was brought up. I
quoted Yuan Chen's poem: "Taking a path among the many beautiful flowers, I cannot bring myself to look
at any. Although I make the excuse of some ascetic pursuit, it is really because I have known you." One
well-known poet who happens to be very handsome took exception. He recited another Chinese classic
poem: "Only if I die in the arms of a beautiful woman will my soul go to the underworld as a happy
Casanova." I still cannot decide if he was joking. Generally I believe ours is the last generation of the true
romantics who are hopelessly out of fashion and can no longer keep up with the times.

We have obligations to our parents to keep them in their old age; we also have obligations to our children to
give them the best of what we possess. When we get old, we do not expect to become a burden to our
children. We are the last "sandwich" generation. We wish our children could understand and identify with
Chinese culture more. But after twelve years of weekend Chinese school, we are just happy that they could
recognize simple names such as "Wang Da Zhong" and "Li Xiao Ming.” We are the last among the 1.2
billion Chinese who are more or less adequate in both Chinese and English.

We were born too late and missed the period of great unrest and great opportunity – the northern expedition
aimed at subduing the warlords, the eight-year battle against the Japanese invasion, and the civil war between
the Nationalists and the Communists. We were born too early and missed the period of Taiwan's miraculous
economic growth from the 1970s to the 1980s. To some degree, we try to be true to Confucius's belief that a
man must expand his resoluteness because he accepts the challenges and realizes his burden will be heavy and
his path long. We are not the greatest generation of Chinese; we are simply the last generation of Nei Di Ren.


Being Heart Healthy - Salt

At first everyone focused on avoiding cholesterol and carbohydrates; but now, the focus is on salt! According
to the American Heart Association, Americans consume about "...twice the recommended daily amount of
sodium (salt). Only a small fraction of the sodium in our diets is added at the table as salt; almost 80 percent
of it is added to packaged and restaurant foods. As a result, it is extremely difficult for individuals to limit
sodium in their diet."


Findings on the Effects of Insecticide and Zero-Calorie Soda

The February issue of Oprah Magazine contains two interesting articles. The first is entitled, "Bugging Out."
According to this article, "Research presented in October 2009 found that women who used insecticide (the
spray you use to kill bugs, not the repellents you apply to your skin) either six or more times a year or over a
span of 20 years, nearly doubled their risk of developing two autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and
lupus." Christine Parks, Ph.D., of the National Institutes of Health is the author of this study.

The second article about zero-calorie soda stated that Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston conducted a
study of more than 3000 women over 11 years and found that "those who swigged two or more cans of diet
soda a day doubled their chances of accelerated kidney decline, compared to people who drank less than one
can a month. Kidney function normally declines with age; speeding up the process [by drinking zero-calorie
sodas] could increase your risk of kidney failure."
                                                    - 16 -


Going Green in Your Garden

You can have a great green lawn without using pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, and save money and the
environment.

For more information, go to: http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/brewing-compost-tea.aspx

								
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