Language
This language corner is a new series designed for people who are interested in learning Mandarin.
Taiwan Business
Taiwanese trade officials and business leaders signed a letter of intent to purchase millions of metric tons of soybeans from farmers in Minnesota and Iowa over the next two years.
Greatest
“The Greatest Spirit” presented poetry, music and dance in mural-like story scenes, telling the tale of the Chinese spirits (liquor) culture, and highlights the grandeur of traditional Chinese operas, the exquisite beauty of the costumes of past Chinese dynasties and the unique styles of Chinese ancient architecture.
Pavillion
Not quite, but this new pavillion is going up by the lake. Which lake? Whose pavillion?
K.Y. Kwok exhibit
Traffic Zone Center for Visual Arts, Studio 120, 250 Third Avenue North, Minneapolis
Chinese Street Food
Next time you visit China or any other country, make sure you seek out the street foods. Keep Bourdain’s street food spirit alive!
Lauren's Journey To The Ordway
Lauren’s first exposure in the spotlight occurred when she was only 2 years old!
Hmong
One of five Peanuts characters that will be sent to the City of Changsha, Hunan Province, China.
Congressional Gold Medal
On May 4, 2017, bills were introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate for the award of the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the Chinese American veterans of World War II.
Chinese Garden at Arboretum
The first-ever Chinese Garden in Minnesota opened officially to great international fanfare and a watery welcome on Sept. 18, at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen.
Judge Tony Leung
The biggest distinction he made was that when on duty in state criminal court, he was asked a lot about what the police officer can and cannot do in a situation.
Communist Party
The communist takeover of China in 1949 saw a significant achievement of a comprehensive government.
Solar Plant
The innovative project was constructed by China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC) with a total investment of 1 billion RMB.
Starbucks
Shanghai now lays claim to the world’s biggest Starbucks!
Chinese Americans continue to contribute
In the Twin Cities, there are many Chinese Americans who have contributed to the fabric of American society.

Search CHINAINSIGHT.info

Production Editor Needed

Congressional Gold Medal for WWII Chinese American Veterans Initiative

Learn More and Get Involved

Although the Chinese American community has always strived to be good citizens, history has shown that they have not been treated fairly and need to let their Congressional leaders know that their service to our country needs to be recognized. Like many minorities, Chinese Americans overcame discrimination to serve their country bravely and honorably and we need to encourage the Congress to act favorably on this proposal to commemorate the service of these Chinese American veterans.  

MN Disaggregation Of Ethnic Data

  • Minnesota SF 2597 bill and disaggregated data collection

    Minnesota SF 2597 bill and disaggregated data collection

    In recent years, there are a few bills and laws being introduced throughout the country with the goals to disaggregate the Asian American community. They are together referred as Asian American Disaggregation Bills or Asian American Ancestry Registration Bills. In Minnesota the bill was SF 2597 All Kids Count Act, and it passed through Minnesota Senate in March 2016. Governor Dayton signed the bill into law in May 2017. The pilot implementation of the bill is set to start this fall in several school districts and charter schools, including Minnetonka Public School and St. Paul Public Schools. Read More
  • The 75th anniversary of the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act

    The 75th anniversary of the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act

    The Chinese Exclusion Act (Immigration Act of 1882) was a U. S. federal law signed by President Chester A. Arthur on May 6, 1882, prohibiting all immigration of Chinese laborers. The act followed the Angell Treaty of 1880, a set of revisions to the U.S.-China Burlingame Treaty of 1868 that allowed the U.S. to suspend Chinese immigration. The act was initially intended to last for 10 years, but was renewed in 1892 with the Geary Act and made permanent in 1902. The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first and only law implemented to prevent a specific ethnic group from immigrating to the United States. It was repealed by the Magnuson Act on Dec. 17, 1943. Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Chin Yang Lee, dean of Chinese American authors, and author of the novel, Flower Drum Song, is coming to the Twin Cities to attend a local production of the 2002 Broadway revival of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical based on his novel. Rewritten by David Henry Hwang, this 2002 Broadway play has been updated to a very different world than the one in which the original musical was created.  Mu Performing Arts is presenting this new production at the McKnight Theatre at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul from June 27 to July 12. This production will contain new choreography by Cui Tianjiang, artistic director of the Minnesota Chinese Dance Theatre. Chin Yang Lee, dean of Chinese American authors, and author of the novel, Flower Drum Song, is coming to the Twin Cities to attend a local production of the 2002 Broadway revival of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical based on his novel. Rewritten by David Henry Hwang, this 2002 Broadway play has been updated to a very different world than the one in which the original musical was created.  Mu Performing Arts is presenting this new production at the McKnight Theatre at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul from June 27 to July 12. This production will contain new choreography by Cui Tianjiang, artistic director of the Minnesota Chinese Dance Theatre.

C. Y. Lee has had an illustrious career in the book and theatre worlds both here and in Asia. Many of his books and plays, originally c.y.leewritten in English, have been translated into Chinese and frequently are best sellers in Asia. He is revered as the pioneer artist who broke through many barriers in U. S. entertainment in the 1950s. He is, to this day, the only Chinese novelist whose work has graced a Broadway musical stage. Flower Drum Song was the first and is still the only Broadway musical about Chinese Americans living in the United States. The Rogers and Hammerstein premiere production on December 1, 1958, featured a virtually all-Asian cast, another first and revolutionary move at the time. Gene Kelly, in his first outing as a director on Broadway, was director.

Born into a distinguished artistic and literary family in Hunan Province and the youngest of 11 children, Lee had an idyllic childhood.  One older brother was a well-known composer and another was a University professor. The Japanese invasion of China in 1937 ended Lee’s peaceful world. He left college, where he had been studying western literature, and sought refuge at the home of a Chinese ‘maharajah’ at the southern China-Burma border. Translating letters for the maharajah and meeting his English-Burmese wife awakened in Lee a new perception on life. This East-meets-West perspective would become a recurring theme in all his fiction to come.  By 1943, with the war in China intensifying, Lee’s oldest brother decided to send him abroad. He sailed for New York quickly and never saw his parents again. 

Following graduation in playwriting from Yale University in 1947, Lee moved to California. Spurred on by one of his professors who had advised him ‘to write his story’, he began writing about the lives of Chinese immigrants in this country, in order to “open a window into Chinese life.” Working as a translator by day and writing his novels/short stories at night, he finished Flower Drum Song in 1956. The rest, as they say, is history.

The successes of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical and the subsequent movie have raised conflicting emotions among Chinese Americans today. The plot, with some of the dark moments in the original novel removed, seemed too saccharine, sexist and too full of outdated stereotypes. In stepped playwright David Henry Hwang.  Following the Broadway triumphs of his play, M Butterfly, he was looking for other stories dealing with assimilation. In revisiting Flower Drum Song he came to realize that Rogers and Hammerstein, at their time, were actually trying to push Chinese Americans into America, not isolate them. With the approval of Lee and the estates of Rogers and Hammerstein, Hwang proceeded to rewrite the play, setting it at a later time, focusing more intensely on the theme of East-meets-West, and updating it to be more in line with contemporary sensibilities on assimilation and immigration. He said, "I tried to write the book that Oscar Hammerstein would have written if he were Asian-American." 

Lee attended the 2002 opening of Hwang’s play on Broadway and pronounced himself pleased. He is pleased that his East-meets-West story is now speaking to a new generation of theatergoers and Chinese Americans. He is also pleased that there are more web_leeandtschouChinese actors today.  Promoting them continues to be a top priority for him. In recent years he has written several new plays and has been staging them in Hollywood and New York, featuring all-Chinese casts. He calls these plays, such as The Body and Soul of a Chinese Woman, Fan Tan King, Mama from China, and House Guest from Xing Jiang, “American stories with Chinese characters.”

Lee is a longtime personal friend of Ming Tchou, founder and president of the Chinese Heritage Foundation. At 93, Lee continues to be full of life and optimism for the future. He is easy going, loves a good joke, and enjoys ballroom dancing in particular. He has accepted an invitation from Tchou to attend the opening performance of Flower Drum Song on June 27. The Chinese Heritage Foundation and China Insight have negotiated a group discounted ticket price of US$22/ticket (regular price is US$27) for this performance. To obtain this discounted price mention code MU5 when you call the Ordway ticket office: 651-224-4222.  And hurry because the offer expires on June 15. Plan on staying for the reception afterwards to meet Lee. He has agreed to sign his books that will be available for purchase. There will be a dinner and dance gala in honor of Lee on June 28, co-hosted by Chinese Heritage Foundation, China Insight and Chinese American Ballroom Dance Association. Please log onto www.chinainsight.info or
www.chineseheritagefoundation.org for more information.

Watch for more opportunities to meet Lee during his visit here. Please log onto www.chinainsight.info or www.chineseheritagefoundation.org for more information.

 

 

 

Terms Of Use

Terms of Use All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without prior written permission of the publisher. For permission requests, contact the publisher, Terms of Use All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without prior written permission of the publisher. For permission requests, contact [email protected] with subject line “Permission request.”

About

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.