September 9, 2022

Volume 2, Issue 18

Dear Friends,

Happy Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (Zhong Qiu Jie, Tet Trung Thu, Chuseok)! 

Check out our Spotlight section below to see what’s new at the 1990 Institute. Thanks for your continued support of the 1990 Institute and newsletter. Please share this newsletter with your friends and family and encourage them to subscribe.


Nonprofit LAAUNCH (Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change) released a STAATUS Index (Social Tracking of Asian Americans in the U.S.) that recommends education as the preferred solution to fight anti-Asian American racism.
Support the 1990 Institute in our mission to provide education on Asian American issues and U.S.-China relations to 
the next generation and the general public.


Are you celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival?

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang


I bought three boxes of mooncakes, early this year — two boxes for my mom and one box for my kids.

But then one daughter tucked two boxes into her suitcase and another daughter tucked the other box into her suitcase, and they went off to visit Po Po together, so my mom got all the mooncakes.

And all the daughters, too.

For our family, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (Zhong Qiu Jie, Tet Trung Thu, Chuseok) means educational presentations and cultural celebrations at Chinese schools and universities and nonprofits. I introduce the Moon Festival as a harvest festival like Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Oktoberfest. I talk about how the Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar – the months are lunar but the year is anchored in place by the solar solstices. I share cultural traditions and tell stories about Chang-E, the Moon Lady; the Jade Rabbit pounding an elixir of immortality; Wu Gang, the woodcutter, and the acacia tree; Chú Cuội, the Moon Boy, and the banyan tree. My kids perform, we make Moon Lady and Jade Rabbit papercut crafts, and then we bake mooncakes.

But my favorite part is the night of the moon festival. After all the presentations are done, the kids and I get out our winter coats, light our lanterns, and walk down to the park at the end of the street. We sit on the picnic table eating mooncakes while the kids take turns composing poems about the moon while doing funny impressions of ancient Chinese poets and scholars. We think about our relatives who live so far away. And then we make wishes on the moon.

Song dynasty Chinese poet Su Shi wrote of the festival, “May we live long and share the beauty of the moon together, even if we are hundreds of miles apart.”

Now my kids are grown. 

And I’m like Chang-E, alone on the moon, waiting for everyone to come home for dinner.

A recent study, the STAATUS Index, by nonprofit LAAUNCH looked at national attitudes and stereotypes towards Asian Americans and found that a large percentage of Americans do not know about the history and experience of Asian Americans. When asked, “When you think about the history and experience of Asian Americans in this country, what significant events or policies come to mind?” 42 percent said they did not know, 17 percent said World War II Internment, 14 percent said the atomic bomb/attack on Pearl Harbor, 8 percent said building railroads, 4 percent said Vietnam War, and 3 percent said COVID.

The study also found that all racial groups thought education is the best way to fight anti-Asian American racism. Asian Americans think both education and stronger laws/greater protection are needed. 

So as we launch into another school year, I am excited that my state’s Department of Education is launching a series of webinars for teachers about the history and contributions of Asian Americans and other communities of color.

“Our children deserve to learn about the full breadth of the history of the United States and world,” said Michigan’s State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “Some of history’s chapters are challenging, uncomfortable, or even searing — particularly those that deal with race, racism, xenophobia, and sexism — but our young people need to learn about all of history and to wrestle with the complexity of our history.”



The recordings are available for our Teachers Workshop sessions on the Asian American experience and modern China.
See them here.


Curated News

Dominant Honolulu wins Hawaii's 4th LLWS title since '05 | MLB  For the fourth time in 17 years, the state of Hawaii is home to the Little League World Series champion. Honolulu Little League won 13-3 over Pabao Little League, Curaçao.

Attacked at home, Afghan Sikhs find community on Long Island | NBC News  Hicksville, New York, has come to be a growing refuge for not only Afghan Sikhs but also Hindus, both of them religious minorities that have increasingly suffered discrimination and persecution in their home country.

MIT professor wrongfully accused of spying for China helps make a major discovery | NBC News  Gang Chen, who was cleared after a lengthy DOJ investigation, said he is stepping away from federally funded research because of anxieties around being racially profiled.

Nearly one-third of low-income Asian women now live in states with limited abortion access | NBC News  “Deep down I was sure that we were incapable financially of bringing a new baby into this world."

Extreme heat in China threatens major water source and hydropower abilities | PBS NewsHour  Power shortages that came with China’s searing temperatures have raised questions about the region’s heavy reliance on hydropower and China’s ambitions to end its use of fossil fuels.

A Slowing China Helps Rein In Inflation Around the World | Wall Street Journal  China is a key factor in falling costs for energy and commodities, but domestic factors are still keeping U.S. inflation high.

China boosts tariff-free access for African countries | South China Morning Post  Nine of the poorest countries on the African continent will not pay duties on 98 percent of their exports to China as Beijing looks to expand agricultural imports from the region.

Dugongs Are ‘Functionally Extinct’ in China, Research Suggests | Smithsonian Magazine  Scientists found no verified sightings of the massive marine mammals in the region since 2000.

Late Edith Kanakaʻole Quarter Design Released | Big Island Now  The Hawaiian cultural icon will have her face imprinted on the reverse of the coin for the 2023 American Women Quarters, a U.S. Mint program.

Netflix’s ‘Partner Track’ star Arden Cho talks sexism and racism in big law | NBC News  "Maybe if she was a man, maybe if she was not Asian, maybe she would have already been partner." 

Chinatown’s 9-man tournament takes its Labor Day showdown to Providence | WBUR  "There's always been this feeling or this stereotype that Asians men's bodies are not capable of doing athletic things… And if you're constantly facing those things, what a beautiful thing to be in a space where nobody even questions that."


China Institute’s professional development series for teachers is open for registration.


  • TEACHERS WORKSHOP RECORDINGS AND RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE – Our 2022 workshop is completed and you can access the recordings of the two tracks, Missing in History®: The Asian American Journey* and The China You Should Know: Past and Present, on our Teachers Workshop playlist on our YouTube channel. Hear experts from UC Berkeley, Asian Art Museum, USC, and more. In addition, be sure to see all of the relevant resources we curated for educators in our Teachers Workshop portal. (*Missing in History is a registered trademark of Helen Zia.)
  • UPCOMING VIDEOS – This fall, we are producing videos on compelling topics that speak to our mission: the Asian American experience and modern China and its relationship with the U.S. You won’t want to miss our upcoming video on Bruce Lee –  almost 50 years after his death, we examine his powerful impact on martial arts, Asian representation in Hollywood, racial solidarity, and more. We also have an upcoming video on the waves of Asian immigration to the U.S.. More details to come! In the meantime, check out our current videos and follow us on our YouTube channel so you’ll be the first to hear when new videos launch.
  • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SERIES FOR TEACHERS – China Institute is offering Art, Ritual, and Religion: Bronze Vessels to Buddha Images, an online professional development series designed for K-12 educators teaching Chinese culture, history, art, and language. These six sessions offer an opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of Chinese civilization during its founding period and make connections to K-12 classroom teaching activities. The series is open to the public with sessions from October 5 to December 14. Educators can use code BRONZE25 to enjoy a 25% discount, or join as a group to enjoy a 50% discount for each participant. Register for one or more sessions here

Dim Sum - A Little Bit of Heart


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