Visit our New Asian American Voices program to see spotlights on Filipino American contributions to American life in honor of Filipino American History Month.
What does Confucius’ birthday mean to us today?
By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang
Before COVID, our Chinese School used to hold classes every Friday night at one of the local public elementary schools. To thank the teachers for sharing their classrooms with us, every September 28, our Chinese School administration would prepare a nice gift for the public school teachers whose classrooms we borrowed. The administration would buy really nice pens, the Chinese art teacher would create a beautiful Chinese knot pen holder, and I would write a letter explaining Teachers Day.
September 28 is recognized in Taiwan and China as Confucius’ birthday. In Taiwan, Teachers Day is a day of ceremonies, dances, and presents for teachers. Confucius is revered as the first teacher, one who advocated education for all — a radical concept in his time. He was willing to teach poor boys as well as rich boys, and he never refused a student because of class or character, requiring only that his pupils possess a sincere desire to learn.
Although Asian Americans like to joke about the importance of education for our communities in order to push back against the model minority myth, it is still worrying to see that in 2021, 1,400 U.S.-trained Chinese scientists and professors left corporate or tenured positions at top-tier American universities like Harvard and MIT, and the flow of Chinese students to the U.S. is declining, due to U.S.-China tensions and China Initiative prosecutions. A recent Op-Ed on the quandary of U.S.-trained Chinese scientists in the LA Times argues that this could hinder U.S. ability to revitalize domestic semiconductor manufacturing and electric vehicle manufacturing. Others worry that continued anti-China rhetoric as the election nears will result in continued violence and discrimination against Asian Americans.
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) recognized this past week, September 26 to October 2, as Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) Week, commemorating the achievements and goals of universities that provide quality post-secondary educational opportunities to Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and low-income students. The AANAPISI program was first authorized in 2007 and celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.
AANAPISI campuses make up only 6.1% of all U.S. colleges and universities, but they enroll nearly half of all AANHPI students in the country, according to Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC).
“As a former educator, I know just how pivotal a good education can be and how it can open doors to change a person’s future,” CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu said in a statement. “However, far too many students face barriers which can deter them from seeking out these opportunities, and this is especially true for communities of color, including Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. That is why Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) are so important—they have been working to close gaps in inequality and ensure low-income students have access to a quality education for the past 15 years.”
Influencers are eating ghee by the spoonful. Brands are responding with whitewashed versions. | NBC News American brands are calling ghee a superfood and producing it en masse. South Asian American experts say there’s a problem with that.
U.S. math professor gets probation, not prison, in China Initiative case | Science Professor Mingqing Xiao is sentenced for tax return errors after jury rejected allegations of research fraud.
Judge tosses most charges against Kansas researcher | Associated Press “This will hopefully drive a final stake through the heart of these China Initiative cases,” Feng “Franklin” Tao’s attorney, Peter Zeidenberg wrote.
Liu Jingyao and Liu Qiangdong: Chinese billionaire sexual assault case settled in US | BBC It was meant to be one of the biggest #MeToo trials China had ever seen, set to play out in an open court in Minnesota. The defendant was a 49-year-old billionaire who's been called the "Jeff Bezos of China." The accuser was a 25-year-old Chinese graduate student who said he sexually assaulted her.
Miraculously preserved 1-million-year-old human skull discovered in China | CNN Chinese archaeologists discovered an incredibly well-preserved 1-million-year-old Homo erectus skull, filling a major gap in our understanding of human evolution.
Anti-Asian hate crimes are scaring Chinese travelers away from the US | CNN According to a new study, 22% of mainland Chinese respondents are "not interested at all" and 23% saying they are "not that interested" in visiting the U.S., citing violence, anti-Asian discrimination, and mass shootings as factors.
Behind the unfounded rumor of a military 'coup' against China's president | CNN When Chinese leader Xi Jinping vanished from public view after an overseas visit, unfounded rumors of a "coup" sparked a frenzy of speculation ahead of a key Communist Party meeting. As Xi reemerged on Chinese state media, the online frenzy was quashed. CNN's Will Ripley looks into where these rumors started.
New book spotlights experiences of gay sons of immigrants in Los Angeles | NBC News Sociology professor Anthony Ocampo’s new book, “Brown and Gay in LA,” tells the stories of gay sons of immigrants in Los Angeles — specifically of Filipino Americans and Latinos.
Constance Wu’s harassment claims reveal a painful trade-off women of color face |NBC News “I did not want to sully the reputation of the one show we had representing us,” Wu said.
Homework by day, punk rock by night: The Linda Lindas navigate growing up on the road | NBC News The teen punk band, about to play shows with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Japanese Breakfast, talks about their viral hit, homework on the road, and putting it all out there.
San Francisco Renames Street in Honor of ‘Grandpa Vicha' | NBC News The 84-year-old Thai grandfather was violently shoved while on a walk in January 2021 and died from his injuries. His passing came amid a growing wave of attacks against members of the Asian community, but even in a wave of violence some said this attack was different.
California makes Lunar New Year an official state holiday | AsAmNews Gov. Newson signed into law AB 2596, authored by Assemblymember Evan Low, which makes Lunar New Year a state holiday. The governor also signed a law that makes Juneteenth a state holiday.
- HIGHLIGHTING FILIPINO AMERICAN CONTRIBUTIONS FOR FILIPINO AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH – Filipino Americans were the first immigrants from Asia to come to the U.S. in the 16th century and have had an enormous impact on the U.S., from labor rights to entertainment, sports, art, and so much more. We are proud to spotlight Filipino American contributions to American life all month on New Asian American Voices. Please visit our program page throughout October to catch all the updates.
- VIDEOS COMING THIS FALL – In the coming months, we will be launching videos on compelling topics related to the Asian American experience and modern China, including one on Chinese high school students and their experiences with the gaokao, the common name for the standardized college admission test held once per year in China. We are also working on a video on the waves of Asian immigration to the U.S. and one featuring an Asian American climate change activist. 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.
- ASIA SOCIETY NORTHERN CALIFORNIA’S U.S.-CHINA SERIES – Our friends at Asia Society Northern California are hosting a series of discussions called “Seeking Truth Through Facts.” This U.S.-China Program Series focuses on new strategic frameworks for the bilateral relationship as well as the global impact of the political and economic landscape. The topic on October 19 is “Pathways for U.S.-China Research Collaboration.” The three-hour hybrid event (for in-person and virtual attendees) examines the risks of U.S.-China technology collaboration and looks at the impact of the FBI's China Initiative, how China's own practices and policies may put such collaboration at risk, the risks posed by collaboration, and steps that can be taken to reduce such risks. To see more details and the 12 panelists who are participating, go here. Co-presented by the UC Berkeley School of Law's Center for Law & Technology.
Dim Sum - A Little Bit of Heart
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