Monday, February 20, 2017

Bachelor Show in China

Member John Marienthal Received this interesting article from the founder of Shanghai Pathways, Janny Chyn:
A new dating show is sparking huge controversy online after inviting bachelors’ parents to judge if a candidate is a good match for their son, leaving the audience questioning whether Chinese men are overindulged and their families meddle too much in 
After reading about the posts on wechat regarding this show. I decided that I had to watch it. In China, romance is often sacrificed to practicality; dating has largely become a commercial transaction. In Shanghai’s marriage market, Chinese parents get together in park to introduce their children to one another. Singles’ clubs set people up according to requirements — height, income, property. And now this is the first dating show in China actually brings the parents into the “perfect wife/husband” selection. It is just so much fun to watch…..
Here is what media and netizen says:
The first episode of Chinese-style Blind Date premiered on Shanghai Dragon Television Saturday. It involves five single men, who are required to stay in a separated room offstage while watching a monitor as their parents interact with the single women. During the process, family members can press the light in front of them if they are satisfied with the candidates.
When asked to describe their ideal daughter-in-law, parents almost unanimously agreed that she should be hardworking, intelligent, pretty and caring. Some of the standards seemed prejudiced. For example, the mother of a 23-year-old Tianjin native Zhao Haoran insisted that her son should not marry someone with cold hands, alleging that such a woman may give birth to unhealthy babies. Only one family said their son’s preference would come first.
The show culminated when a contestant, Lin Jiali, stepped onto the stage with her homemade soup, seemingly winning the hearts of all the family members and the bachelors. However their attitude changed dramatically when Lin revealed that she is, 40 years old, divorced and has a son. Only Zhao Haoran expressed interest in Lin but the two failed to “hold hands”, under the strong objection of Zhao’s parents, who said that they would like two to three grandchildren, implying Lin is too old for that.
The show immediately provoked hot debate among viewers. Some netizens condemned it, saying it objectifies women and is a step backwards to the arranged marriage based on utilitarianism in feudalistic times.
“It is not right to bring a women on stage to be judged by others,” one Weibo user said. “I am furious when some parents asked disrespectful and intruding questions to the candidates, such as their age and if they had any plastic surgeries.”
“They are looking for a combination of breeding machine, a nanny and a tool for money. I didn’t feel any sincerity,” commented another.
Others said that parents spoil their sons too much and have raised them to be “mama’s boys”, ” giant babies” and men with “straight-man cancer”, a term referring to some men’s clinging on to traditional Chinese norms in relationships, such as suppressing women’s rights, devaluing female labor and branding educated women as unattractive.
“I am disappointed at the behavior of the men, who have zero respect for women,” said one Weibo user, referring to the male participants’ self-centered and blunt comments on the bachelorettes.
“The giant babies should better be left with their parents for life.”
There are also viewers who believe the show to some extent reflects the reality of contemporary Chinese society.
“This is how marriage works in many Chinese families. There is no need to disguise it”, a viewer said.
Liu Yuan, producer of the show, said in a Guangzhou Daily report that rather than an old-style, parent-arranged blind date, the show provides a channel for young people to communicate with the elder generation. “The parents and the matchmaking host are just providing suggestions and cannot make the final decision,” Liu said.
When asked whether this is unfair for the women, Liu said the show will turn around in the next episode by asking women’s families to select men.
Janny Chyn is the founder of shanghai pathways, a platform that engages people to learn and understand the city through unique cultural activities “off the beaten tracks.” She is also a writer for The Courier magazine and has been a guest speaker for schools and organizations. Apart from running Shanghai Pathways, Janny provides training and consultation service for corporate clients such as P&G, Ipsos and Google. Her current work has been featured in media outlets including Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, CNNgo, The Sacramento Bee, Zester Daily, Nomadic Notes, Business Mirror, Shanghai Morning Post, Daily Secret.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

 I would like to wish everyone a prosperous, happy, and healthy the Year of the Rooster! 鷄年吉年!

Thanks to all the board members and friends for working together, we put up a great event last Saturday 1/21 to welcome the new year.

Susan Man used her talent, put together a great video with the beautiful photos she took. Check them out.

From the photos and video, you can see about 80 people from diverse background came together and enjoyed the fabulous celebration. According to some of our long time members, this was the biggest one in our chapter history. 
First, a  pot luck with lots of delicious festival food (Chinese dumplings, zhongzi, sesame balls, egg rolls, rice cake, lots of oranges….), then different activities (Chinese zodiac, paper cutting, brush painting, Chinese calligraphy, chopstick game, Chinese travel and history), then Chinese dragon dance, trivia and prizes, and the finale was having our board members give out hongbao (red packets with lucky money…)
If you missed out, please try to come next year.
Here are some photos that I took.
1. Chinese dragon dance with Kenny Lin, and 3 Stanford students(Nathaniel, Wyatt, and Trent)
2. Bet was supervising Stanford students while they were making vegetarian dumplings.
3. Shawa brought about 30 students and friends from Stanford. Kenny gave a hongbao to the baby
4. CA assembly member, Kansun Chu, and his wife came to give us good wishes for the new year
5. Huihui and his popular Chinese calligraphy station
6. Adrienne and Ken at the Chinese paper cutting station with Sesha Ying
7. Shirley with some eager students learning to draw a rooster in Chinese brush painting.
8. our board members gave out hongbao to children and young unmarried.
It was a very happy celebration!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A New Map for Relationships

We have a rare treat in store for you - an evening that will stimulate your brain, warm your heart, and delight your palate! The Silicon Valley United Nations Association, with the goal of promoting international co-operation, and the USCPFA- South Bay Chapter, with their aim of promoting friendships between peoples of United Stated and China, are joining forces to co-sponsor a program featuring Martin and Dorothie Hellman.

Martin, co-winner of the Turing Award 2016 for his groundbreaking work in cryptography, and Dorothie, a CPA who left her career to be a full-time volunteer for the Beyond War foundation, combine rational thinking, logical analysis, and holistic compassion to problems small and big. Drawing upon their experiences in fifty years in a marriage that ranged from rocky and shaky to smooth sailing, they realized that the techniques that have learned in finally achieving a perfect personal relationship can be applied to relationships between nations. They have written a book, A New Map for Relationships, in which they have discussed these techniques and how it would have applied in international problems involving countries such as Iraq, Iran, Cuba, Afghanistan, and North Korea. They have persuasively made a case for seeing problems from another’s perspectives (“be curious, not furious”).

Come spend an evening with friends and soon-to-be-friends and learn how to “creating true love at home and peace on earth!"

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Video of our Chinese New Year Party

US-China People Friendship Association had a wonderful Chinese New Year Party. Many thanks to all the people who came, had a good time, set up and decorated the church, brought delicious food, gave prizes, worked at a craft station so that everyone could experience Chinese culture, and cleaned up! This video is dedicated to YOU!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Unforgettable Exhibition—Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion
by Winny Lin
Co-chair of South Bay Chapter, USCPFA

     It was almost by accident that I learned of the exciting and informative exhibition now at the Chinese Historical Society of America’s museum on Clay Street in San Francisco Chinatown.  Two friends had casually mentioned it on Facebook and I knew at once that it was a “must see”. The exhibition is called “Chinese American:Exclusion/Inclusion”. 

The museum describes the exhibition as “a gift from the New York Historical Society which traces the Chinese American experience since the beginning of trade between the United States and China in 1784 through the turbulent struggle for equal rights and opportunities in this country.”   However  the SF Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) also has added elements which bring a West Coast perspective to it. 

I have long been very interested in the Chinese experience in America.  I am getting more familiar with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, have recently visited Angel Island, the entry point for many Chinese immigrants, and read many memories by Chinese American authors.  So, this exhibition was immediately and powerfully attractive. I was also eager to learn more about the CHSA and its programs. When my friends and I visited the museum on November 16, we we treated to a wonderful experience which no one should miss or no Chinese-Americans should miss.  Three aspects of the exhibition stand out to me:

1.  United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898)

First there is an examination of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and its dreadful impact on Chinese immigrants.  But then I learned about the 1898 Supreme Court case of U.S. vs Wong Kim Ark.  Using a small section of the Exclusion Act as its rational, a California court refused to readmit Wong back into America after his visit to China. Wong was born in the US of parents here legally and held that the 14th amendment to the Constitution guaranteed his citizenship.  The Supreme Court ruled in his favor and that ruling continues to grant citizenship those born here. This is the first time I have heard of this story. I am very proud that one of our own had the courage to carry the struggle all the way to the Supreme Court. 

2. Jake Lee, the artist and his paintings

The second is the paintings of Jake Lee (1915-1991), a well-known watercolor artist in the San Francisco area.  The paintings themselves caught my eye because of the historical relevance, but Lee’s story is also very interesting.  In 1959 the owner of Kan’s restaurant in Chinatown commissioned Lee to make 12 paintings with themes that celebrated the Chinese experience in the United States especially in SF.  Kan hung them all in his restaurant, but they somehow disappeared upon Kan’s death. Fortunately, CHSA has found eight of them at auction and they are a superb addition to the exhibition.  The paintings shown below one depicts the festival scene with a lion dance and the other tells the story of brave Chinese workers building the transcontinental railroad. 

3. Frank Wong’s Miniture Chinatown

The third standout was partially hidden away in a backroom.  My friend, Carol Louie, pointed out  those miniature models to me and I instantly fell in love with all the intricate and detailed designs, including furniture and household items.  Taken together they show the life lived in San Francisco’s Chinatown from 1940’s to the present day.  The pieces are the work of a self-taught, 81-yr-old artist named Frank Wong.  Here is a photo that I took of the kitchen. It is crammed with old-fashioned wall paper, linoleum floor, but the most interesting part to me is what is inside those cabinets.

In conclusion, I just want to say how thankful I am that there is a group like CHSA dedicated to keeping the history of us Chinese-Americans alive and well.  The museum gathers and promotes the social, cultural and political history of the Chinese in America and their ongoing contributions to American life. 
I wonder if they would some time in the future do an exhibition of the contemporary Chinese-American achievers like Elaine Chao ( appointed by Donald Trump as the next Secretary of Transportation ), I. M. Pei (architect), Vera Wang (fashion design), Bruce Lee (martial arts and film industry ), Jeremy Lin (Sports), Gary Locke (former ambassador to China) and more. There is so much we should be proud of and need to be reminded of. 
Visit their site at, for more information.