The AACP Newsletter
Asian American Curriculum Project, Inc. - More than a Bookstore
Since 1970 April/May 2009
Editor's Notes
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Interesting Asian Pacific American Trivia
Part 2

Preview of the 9th Annual
Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration
In San Mateo

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Interesting Asian Pacific American Trivia
Part 2

By Philip Chin and Leonard D. Chan

In 2007 we started the tradition of placing some interesting trivia in our Asian Pacific American Heritage celebration program booklet. We used that trivia for an AACP newsletter article in March of 2008.

Here is the trivia that we used for our 2008 program booklet. Come to our May 9, 2009 event in San Mateo to get our program booklet for a head start on next year's article, and to learn and have fun.

  1. Ahmet Ertegün, Turkish American co-founder of Atlantic Records, found, produced, and promoted artists like Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin, and Bobby Darin among many others.
  2. Duke Kahanamoku, Hawaiian American, won 3 gold and 2 silver medals in freestyle swimming in three Olympics, and introduced the world to surfing outside Hawaii.
  3. James Wong Howe, Chinese American, cinematographer known as the "master of shadow" was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won 2. James Howe's career stretched from silent pictures through the mid-1970s and over 135 films.
  4. Japanese American, Wataru Misaka became the first ethnic minority to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1947. In his college days at the University of Utah, he led his school to the 1947 NIT and 1944 NCAA championships.
  5. Clara Elizabeth Chan Lee, became the first woman of Asian descent registered to vote in the US in Oakland, California in 1911. She was married to Charles Goodall Lee, the first licensed Chinese American dentist.
  6. "Ue o muite aruk?" sung by Kyu Sakamoto was released as "Sukiyaki" in the US in 1963. It is the only Asian (Japanese) language song (albeit deliberately mis-titled in English) to have ever topped US music charts.

  1. Christopher and Stephen, the sons of Chang and Eng Bunker, the famous "Siamese Twins," fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Hundreds of other Asian Pacific Americans fought for both the Union and the Confederacy but none are known to have left any personal account of their service.
  2. Ut Huynh Cong - First Vietnamese American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography (1973) and the World Press Award
  3. The first Asian to be awarded the Medal of Honor was José B. Nísperos of the Philippine Scouts in 1911.
  4. From 1910 to 1940, the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay processed approximately 175,000 Asian immigrants entering into the US, serving a similar role to Ellis Island for European immigrants on the East Coast.
  5. Philip Ahn, believed to be the first Korean American born in the US in 1905, was an actor from the 1930s through the 1970s and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  6. Chinese American physicist, Chien-Shiung Wu, who studied and received her Ph.D, at the University of California, Berkeley under Ernest Orlando Lawrence, was the first female instructor in the Physics Department of Princeton University; the first woman with a Princeton honorary doctorate; the first female President of the American Physical Society (1975). Wu was also one of the scientists that work on the Manhattan Project. One of her nicknames was "First Lady of Physics."

"We in America understand the many imperfections of democracy and the malignant disease corroding its very heart. We must be united in the effort to make an America in which our people can find happiness. It is a great wrong that anyone in America, whether he be brown or white, should be illiterate or hungry or miserable."
-Filipino American author and poet, Carlos Bulason, America is in the Heart

Up Coming Events

Here are some events that AACP will soon be attending.
Events that AACP will be Attending or Hosting
May 9 9th Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration in San Mateo Central Park Recreation Center
San Mateo, CA
Other Event of Interest that AACP May Not Attend
May 1-2 National Association for Asian and Pacific American Education (NAAPAE) 31th Annual Conference Murano Hotel
Tacoma, WA
May 2
6th Annual Foster City Pacific Islands Festival Leo Ryan Park
Foster City, CA
May 3
Basant Kite-Festival Baylands Park
Sunnyvale, CA
June 20
Japanese Cultural Fair Mission Plaza Park
Santa Cruz, CA
May 26-30 National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education Hilton San Diego Bayfront
1 Blvd Dr
San Diego, CA

Give Us Your Feedback

Please feel free to send us your reviews, comments, and book suggestions. You can contact us by going to the following page and sending an email to us through the online form -

Editor's Notes

Hello Everyone,

I guess I didn't keep my word about getting this newsletter out in April. That's why it's the April/May AACP newsletter. However, I'll try to get another May edition out towards the end of this month. Hopefully we'll have more time when we're done hosting the San Mateo Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration.

I must also apologize for not having more books in this newsletter. Since we're so busy and because I hope to have another edition of the newsletter out relatively soon after this one, I thought you wouldn't mind waiting a bit long to see our recent additions.

One note on the calendar - I don't have a book reading that I wanted to include in this schedule. Lora Jo Foo will be coming to the San Mateo Main Library. However, I don't remember what day that'll be. Please email me (in a day or two) or Florence Hongo, or call the San Mateo Main Library for details 650-522-7800. While you're at it, find out about the San Mateo Main Library's Asian Film Festival that they will be having through the month of May.

Okay, one last plea - please come to our Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration on May 9th. We worked pretty hard on this one, but seeing all of your smiling faces will make all that work worth it.

Hope to see you soon. Take care.


Leonard Chan
Executive Editor

Preview of the 9th Annual
Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration
In San Mateo

The San Mateo Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration is an event organized by four nonprofit organizations. These organizations include AACP, San Mateo OCA, San Mateo JACL, and the Downtown San Mateo Association.

This year we feature over 30 exhibits, exhibitors, vendors, presentations, and nonprofit organizations. Part of our goal was to add more interesting content that you may not find at your typical community celebration.

Come and experience the most diverse Asian and Pacific Islander American event in San Mateo County and perhaps the whole Bay Area.

Here are some brief descriptions of the entertainment we have lined up for this year's event.

Project Garuda
(Description by Project Garuda)
The core of Project Garuda are four amazing musicians: Ignatius (keyboard), Gent (guitar), William (bass), and Willy (drums). These four people are so talented that their music can't help but attract more musicians and singers to join in. For this event, we also have Alvan (violin), Ardi (guitar), and Felice (guitar, vocal). Ingrid and Putu's beautiful voices are already famous in our circle of friends, and this time we also have Vero, Felice, Sylvia, Widya, Nick, and Mira for vocals.

We want to introduce our rich Indonesian music culture through our performances. It starts with "Bengawan Solo," a beautiful, very famous song about the longest river in Java Island. It's well-known in other Asian countries and is now part of best known Chinese oldies. Using violin to represent the flowing melody, this song showcases Indonesia's famous keroncong style. Then we have two songs from Chrisye, one of Indonesia's most-decorated pop singer. "Kala Cinta Menggoda" (When Love Seduces) and "Cintaku" (My Love). From these two songs, the audience can enjoy the gradual change from classic keroncong style to Indonesian pop style that are easy-going, fun, and energetic. We will also perform several other songs which titles will not be revealed to let you enjoy our music with a little bit of the element of surprise! For our finale, we have "Yogyakarta," a song from Kla Project, who is also a well-known Indonesian pop group. We hope we do this song justice and you all can truly enjoy why this song is very popular.

Ann Bowler
Ann taught kindergarten through third grade for many years before beginning her career as a writer. She is the author of 14 children's books including Adventures of the Treasure Fleet: China Discovers the World. This amazing but true story recalls the 15th century voyages of Chinese Admiral Zheng He and his fleet which sailed from China to Southeast Asia, Arabia, and Africa, 85 years before Columbus came to America. Beginning in 1405, Admiral Zheng led more than 300 gigantic, brightly painted ships across the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean and all the way to the distant coast of Africa. The admiral and his crew battled pirates and raging storms, and were amazed by the people and ways of life in distant lands.

Ann has also written Gecko's Complaint, a classic Balinese folktale which highlights Indonesia's lovely culture. She has written several books about nature including, Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, Seasons of Color, Hiking the Appalachian, and Jane Godall, a Brave and True Heart. Ann is now serving as the ambassador for Room to Read, a non-profit organization building schools and libraries in some of the poorest parts of the world.

California Youth Chinese Symphony (CYCS)
Young musicians from CYCS will perform music with Chinese traditional instruments and present it in a lively way.

California Youth Chinese Symphony (CYCS) is a non-profit organization and has a mission of promoting musical diversity and enriching cultural lives of our communities by introducing Chinese traditional music and instruments.

CYCS currently offers different levels of Chinese instrument lessons from beginning to intermediate students. Students can choose from different instruments including the pipa (Chinese lute), erhu (two-string violin), guzheng (lap harp), dizi (bamboo flute), sheng (mouth organ), suona (Chinese oboe), yangqin (dulcimer), konghou (double-string harp), and Chinese percussion.

Advanced students will participate in orchestra and ensemble training with many opportunities to perform in community events as well as concert performances.

Thia Konda Okasan and Me Inc.
Shamisen is a 3-string traditional Japanese folk instrument somewhat similar in shape and size to a banjo.

Thia Konda has played the shamisen for 26 years as a member of Matsutoya Kai. Three years ago she started to experiment with the different genres of the shamisen. The shamisen is played in jazz, pop and original songs and arrangements.

Charlie Chin
Uncle Toisan is the story of a Chinese immigrant who immigrated to the United States in 1939, was drafted into the American Army during World War II, worked in the Chinese Hand Laundries and Restaurants, and then witnessed the Civil Rights Movement.

A "History Alive!" performance is composed of three parts
1. The character talks about his life and times.
2. The audience can ask the presenter questions and he answers them in character.
3. The presenter comes out of character and speaks about the character in the context of today.

Charlie Chin is a writer, musician, historian, and Tai Chi Instructor. He currently holds the position of Artist-in-Residence at the Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco. He has published two children's books, founded the Jataka Puppet Theater, and in 2009 received an Irvine Trust grant to present his History Alive! presentation of "Uncle Toisan" to audiences across the Bay Area.

Filipino-American Association of Foster City Choir
This year the Filipino-American Association of Foster City or FAAFC is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The Association's choir has performed numerous times during the many years that FAAFC has served its communities. This time with them are children from FAAFC's Tagalog classes, who at the beginning did not know any Tagalog words, but as you will witness in this performance, demonstrate how much they have learned!

Samdo Suljanggu
Samdo Suljanggu is created by juxtaposing the essential rhythms of past janggu virtuosi from the three main provinces of Korea. Suljanggu, which is a name used to call a piece that is only played using janggu (hourglass shaped drum), had been played in a traditional Poongmul by a leading janggu player (Sangjanggu) of the group to show off his original style of dance and form, however, the Samdo Suljanggu is performed in a seated position, naturally putting more emphasis on the dynamics and the refinement of the overall musical sound.

Samdo Samulnori
'Samulnori' is a music played with four traditional Korean percussion instruments, Kwengari, Jing, Janggu and Buk. It was created in 1978 basing its roots on the rhythms of Poongmul, Korean traditional percussion. Among all the Samulnori pieces, Samdo Samulnori is perhaps the most well known one. It is different from other Samulnori's such as Youngnam or Utdari in the sense that while other pieces are based on rhythms of a single region, Samdo Samulnori is created by combining rhythms from all over the Korea. Samdo Samulnori guides the audience through the three large regions of Korea giving a wonderful taste of the unique rhythms of each region.

Urisawe, translated as "Our Movement", is an organization dedicated to promoting traditional Korean culture through performing arts. Established in 2002 by Me Sook Ko, a professional teacher, Urisawe participated in numerous performances and activities and continues to expand as a traditional Korean culture group representing the bay area. Urisawe offers many classes on traditional Korean dances and drumming, including, Poongmul, geom-mu (sword dance), tal-chum (mask dance), Samulnori, and more. Urisawe is open to anyone who is interested in learning about traditional Korean performing arts.


The following book is discounted for subscribers to our newsletter. The discount on this book ends May 19, 2009.

Asian American Women
Issues, Concerns, and Responsive Human and Civil Rights Advocacy

By Lora Jo Foo
Second Edition 2007, 227 pages, Paperback.

The topics covered in this book encompass a wide range of fascinating subjects concerning Asian American women including immigration, work, health, sexual identity, domestic violence, and more.

View Additional Information
ORDER -- Item #3549, Price $19.95 ... for newsletter subscribers $15.96

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