The AACP Newsletter
|Since 1970||Asian American Curriculum Project, Inc. - Books for All Ages||September 2002|
Mid-Autumn Moon FestivalThe Mid-Autumn Festival, also called The Moon Festival, takes place on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month and is celebrated in many countries including China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea, Singapore, and here in the United States.
Because the lunar calendar doesn't correspond exactly with the solar calendar the date of the Moon Festival changes every year. September 21st is this year's date in 2002 and is also the day that AACP will be attending the Moon Festival celebrations being held in Cupertino, California.
Ching Yeung Russell describes the Mid-Autumn Festival celebration in China in her book Moon Festival -
one of the most important days of the year, other than Chinese New Year.
The Moon is full, round, and brilliant - a symbol of reunion.
Everyone eats moon cakes, a special treat made for the festival.
Children play with paper lanterns shaped like animals, fish, and fruit.
Family members try their best to be home for a reunion meal, and people who are
abroad feel especially homesick. Woman worship the moon, where the legendary
beauty Chang O lives, and ask her for a blessing on the whole family.
ResourcesInformation on Mid-Autumn Festival
Moon Festival - general background, resources, and links
Tet Trung Thu as it is known in Vietnam
Chusok as it is known in Korea
UNC Book Controversy
Up Coming EventsHere are some events that AACP will soon be attending.
Give Us Your FeedbackPlease 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 -
Thoughts by John P. Chau, Guest Columnist
After September 11, 2001, I wrote an e-mail to my friends around the world saying that many Americans like myself felt like curling up in the middle of the living room floor, in the dark, with the curtains tightly closed, whimpering, while cradling a shotgun. How much has changed in the year since then?
For answers I journeyed to the cave of the Master, a survivor of an earlier period of injustice in American history. Among the questions I asked were how closely did today's America resemble the America in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor and the period of Japanese internment?
"Too many parallels," was the gruff answer.
"How so?" I asked.
Quickly the list grew to include; unjustified detention, being ostracized for criticizing the government, hysterical fear, outright racism and persecution based upon appearance, and people with evil intent pushing their own economic and social agendas on a stunned population.
"Surely," I said, "things have changed since the Japanese internment?"
Master sneered and explained that internment of the Japanese during World War II is still considered justified in some leading American circles. People in the US aren't taught about the long history of persecution of the Asians and all the non-European "others" in American history long before World War II. They only see the wartime justification for persecution. Even then many still don't believe that such a thing could have happened in the United States. The majority population continues to see non-Europeans, including Asians and Arabs, as "aliens unable to be assimilated" and thus justified targets.
"Well aren't we protected by politicians and the Constitution?" I asked.
Politicians are always "finger in the wind" people. No major politician was willing to speak out in the face of either outright support or indifference from the majority population during World War II. How were things any possibly different today?
"Why is this happening?" I asked in some despair.
People are easily persuaded that such actions are necessary and justifiable, not from any evil intent, but from ignorance.
"What about humanizing everyone? Wouldn't that make it harder to persecute people?" Master's apprentice interjected.
Master struggled with the words, "There isn't any ability or desire to humanize everyone. The world system works on…works on…"
"Inequality?" I added tentatively.
"Yes," Master agreed, "the World works on inequality."
"Then what's the hope then???" I said in absolute despair.
"Hope is in ordinary people recognizing the truth and fighting to create people who respect other humans. Education is key to humanizing the world and educators have to be out there everywhere not just in the schools. Even confronting people in grocery lines is education."
"Any knowledge that one gains is key to a better understanding of self, environment, and world," Master's apprentice chanted.
"That can be a very ugly mirror to look at," I pointed out. Master simply smiled.
I asked about the recent controversy about teaching about Islam in the schools and colleges, or as some critics have called it, "proselytizing the enemy religion."
Master said, "More of the same in not allowing other perspectives to be heard."
"Insecure foundations." Master's apprentice said.
"Insecure foundations deserve to be shaken," Master smiled.
The following books are discounted for subscribers to our newsletter. The discounts on these books end September 30, 2002.
Mooncakes and Hungry Ghosts
Festivals of China
By Carol Stepanchuk and Charles Wong
A comprehensive book of the major festivals of China and Chinese culture. Some of the festivals described in the book include New Years, Dragon Boat, Mid-Autumn Moon, Clear Brightness, Feast of the Hungry Ghosts, and many more.
By Ching Yeung Russell
Illustrations by Chistopher Zhong-Yuan Zhang
Ching Russell's autobiographical text poignantly conveys a child's yearning to be close to her parents as well as her simple pleasure in celebrating the Moon Festival with her extended family and friends.
The Moon Lady
By Amy Tan
Illustrated by Grethchen Schields
Adapted by Amy Tan from her renowned novel, The Joy Luck Club.
A grandmother tells her granddaughters about her experience during one Moon Festival when she was a child living in China.
Round is a Mooncake
A Book of Shapes
By Roseanne Thong
Illustrated by Grace Lin
As a little girl discovers things round, square, and rectangular in her urban neighborhood, she is reminded of her Chinese American culture.