Friday, August 31, 2007

presentations from Bananas Conference

Bananas Conference Short Story competition

The Organising Committee wish to thank those persons from throughour New Zealand who submitted
a total of 40 entries for our NZCA / The Listener Short Story Competition held in conjunction with the
Bananas NZ Going Global International Conference.
Our panel of three eminent and experienced judges announced the winning entries at the conference as follows:-

Overall Winner and First Prize of $1,000 "The Stove" by Renee Liang of Auckland
Joint Runnersup with Prizes of $250 each "Astray" by Chris Tse of Lower Hutt
"Peas" by Suzanne Gee of Auckland
"Predicting the Weather" by Christine Chan-Hyams of Wellington

New Zealand Chinese Association (Auckland Branch) Inc and The Listener wish to congratulate all the above authors for their excellent winning entries. These are hereby available to download for your reading pleasure.Click to download :
The Stove



Predicting the Weather

Monday, August 20, 2007

Laundry Warrior,

The Dominion Post Monday, 20 August 2007

Kiwi actors and extras with a knack for martial arts, kick-boxing, acrobatics and gymnastics are being sought for a joint Korean and American big-budget action movie to be shot in New Zealand this year.
The film, Laundry Warrior, will star leading Chinese actress Ziyi Zhang, best known for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, House of Flying Daggers and Memoirs of a Geisha, and Don-Gun Jang from Korea. The two are regarded as Asian cinema's Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. The producers include American Barrie Osborne, best known for producing Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. The film mixes fantasy and martial arts and is set in the pioneer days of the American West.
An e-mail from Auckland agency Kam Talent Management said the actors and extras of all nationalities would be needed between October and December for the film.
The agency was also seeking unusual looking people, jugglers, fire- eaters, dwarfs and stilt walkers for circus scenes.
The film is likely to be shot in Auckland at Henderson Valley Studios, which has New Zealand's largest sound stage.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Frank Chin - Bananas Conference Auckland

Collection Number: Wyles, MSS 103.
Size Collection: 67.2 linear feet (112 Document Boxes; 3 oversize containers; located in Del Norte oversize rack).
Acquisition Information: Acquired from Frank Chin, 2003.

Frank Chin is a UCSB graduate (1965) and is widely recognized as the most influential Asian American dramatist and writer (novels, short stories, essays) in the country. He is one of a handful of top literary figures in Asian American literary and cultural communities, and he is distinguished as being the first Asian American playwright produced in New York City. He founded the Asian American Theater Workshop in San Francisco which later evolved into the Asian American Theater Company (AATC). In discussing the value of the papers, Chin remarked, "I hope that my collection of research, letters and experimental manuscripts will stimulate a more traditional study of Asian American literature, beginning with an introduction to the Asian children's stories shared by China, Korea, and Japan since pre-historic times, and the "vernacular novels" developed to spread Chinese heroic tradition of the Ming, as a conscious expression of the myth of civilization throughout Asia.” “By making my papers available to the public, I hope that my efforts to treat knowledge of Asia and America as equally important will be seen and used.”

Born February 25, 1940, Frank Chin describes himself as a fifth generation Chinaman. His great-grandfather helped build the Southern Pacific Railroad and his grandmother was a steward. He worked as a brakeman for the line before he began writing. Frank Chin’s work broke new ground in the exploration of Chinese and Chinese American mythology, iconography and cultural misconception. At a time when most writers and scholars were merely examining the way that Chinese Americans experienced stereotypes, Frank Chin was confronting and destroying the perceived foundations from which those stereotypes evolved. In 1975 Frank Chin described his efforts as an activist for Chinese-American identity to Stanley Eichelbaum for the San Francisco Examiner, to fight what he described as “anti-yellow, love-em to death and extinction racism”, which he believed was still widely practiced here in the United States. “Not Chink-hating racism but a more subtle form that deprives us of identity and locks up our seven generations of history and culture in America.”

Growing up in Oakland California, Chin attended UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara and joined the Program in Creative Writing at the University of Iowa. He is both prolific and varied in his output, having produced documentaries, written novels, short stories, comic books, essays, plays and Hollywood scripts, as well as teaching classes in Asian American literature. Chin co-edited one of the marquee Asian American Anthologies entitled Aiiieeeee!, published in 1974, and a second volume entitled, The Big Aiiieeeee!, published in 1991. Among Frank Chin’s many contributions to Asian American literature and Asian American literature studies, is his tireless effort to fight against the emasculation of the Asian and Asian American male identity. In a letter to Margaret Chew for her term paper for Holy Family Academy, Chin clearly defines his views on his own writing and his views on cultural identity.

“My ideas on Asian America aren’t radical. What makes my ideas seem radical is that they are no longer popular. Whites wiped out the Chinese truth about China. The radical new idea is the current popular one about Chinese culture being passive, humble, docile, non assertive. That’s all bullshit. In schematic, here’s the old, the traditional, the classical vision of Chinese America.”

Chin believed, and continues to believe, that the cultural identities of the “Confucian” Chinese man or the serene and peaceful “oriental mind” are externally produced stereotypes, first introduced by white observers as a way to further dehumanize that which they could not understand. Because of his efforts, he has been criticized by many scholars as being misogynistic or homophobic, claims which Chin has boldly and outspokenly confronted in many of his writings, earning him notoriety and grudging respect. In Gunga Din Highway (1994), Chin articulates a visionary rejection of centuries of Chinese emasculation through stereotype, by presenting protagonists who identify with the warrior spirit of legendary Chinese figures such as Kwan Kung. It is no small sign of his prescience that his ideas are becoming more widely accepted in the modern American popular culture.

Chinese channel's eye on language buffs

5:00AM Tuesday August 14, 2007By Maggie McNaughton
World TV chief Henry Ho hopes Auckland's 100,000 Chinese people will tune in every day. Photo / Martin Sykes
New Zealand's first free-to-air, 24-hour Chinese television channel, CTV8, hopes to attract viewers wanting to learn Mandarin as well as local Chinese people.
The channel, which went to air on August 1, was officially launched in Auckland yesterday.
It broadcasts in Mandarin and Cantonese and is available in the greater Auckland region, featuring variety shows, dramas, documentaries and news.
World TV chief executive Henry Ho said yesterday that although the channel was UHF at present, it had plans to broadcast digitally next year through telecommunications company Kordia.
Mr Ho had been surprised at the interest from non-Mandarin speakers in the channel's breakfast show.
"We have Kiwis phoning in to the breakfast show saying they enjoy the channel. They say they are learning Mandarin and this helps them learn quicker, which is quite unexpected."
World TV broadcasts 10 Asian television channels through Sky. CTV8 is available on channel 62 but is so named because it is World TV's eighth Chinese channel.

Mr Ho said it would give people who didn't have pay TV a chance to view Chinese programmes.
He said 30 per cent of the content would be locally produced.
He hoped it would satisfy the demands of the Chinese community and appeal to New Zealanders learning Chinese.
He said 7 per cent of Auckland's population was Chinese, which amounted to around 100,000 people, and he hoped all those people would tune in every day.
Media research group AGB Nielsen said viewer numbers would be available in a couple of months.
At the launch yesterday, Minister of Ethnic Affairs Chris Carter said, in a speech read out by Minister for Auckland Issues Judith Tizard, that New Zealand had come a long way since the days of having only one, then two channels to choose from.
"It's a great milestone for New Zealand's Chinese community and non-Chinese New Zealanders ... Let's look forward to the day when Mandarin and Cantonese are official languages in New Zealand," he said.
"We are all different and it's this diversity that gives us strength."
Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey said the new channel was unique and exciting.
* Available in greater Auckland.
* Shows include documentaries from China and Taiwan; a joint morning broadcast with radio station AM936, news from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, dramas with both Mandarin and Cantonese soundtracks; Mandarin language lessons; and late-night youth programmes.
* The new channel is available on channel 62, but is called CTV8 because it's World TV's eighth Chinese channel.
* It is a UHF channel, but there are plans for digital channels next year.

Chinese communities come from far and wide

5:00AM Monday August 06, 2007 By Lincoln Tan
A press release announcing "Make Way for the New Mainstream" landed in my inbox last week. I thought it was about Don Brash starting a new political party.
Instead it was about the Banana Conference next weekend. For the third consecutive year, the New Zealand Chinese Association is organising a forum to bring Chinese communities in New Zealand together to talk about identity.
The release said: "The Chinese have a long association with New Zealand. This dates back to the 19th century. Our vision is to see local and overseas Chinese communities connecting in New Zealand without barriers and borders."
This vision statement sounds grand. But even calling it ambitious would be an understatement. It is probably closer to mission impossible.
Just before I moved from Christchurch to Auckland last year, a Pakeha friend, after a barrage of anti-Auckland sentiments, told me that it was a move for the better. "There are a lot more Chinese there," he said. His assumption was that by being surrounded by fellow Chinese, we would feel at home in Auckland. Oh, how wrong he was.

Although often lumped together as one, the 100,000-plus Chinese community in Auckland is far from that. It is an agglomeration of many fragmented communities, from the New Zealand-born "Bananas" (see definition below), to the immigrant Chinese communities from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. The groups are as different as chalk and won tons.
For me, the first hint of being different from the majority of the Chinese here came when I started writing for the Herald. "You are from Singapore, stop calling yourself Chinese," was one of the first emails I got from a Chinese reader. For describing myself as Peranakan (a Singapore Straits-born Chinese), I was called a "liar" by another Chinese reader who asserted there was no such thing as a Peranakan clan in China.
That was topped by several Chinese journalists who wrote a petition to the Herald asking for me to be removed as a columnist because I was not representative of the Chinese community.
Neither do I fully fit in with the Bananas. Although ethnically Chinese, the fact that I was born in Singapore and don't speak Mandarin or Cantonese accentuates my feeling of being different.
This was reinforced when I recently went out with a New Zealand-born Banana Chinese friend for drinks and dinner. While he was expertly sipping his wine and describing what matches what, I struggled to even tell the difference between a chardonnay and a pinot noir. I did not appreciate the Western fish dish he ordered which he said was "superb and excellent". I found the dish, well, fanciful looking but bland.
I said to him that I would far rather have had a plate of char kwey teow (fried rice noodles) with ice lemon tea. He shook his head and said that I was still a long way from becoming Kiwi. So I could hardly call myself a Banana.
In some places, calling someone a Banana is not something you would do in polite conversation. In my school days, it was a title conferred on those who tried to be too Western in their ways or regarded everything Western as superior, an insult for their lack of pride in being Asian.
However, the NZCA press release said the term is used here to describe Chinese living outside Asia who celebrate and embrace a blend of Eastern and Western cultures and influences.
There exists a strong disconnect and feelings of disparity between the New Zealand-born Chinese and new immigrants, and being somewhere in between, I hear stories from both sides.
"The Chinese migrants are just show-offs and keep to themselves," say my local Chinese friends.
"They don't know their roots and can't even speak guo yu [China's language]," counter the Chinese new immigrants.
One of my first assignments as a journalist in Auckland was to attend the launch of a Chinese film festival. When I asked the organisers if the NZCA, which comprised mainly New Zealand-born Chinese, was part of it, his reply was: "No, because they're not real Chinese."
The differences between the Chinese communities in New Zealand are huge, and I truly doubt there will ever be a time when they can connect without barriers or borders, as hoped by the conference organisers.
But I think the Banana Conference plays an important role in bringing the different Chinese communities, who would otherwise have little to do with each other, together, to talk about these barriers and borders.
For those wanting a glimpse of the fascinating complexities within the New Zealand Chinese communities, go to this conference. Rarely will you get a chance to attend something so Chinese - conducted fully in English.

'Bananas' add their own flavour to cultural mix

5:00AM Saturday August 18, 2007
It speaks volumes for the strength of New Zealand Chinese that those who organised the third in a series of "Banana" conferences at Auckland University this weekend have happily embraced that description of their cultural mix. Leaders of their homeland who cannot be exposed to the slightest protest on state visits can leave an impression the Chinese personality is impossibly thin-skinned.
It would be easy to assume that it is the "white" inside the Banana that has enabled the immigrant community not to take itself too seriously, but that is unlikely. It's pride in their distinction that gives any minority its confidence. Many are several generations removed from their ancestral roots today but they want to be called New Zealand Chinese not, as others say in a spirit of inclusion, Chinese New Zealanders.
The 150,000 Chinese in New Zealand at last year's census have come in several waves and from different parts of East Asia, as gold miners in the 1860s, Colombo Plan students a century later, as professional and business migrants encouraged by the needs of an open economy since the 1980s, and as students looking for education in English and a Western lifestyle.

Their conference today addresses the strains and successes of their experience. The tone seems to be positive, constructive, but aware no doubt that China's rising economic power and contrived currency peg are creating tensions.
But it would be a foolish country that failed to appreciate an immigrant people with ethnic or ancestral links to that vast region and its still greater potential prosperity.
They cannot find business easy in an economy of our scale, but we are richer in every sense for their presence and celebrate the strength of their identity here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Supermarket owners have a reshuffle

Big changes have been happening in supermarket ownership in Stratford and Hawera.
Hawera's $18 million Pak 'n Save has already been sold, only seven months after it opened last December.
For a few months this supermarket's petrol station had the cheapest retail prices in the country: 21c a litre discount if you bought $40 worth of groceries.
In Stratford, New World has been bought by former Oakura Four Square owners Jimmy and Jackie Lim.
The Kovaleski family operated Pak 'n Save, after selling their Hawera New World operation to Rachel and Mike Clayton, the former Write Price operators.
The Kovaleskis have sold out to Peter Arthur, who has appointed Kevin Jones as manager. He says he intends to sell the business to him eventually, "... provided he performs."
Palmerston North-based Mr Arthur says he had a call from the Foodstuffs Group after managing director Tony Kovaleski announced the store was for sale.
Mr Arthur does not envisage an early return to the big petrol discounts of the brief Kovaleski era.
"In this game things change from day to day and it depends what the competition is doing, but we won't be giving it away, that's for sure," he says.
Mr Kovaleski and his wife, Sam, have bought a beachfront home at Paraparaumu and are looking at business opportunities in the greater Wellington area. He declined to say why they decided to sell.
Mr Arthur's entry into the grocery business began when he worked as a schoolboy at the Ngaere Store, which his parents owned. He was the fourth generation of the family in that store.
Here is the sequence of events since then, as described by Mr Arthur. "In 1977 I left school and we bought the old Stratford New World from John Hedditch. In 1986 we bought the old Hawera New World and two years later built a new store on the same site. In 1991-92 my father and myself rebuilt the Stratford New World. In 1998 the Kovaleskis bought Hawera New World and I bought the Palmerston North Pak 'n Save, which I still own.

"In 2000 my brother John bought my interest in Stratford New World and later became the sole owner when our father died."
John Arthur has sold out to Jimmy and Jackie Lim. Mr Lim was born in Stratford in 1944 to Chinese immigrant parents. They started a fruit and vegetable shop which stayed in family ownership through to 2005, when it was closed on the retirement of his brother, Kevin.
In 1994 Mr and Mrs Lim left Stratford and bought the Oakura Four Square, which they sold in May this year to buy the New World business. Mr Lim says his son and son-in-law are also involved in the business and it will provide careers for their children.
"Foodstuffs will be enlarging the carpark and improving access this year and two years further out they plan to enlarge the store," he says.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Welcome to Bananas NZ Going Global

Our dynamic conference connects local and overseas personalities and stories to highlight the journeys and leadership of Chinese people in New Zealand and throughout the world. NZCA Auckland Branch was inspired to organise this milestone event following on from the overwhelmingly positive response to our two earlier Going Bananas initiatives in 2005 and 2006.
We are privileged to be able to hold this year’s conference in a stunning world class facility, The University of Auckland Business School. We trust that all attendees will enjoy the proceedings, the discussions and the networking in this state-of-the-art environment.
The success of any event results from the efforts, commitment and support of many people. I wish to express my sincere thanks to the speakers, the sponsors, the volunteer helpers and the Organising Committee whose hard work and planning over the past 12 months have made this conference possible.
In addition, I wish to make a special note of appreciation to Ants Sang for again providing a stunning cartoon logo which brilliantly captures the innovative theme of this Conference.
Kai Luey Chairman of NZ Chinese Association (Auckland Branch) Inc.