Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Book examines historic Maori-Chinese bonds

Book examines historic Maori-Chinese bonds
5:00AM Tuesday March 25, 2008
By Lincoln Tan

Manying Ip says Maori-Chinese relationships are one of the least- documented pieces of New Zealand history. Photo / Martin Sykes
The Chinese men wanted the Maori women for sex, and the women went to them for the money - but it was more than a commercial arrangement, because they did have a relationship - just not the conventional husband-and-wife type.

This little-known facet of New Zealand's history is revealed in a new book by University of Auckland academic Manying Ip.

The men, who were mostly market gardeners, had wives and children in China, she says, but they never saw their families, and had children with the Maori women who worked in their gardens.

And some Maori families encouraged their daughters to be with the Chinese because they were seen as "financially secure".

Maori-Chinese relationships were complicated, and are one of the least understood and documented pieces of New Zealand history, says Dr Ip.

Her book, Being Maori-Chinese, aims to give an insight into the complexities of this cross-cultural alliance.

"Maori-Chinese are hardly featured in mainstream New Zealand history, and strangely, it is a topic that has also been largely ignored by both Maori and Chinese historians here," said Dr Ip, an associate professor of Chinese at the Auckland University, explaining why she decided to investigate the topic for her book.

But the complexities, and sensitivities surrounding it could be reasons local historians have shied away from it.

One Maori elder at the Otaki campus of Te Wananga-o-Raukawa concluded that Professor Ip would get nowhere with her research, because Maori-Chinese would be very sensitive and would not share any in-depth information.

"Are you sure you want to pursue this study on Maori-Chinese relations? I don't think people will tell you much," he said in a letter to Professor Ip.

"Actually, between the Chinese and the Maori, often there weren't marriages as such. There were relationships, yes. After all, the Chinese men lived here without their women for years and years.

"But often the Maori girls wouldn't expect marriage ... I mean, those were very hard times. The girls did as they were told. More often than not, there's no marriage, not even long-term relationships"

But having Maori-Chinese friends, whom she met through her work as a community advocate, writer and someone devoted to fostering better race relations, gained Professor Ip the much-needed acceptance among the group to enable her to conduct the in-depth research that would form the basis of her book.

Today, the younger Maori-Chinese may be confident with their multiple roots and the cultural advantages they possess, but it was a very different story in the past, she said.

"Trying to establish a positive Maori-Chinese identity when both Maori and Chinese were considered undesirable was an ongoing struggle for each one of them," said Professor Ip, who described Maori and Chinese as marginalised communities in New Zealand.

"Sharing memories of one's past is never easy, but for the interviewees it is that much harder because their stories are not just about struggles against social discrimination, but often of family disapproval."

Over five years, she worked closely with seven Maori-Chinese families, whose stories are featured in the book.

"I guess this book is not just about who they are, but it would also help us with looking at who we are and what New Zealand society will become in the future," Professor Ip said.

Manying Ip was born in Guizhou, China, and raised in Hong Kong. She came to New Zealand in 1974 and gained an MA in Chinese literature and a PhD in history at Auckland University.

She has been a long-time researcher on Chinese New Zealanders and Asian immigrants.

Her other books include Aliens at My Table: Asians As New Zealanders See Them (2005), Unfolding History, Evolving Identity: Chinese in New Zealand (2003) and Home Away From Home: Life Stories of Chinese Women in New Zealand (1990).

Being Maori-Chinese is published by Auckland University Press and will be available in bookshops next month.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Little sisters escape inferno

Little sisters escape inferno
By REBECCA PAPPRILL - Eastern Courier | Friday, 21 March 2008
SHANE WENZLICK/Eastern Courier
FAMILY TRAGEDY: Aleisha, 6, and Maia, 2, are still coming to terms with the fire.

Get down, get low and get out – that’s what six-year-old Aleisha To told her mother as they escaped from their burning home last week.

They could be the words that saved her heavily pregnant mother Linh from going back inside to try to save her 67-year-old father Hoang Chi To who later died.

Senior fire safety officer Mike McEnaney commends Aleisha for relaying safety information taught to her by firefighters at school.

"She told her mother that they had to get out and stay out. That’s a standard safety message that firefighters continually deliver to children," he says.

The family was alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm.

The fire started in the downstairs bedroom where Mrs Linh’s father, an epileptic, was sleeping.

He had recently had a hip replacement and could not walk.

Aleisha, who goes to Point View School, her two-year-old sister Maia and Mrs To were inside their Moyrus Cres home in East Tamaki when Mrs To made a frantic 111 call to the Fire Service about 6.30am.

The Fire Service communicator convinced Mrs To to stay on the telephone until the first fire engine arrived and not to go back into the burning home.

A nearby resident helped the family until firefighters arrived.

Four fire engines responded to the blaze, which badly damaged the bedroom and caused smoke damage throughout the house.

Firefighters rescued Mrs To’s father from his bedroom and gave him first aid until ambulance crews arrived. He was taken to Middlemore Hospital in a serious condition suffering from burns.

"He went into intensive care, but did not make it. He had inhaled too much smoke into his lungs," Mrs To says.

"I have never experienced anything like this in my life. I keep thinking about it – how I could have done things differently. But I had to save my children.

"Even if my husband was home he could not have saved him."

Minh To says he raced home after his wife called to find fire trucks and the ambulance there.

He ran inside the smoke-filled home looking for his wife and children.

"The fire crew said I wasn’t allowed in there and directed me to my family who were safe with the neighbours."

Mr McEnaney says it was fortunate the family had a smoke alarm.

"This is more evidence that smoke alarms do save lives."

Investigations continue into the cause of the fire.

A funeral was held on Thursday for Hoang Chi To

Tong Min Li

Tong Min Li

By EMMA KELLY - East And Bays Courier | Friday, 21 March 2008

HOT TO TROT: Tong Min Li is proud of his award-winning hot cross buns.

Tong Min Li has risen to the challenge – his Easter buns have been named Auckland’s best for the third year in a row.

Customers nominated the hot cross buns made by the owner of Manurewa’s Hill Park Bakery for the Champion Easter Bun Bake Off by text message.

Mr Li, who emigrated from China nine years ago, left his job as an electrician to start baking in New Zealand.

He now runs his own bakery with the help of his family.

"We didn’t have hot cross buns in China," says Mr Li, who began making the traditional buns after seeing them in supermarkets.

In the lead-up to Easter, Mr Li and his team of bakers rise at 12.30am to begin cooking for a 6.30am opening.

"We used to start at 2.30am but we always ran out of time."

He estimates the shop sells 1000 buns a day.

Customers have even travelled from Hamilton and Wellington just to try the winning buns.

The bakery will sell the buns for up to two months after Easter, thanks to their popularity.

Mr Li won’t reveal his secret ingredient but admits he spends hours researching recipes at the library.

"We try many things and always ask our customers for suggestions," he says.

The hardest part of making the region’s best buns was trying to impress the judges for a third time, he says.

"They want to see a better bun every year. It’s getting harder to reach perfection."

Bakeries throughout New Zealand submitted their six best buns for judging.

Goodman Fielder spokesman Mike Turlej says the judges consider the buns’ texture, flavour, fruit distribution and the symmetry of the crosses.

Although Mr Li missed out on the national prize, he says the best thing about winning the regional award is seeing the smiles on people’s faces.

"I just love to see the customer satisfied."

Friday, March 21, 2008


On behalf of the NZCA Easter Tournament Committee 2008, welcome to the website of the New Zealand Chinese Association Easter Sports & Cultural Tournament for 2008. The focal point of the 60th Easter Tournament will be the Trusts Stadium at Waitakere, Auckland. It抯 a magnificent stadium, one of very few that will cater for badminton, basketball, netball and volleyball all at the same time!! The touch and athletics facilities are immediately outside, indoor soccer is held in the stadium and indoor netball is held in another facility situated less than 500 metres away.

Waitakere Trust Stadium - Good Friday 21-3-08

Easter Tournament 2008

Sunday, March 09, 2008

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Hong Kong-born action film star Jackie Chan paid tribute to his late parents and his Australian roots on Sunday by funding a new science education centre at the country's top cancer research institution.

Chan and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd opened the Jackie Chan Science Centre, at the Australian National University, paid for by Chan's donations to cancer research in honor of his parents, who were long-time residents in Canberra.

Chan made an initial donation to cancer research in Australia in 2002 after the death of his mother, Lee Lee Chan, and was back in Canberra for Saturday's funeral for his father Charlie, who died on February 26, aged 93.

"My father passed away last week. So it is about time I did something for Canberra to remember my parents. I really thank you Australia and Canberra for taking care of my parents for 46 years," Chan told reporters.

Neither Chan nor the Australian National University would comment on how much Chan had donated to cancer research, although the university said the donations were "substantial."

Chan's parents settled in Canberra in the early 1970s, where his father took a job as the head chef at the United States Embassy before becoming a successful local restaurant owner.

Before his career in film, a young Chan lived in Canberra for a couple of years, attending college and working as builder's laborer, where he was given his now famous name Jackie as a nickname by fellow workers, who struggled with his Chinese name.

Rudd, who was elected to power in Australia last November, hosted a dinner at his official residence on Saturday for Chan and his family, as well as diplomats from China and the United States.
Rudd, who speaks fluent Mandarin, discussed ways Chan could

help Australia strengthen its ties with China, which is now Australia's biggest trading partner.

Chan, who is an ambassador for the Beijing Olympics, invited Rudd to attend the Olympics later this year, and said he would be available to help Rudd at any time, but he refused say how.

"There' some secret, I cannot say it," Chan said. "I've known Kevin for a few years. Whenever he calls, I'll be there."

Jackie Chan buries father in Australia

12:16PM Sunday March 09, 2008
By Rob Taylor

Movie star Jackie Chan addresses the media before his father Charlie's funeral service in Canberra. Photo / Reuters
CANBERRA - Hong Kong action film star Jackie Chan returned to his Australian roots on Saturday to bury his father alongside his mother almost six years after she died in Australia's capital.

Chan's father Charlie died in a Hong Kong hospital on February 26, aged 93, after battling prostate cancer. Chan brought his body back to Canberra to be laid to rest beside Lee Lee Chan, who died in 2002.

"It's a hard day. I loved my father so much because he did so much for me when I was young. We had a very poor family and he left Hong Kong to support himself. He was just the greatest father for me," a distraught Chan told reporters.

Hundreds of mourners including the US ambassador and Chinese deputy envoy attended the funeral at a leafy winery on the outskirts of Canberra, before burial at a nearby cemetery.

Chan arrived early in a black bead-embroidered suit and dark wrap sunglasses, walking past vineyards and scores of floral wreaths lining the entrance to the DeVine winery complex.

Inside, the flower-draped casket lay in front of a photo of Charlie Chan with his favourite fishing caps and wooden pipe.

Jackie Chan, star of Hollywood films such as "Rush Hour" and "Rumble in the Bronx", arrived in Australia aged 6 after his father moved there for work in the 1960s, but was soon sent back to Hong Kong to attend the China Drama Academy.

He continued to spend lengthy periods in Canberra with his parents, briefly attending a local high school.

Living in Australia for 40 years, Charlie Chan went from head cook at the US embassy to a successful local restaurant owner, though most of his final years were spent in Hong Kong with his actor son after his wife died.

"Australia and Canberra really took care of my family for more than 40 years," Chan said, adding he would open a university medical research centre named after the family on Sunday.

Chan will shortly team with fellow action star Jet Li for the new adventure epic The Forbidden Kingdom, to be filmed in China, and is also a goodwill envoy for this year's Beijing Olympics.

He said he planned one day to move his parents' bodies back to their homeland of China. Charlie Chan came from Shandong province, close family friend David Ng told Reuters.

Friends and mourners inside the funeral said Chan was "very distressed" as he and others passed a wall of family photographs, many showing father and son hugging or fishing together.

Messages of support were read from former US vice-president Al Gore and film director Quentin Tarantino.

Chan and his son Jason led mourners from the service carrying a large photo of his father before travelling to the cemetery, where roses and fishing mementoes were placed alongside the casket in the grave.

Chan said on his website that his father died "with a smile on his face and laying in the arms of those he held dearest".


Thursday, March 06, 2008

88 Ways to know you're chinese

1. You look like you are 18.
2. You like to eat chicken feet.
3. You suck on fish heads and fish fins.
4. You have a Chinese knick-knack hanging on your rear view mirror.
5. You sing Karaoke.
6. Your house is covered with tile.
7. Your kitchen is covered by a sticky film of grease.
8. Your stove is covered with aluminium foil.
9. You leave the plastic covers on your remote control.
10. You've never kissed your mom or dad.
11. You've never hugged your mom or dad.
12. Your unassisted vision is worse than 20/500.
13. You wear contacts, to avoid wearing your "coke bottle glasses".
14. You've worn glasses since you were in fifth grade.
15. Your hair sticks up when you wake up.
16. You'll haggle over something that is not negotiable.
17. You love to use coupons.
18. You drive around looking for the cheapest petrol.
19. You drive around for hours looking for the best parking space.
20. You take showers at night.its the only natural time of day, your dirty from the whole day hence you must shower at night
21. You avoid the non-free snacks in hotel rooms.
22. You don't mind squeezing 20 people into one motel room.
23. Most girls have more body hair than you, if you are male.western girls that is
24. You tap the table when someone pours tea for you.
25. You say "Aiya!" and "Wah!" frequently.
26. You don't want to wear your seatbelt because it is uncomfortable.
27. You love Las Vegas, slot machines, and blackjack.
28. You unwrap Christmas gifts very carefully, so you can reuse the paper.
29. You only buy Christmas cards after Christmas, when they are 50% off.
30. You have a vinyl table cloth on your kitchen table.
31. You spit bones and other food scraps on the table. (That's why you need
the vinyl tablecloth).
32. You have stuff in the freezer since the beginning of time.
33. You use the dishwasher as a dish rack.
34. You have never used your dishwasher.
35. You keep a Thermos of hot water available at all times.
36. You eat all meals in the kitchen.
37. You save grocery bags, tin foil, and tin containers.
38. You have a piano in your living room
39. You pick your teeth at the dinner table (but you cover your mouth).
40. You twirl your pen around your fingers.
41. You hate to waste food.
42. You have Tupperware in your fridge with three bites of rice or one
leftover chicken wing.
43. You don't own any real Tupperware only a cupboard full of used but
carefully rinsed margarine tubs, takeout containers, and jam jars.

44. You also use the jam jars as drinking glasses.
45. You have a collection of miniature shampoo bottles that you take every
time you stay in a hotel.
46. You carry a stash of your own food whenever you travel (travel means any
car ride longer than 15 minutes). These snacks are always dried and include
dried plums, mango, ginger, and squid.

47. You wash your rice at least 2-3 times before cooking it.
48. Your dad thinks he can fix everything himself.
49. The dash board of your Honda is covered by hundreds of small toys.
50. You don't use measuring cups.
51. You beat eggs with chopsticks.
52. You have a teacup with a cover on it.
53. You always look phone numbers up in the phone book, since calling
information costs 50 cents .
54. You only make long distance calls after 11pm.
55. If you are male, you clap at something funny and if you are female, you
giggle whilst placing a hand over your mouth.

56. You like Chinese films in their original undubbed versions.
57. You love Chinese Martial Arts films.
58. You've learnt some form of martial arts.
59. Shaolin actually mean something to you.
60. You like congee with thousand year old eggs.
61. You prefer your shrimp with the heads and legs still attached.
62. You never call your parents just to say hi.
63. If you don't live at home, when your parents call, they ask if you've
eaten, even if it's midnight.
64. When you're sick, your parents tell you not to eat fried foods or baked
goods due to "yeet hay".
65. You know what "yeet hay" is.
66. You e-mail your Chinese friends at work, even though you only 10 feet
67. You use a face cloth.
68. You starve yourself before going to all you can eat places.
69. You know someone who can get you a good deal on jewellery or
70. You save your old Coke bottle glasses even though you're never going to
use them again.
71. You own your own meat cleaver and sharpen it.
72. Your toothpaste tubes are all squeezed paper-thin.
73. You know what moon cakes are.
74. When there is a sale on toilet paper, you buy 100 rolls and store them
in your closet or in the bedroom of an adult child who has moved out.

75. Your parents know how to launch nasal projectiles.
76. You iron your own shirts.
77. You play a musical instrument.
78. Even if you're totally full, if someone says they're going to throw away
the leftovers on the table, you'll finish them.wastage is no good

79. You've eaten a red bean popsicle.
80. You bring oranges (or other produce) with you as a gift when you visit
people's homes.
81. You fight over who pays the dinner bill.
82. You majored in something practical like engineering, medicine or law.
83. You live with your parents and you are 30 years old (and they prefer it
that way). Or if you're married and 30 years old, you live in the apartment
next door to your parents, or at least in the same neighbourhood.

84. You don't tip more than 0% at a restaurant, and if you do, you tip
Chinese delivery guys/waiters more.
85. You have acquired a taste for bitter melon.
86. You eat every last grain of rice in your bowl, but don't eat the last
piece of food on the table.
87. You know why there are 88 reasons.
88. You see the truth in this and then send it to all your Chinese friends

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Taranaki Photos