USHCA Members Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Personal Reflections

Suisheng Zhao (赵穗生), Strategic Advisor of USHCA

I was given the American name “Sam” after coming to this great nation many years ago. I used “Sam” for many years because I wanted to be Americanized. After a recent soul search for my identity, I come to a strong realization that I have not become “Sam” and no longer feel comfortable being called “Sam”.

 The great strength of this nation lies in its diversity and inclusiveness.  As a first-generation immigrant, I am proud of my cultural heritage and origin. I want to use my real name, “Suisheng Zhao” or “Suisheng” again in my workplace to show my cultural heritage and origin.

Amb. Ken Quinn (of Irish heritage) and his wife Le Son (from Vietnam) hold their granddaughter Kiley Quinn (age 5) and grandson Caedon Quinn (age 2).

Amb Quinn’s son, Shandon, has a name that links their Irish – Vietnamese – Chinese heritage. The Bells of Shandon is a poem about bells in a church in the city of Cork in Ireland. In Vietnamese his name is San Dong or Eastern Mountain, the same meaning as in Shandong Province, the home of Confucius in China.

Amb. Kenneth Quinn (ret.), Strategic Advisor of USHCA

Swallow X. Yan (燕晓哲), USHCA Chair of Chinese Community Leaders Committee

2021 marks the 30th anniversary of Swallow’s arrival to the U.S..  He also received a letter from President Obama congratulating him for coming to the U.S. for 20 years in 2011.

Born and raised in Manchuria, Swallow Yan was immersed in the history and culture of the “Last Emperor” and the once-Japanese-occupied Northeastern China. He lived through much turmoil, upheaval, and transformation in China before coming to the United States.

One of the major goals for Swallow Yan’s lifetime projects is to bring the Chinese community into the American mainstream.  Swallow has organized his local Chinese community’s participation in: the annual 4th of July parade, Iowa State Fair Parade, Beaverdale Parade, National Guard, law enforcement community programs. He successfully recruited non-Chinese members to the Chinese Association of Iowa, which now has 30% non-Chinese members.

Swallow has made tremendous efforts for building business and education partnerships between, not only China, but also Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mongolia, Vietnam.  He brought Iowa delegations to visit those countries/territories for learning their cultures and exploring opportunities and establishing partnerships.

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Sophia Sun, (孙英),USHCA Volunteer

Where I am from

I am from the little porcelain mouse

hanging by my door

I am from the concord grapes dangling along the bamboo trellis outside my window

I am from a suburb north of Chicago

with young magnolia trees

 

I am from my grandma’s needles and threads

and my mom’s sewing machine and yarns

I am from a generation and family

that used “军“ in their names

I am from letters to my father,

forbidden books under my blanket at night

I am from the many years and miles

that separated my parents

 

I am from 耳朵眼炸糕, 槐花饼,沙棘和酸枣

I am from the best vinegar

and countless bowls of noodles

I am from a country

both old and new,

strange and familiar,

love and hate

 

Where am I from?

Ask me in America

or outside America

I will tell you a different me

from the same me

Min Fan(范敏), USHCA Executive Director

As a longtime practitioner of Tai Chi, Min Fan enjoys sharing her practice and her Chinese cultural heritage with her local community.  Often referred to as “meditation in motion”, Tai Chi, a traditional Chinese system of body movement that has been cherished over the centuries for its beneficial impact on health, is widely practiced around the world.

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