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UBC students getting ready to vote

A few months back we had the pleasure of hosting students from the Coordinated Arts Program Law and Society stream for a tour of the Chung Collection and an introduction to researching with primary sources. As we were discussing the civil rights of Chinese Canadians (and how the right to vote was taken away from Chinese Canadians in 1872) it struck me- these students being mostly 18 or 19 years old now were not old enough to vote in any past provincial and federal elections. The right to vote suddenly became even more important to emphasize (and as their professor told them, “political apathy is not allowed in this class!”).

UBC students are taking their right to vote to heart and the proof is in a Youtube video of a “vote mob” held on campus. Vote mobs are being held on campuses across the country after comedian Rick Mercer encouraged Canada’s youth to shock the political parties by actually showing up and casting their ballots.

Chinese Canadians finally won back the right to vote in this country in 1947. Learn more in the Chung Collection by searching under the subject heading Chinese–Civil rights or using keywords such as “vote” or “voting”.

Easter weekend closure at Rare Books and Special Collections

A reminder that Rare Books and Special Collections, University Archives and the Chung Collection will be closed for the Easter long weekend (Friday April 22 through Monday April 25 inclusive). Also a reminder that last Saturday was our final open Saturday for the 2010-2011 academic year- our summer hours are in effect  after the long […]

Chinese laundry kids

Running a hand laundry was a popular occupation for early Chinese migrants to North America due to the low start-up costs. It was so common that the sterotype of the “Chinese laundryman” became prevalent in North American popular culture.

A program tonight on CBC Radio One’s Ideas, promises to go beyond the sterotypes by exploring what it was like to grow up in a Chinese laundry. Tune in at 9 pm (9:30 in Newfoundland).

In the Chung Collection, try searching for keywords such as “laundry” or “laundryman” to see items related to laundries.

The Asian Canadian studies network- are you a member?

A new initiative from John Price (University of Victoria) and Henry Yu (University of British Columbia) is bringing together scholars of Asian Canadian studies online. Asian Canadian Studies “is a global network of academic and community researchers that promotes university-community partnerships to advance Asian-Canadian studies as a distinct field of study, research and cultural production for social justice.”  Anyone can register and this allows you to post events, publications, and organizations to the network, and also hold discussions in the forums. This will be a great way for students, faculty and community researchers alike to connect over their research topics and also keep up to date in the fields within Asian Canadian Studies.

Happy 125th birthday Vancouver!

Happy birthday Vancouver! Today, April 6 2011, marks the 125th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Vancouver.

Another birthday celebration in Vancouver’s past was the Golden Jubilee celebrations in 1936.  The local Chinese Canadian community was very spirited, creating a “Chinese village” with a big, beautifully constructed bamboo arch, located at the corner of Pender and Carrell.  The Chinese village was accompanied by a souvenir pamphlet produced by Quene Yip (son of the “unofficial mayor” of Chinatown Yip Sang) called “Vancouver Chinatown.” These were concerted efforts on the part of Chinese Canadians to “open up” their community to the rest of the city and to tourists, trying to break down the barriers of fear and misunderstanding that existed in the early years of Vancouver.  A letter from his sister Susan Yip praised Quene’s efforts:

“It was an excellent idea to have composed such a booklet, giving the foreign visitors an insight into “Vancouver Chinatown”… for the right kind of publicity is very necessary for the Chinese and China nowadays in this world of international relationship!”

Search the Chung Collection for the keywords “Golden Jubilee” or “Chinese Village” for records of these events.

Vancouver 125 links:

Our friends at the City of Vancouver Archives have summarized the activities of the Golden Jubilee Society in 1936.

The Vancouver Sun has excellent coverage today of Vancouver 125 events.

Don’t forget to vote for the places in Vancouver that matter to you with the Vancouver Heritage Foundation (voting closes at midnight tonight!).

And of course, check out the City of Vancouver anniversary site for complete listings of events and activities.

Dr. Chung on model ship restoration, and the importance of hobbies

Click here to read an article in the Spring 2011 Montecristo Magazine in which Dr. Chung talks about the importance of having a hobby:

“Everyone should develop an extra interest outside of their profession. This helps not only to reduce stress but [there is also] the joy of finding something you have been looking for, for years.”

He also speaks in the article to the experience of restoring model ships, of which there are two on display: the Empress of Asia here at UBC, and the Empress of Japan at the Vancouver Maritime Museum.

Montecristo is a Vancouver-based lifestyle and culture magazine.