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Thank You to All Who Attended Our January Talk Story!
An enthusiastic crowd of about fifty people attended 2016's first Talk Story at the Chinatown Community Cultural Center. Raymond Wong and the Wong People Lion Team gave a presentation on the cultural and historic significance of Chinese lion dancing. The performers demonstrated the athleticism, artistry, and sense of responsibility required to be on a lion dance team.
Mr. Wong explained how a standard lion dance is conducted at a business. Two performers comprise the head and tail of a lion and must coordinate together to complete a routine. Before entering the front door of a business, the lion bows three times, and then “licks” the side of the door to make sure there are no evil spirits. Next, the lion enters the business and looks around. If there is an altar to General Kwang Kung, the lion will bow three times to him. The lion also bows to a cash register, food counter, and office, if present. It will also make sure there are no evil spirits in the restroom! On the way out, the lion will bow again to General Kwang Kung, and then exit the door tail first. Finally, it bows three times outside the door.
Next, two lions demonstrated a “lion dance battle.” When a lion crosses paths with another group’s lion, they will "sniff" each other out. Each lion proceeded to show off dance moves to see who was better. The red lion won!
Lastly, Mr. Wong explained how contemporary lion dance groups are asked to make adjustments for their clients. For example, a wedding planner might request a lion to be decorated in a color such as purple to match a wedding color scheme. Or a business might ask for a lion dance team to break open a watermelon and serve it to guests. A Q&A and group picture concluded the program.
News from OCA National
Tax season is around the corner! OCA has partnered with AARP to give you support in working through your taxes if you have trouble filling them out, or want a second pair of eyes to look over your tax forms before you send them off. Visit http://bit.ly/OCAtaxes for a tax help center near you.
OCA has developed a survey for undocumented students in order to gather their stories regarding obstacles they faced in accessing higher education. We hope to use the stories for our Hill visits to push our priorities in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. In addition, we hope to develop a social media campaign with these stories.
We encourage all undocumented students who have either attempted to access higher education or completed higher education to respond: https://ocanational.site-ym.com/?Undoc_Student_Access
OCA is working through the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans to expand and protect the family immigration system. Asian Americans overwhelmingly use and benefit from this system and any adjustments to it could negatively impact the way that we sponsor over our family members. We are currently working with NCAPA and Congressman Honda's office to reintroduce the Reuniting Families Act, a bill that would expand and protect that current system, including provisions that would reduce the current visa backlogs.
We're currently looking for AAPI stories about family reunification, including, but not limited to, individuals and/or families with successful sponsorships; pending visa applications; and/or those who want to sponsor over their family members but cannot for any reason. The link to the story collection form is: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1WgJN3IvFe7oVwR5ny8hq-fRvJE1D5qU0NQcpN_gdURE/viewform.
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