Daily Dose & Announcements: 05/20/09

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>> Asian Heritage Street Celebration Draws 100,000 Attendees
>> The Triple Minority: Asian, Gay and HIV Positive
>> Charlie Chin performs Uncle Toisan
>> Shen Yun Divine at The Paramount
>> In Japan, Secure Jobs Have a Cost

Compiled by Beleza Chan


Asian Heritage Street Celebration Draws 100,000 Attendees

San Francisco – Approximately 100,000 people of all ages and races overflowed Larkin Street from McAllister to Ellis Streets to enjoy the sunshine and celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in San Francisco on May 16.

The fifth annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration – the largest gathering of Asian Pacific Americans in the nation – featured a muay Thai kickboxing ring, delicious pan Asian cuisine, J-cars, tons of arts and crafts booths, Asian American musical artists, martial arts, a cultural procession, carnival rides and games, and more.

The city’s three Asian American Supervisors Carmen Chu, Eric Mar, and President of the Board of Supervisors David Chiu, kicked off the street fair with warm wishes and greetings for fairgoers at the Asian Art Museum stage. Chiu told the crowd it was fitting that the nation’s largest Asian street celebration took place in the city because San Francisco is “the heart of our country’s Asian American community.”

The AHSC, organized by the AsianWeek Foundation, is the only outdoor event in the Bay Area to rotate its location each year in order to showcase that APIs reside in all San Francisco neighborhoods. The first Celebration highlighted the Japanese community in Japantown, the second showcased the Chinese on Irving Street in the Sunset District, the third paid homage to the large Filipino community in the South of Market area, last year the fair returned to Japantown and this year the fair celebrated the large Vietnamese community in the city’s Little Saigon neighborhood.
The Triple Minority: Asian, Gay and HIV Positive

San Francisco – When Jane and Alexander Nakatani lost their three sons – two to AIDS, and one to a bullet – they knew they had to shed their “Asian” inhibitions. They realized that they needed to educate people about how “delicate” the psyche of immigrant children is, and that parenting them should not be taken lightly.

Nakatani admitted that the struggles his sons faced were in large part because none of them turned out to be the son he and his wife wanted.

Guy died in 1997 from complications stemming from AIDS, just four years after his older brother had died from the same disease. Guy was 27.

The Nakatanis were honored by the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center for their efforts to transform their tragedy into hope, and to create public awareness about HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, in Asian American communities. The couple has embarked on a “mission” to share their story of tolerance, acceptance and healing.

Their story is told in the book and film, “Honor Thy Children,” which was screened at the center on May 18.

The disappointment and anger Guy and his brother Glen faced after coming out to their parents is typical of many Asian families, noted Lance Toma, executive director of the APIWC in San Francisco. The stigma that they face in their families and their communities may be one of the reasons many gay Asian Americans don’t get tested for HIV, Toma said, noting that AIDS diagnosis among Asian and Pacific Islanders is one of the highest among all minority communities. And among those diagnosed, young men having sex with men are the most impacted.

-New America Media



Charlie Chin performs Uncle Toisan

Event: Charlie Chin performs Uncle Toisan
The San Francisco Public Library¹s Chinatown branch and the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) proudly present artist-in-residence Charlie Chin and his newest History Alive! story, Uncle Toisan. Featuring the experience of a Chinese American immigrant to the United States, Uncle Toisan’s eyewitness account bridges the historical relevance of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the emergence of present-day Asian American consciousness.
Details: Free, June 13, 2 p.m., Chinatown Branch Library Community Meeting Room, 1135 Powell St., San Francisco
(415) 355-2888, sfpl.org

Shen Yun Divine at The Paramount

Event: Shen Yun Divine Performing Arts
Description: Based out of New York and independent of China’s political regime, Shen Yun brings together hundreds of the world’s top dancers, choreographers and musicians. Described as “an extravagantly beautiful production” by BroadwayWorld.com, “boldly ambitious and enormously popular” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “incredible…groundbreaking” by MSNBC News, Shen Yun Divine Performing Arts is a dazzling theatrical act. Make your way to Paramount Theatre for a show not to be missed.
Details: $25-$105, May 22, 7:30 p.m., May 23, 2:30 p.m., Paramount Theatre
Contact: divineperformingarts.org



In Japan, Secure Jobs Have a Cost

Osaka, Japan – According to statistics released Wednesday, the Japanese economy suffered its worst contraction since 1955 in the first quarter, declining 15.2 percent on an annualized basis. But a far smaller portion of workers have lost their jobs in Japan than in either the United States or the European Union. (Japan’s unemployment rate in April was 4.8 percent, compared with 8.9 percent in the United States and Europe.)

Analysts say this is because lifetime employment is alive and well in Japan, with the state playing a big role in keeping it so.

“Job tenure in Japan remains remarkably long,” said Peter Matanle, an expert on Japanese employment at the University of Sheffield in Britain. “Companies get rid of the buffers first. They’ll get rid of temporary workers, reduce overtime, reduce bonuses. They would squeeze their suppliers. They would do anything before considering cutting regular workers.”

But Japan’s obsession with keeping workers employed – even those who are not needed – comes at a cost.

Companies slash wages, which reduces consumer spending. Businesses become more reluctant to take on new recruits, shutting young people out of the labor force. And productivity plummets, hurting Japan’s competitiveness in an increasingly aggressive international market.

By law, employers can cut workers’ hours but must pay at least 60 percent of their hourly wages during that time. The government has budgeted 60 billion yen, or about $624 million, this year to reimburse companies for half of those payments. In March, about 48,000 companies sought subsidies for 2.38 million employees, government figures show.

-NY Times

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