By Assunta Ng
“What’s going on in the community?”
This is a question I often get, and well, it makes me uncomfortable.
People assume I know everything being a newspaper publisher. But I don’t.
I’ve learned that “I don’t know” is not an embarrassing response. I don’t feel insecure or have an ego issue that I am afraid to admit that I am dumb sometimes, and even make mistakes. Luckily, the internet often saves my day, and I will keep searching for answers for the questions I have. I respect Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In, in which she says, “Leaders should strive for authenticity and not perfection.”
Who is Boom?
“Blitz is not available for the (Lunar New Year kids’) parade this Saturday as he is already attending a different event,” responded a Seahawks staff email to my request for the Hawks’ mascot. “I could have Boom attend the parade,” he suggested.
Who the heck is Boom?
Instead of showing my ignorance, I replied, “It will be great to have Boom. Yes, please help us get Boom.”
Then, I went online to learn more about Boom, Blitz’s sidekick. Okay, I confessed that I didn’t know about Boom and even Blitz’s name until recently. I just wanted the Hawks’ magic touch to add to the Northwest Asian Weekly 6th annual kids’ parade/costume contest.
Kids just loved Boom at the parade, and wanted to hug, high-five and hold the mascot.
Oops, I didn’t clean!
“Did you clean your house for Lunar New Year?” asked a casual acquaintance on Lunar New Year’s Eve, Wednesday.
“No, I didn’t,” I said.
“You didn’t?!” He sounded like I had committed a sin.
“My mother-in-law cleaned the house and worked so hard to prepare ( for the arrival of New Year’s luck.)”
“Shut your mouth, I am not your mother-in-law,” I wanted to reply, But, I decided it’s not worth educating someone chauvinistic who thinks that a woman is responsible for doing it all, and that she should be responsible for cleaning her house.
Wednesday is Asian Weekly’s print day. We had the biggest issue of the year. I had my priorities straight, paper first, house-cleaning third.
Does it mean I won’t have luck this year just because I didn’t clean my home? Following traditions with common sense is a better way to honor our heritage.
Food is King
We gave out Chinese waffle crackers, children’s books, and lucky bags as prizes for finalists participating in the Asian Weekly’s kids’ parade and costume contest.
Nine of the participants chose crackers.
I wish I would have known the crackers would be so popular! They were eight times cheaper than the books. One family of five immediately opened the cracker packages and ate the sweets. They looked so satisfied. Next year, I will be prepared with plenty of crackers.
I will work hard to find sponsors next year so we can afford to give every contestant a pack of waffle cookies.
Have a Fat Chinese New Year?
I didn’t know what it meant when someone wished me a Fat Year last week.
Does it mean I should gain more weight? Does it mean I don’t have enough fat to cook my meals?
Actually, it means “earn a lot of money, buy a lot of foods for celebrating Chinese New Year, and wishing family members are healthy and happy to enjoy the holiday.” I wouldn’t mind that at all.
With 40 pages and 44 pages for two consecutive issues of the Seattle Chinese Post and three issues of the Asian Weekly with 20 pages in February, it looks like we have a fat beginning.
But the print business is going through a very challenging time. We have to work very hard to achieve a fat year.
Unfortunately, three of my staff were sick last week, one after another. Several of us swallowed quite a bit of vitamin C to fight the flu. I got sick Sunday after deadline, when everything was done. Luckily my body understood how important deadlines are. I just told myself during busy days, “I cannot fall until the work is done.”
What a price we have to pay to make sure we can print!
Greed was dominant
The Lunar New Year Festival brought out at least 10,000 people to visit the Chinatown/International District. While I was happy to see so many people who wanted to be part of the festivities, I was not thrilled to see so many people who showed up due to greed.
People lined up for free goodies from McDonald’s, free fans from Delta Airlines, New York Life’s lanterns and the many more freebies.
Many were fighting, pushing, and getting more than their share like a swarm of bees sucking on their newfound honey. Knowing that there were coupons inside the Seattle Chinese Post, they kept coming to wait for our free issues. We hand out free copies of the Seattle Chinese Post every year during the festival. Every hour, people kept asking, “When will you distribute?”
C’mon, it’s only 50 cents a copy. You get a lot more in the Seattle Chinese Post than just a coupon.
BRAVO award for CID-BIA
The layout of the Lunar New Year Festival was refreshing. The stage was placed in front of the Bush Hotel at Hing Hay Park, enabling the whole audience to see the show. The kids’ pavilion was outside the park, on King Street, whereas it was inside the park in the past. That’s the way it should be.
The Chinatown/International District Business Improvement Area only has two full-time and a few part-time members. Yet, it was able to achieve so much by organizing several events during the year. The success of the CID-BIA is due to its innovation with the strong leadership of Don Blakeney and Mary Do. (end)