Wise Words from Wise Heritage

I am Chinese American and know about Chinese culture. My goal is to promote Chinese culture to outsiders. It’s an honor for us to build the Chinese Gate and remodel the Hing Hay Pavilion for the City. The Gate is a landmark for the community and its meaning is profound. It’s not easy to have a Chinese gate in the International District due to many regulations, politics and economical issues.

The Pavilion is now replaced with Chinese materials and much more solid production techniques on the porcelain tiles, which will last a long time.
— Wei X. Fang

President, Lu Bond Construction

Wonton noodles are more than a century old. Our restaurant preserves Chinese culture because we serve authentic wonton noodles. Over the years, people try to change the ingredients of the wonton by adding other stuff. Diners reject it. Authentic wonton only includes shrimp and pork and its soup stock base is fresh pork bones, lots of them boiled over four hours. I have followed many masters in Vancouver, B.C., to learn their secrets. Since I was a chef at many restaurants before, I understand the essence of the traditional Cantonese wonton noodles.
— Michael Huang
Owner of Mike’s noodles

Heritage is about creating meaningful traditions in your life. For 47 years, I visited sick kids at the Seattle’s Children Hospital every week. They are my teachers. They teach me about courage, gratitude and love. They ask me tough questions like, “Am I going to die?”

For 26 years, I have been their Santa Claus on Christmas Day, bringing them gifts. But I get back a lot more. I learn not to take things for granted.
— Phil Smart Sr.

Founder, Phil Smart Mercedes Benz

I have taught kung fu for 49 years. Before, people didn’t understand why I had to teach the art to non-Chinese students, but practicing kung fu is not just about self-defense. Students also learn about Chinese culture, which is 5,000 years old. If they know our culture, then they won’t discriminate against us and would respect Asian culture more.

Chinese culture teaches us to work hard and take care of families. In this dire economy, I know some Chinese immigrants who make under $1,500 monthly, who are still able to send money home to help relatives. In contrast, others complain about not being able to make it.
— John S. Leong

Founder of Seattle Kung Fu Club

Honor your heritage with service to your community and to the world. Service above self.
—  Son Michael Pham

Founder, Kids Without Borders & Rotary Club of the University District Seattle Past President

Being proud of my given Korean name rather than changing it be more ‘Americanized’ has always been important to me.
—  Hyeok Kim

Executive Director, InterIm

Remember what your parents taught you and your heritage. Don’t forget your past. Treasure your family history.
—  Shiao-Yen Wu

Chair, Seattle-Kaohsiung Sister City Association

Listen carefully to your elders.  You will understand them better, and you will understand yourself better.
—  Steve Sundquist

President, Seattle School Board

Remember your ancestral history. Many said America is a melting pot. To me, America is a beautiful tapestry. It has white, black, brown, yellow and red thread. A single thread will make the tapestry weak, but it is strong because it is sewn together. That’s what makes America strong and special.
—  Paull Shin

Washington State Senator

This fall, Girl Scouts will begin a year of environmental programming to celebrate our 100th anniversary.  Built around the theme of “forever green,” girls will recommit to one of Girl Scouts’ founding principles. to “use resources wisely.”  We will be honoring our past to build a better future.
—  Grace Chien

CEO, Girl Scouts of Western Washington

The Japanese American community is based on values that include honor (meiyo), respect (sonkei), obligation (on), perseverance (gaman), and try/work hard (ganbaru).
—  Jeffrey Hattori

CEO, Nikkei Concerns

Extend a hand. Be kind to each other.
—  AC Arai

Band Coordinator of Kimochi Band & Niko Niko Band Club

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