Submitted by Don Doman
In today’s world of clashes between religions and nationalities involving starvation and war across the globe, sometimes it seems that hatred lives next door. That’s not necessarily true. There are good things happening as well. Our neighbors should be our friends as well. It’s time for a celebration of cultures and people on May 6th. The Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation will host their annual dinner and auction – A Chinese Affair.
From time to time America has turned both on its own people as well as people who want to be Americans. Fear is usually the culprit. In 1942 there was fear of a Japanese invasion and in 1885 it was fear of the Chinese and their looks and customs, which differed from European immigrants and settlers. In 1885, Tacoma mobs ran Chinese residents out of town. In 1942, up and down the west coast, Americans of Japanese heritage were incarcerated until the end of World War II.
Our Chinese Reconciliation Park along Tacoma’s waterfront was an effort by the City of Tacoma and Fuzhou, our Sister City in China, to heal old wounds and move forward together. The park is located near where our Tacoma Chinese lived in 1885.
The annual dinner is a chance to celebrate differences and share experiences. The festivities begin at 5:00 PM in the Ming Palace at 8736 S Hosmer St, Tacoma, WA 98444. The program will feature former Lincoln High School students who went China at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who visited Lincoln High in 2015. Several of the students who traveled to China will share their stories and some students will dine at various tables w/guests to answer questions about their once in a lifetime adventure. Dinner will be served family style. The whole evening is about friends and family. There will also be several short addresses and a preview of the KBTS documentary “Of Race and Reconciliation,” which will air later in the month on KBTS.
The fantastic silent auction features art and events. The live auction will feature a limited number of extraordinary things to bid on like “Engineer for a Day” – working with a railroad crew on Tacoma Rail. This is a nice remembrance of the Chinese workers who came to America and helped build the Transcontinental Railroad. The railroad was 1776 miles long, and was constructed between 1863 and 1869. Another item is a rare opportunity: “Best Selling” author Jamie Ford, who wrote “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” is donating lunch/dinner (for four) with him as well as a personal tour of the International District in Seattle and a treasure box entitled “Follow Your Dreams,” which includes autographed copies of Ford’s three novels, a pouch of selected teas, candles, and an autographed bookmark by Jamie Ford. Ford has Chinese ancestors.
Hors d’oeuvres and dinner will feature popular Chinese offerings. Tickets are $65 per person. For more information and ticket purchases please visit www.tacomachinesepark.org/events/annual-auction-and-dinner/