tv Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa NBC May 8, 2016 5:30am-6:01am PDT
hello and welcome to "asian pacific america." i'm robert handa your host for our show here on nbc bay area and cozi-tv. some important upcoming events and up-and-comers. we start with a huge celebration of vietnamese art and culture taking place in san jose. it is always a grand spectacle, and we will talk about the festivities and cultural significance. then we highlight a big event by the largest provider of services for japanese-american seniors in san francisco as well as other parts of the bay area. the group is handing out its spirit award soon. we will talk about the spirit behind the spirit awards and the celebration that comes with it.
and we love honoring young high achievers in our community. today we score an ace by spotlighting katherine su, a young, accomplished golfer. we'll talk about her recent victories and bright future. and viewers know our tradition of highlighting cultural and artistic performances. award winning musician rachel, a ch cellist who has performed at carnegie hall in new york and in london. she brings her talents to our much more modest studio for a live performance, so don't miss it. well, anyone who has ever attended the festival knows what an extravaganza it is with a colorful procession, costume, dance, music and theater all for a very good cause. joining me right now is jennifer chung, an ambassador and also a jennifer, thank you very much for being here. >> thank you so much for having
me. i'm very excited here. >> tell us how the festival got started? >> started out as a fund-raising event here in san jose, california. it's recognized in the city of san jose but worldwide. when people ask me what is the festival, i have to explain to you first what it is, it's what i'm wearing, a traditional vietnamese dress with the hat sometimes and it's a symbol of vietnam culture. it's a multi-faceted event. we have our outdoor procession and indoor procession with a theatrical performance. it's a lot of things all put in one. >> we mentioned that you're an ambassador for the event. >> yes. >> what does that mean?
what kind of role do you play? >> besides representing the festival on social media, on tv or in the community, my main role is bringing it into the mainstream. and so it's all about bringing traditional stories, poetry, music and arts and transforming it into modern times so that everyone, whether -- regardless of your age, ethnicity or background can enjoy the experience together. >> and the proceeds go to a children' shelter? >> all our proceeds go to the foundation that raises funds for vietnam. >> now you mentioned you were a performer here. what are you going to be doing in it? >> i play the role of the princess this year. this is my second year and every year they have a story that they take from folklore and transform it into modern times. this year the story is a battle between the gods of the mountain and the gods of the sea and how they want to win over the heart of the princess.
>> and tell us in terms of that kind of folklore how it plays in terms of the culture and the kind of history that you want the community to feel. >> well, for me personally, one of my goals with being the ambassador is bridging that disconnect especially with youth, their parents and grandparents, growing up within different cultures. that can put a strain on the relationship and with the ao dah festival it's making it modern so everyone can relate and build a connection of common ground. >> what was your experience and how did you become involved in the community event? >> growing up i lived in minnesota. i realized my fashion for being involved and learning about my heritage and you can't say anything about it until you try
it. check out the festival, the community events and how it can benefit you. >> many of us grow up away from the home culture. you know there's a void, something missing. it really does plug a hole almost in your personality. >> i hope with the ao dai festival we have different events throughout the day that caters to every age and ethnicity that youth will feel empowered to come out and to celebrate as well with their parents and grandparents. >> you want the other groups to come out and see it. >> we hope they'll engage in the culture and the ao dai walk, the procession that's open to the
public has a parade where we invite to wear their own ao dai and the beautiful dress that is is a symbol of vietnam. >> i've seen it before, it's a wonderful kind of event. looking forward to it this year. thank you for being here. >> the fourth annual ao dai festival takes place sunday, may 15 starting at 4:30 pchl with an outdoor spectacle at the circle of homes and festivities will go on until 9:30 p.m. all centered around the fairmont hotel. for more information go to nbcbayarea.com. and coming up, kimochi is an important driving force for japanese americans in the bay area. they will be celebrating those who help them do it and in grand style. that's next.
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for many years, a group providing so many crucial services and programs for japanese-american seniors in san francisco and throughout the bay area. on saturday, may 14th, i'll be the emcee for the kimochi spirit awards to honor those who put in that extra effort to see that kimochi can do what it does best. with pea right now is a man i affectionately call the godfather, the executive director for kimochi, and also with us is debbie yi. give us an idea, a loft people have heard of kimochi but give us an overview of the program and where we're at. >> this year will be significant. it's our 45th anniversary. for 45 years we've been providing comprehensive services in san francisco. the truth of the matter is we serve all seniors of asian descent so our programs have chinese. we have koreans. we have japanese and we have non-asians as well who come to the program.
we run a nutrition program. we feed 300 seniors a day. we have a residential care facility with 20 seniors who live there and, by the way, one of our seniors, just celebrated her 112th year old birthday. and significantly she was born on new year's day. and then we have social certificaservices but the whole gamut of program and services for the japane japanese-american seniors. >> a lot of the focus has always been san francisco but i know the big expansion in the san mateo county. where are we at now, getting close? >> we're getting very, very close. thank you for asking that. we just completed the renovation of kimochi san mateo. it will be an assisted living facility. we're right at the process of interviewing staff and now reviewing applicants so we're anticipating very soon end of may for us to be open and providing services in the peninsula area outside of san francisco in terms of expanding our services. >> let's talk about the
celebration itself. what are some of the things we'll see there? >> first, i'm going to be opening with a pianist opening up for us and we also have our kimochi singer and these two classes are actually our first two activities we offer to our seniors. so since it's our 45th year anniversary, it's appropriate for them to perform at our spirit awards and then we also have brenda and mark. >> brenda wang. we just had them on our show, they're cultural icons. celebrating 112-year-old birthday, did you say? you are considerably younger than that. give us an idea in terms of how kimochi reaches out to young people to make sure you get the younger generations involved. >> me and my co-worker, jennifer, are organizing a social mixer. it's going to be on july 8th.
and this is to target the younger generation, the young professionals within our communities. >> do you feel as though young people appreciate what kimochi is doing? >> yes, i do, actually. i let them know about our program of services, they act l actually tell me that they wish they knew about kimochi earlier because they have parents or grandparents who wish they had these services. >> that has to be gratifying to hear the younger generation appreciating and getting involved. >> i think that's the whole idea. 45 years and you and i are a little bit older than the rest of the generations but if we and the organizations don't reach out to other asian-americans and especially the younger folks, we're really not going to be able to survive and sustain our programs. debbie and jessica, with their focus out to the young folks, the young bloods, we call them, is really a way for us to try to reach out.
>> let's talk about the honorees that you want to give the spirit awards to. >> aaron was coming out of berkeley, used to volunteer in our nutrition program. he got his accounting degree and took over his father's accounting business. for the last 20 years he has offered free tax services to our seniors in the community. he takes a twhoel day off. he has three young boys and stays at the office all day. jeff mori is the founder of japanese youth council. has done so much work for youth and the bay area, the recovery center and such. is presently working for the mayor's office and ed lee but
we're going to recognize him and also our corporate supporters, japan airlines, the bookstore, all the honorees that will be part of our kimochi spirit awards. >> debbie, you and jessica are just starting out getting involved in so many different things and you hear some of the people who have committed for so long. do you see that commit from the younger generation, being able to keep that going? >> i think so. i believe once they know about our community and are more involved with it, if i know a lot of them are focused more on the career now so i think we just need to kind of let them know that, hey, there's actually opportunities to volunteer at kimochi. >> how about for you? what do you find most personally rewarding about being involved? >> i like our fund-raiser to raise money for all the seniors because our program is really great. >> and we want to make sure people understand we're honoring people. there's a lot of different
things going on, recognition in the community. people will be there to have fun, too. >> it's a big celebration, robert, 45 years. it's asian american heritage month so the interpretation that have and with this example with debbie and jessica, you can see our community is growing and evolving. so for our concept to reach out to everybody, have everybody come by, enjoy the program, kick back and just have some good old-fashioned fun. >> great. thanks for being here and enjoying the sill brags. >> thank you. >> all right. 2016 kimochi spirit awards put on by kimochi will take place saturday, may 14th at the sundance kabuki at 1881 post street san francisco. doors open at noon. i will be the emcee and we will be welcomed by the consul general of japan and it will feature special perfeormances, kimochi singers, and cultural icons brenda wang.
there's almost nothing we like better than highlighting the accomplishments of bay area students, and we have someone special with us today rounding out our twosome is katherine zsu, a sophomore who has scored impressive accomplishments including qualifying for the u.s. gold association's girls' junior championship taking top honors at tournaments and qualifying again for the no-cal tournament. welcome. >> thank you. >> nice to see you here. now i started golf around, say, 40, 45 years old. i would think you got better because you started earlier than i did. when did you start playing golf?
>> the first time i touched a club was when i was about 6 years old. i actually quit and restarted when i was 8 years old. >> everyone gets frustrated with golf at the beginning even if you're 6 years old. what was it that kind of captured your enthusiasm again? >> yeah, so i made a lot of friends. my parents signed me up for group lessons and i had a lot of friends in those groups. and i think because of them i kept coming back and continued playing, and i think that's why i'm still playing because i have, like, friends i like to see and play with, you know, just hang out. >> are there a lot of asian americans and young people that play golf? is that something that is of interest to them? >> yeah. a lot of the players around are mostly asians, and most of my friends who i play with are like a lot of the asians. >> a lot of my relatives play golf and, amazingly, a lot of the seniors take up golf when
they're older and stuff. what was it about golf when you first started playing? did you realize you were pretty good, that you had a lot of potential there or were you hack ing it around at the beginning like a lot of people do? >> i was just playing for fun and then when i was playing in some tournaments when i was like 8 or 9 i realized i had an advantage over some of the players because i was bigger than them and could hit further. and that was fun. i guess that was sort of an advantage and that's kind of -- oh, that's cool. i'll just continue playing in these tournaments and see where it brings me. >> a lot of people find out they have the physical skill to play golf but lack maybe the mental aspect of the game, the toughness or some of the things that's required to play golf. how about for you, was that something you had right away or is that something it helped you develop? >> my mental -- yeah, just kind of developed over the years. obviously it's kind of hard to stay really patient when you're
10 or 11 and i think just last year actually i think i'm starting to get the hang of the mental game and the thinking behind the game. >> what tournament was the toughest for you because you've been doing well in all of them. did any one see more pressure than the other or have you gotten past that point? >> the toughest tournament for me mental wise was my first big tournament was the rolex tournament of champions in oregon last summer. and i was so nervous because the girls who were playing with me were some of the best girls in the world and it was my first tournament. i was 14 compared to the other girls. >> but doing well there helps with the confidence. >> yeah. >> how is it balancing such a grueling kind of schedule in terms of being a top-level golfer? how is balancing that with
school? >> initially it was kind of hard because golf takes up a lot of time and so does keeping up my grades and just preparing for everything school related, but i think over the years i have handled that pretty well and i'm, like, making time for both so i can keep up with both. >> beinokay, great. congratulations on your success. keep up the mental toughness. wait to go play through is one of katherine's classmates from harker school, another teenaged phenomenon in the world of music. cellist rachel is coming one a live performance next.
and london. thank you very much for being here. >> thank you. >> what got you started playing the cello? >> i think i was 8 years old. my parents showed me different clips of different instruments and i chose cello. >> what are you going it to play for us. >> bach suite number 4. >> we are pleased to have rachel perform for us right now. enjoy. ♪ ♪
one by one, they're gone. >> we can't have a loose cannon in the oval office. >> we are suspending our campaign. >> nyquist has won the kentucky derby! good morning and welcome to sunday "today" i'm willie geist, a special welcome and a big thank you to all the moms watching today. especially mine. this morning, we're sharing a mother's day bloody mary with chelsea handler. why not? she's the anything goes comedian who turned her back on the traditional talk show gig to take her act online. where her new show makes her the new face of netflix. >> i never really had a desire to go and walk in somebody else's shoes and try and fill out a show that's already b