>> i'm nydia han. tonight on visions 2016, we take you to the chinese lantern festival. check out susanna foo's newest venture. and go on a cambodian tasting tour. visit asian markets serving up a taste of home. plus, meet a piano prodigy and learn what it means to be a page turner. >> and how to get more asian americans in politics. >> hi everyone and welcome to visions 2016, our celebration of asian and pacific islander history and culture. we are at maido, a marketplace of japan in ardmore. and we're going to show you around in just a bit but first let's head to philadelphia's old city for a lantern festival that's steeped in ancient chinese tradition. every evening, as the sun sets on franklin square, the park lights up. >> the chinese lantern festival, it already has been thousands of years of history in china.
>> historically, the festival was available only to china's very wealthy families but more recently, it's become a new year's celebration for the masses. >> and this is the first time ever, the festival has been staged in the northeastern united states. >> happy birthday to you. >> it's a celebration marking 10 years since the rebirth of the square that sits on the border of chinatown. >> this was essentially a park where no one, no kids were allowed to play. it was a park that you really didn't want to go to at night. >> now, nighttimes in the square are aglow with 25 illuminated lantern sets, giant flowers, pandas, a 200 foot long dragon, and a 3 story high pagoda and all are made by hand. >> all of the artisans and our staff they all come from sichuan in a city called zigong in sichuan province >> their skills are passed down from generation to generation. >> the lantern festival also includes traditional chinese handicrafts, food and chinese culture. >> we want to bring these unique performances.
they can use this opportunity here to learn other things about china. >> the lantern festival runs through june 12th and we should mention that the square is gated and there's a fee to enter in the evenings. by day, franklin square remains free. and when it comes to chinese cuisine, perhaps no one in philadelphia has done more to elevate it than susann foo. and the internationally acclaimed chef just opened a new restaurant. suga is in the heart of center city and it's susanna foo's first venture with her son, gabriel. >> she makes me look bad because she works so hard. >> (laughs) >> its my son you know id do anything for him. >> (laughs) >> in 34 years of running restaurants, susanna foo has earned a reputation for innovation. >> i do invent like redefine the classical um chinese dish so its modern chinese cuisine >> the space is contemporary as well designed to emulate the night markets in taiwan and china. >> so that's where all the reds and green and different colors that kinda add a little pop to the, to the restaurant >> its very modern, its very chic and its beautiful. when people are in here there's like a real energy to it. >> the menu is filled with
farm-fresh dishes, including many favorites from the original susanna foo's on walnut street. >> we still have the same dumpling. they do have some old dishes which since we open 1512 walnut street such as kung pao chicken and mongolian lamb, people demanded to have them so. but the menu change quite a bit. >> she says one of the most popular new additions is a taco shaped crispy wonton stuffed with yellowfin tuna, avocado and jalapeno. >> we've traveled a lot and every time we go somewhere what we talk about, what we do is we eat. so we eat all these different places and we pick up the influences from all these different places and bring it back and my mom put it in the food. >> and if you're looking for an authentic taste of cambodian cooking, there's a section of south philadelphia that has been dubbed cambodia town. >> this is like a place here we can call our community >> in the past decade, more than forty cambodian-owned businesses have popped up between 6th & 7th streets and snyder and oregon avenues. >> we came as refugee with nothing much at all and we rebuild our life. >> khmer kitchen is a family restaurant run by 3 generations. >> to revive our culture and our food that we felt it was lost amongst our kids. >> they focus on cambodian dishes made with farm-fresh, local ingredients. >> one of our dish we're known
for is uh (pause) pra hok thee. >> it's caramelized ground pork simmered in coconut sauce and served crudité style. >> south philadelphia native moulika anna hitchens blogs about cambodian food. >> i grew up cooking and eating cambodian food. now that i'm a mom i would love to keep on passing along the traditions. i'm a vegetarian so going out to eat southeast asian food was a little challenging. >> so she tweaked her family's recipes to make them meatless, including cambodian's national dish, amok traditionally made with fish. we're making it with with different types of mushrooms, shitake, trumpet mushroom and bunashami mushrooms and tofu >> and while cambodians have carved out a culinary corner of south philadelphia, the neighborhood has seen an influx of immigrants from all of southeast asia. >> we have indonesian food, we have malaysian food but they don't get enough attention. >> so the city's commerce department organized a "taste southeast asia tour" that will be held the entire month of june, immigrant heritage month. >> food which is the best way to really get to know a culture and the most delicious. >> there's an official tasting
passport and i heart cambodia on 7th street is one of three restaurants where you can get it stamped. >> we want this event to be educational. we want philadelphians to see it's a global village. >> you can find the link to download your tasting passport on 6abc dot com. just search visions 2016. >> and for asian americans looking to create the taste of home in their own kitchens, there are a number of specialty grocers. we start with hmart, the place to go for all things korean. >> my father lives in korea but every time he comes to visit, this is where he wants to come. >> so, this is hmart on old york road. it's a grocery store but this complex has so much more to offer. hmart started about 30 years ago in new york. >> now expanded i believe it's 53 locations throughout the united states. >> and it's stocked with all sorts of things you won't find in most grocery stores. >> you sell big boxes of kim here, seaweed, when people talk about ramen, they probably don't realize how
many different varieties there are. >> yes. >> just outside hmart, you'll find everything from korean noodles to moisturizing facial masques. it seems like korean makeup, is so popular even with other cultures. why do you think that is? >> i think a lot of people think korean people do have really nice complex, the skin, yes. >> this is maat-zip. they make and sell all kinds of prepared korean foods here like fried fish. it's also where we get our kimchee. there's stewed tofu. marinated beef and pork. this is japchae my kids love this. i think i'm going to buy some while i'm here. and all kinds of soups this might look like sushi but we call it kimbap. kim means seaweed. bap means rice. and there's a whole shop for rice cakes. aren't these beautiful? in korean, they're called tteok and they come in hundreds of varieties. this is ssukinjeolmi and this is gor tteok, which means honey rice cakes. this is paris baguette, my favorite bakery in the whole world. the bakery is famous for its pastries, ornately decorated cakes and breads. >> everything is fresh.
>> lots of butter in this bread. >> mmhmm. >> everybody like this bread. >> this is why my dad really likes to come here, the food court. the food court has korean restaurants but also japanese and chinese. >> now in korean, before we eat, we usually say jal moke sum nida, which the direct translation means eat well so enjoy. jal moke sum nida. >> and for japanese flavors, maido is the only japanese-owned grocery in the region, and last august, they opened this new expanded location here in ardmore. >> maido the marketplace of japan is one half food market and one half restaurant. >> on the restaurant side, owner and chef seiko dailey [say-co daily] cooks dishes from her hometown of osaka. >> we don't do much of the sushi or those fancy things, but it's more like a homestyle cooking. >> the supermarket specializes in native produce and authentic japanese products like pocky, their most popular sweet treat! really nice flavor to it. rice cakes in all varieties
are the standard savory snacks. rice cracker with a soy sauce flavor, very basic but very popular. they also offer frozen foods like moochi, ice cream nuggets wrapped in sticky rice gel. and a popular breakfast item. >> dailey is happy to serve the thousands of japanese living in the region, but welcomes visitors too! >> since they cannot go to japan today, so come to maido and experience japan here. >> in philadelphia's chinatown heng fa[fuh] is an all encompassing two-story food market specializing in authentic chinese and asian pacific foods. upstairs there are rows and rows of fresh vegetables and fruits, including >> dragonfruit. >> a type of cactus with white flesh & edible black seeds. longan. sweet 'peel and eat' translucent berries and seasonal chinese greens: un choy. small tong hao. >> those are edible chrysanthemum leaves. >> for barbecue, making soup. >> this busy market also has a vast array of meat, fresh fish and seafood like razor clams.
this one surf clams. this a moon snail. and the expensive and unusual looking delicacy - geo duck clams. i think the people use it for sashimi. >> downstairs houses non-perishable items, including sauces, dry noodles and herbs, plus snacks of all kinds. from china. visiting heng fa market is like a mini trip to asia, right at north 10th street in philadelphia. time to do a little food shopping. >> when our visions 2016 special comes right back. >> we trying to find the peaceful moment in the chaotic life >> a place that's bringing japanese craftsmanship and design to. >> and broadcasting temple basketball in mandarin. >> welcome back to visions
2016 and our salute to asian american and pacific islander heritage month. we are at maido, a market for japanese groceries and prepared foods in ardmore. next we head to center city philadelphia where there's a new boutique that showcases japanese craftsmanship and design. >> we trying to find sort of the peaceful moment in the chaotic life in general.
>> nearly every item sold at rikumo comes from japan. >> its essential for us because it represent creativity and craftsmanship in expressing details. >> kaz morihata and his wife yuka moved from japan to the u-s more than 25 years ago. now they make frequent trips to their native country in search of products that convey elegance and functionality. >> it's a mixture of both we typically look for a timeless design. >> the business started as wholesale ten years ago, primarily focused on charcoal products. they opened the retail shop to develop a stronger customer experience. >> just selling a product but providing all the atmosphere that could not quite express in the wholesale or the online store. >> bringing it for us, an expert, with a little bit for
you. >> from the design to the performing arts, we meet a piano prodigy who was destined to be a superstar, and piano turner who treated his mission to go unnoticed. >> kasey shao is just 12 years old and already she's won about a dozen national and international piano competitions. >> i really do enjoy playing the piano yeah. and i feel like if i stop it its there's no meaning to life anymore. >> kasey first started playing the piano at the age of 6 and just last year she won the philadelphia orchestra albert m. greenfield student competition, her biggest win yet. >> that was a really good experience that i won't forget. it was my dream to play in kimmel center verizon hall so being a finalist i already achieved that dream. >> as part of her grand prize, kasey achieved her other dream of performing with the philadelphia orchestra and received tips from her idol and musical director yannick nézet-seguin. >> we're so proud of her.
as parents we always support her and encourage her. >> and while the pianist's role is to command center stage. the mission of the pianist's page turner is quite different. >> i want to be a ninja because you know whenever they need the page turner, extra hand i will show up and then i disappear. >> yung-chen lin became a freelance page turner for the philadelphia chamber music society in 2006. >> the art of page turning is uhh quite special because you really need to communicate with the pianist. >> and she says it's not as nerve-wracking as people may think. >> as long as you can read notes fast enough you certainly can do page turning. >> and for lin, the love for music makes it that much easier. for me it's really a treat to listen to other people playing. i'm sitting next to the pianist it's like a vip seat so i really enjoy it. >> yung-chen lin is also a piano player so that front row seat is almost like a private lesson. >> now, when it comes to college education, universities these days are increasingly international. so temple university came up with a novel way to engage its chinese students broadcast the
school's most popular sport in mandarin. >> in january temple sponsored a campus wide search for the first mandarin broadcasters for their men's basketball games. >> and the winners are >> javi yuan and james yuan were chosen from more than 20 student auditions. >> it gives us a pathway to integrate the chinese students into the fabric of temple university campus life. >> international students and american domestic students can have a common interest they can talk about basketball and make american friends. >> although james and javi share a last name they are not related, but they quickly found a bond in the broadcast booth. >> we were a little bit nervous because we weren't sure what i was supposed to do what he was supposed to do. >> woooowww. >> their new role offered access to the men's basketball practices. >> we're happy to be a part of it >> they served as ambassadors for the school when the philadelphia 76ers celebrated the chinese new year. >> we're so nervous there are so man famous people here. >> they met the chinese consulate general, one of china's top ambassadors in the
u-s. >> i don't know what to say right now it's amazing. >> and they got some tips from temple alum and 76ers broadcaster mark zumoff. >> well you came to the right school brother. >> the duo broadcast temple's last 6 home games, including the team's rivalry with eventual national champion villanova. >> i think we definitely got more popular around campus every time if got to pearson hall to play basketball people recognize me. >> their popularity grew in their home country as well. >> basketball is the biggest sport in china. so many fans and college students get crazy on it. >> javi is studying broadcasting at temple while james is a business major. now considering broadcasting as a minor. >> it's my dream and my career dream so it's a first step for my career. i really enjoy doing this after the first year so i'm definitely looking forward to doing it again next semester. >> the plan is for james and javi to take on more basketball games next season. >> when visions 2016 comes right back.
>> welcome back to visions 2016 and our celebration of asian american and pacific islander heritage. we are at maido: a marketplace of japan in ardmore. and now the story of a couple who immigrated from india 50 years ago and started an indian food company in their kitchen that they've grown exponentially and in gratitude for their success, they're paying it forward to other immigrants. >> good morning. >> for workers at jyoti foods in sharon hill, every day starts with a hug from the boss >> they aren't my boss, my father and mother. >> and it was family that led husband-and-wife vijay and jyoti gupta to create their natural foods business nearly 40 years ago. >> she didn't want to leave the children at home to go out
and work. >> it was 1979 and the couple was living in houston. >> there were hardly any indian restaurants. and there were no indian foods in the super markets. >> so she came up with the idea if there was indian food in cans she could mail that by from home as a mail order business. >> and jyoti foods was born with whole foods as one of their first customers. >> there were many, many roadblocks on the way >> but vijay, an engineer, prides himself on his problem-solving. when they discovered debris in the beans. i invented new technology for cleaning beans. he now licenses it to some of the world's biggest food processors. and when the company outgrew its first plant, vijay built a bigger one by hand. >> i built it in the weekends and the evenings after work. >> as the company expanded, they made hiring other south asian immigrants a priority. >> we have people who started working with us in 1997 and we
hardly have anyone leave us. >> the gutpa's have helped at least a half dozen of their workers gain citizenship. we've gone to court for some of them. >> good morning. >> to me this has become my life. all our staff is our family. >> immigration has been a big issue in this year's election. according to the u-s census, the number of asians calling america home has increased 56-percent since 2000. but while the population is growing fast, participation in politics is not. when susan shin angulo became a camden county freeholder in january, she made history. >> i became the first asian american freeholder in the state of new jersey. >> it's not her first landmark election. 6 years ago, she won a seat on cherry hill's township council. >> i was the first korean american woman ever to be elected in the state of new jersey. >> across the bridge in pennsylvania, the numbers aren't any better. i'm aware of only one public official in the state, at the state level. >> that's state representative patty kim. >> there's also an asian american judge and, with the election of helen gym, last
november, two asian americans on philadelphia city council >> 4 people?! in the entire state? >> attorneys stella tsai and jannie lau are among a group of women working to boost those stats. >> we are the fastest growing minority population in the country today so we deserve a seat at the table. >> their efforts range from registering asian americans to vote. >> if you want to make a change um to, to improve the system, you really need to engage in it. >> to fundraising. >> money talks. it's how you make your, it's how you make your voice heard and how you amplify your voice. >> and creating a pipeline for potential candidates. stella ran for judge on the court of common pleas. >> it was very important to me to represent our community. >> the lack of representation is, in part, a generational issue. >> my parent's perspective on government may be very different from my perspective. >> they love democracy, but i think there's also part of them that is afraid to engage. >> they didn't know the english language. they came here with nothing >> and they may come from repressive regimes. >> they were more about you know not, not sticking out.
because it's sort of lift your head up and you'll get knocked down. >> and it's a nose-to-the grindstone culture. >> to run for office, you have to be willing to toot your own horn. >> we're supposed to win by doing well academically. >> and education may, in fact, be the key. >> educating first generation or even second generation of asian americans that you know it is a fulfilling career. >> we should be regarded as a political force to be reckoned with. >> there are a number of groups working in philadelphia to register asian americans to vote. >> when visions 20-16 comes right back, we highlight the work of some local non-profits.
>> welcome back to visions 2016. there are a number of organizations in philadelphia founded to make life better for asian americans. tonight, we highlight the work of three non-profits. >> hi i'm thoai nguyen, i'm the chief executive officer of seamaac used to stand for southeast asian mutual assistance associations >> seamaac was founded in 1984
and offers social services to a host of asian immigrants & refugees. >> altogether, seamacc speaks 20 to 25 languages and dialects represented on our staff. >> for new immigrants, language can be a major barrier to accessing resources, and many struggle with deep poverty. >> so what we try to do here is access educational services, health services to supplement what the government is already doing, which is not a lot. >> hi my name is joe lowe and i'm the vp of the chinatown phila suns. >> this non-profit started as a boy's basketball team. now, they have volleyball and girl's basketball. >> the phila suns is a huge impact on my life cause i was growing up like a girl who never played sports before and they helped me develop into who i am today. >> the philadelphia sun athletes also learn about their heritage & perform the chinese new year lion & dragon dance at community events. >> my name is cecilia moy yep and i'm the co-founder of the asian american women's coalition. >> moy yep formed this membership based non-profit 29 years ago with judge ida chen.
>> the aawc was founded to promote the advancement of aa women in leadership and mutual support. because there was no other asian women's organization in the city. >> the organization holds educational seminars, hosts a christmas party for underserved children, and gives out college scholarships. >> we have about over 160 young asian women in college with our assistance. >> and 6abc's community advisory board celebrated asian american and pacific islander heritage month with a dinner and dance performance. >> this year, the advisory board honored local asian americans who've served in the military and gave awards to several veterans. >> our thanks to maido japanese market for hosting us as we celebrate asian american history and culture. >> you can find information on maido and all of the places we featured on the visions page of 6abc dot com. good night everyone. ♪