Canadian Stories · Chinese Culture · The stories of WWII

An uncertain homecoming, Part I: WWII, the Chinese, and the fight for civil rights 1939-1967

Introduction Like all (Chinese) Canadians, I have been given a gift of priceless value: the gift of civil rights. I have not worked for this gift. I doubt I’ve earned it. Worst of all, I haven’t known who to thank for it, nor how much it cost. I’ve just taken it all for granted – […]

European History · The stories of WWII · Women we celebrate

The hairdresser spy: Andrée Virot

This is a story about Andrée Virot, a woman in the French Resistance. She was personally responsible for saving the lives of over 100 Allied airmen who were shot down over Europe. She was the tail end of several escape lines through Europe, and for 3 years, she operated under the nose of the Gestapo. I wanted… Continue reading The hairdresser spy: Andrée Virot

Canadian Stories · Chinese Culture · Genealogical Research

The right to be a Canadian: Irving Himel, K. Dock Yip, and The Committee for the Repeal of the Chinese Immigration Act

Voting. It's complicated. Canada has been reluctant to share her treasures, at least to its non-male, non-white peoples. Nearly 70 years ago, Canada's Chinese, Japanese, and South Asian people won the right to vote in Canada. It had been a long time coming. You may know the story of the Famous Five*, who fought for and won women's voting… Continue reading The right to be a Canadian: Irving Himel, K. Dock Yip, and The Committee for the Repeal of the Chinese Immigration Act

Chinese Culture

8 tips on deciphering Chinese characters for the illiterate

How do you read Chinese when you don't read Chinese? (This is not a riddle.) It's not my family's fault I'm illiterate. They offered to send me to Chinese school. It was me who refused. Heaven knows, I've come to regret it, and I've even made a few attempts at learning the language as an… Continue reading 8 tips on deciphering Chinese characters for the illiterate