Asian Heritage Month
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2009

Asian Heritage on Ideas

Monday, May 4, 2009 | 06:49 PM ET

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On May 5th, CBC Radio One's Ideas will broadcast The Tale of Genji. Written a thousand years ago by Murasaki Shikibu, a 30 year-old lady in waiting of the 11th century Japanese Heian Court, The Tale of Genji is considered the world's first novel. It‘s a story of politics and intrigue, of sexual conquests, frustrated love and jealousy, of the relationship between art and nature, and of the relationship between nature and the spiritual. Every person schooled in Japan can recite the beginning by heart. Scenes from The Tale of Genji have been the subject of paintings for a millennium and passages from the book have been copied and referenced in plays, poems and novels ever since its writing. Vancouver documentary maker Teresa Goff considers why the novel continues to fascinate.

And on May 20th, listen for Ten Thousand Spirits. A religion going back to the Stone Age is enjoying a newfound popularity in modern-day Korea. Once reviled and driven underground, shamanism today is thriving in temples and cafes. Clients pay mostly female shamans hefty fees to call spirits from the dead, settle old scores, and foretell their future. Vancouver broadcaster Gloria Chang, who was born in Korea, returns to her native land to investigate the amazing powers of knife walking, fortune-telling shamans.

Ideas is CBC Radio's premier program of contemporary thought, with an audience of approximately 400,000 listeners.

Ideas is broadcast Monday through Friday from 9 to 10 pm and is heard throughout Canada and the northern United States on the 402 radio stations and transmitters of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada's public broadcaster.

China's Long Song | Episode Two

Monday, May 4, 2009 | 06:08 PM ET

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“May you live in interesting times.” Both a blessing and a curse in China. This saying captures the essence of China’s turbulent twentieth century. Victim and product of the whirl of revolutions and evolutions, music has been a barometer in China. It has championed political ideologies and signaled changes in the tolerance for dissent as the winds of history swept through the Middle Kingdom. On Inside the Music you'll hear the second in a two-part series called China's Long Song. Host Mei Han, a musician and scholar, takes us on a personal journey inside China’s twentieth century and through its musical revolutions. With additional narration from Vancouver music producer Matthew McFarlane.

Episode Two airs Saturday May 16th on Inside the Music on CBC Radio Two.

Flower Drum Song on North by Northwest

Monday, May 4, 2009 | 05:14 PM ET

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Jen Sookfong Lee will be Sheryl MacKay's co-host on North by Northwest Sunday May 10th. Jen will be profiling various Asian Canadians in the BC arts scene, including Rick Tae, the producer of a new all-Asian cast version of Flower Drum Song by Rodgers & Hammerstein, as well as photographers Ellen Ho and Ai Nagasawa who are on a quest to turn everyone into art objects. To find out more, tune in to CBC Radio One in British Columbia from 6am to 9 am on Sunday May 10th.

Tandava in Studio 40

Thursday, April 30, 2009 | 08:30 PM ET

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Tandava is four piece ensemble that mirrors the cultural diversity of Vancouver in its music. Elements of Chinese, South Asian, African and European music all harmonize with astonishing ease in the hands of Tandava.

What makes their music work is the skill with which they fuse their musical backgrounds and cultural references. But ultimately, like good chefs or any artist, they just have something to say and they know how to say it. It's music that pleases the ear.

The concert will be broadcast on May 25th at 8pm on CBC Radio Two.

Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble

Thursday, April 30, 2009 | 08:22 PM ET

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The Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival supports active cultural traditions in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. In 2008, the Festival honoured one of their founding communities with a day celebrating Asian-Canadian artists.

CBC's mics were in the Great Hall at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden to bring you this ensemble's eclectic blend of popular and traditional Chinese music. These accomplished instrumentalists play erhu (Chinese violin), dizi (Chinese flute), pipa (Chinese lute), yangqin (Chinese hammered dulcimer), zheng (Chinese harp) and ruan (Chinese guitar).

The concert will be broadcast on May 25th at 8pm on CBC Radio Two.

Vancouver's Chinatown, 1968

Thursday, April 30, 2009 | 07:21 PM ET

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Vancouver Chinatown rooming house, 1902 (BC Archives)


Between Ourselves was a weekly series of hour-long radio programs that presented Canada to Canadians. It featured aspects of Canadian life in docudramas, plays, music, and interviews, originating from different regions of Canada. The series ran on CBC Radio from 1966 to 1979. This episode is a documentary examining the anatomy of Vancouver's Chinatown as a society within a society. Chinese young and old provide their impressions of Chinatown today, and comment on the social, political and cultural influences that have played a part in shaping the community. The episode orginally aired March 3rd, 1968.

The producer was Harold Gray and the writer was Paddy Hynan.

Thank-you to BC Archives for access to the sound recording.

Part 1 audio(Runs 32:11)

Part 2 audio(Runs 24:49)