Asian Heritage Month


Laughter (HASYA) Yoga

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 | 06:36 PM ET
Dr. Madan Kataria, creator of Laughter Yoga

Laughter (Hasya) Yoga

It all began with five people coming together and laughing in a Mumbai park which has over the past decade cascaded into a worldwide movement with more than 5,000 laughter clubs all over the world.

Laughter Yoga was conceived by Dr. Madan Kataria in Mumbai, India. What started as a research assignment in 1995 on the benefits of laughter has taken on a life of its own.

Laughter Yoga is an effective routine that brings complete physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being. It instantly reduces stress by bringing more oxygen into the body, strengthening the immune system, fighting depression and creating a network of individuals who come together just to laugh.

The yoga in this therapy entails a series of breathing and easy movement exercises designed to teach the body to laugh without depending on jokes or humor. Dr. Kataria starts with the premise that the mind and body does not differentiate between laughing at something and laughing for no reason, so laughing for no reason is often the best medicine.

Drawing from India’s long array of yogic practice and with the help of his wife Madhuri, a yoga teacher, Laughter Yoga was invented. Laughing for no reason, is good for you.

There are laughter yoga clubs across Canada. Visit Laughter Yoga Canada for more information or contact:

Wendy Woods at 416.926.9450 or
Lynn Himmelmann at 416.469.2033 or

Ottawa: China Doll

Friday, May 30, 2008 | 07:48 PM ET
china doll.jpg
China Doll, aka Ed Kwan (Ming Wu /

Ed Kwan - better known to karaoke lovers as China Doll - is the karaoke drag queen on the Somerset Strip. She makes an appearance each Saturday at The Shanghai Restaurant. The restaurant was first started by the Kwan parents. Now the kids run it. A few years back, CBC network producer Bob Carty brought his own microphone to karaoke night to meet China Doll. More recently, China Doll stepped out of the Shanghai Restaurant to perform at The Chutney n' Chopsticks Cabaret at Club Saw in Ottawa.

CBC Radio's All In A Day spoke with China Doll ahead of the show. Listen Audio (runs 5:30)

Ottawa: Punjabi Drumming

Friday, May 30, 2008 | 07:41 PM ET

In Ottawa, dhol players are often relegated to the basement or the garage when they want to practice - at least that's what happened to Inderpal Bal when he took up the Punjabi drum. He's played it for six years, now and performs with a bhangra team. Recently he took his instrument out of the basement and into Club Saw's Chutney n' Chopsticks Cabaret night.

CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning went down to capture the sounds. Listen Audio (runs 2:32)

Ottawa: Hindi Lessons

Friday, May 30, 2008 | 07:25 PM ET

It's the language of Bollywood and this month it's the language of All in a Day. CBC Radio's All in a Day has initiated language lessons for May. Leading them on this linguistic adventure is Kasturi Mishra, who teaches at the Saral Hindi School. spoke with Kasturi Mishra, who offered several lessons for would be Hindi speakers. Listen Audio (runs 12:35)

Hindi Lesson Part Two Listen Audio (runs 10:34)

Hindi Lesson Part Three Listen Audio (runs 10:36)

Digital Diversity: Generation DX2

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 | 10:20 PM ET

RCI Digital Diversity Competition: Generation DX2

Last September, RCI viva invited high school students across Canada to express themselves on intercultural relations. To enter the Generation DX2 competition, students between 12 and 18 years old were asked to talk to us about their reality or to tell us a story about cultural differences through short film, audio work or photo story.

The jury selected 58 finalists' works: 49 in French (28 short films, 14 audio works, 7 photo stories) and 9 in English (5 short flims, 3 audio works, and 1 photo story).

View them all at DX2.

Ottawa: Taiwan-a-kopita

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 | 06:51 PM ET

Robert Chen is an engineer by training and a few years ago, he decided tinker with his spring roll recipe. He calls his invention Taiwan-a-kopita. CBC Radio's All in a Day joined Robert Chen in the kitchen. Listen Audio (runs 9:53)

Ottawa: Bytown Museum

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 | 06:50 PM ET

People familiar with the Mandarin language could soon have their ears opened to a new side of Ottawa. The Bytown Museum will be offering audio guides in six languages, including Mandarin. It's fitting, perhaps, that during Asian Heritage month, Asians will have a new way to learn about their city's past. This week, a select group of volunteers donned the headphones to give the museum's new audio guide a test run.

CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning went down to capture the sounds. Listen Audio (runs 4:17)

Members of the public will be able to take an audio tour of the Bytown Museum in six different languages starting June 13. You can learn about the stories and exhibits of Ottawa in English and French, as well as Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish, and German.

Ottawa: Gift of Freedom

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 | 06:44 PM ET

They fled in the thousands, packed into tiny ships searching for a life of freedom. Almost thirty years ago, people in Ottawa opened their homes took to a group of refugees known as the 'boat people.' They called their movement Project 4000 and it would change the face of the city, even the country. Brian Buckley was one of those people who volunteered to be a sponsor. And now, he's put all that history into a new book called Gift of Freedom: How Ottawa Welcomed the Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian Refugees. It's published by General Store Publishing House.

CBC Radio's All in a Day spoke with Brian Buckley Listen Audio (runs 12:35)

Ottawa: Coconut Curry

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | 07:06 PM ET

On Wednesday May 7th, CBC Radio's All in a Day spoke with Simmi Dixit, an Ottawa food lover who runs the catering business Simmilicious Sweets and Treats. Simmi Dixit just spent the past eight months overseas in the Philippines and during her visit to the the All in a Day studio, Listen Audio (runs 8:20) Simmi brought a bit of her travels home.

Ottawa: Yadong Guan

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | 06:49 PM ET

On Tuesday May 6th, Jill LaForty of CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning interviewed Yadong Guan, a virtuosa pipa (or Chinese lute) performer who's seeking a way to bring this ancient instrument to a western audience. Jill spoke with Yadong at her home in Gloucester last week. Listen Audio (runs 8:17)

Ottawa: Taiko Drumming

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | 06:18 PM ET

On Tuesday May 6th, CBC Radio's All in a Day spoke with Yurika Murakami, Listen Audio (runs 9:01) a member of Oto-Wa Taiko, a Japanese drumming group. Murakami left her home in Japan ten years ago, but it was in Ottawa that she rediscovered a part of her Japanese culture through Taiko drumming.

For more information, visit Oto-Wa Taiko.

Ottawa: Mushfiq Arts Company

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | 05:16 PM ET

On Monday May 5th, CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning celebrated Music Monday, a day to celebrate the learning of music. As a part of its coverage that day, Ottawa Morning spoke with students and teachers Listen Audio (runs 5:01) at Mushfiq Arts Company, a performing arts society that specializes in classical and light classical Indian and Afghani folk music and arts.

For more information on the company, visit the Mushfiq Arts Company online