Enno Cheng / 夏天的尾巴OST

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夏天的尾巴 soundtrack

1. 世界的樣子
2. 夏天的尾巴
3. 小小的我

I picked up the music from a soundtrack to a coming of age movie from Taiwan called Summer’s Tail (夏天的尾巴). It has all the ingredients for a typical Taiwanese coming of age movie, complete with the heroine’s heart condition and that Japanese exchange student / love interest. I didn’t see the movie, nonetheless, and bought the CD only because it was on the shelf at White Wabbit Records (see photos), a leading indie label based in Taipei close to that area of great universities near Taipower Building station. The soundtrack happened to be published by WWR as well.

While the soundtrack is dominated by a Taiwanese indie band called Aphasia (阿飞西雅), the songs that I wanted to put forth today are by singer Enno Cheng (鄭宜農), also the lead in the film. Her music (which she composes herself) varies from the alternative rock (song #1) to soft ballad (#3).

Chinese dessert in Markham

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B仔涼粉 / Grassjelly + fresh fruits

I’m not (historically) the biggest fan of this kind of Chinese desert which we generally denominate as tong sui, literally “sweet water”, designating any kind of sweet dessert soup or custard. I don’t think the previous picture, that of a B仔涼粉, or a dish of grass jelly served with fresh fruits, actually represents “tong sui” per se, but it was served in tong sui place in Markham where I had it.

In Montreal, my friends and I would try to find a similar kind of place, but in vain. There was one restaurant Sai Gwan, literally West Gate, appropriately near Chinatown’s De La Gauchetière western gate, which had a glass-windowed fridge keeping various kinds of typical tong sui, like ginger custard (薑汁撞奶/燉奶), sweet potato soup (番薯糖水) or – a personal favourite – black sesame soup (芝麻糊). Another one was the short-lived Congee Restaurant (豐衣粥食) in Brossard, which besides serving more variety of congee I’ve ever seen in the Province of Quebec, also had a large selection of tong sui.

I say that I am not the hugest fan of tong sui, because for most of my life, I’ve associated it with the stuff that they give you at the end of your meal in any Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. I could not assess the quality of the stuff, but as it was given for free, and very strangely either red-bean or a tapioca-pearl-based, not the most “expensive” kinds of tong sui, the idea that tong sui was something cheap was reinforced until I recently attempted to rediscover Chinese food (such as realizing that bok choy could be cooked in better ways than your parents were used to).

Relatives and friends have always been more excited (or just inclined) to bring me, or have me tag along for tong sui excursions and detours. It’s not an idea that comes naturally – mais c’est une idée qui fait son bonhomme de chemin.

薑汁撞奶 / Ginger daan lai

The previous pic was that of a ginger milk curd that my once-a-Montrealer Torontonian friend had. Also known by its short name of “daan nai”, the milk curd is produced by the reaction of ginger juice with milk – some cheat by using eggs in their recipe.

Edit (2008-11-27): One group in the Hong Kong Student Science Project Competition even did a project on ginger milk curd in 2006 (see PDF presentation).

Daan Nai @ Yee Shun Milk Co.

The one made by Yee Shun Milk Co is one of the best known in Hong Kong. The eatery/cafe has two branches in Causeway Bay that I know of and more on the Kowloon side (see map).

Tong sui is a particularity of Cantonese cuisine, thus one with sentimental value to me. I would really like it if Montreal could just evolve beyond bubble tea and adopt more serious types of food by upgrading its current concept of a cha chaan teng for instance, just like Xiao Fei Yang (Little Sheep) helped push the idea/market for hot pot in this city. However, I live on a different planet, where just a clean place serving Chinese desserts where you can hangout with a laptop simply defy the reality of our demographics (even with the influx of Mainlanders, some of whom might find Hong Kong-style food natural to have in their Chinese food landscape).

At this point, I’ve given up on waiting for others to feed me – I’m more interested in how our Chinese/Asian supermarkets have evolved and are becoming better places for buying the ingredients to make all this food I don’t have access to (I just got a new wok with chopsticks for frying). Speaking of which, Markham’s Oriental Food Market (華盛) will be the next food topic on CLC.

Chinese food trucks near University of Toronto

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Wokking On Wheels

Street vendors on St. George Street, U of T

Whereas here in Montreal, street food was banned since the last generation, it’s not unusual to see food vendors populate sidewalks in Toronto. Although generally you find hot dog stands – I was told that the city by-law regarding street food only allowed one kind: sausage + fries – we have bumped into these trucks selling Chinese food parked on St. George, a street that crosses the University of Toronto campus.

Specifically, it would seem that they are in business during the day, but not during weekend, to my dismay, as I wanted to treat myself to some Chinese food made in a van in less than a minute (I settled for pizza on Spadina).

According to a friend of mine who went to U of T, the former, Wokking On Wheels, is a true institution that has fed more than one student running between library and exam room.

inLove

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inLove

1. 冒險 Realm
2. 愛上你是書中主角 The Library
3. 甚麼時候

What’s the band this week? It’s a Hong Kong trio called “InLove”. I heard of them for the first time in a collab called 看不見的城市漫遊invisible cities journey, released by Hong Kong store Mackie Study.

They sound folk pop rock, and as a trio are somewhat of a peculiarity in Hong Kong’s vocalist-dominated musical landscape. This is the URL to their (promotional) blog: http://realm-inlove.blogspot.com/

inLove won a silver prize for best song (hum?) at Tom Lee’s music contest in 2002. They’ve been together ever since, releasing an EP (with their wining song, 甚麼時候), a full-length album called 冒險 Realm. In 2007, they released an album in the “Lab Yellow Session 03” series by an arts and culture group called 89268.

Grabuge à Taiwan

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La visite de l’envoyé spécial de la Chine continentale Chen Yulin en a fait sué beaucoup – et pas juste au sens figuré. Sang et larmes ont été versées; je trouve juste dommage qu’on en ait pas mentionné un fichtre mot sur Radio-Canada.ca, et pas tellement plus sur les autres médias en ligne d’ici. Bien sûr, c’est la Chine et Taiwan, alors c’est très très loin d’ici…

Un chance que l’Internet est grand et qu’on peut se fier à des blogues comme celui de Roland Soong (EastSouthWestNorth blog).

Dans tout ça, vous avez des journalistes de la Chine continentale qui se font harceler physiquement par des manifestants, et des gens brûlent des drapeaux rouge et jaune. Ah oui, et on se bat aussi. De chaque bord, on s’accuse l’autre d’avoir incité à la violence : le président bleu Ma Ying-jeou pour avoir initialement invité Chen et « forcé la population à aller dans les rues » – la secrétaire du parti indépendentiste (donc vert) DPP Tsai pour n’avoir pu retenir leurs partisans. Puis Chen Yulin lui, assiégé par une foule en colère dans son hôtel.

Franchement, quand on voit ce qui se passe là-bas, on prend vraiment tout ce qui se passe ici comme “grabuge” avec un super gros grain de sel. C’est pour ça aussi que je déteste entendre le stéréotype en Occident comme quoi les Asiatiques n’aiment pas contester l’ordre des choses!

Ci-bas, c’est une photo du boulevard ci-haut (crédit: Apple Daily) lors d’une journée plus calme. La photo a été prise de la fenêtre de mon “auberge” de jeunesse, le 14e-quelquechose étage de l’immeuble à gauche de la photo précédente.

Taipei Railway Station

Malaise dans le Chinatown : une enquête de Radio-Canada sur le Falun Gong

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Director - Laogai Research Foundation
Harry Wu, Director of the Laogai Research Foundation

Update (2009-03-11): Due to the controversial nature of this report, as well as a complaint filed by the Falun Dafa Association of Canada, the Radio-Canada ombudsman released a review saying that while she “expressed reservations about the selection of two interview clips”, she considered that the “report is otherwise based upon serious research” and that “the complaints were unfounded”. See the full report (PDF).

Mise à jour (2009-03-11) : Étant donné la nature controversée du reportage, l’ombudsman de Radio-Canada a décidé de répondre à une plainte déposée par l’Association Falun Dafa du Canada. Elle a émis des réserves sur le choix de deux extraits d’entrevue, mais considère que « le reportage s’est basé sur une recherche sérieuse » et que « les plaintes ne sont pas fondées ». Voir le rapport complet (PDF).

Canada’s French-language state television Radio-Canada presents an investigative report critical of religious organization Falun Gong (Falun Dafa).

A pro-Falun Gong blog reacts for the English-language web too. The French-speaking web doesn’t seem to realize.

Update (2008-11-06): It’s not like Xinhua doesn’t have anything about things happening here in Canada… A search on Google on the official Chinese news agency for “Montreal” (蒙特利尔) and “Falun Gong” (法轮功) yields a mass of articles that you can pass into Google Translate. It includes a 2002 article written when the story with editor Mr. Chau and the former FG practionner broke out.

It’s also ridiculous as to how the pro-Falun Gong media are pwning the English-language web in terms of search engine hits… If you look for something contained in this article, for instance “crescent chau falun gong“, 7 out of the 10 top hits belong to pro-Falun Gong individuals and nothing from mainstream media. They are also pwning in the free newspaper coverage (all languages confounded) category.

Update (2008-11-08): At the center of this controversy are articles published in 華僑時報 (Montreal’s Presse Chinoise / Chinese Press). You can access them through this Google search – Google Translate (“Translate this page”) does wonders, again.

La journaliste Solveig Miller et le réalisateur Léon Laflamme signent un reportage d’une trentaine de minutes sur le mouvement religieux Falun Dafa (Falun Dafa), diffusé jeudi dernier à l’émission Enquête à la télévision de Radio-Canada.

On y voit des entrevues avec la travailleuse communautaire May Chiu, l’éditeur de La Presse Chinoise (華僑時報) Crescent Chau, le dissident chinois Harry Wu et l’ancien secrétaire d’état fédéral David Kilgour (signataire du rapport éponyme), et les sinologues David Ownby et Loïc Tassé de l’Université de Montréal.

Il s’agit d’un portrait peu flatteur fait des activités du Falun Dafa au Québec et au Canada. Le reportage dresse un historique des démêlés entre les Falungongistes et Crescent Chau (poursuivi en 2001 pour avoir publié un article d’une ex-Falungongiste dans son journal en langue chinoise de la rue Clark), puis parle des très grands moyens que posséderait l’organisation du Falun Gong.

Spécialiste questions chinoise Université de Montréal
Loïc Tassé de l’Université de Montréal.

L’intégrale vidéo : Partie 1 | Partie 2 | Partie 3

Créé en 1992, Falun Gong est un mouvement politique et religieux qui combine foi bouddhique, exercices physiques et méditation. Interdit en Chine depuis 1999, Falun Gong a essaimé dans le reste du monde et ses adeptes sont de plus en plus visibles dans les communautés chinoises expatriées.

Doté d’importants moyens financiers, Falun Gong suscite parfois de la méfiance et créé même un certain malaise dans les villes où le mouvement est implanté. C’est notamment le cas dans le Chinatown de Montréal.

(Voir la page web de Enquête)

Grande parade à Flushing, NY

Au début de l’année, ce blogue avait rapporté qu’un article de la Presse Canadienne sur le « Chinese New Year Spectacular », passé dans les principaux médias web au pays parlait de ce spectacle sans en mentionner ses commanditaires. Je n’ai pas eu le temps de descendre au Quartier Chinois avec ma caméra, mais cette année, les organisateurs de l’événement ont inscrit visiblement au bas de leurs posters qu’ils étaient liés au Falun Gong.

Falun Gong à Montréal

Continue readingMalaise dans le Chinatown : une enquête de Radio-Canada sur le Falun Gong”