20e anniversaire de 6/4 ou Tiananmen: Émission spéciale à RCV 102,3FM

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Tourists on Tian'anmen Square

L’équipe chinoise de Radio Centre-Ville diffusera une émission spéciale en direct ce jeudi, 4 juin, de 22h30 à 23h30. (Écoutez en direct)

Nous aurons des commentaires de la part de Raymond Wong Yuk Man, politicien et activiste très connu à Hong Kong (finalement pas non plus), et de Loïc Tassé, chargé de cours au département de Science politique de l’Université de Montréal, et fréquent commentateur des questions chinoises sur les grands médias (qui nous parlera de son séjour à Beijing avant et pendant 6/4) (finalement pas).

De plus, nous recevrons Trevor Fraser qui aura organisé avec QPIRG McGill un événement à la mémoire de 6/4. Je ferai également partie d’un panel en compagnie des animateurs habituels des émissions en mandarin et en cantonais (l’émission sera d’ailleurs multilingue, surtout en chinois, mais également avec des bouts en français et en anglais).

Écrivez à l’équipe si vous avez des suggestions ou questions: chinois@radiocentreville.com

Radio Centre-Ville - Cinq FM

Twenty Years After June 4th – Memorial & Open Discussion

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Twenty Years After 6/4

Presented by QPIRG McGill, Twenty Years After June 4th is a memorial for the event of Tian’anmen Square in 1989, commonly known as “6/4” in the Chinese-speaking world. The animated NFB film Sunrise Over Tiananmen Square by Chinese-Canadian director WANG Shuibo will be screened.

Memorial: Wed June 3rd, 2009, 2-7PM
Screening of “Sunrise Over Tiananment Square” & discussion: Wed June 3rd, 2009, 5PM
Address: 3480 rue McTavish
Infos: QPIRG (514-398-7432)

Twenty Years After 6/4

Twenty Years After 6/4

My Little Airport: Donald Tsang, Please Die

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6/4, aka the Tiananmen Events, here in the West, is certainly no laughing matter. When Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, said that he represented the views of the Hong Kong people by saying during question-and-answer period that the incidents happened years ago and that the territory’s a lot more prosperous today, well, it caused a wave of reactions. (see YouTube, in Cantonese)

After question period, after 23 pan-democrats walked out of LegCo, Tsang disappeared and reappeared after 30 minutes to offer an apology and recognize that what he said was wrong.

A day later (it was May 14), My Little Airport releases “Donald Tsang, Please Die” and rhymes “Die” with “Kai”, as in “Ngo Tei Sat Seung Kai” (We’re taking the streets for sure). “Tung Chee Hwa might’ve been bad, but at least he’s got a good conscience.”

Download the MP3 here:
Donald Tsang, Please Die

That’s after writing this other song last month to demand that the salary of Stephen Lam (Secretary for Mainland and Constitutional Affairs), namely a monthly 300,000 HKD (43,000 CAD), be split. Who said that the Chinese didn’t have a sense of humour?

Une soirée à la radio communautaire

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Cinq FM 102,3

J’ai passé la fin de soirée d’hier avec mes collègues de l’équipe chinoise (cantonaise) de Radio Centre-Ville 102,3FM (« Spécial du jour / édition Joyeux mercredi »). L’équipe chinoise diffuse en cantonais les mardis et mercredis entre 22h30 et 23h30, et en mandarin les jeudis aussi entre 22h30 et 23h30, puis les dimanches de 8h à 10h.

Exceptionellement, je fais ce jeudi en chin-franglais en remplacement, et puis le jeudi prochain, 4 juin, nous faisons une émission multilingue spéciale sur les événements de Tiananmen (6/4).


Billy Chan + his iPhone

Brenda, aux commandes


Na-姐, Billy, Christie

Montreal’s Noodles and Dumplings: Homemade for takeout at Bonjour Supermarché (4 of 4)

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Produit maison - Dumplings at Bonjour Supermarket

Bonjour Supermarché 你好超市

Ever craved for dumplings and too lazy to wrap your own, but too fine-bouche for frozen ones? My friend Rob Parungao recently told me about this Chinese supermarket just across from where he lived, on de Maisonneuve, in that residential area west of Concordia and home to a new Chinatown 2. For $6.99 and two hours in advance, they can make you a portion of dumplings of the flavour of your choice, which can usually be anything sold in the store.

On my first order there last Saturday, I had chives, pork and shrimp. To be noted that the skins aren’t homemade – but it’s still better than frozen ones. I ate six once I got home and kept the rest in the freezer, ironically.

One of the co-owners told me that they opened their supermarket only eight or nine months ago. That location was in fact a laundry house or laudromat, she says.

Montreal’s Noodles and Dumplings: Noodle Factory (3 of 4)

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Fresh noodles

Fresh noodles

Noodles, fresh

Noodle Factory on St-Urbain in Chinatown is the only place in Montreal that makes its own Chinese noodles. The must-have is its zha jiang mian, or “fried sauce noodles”, which are wheat noodles served with a soybean-based sauce usually with ground pork in it. It’s really like a kind of Chinese spaghetti.

The other must-have are the xiao long bao — which would be a lot better if the long (steamers) could be a little larger. The problem is that pieces tend to stick between them, making the broth contained in the xiao long bao (the main attraction of those) be quickly evacuated through the parchment paper. In Montreal, they are still the best I’ve had. The skins could still be thinner, if you wondered.

Montreal’s Noodles and Dumplings: Making your own (2 of 4)

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Stuffing dumplings is a methodical business

Making dumplings is not a family tradition at all. My father occasionally makes wontons (once a year perhaps) in its most basic form of shrimp and pork and skins that you buy from the supermarket.

On the other hand, in my desire to be different from family tradition, I’ve been inviting friends over for many years to make dumplings. We treat it as a social activity, sort of to pay hommage to the cult of slow food – because making dumplings is kind of slow.

There was this time last month when coming home from a long day at work, I felt like making dumplings at home. I also happened to have a pack of frozen ground lamb (from Adonis, a Middle-Eastern supermarket chain) that had been sitting there for many months. Here’s what it looked like after I added coriander, green onions and seasoning (soy sauce, sugar, salt):

Ball of lamb meat

Then, I decided that they wouldn’t be homemade dumplings if I didn’t also make my own skins. In my first few dumplings parties, I always made my own skins, but found that most people didn’t and that it was so time-consuming that it started to have an averse effect on appetite… Skins are fairly simple: flour + water, until you get a ball of moist dough.

Using a plastic beer mug that followed me since one of those inter-university conventions of my undergraduate years, I would make individual skins starting from small ball (roughly the size of a large marble).

Spread the dough

Lamb dumplings, ready to get steamed

Then, you can either send them to the steamer or the frying pan. The fried option is perhaps tastier and requires you to add half an inch of water to a frying pan and a good tablespoon of oil. Boil the dumplings until the water dries out and fry both sides to get the crisp brown texture. Then, serve and enjoy.

It took me maybe an hour and a half from the time I broke open the flour bag to eating the first (steamed) batch. With a ball of lamb the size of a softball, I had enough dumplings for the night, lunch and one more portion for the freezer.

I must say that I still have trouble making skins that are as thin as those served in restaurants like Qing Hua Yuan. However, it’s a rather simple and easy meal to prepare; probably even fun to do with friends in any season.

Montreal’s Noodles and Dumplings: Qing Hua Yuan (1 of 4)

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Pork and anise dumpling at Qing Hua Yuan 青花苑, Montreal

Dumplings at Qing Hua Yuan 青花苑, Montreal

Dumplings at Qing Hua Yuan 青花苑, Montreal

Edit: Qing Hua Dumplings closed down in June or July 2009 because of a zoning issue. They are going to re-open somewhere in the Lincoln / St-Mathieu area with a larger location. Are handmade dumplings becoming the new sushi?

I discovered Qing Hua Yuan Dumplings (1240 St-Marc, corner Tupper) just over a month ago. Like a lot of people, according to this Chowhound thread, I’ve been waiting and waiting for a restaurant specializing in the Chinese dish of dumplings (jiaozi).

Well, there it is, opened by a certain Mr. Song, on St-Marc, just south of Ste-Catherine on what seems to be a residential block. It’s also really close to the Canadian Centre for Architecture.

About the dumplings, they can either be boiled, steamed or fried. The fried option: I never actually had it and doubt that it is even available. The steamed option is by far the best one in terms of experience, but not if you are in a hurry. It will take an average of 20 minutes to get your steamers of dumplings.

The result is something that goes unmatched in Montreal with its main qualities being thin skin and quantities of tasty broth. Qing Hua Yuan is also remarkable because its menu is almost exclusively dumplings. No General Tao chicken (thank Gott), and only cold Chinese salads (cucumber, or cabbage and vermicelli) as the “stomach-holder” while waiting for things to steam.

Briefly before the Mirror‘s Mark Slutsky and La Presse‘s Marie-Claude Lortie wrote about Qing Hua Yuan, you could order some beef noodles, which is a bowl of handmade wheat noodles served in a spicy soup with Chinese vegetable and slices of precooked beef.

Dumplings steamer

Qing Hua Yuan 青花苑 (Green Courtyard) - 1240 Rue St-Marc

Les nouilles chinoises à L’épicerie sur Radio-Canada

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Voici un reportage de L’épicerie qui a passé la semaine dernière à la Télévision de Radio-Canada:

On imagine souvent que les nouilles chinoises sont toutes les mêmes. Il en existe en fait plusieurs variétés, fabriquées à partir de farine de riz, de blé ou de fèves. Chaque région de Chine a sa spécialité, et il existe même des nouilles fabriquées spécialement pour l’exportation. La diversité se retrouve aussi dans la façon de les cuire et de les apprêter.

Finding potted Asian plants and herbs in Brossard

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Asian plants at Heng-Heng grocery store


Asian plants at Heng-Heng grocery store

Just as your local home renovation centre is bringing out flowers, herbs and other greens to seduce you, I found out on Monday that a grocery store in Brossard (Taschereau, where else), Heng-Heng, is in turn selling potted plants of all sorts: melons, chilis, herbs that you put in your pho (the middle pic, says Vietnamese friend).

I didn’t in fact buy anything there, preferring to settle for “Western” plants for now. They include the very versatile coriander, one that can be used interchangeably in dishes, east, west confounded.

Asian plants

If my notes are accurate, the three plants in the previous pic were, from top to bottom, chili, bitter melon and cucumber.

Most plants were priced at 2$ per pot. For a limited time, I guess.

Through the Gate : Muslims in Hong Kong

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I’ve known Chris DeWolf mostly for his pictures and written press pieces in Montreal, but now here’s what’s his first video documentary that he made as a HKU student.

It’s about the Jamia Mosque in Mid-Levels, Hong Kong. If you take the Mid-Levels escalator, one of the more peculiar “touristic” attractions of Hong Kong Island, the Mosque can’t possibly be missed. In fact, on my first visit to Hong Kong, I had a pic of this said Mosque, taken on my “tour” of the Escalator-To-Almost-Nowhere:

Hong Kong 2002

Hong Kong is in fact a more “diverse” society than any other in East Asia, as could be seen in movies like Chungking Express (that also contains a few memorable scenes off the said-escalator).

Read the review published with the video on Urbanphoto.