Tuesday, December 8, 2020

New Sampan Article: Ar-Showe, a Weatlthy Chinese Tea Seller

   The most interesting feature of Chinese life to me was that on board their boats, or sampans, as they are called....Upon these boats live whole families of three and even four generations."

--The Fall River Daily Herald, November 20, 1888

As I've mentioned previously, I've a new writing gig, contributing to Sampan, the only bilingual Chinese-English newspaper in New England. I've previously written twelve articles for Sampan, including:

My newest article, Ar-Showe: A Wealthy Chinese Tea Seller, is now available in the new issue of Sampan. Ar-Showe was one of the first Chinese to settle in Boston and soon became involved in the tea industry, eventually opening his own tea shop and becoming a wealthy man. Interestingly, he also worked for P.T. Barnum for a time, acting as an interpreter and traveling across Europe. Ar-Showe was a popular figure, and faced much less racism than the Chinese who would come later to Boston, partially as Ar-Showe was seen as more unique, and not a threat to anyone's jobs. If only Americans had treated all Chinese like Ar-Showe, the world would have been a better place. 

I'm currently working on a new article for the Sampan. 

What is a "sampan?" The newspaper's site states, "A sampan is a popular river boat in traditional China. This small but useful vessel, by transporting cargo from large boats to the village ports, creates a channel of communication among villages." And like that type of boat, Sampan delivers news and information all across New England, and "acts a bridge between Asian American community organizations and individuals in the Greater Boston area."

Sampan, which was founded in 1972, is published by the nonprofit Asian American Civic Association, "The newspaper covers topics that are usually overlooked by the mainstream press, such as key immigration legislation, civil rights, housing, education, day-care services and union activities. These issues are crucial to the well-being of Asian immigrants, refugees, low-income families as well as individuals who are not proficient in the English language."

There is plenty of interest in Sampan which will appeal to all types of readers, from restaurant reviews to historical articles, from vital news stories to travel items. In these current days when racism and prejudice against Asians and their restaurants is high, it's more important than ever that accurate information about the Asian community is disseminated and promoted. We need to combat the irrational prejudices that some possess, and support our Asian communities just as we would support any other element of our overall community. We are all important aspects of a whole, and we need to stand together.

Support Sampan!

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