News

2018 Oregon-China Conference on Culture, Language, and Business.

As long time partners with the Confucius Institute we are proud that two of our PSSCA Board Members will be presenting special topics.

Jeffrey Kinkley, PSSCA: SecretaryPresenting in a language panel discussion on fiction and film as resources for teaching modern Chinese history along with Desmond Cheung, Assistant Professor of History at Portland State University (PSU). Jeffrey is a Courtesy Professor of History also at PSU.

Adam Carpenter, PSSCA: MarketingPresenting in a business panel and presenting topic titled: "Coffee, Cash & Communism: Relating firsthand stories working in and with China since 2004." Adam works in Business Development and Marketing at Matisse Capital.

Oregon-China Conference on Culture, Language, and Business

The Confucius Institute at Portland State University (CIPSU) is delighted to invite you to the 2018 Oregon-China International Conference on Culture, Language, and Business held on Thursday, September 13, 2018. This collaborative project among CIPSU, WorldOregon, the Oregon Department of Education, Northwest China Council, and Institute for Asian Studies at PSU brings together educators, business leaders, students, and members of the general public and covers the following topics:

  • Cultural Studies

  • Language Education

  • International Business

In addition, this event is an opportunity for those interested in learning more about Confucius Institute programming, sharing experiences of their partnerships with China, and exploring best practices and opportunities in Confucius Classrooms.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Mel Gurtov, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University Mr. Derrick Olsen, President of WorldOregon

Rose Bed Dedication and Tree Planting Ceremonies

July 28, 2018 PSSCA Rose Bed Dedication and Tree Planting Ceremonies Celebrations of the 30-year Portland-Suzhou Sister City anniversary began Saturday morning, July 28, 2018, with the dedication of a rose bed in Washington Park.

On behalf of Portland Parks and Recreation, Rachel Burlington, Curator of the International Rose Test Garden welcomed the delegations from Suzhou led by Mr. Gu Jie, Secretary General of Standing Committee of Suzhou Municipal People’s Congress.

The City of Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler, International Relations Director, Chido Dhliwayo and Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association (PSSCA) President, Bob Fraser, addressed the group of delegates, PSSCA Board Directors and Royal Rosarians.

The Mayor and Mr. Gu Jie, together planted and watered a rose bush in the rose bed dedicated to the PSSCA.   

The group then reassembled at the Hoyt Arboretum where they were met by Hoyt Curator Martin Nicholson. A scenic walk along the Bristlecone Pine Trail brought them to the area in the Hoyt Chinese Forest where an Osmanthus heterophyllus “Variegatus’ was planted in honor of 30 years of sister city relations between Suzhou and Portland. This tree is a twin of a tree to be planted in the Lan Su Chinese Garden, both propagated from the 100 year old  Osmanthus nicknamed “Old Gui” or old noble one, that resided in the Lan Su courtyard until recently.

The group heard remarks by Martin Nicholson, Elizabeth Edwards, City of Portland Director of the Office of Government Relations, Lynne McIntyre, Immediate Past President of PSSCA, Mayor Ted Wheeler and Mr. Gu Jie. The tree planting at Hoyt was a fitting follow up of the tree planting ceremony that took place in Suzhou during the Mayor’s delegation in April.

 

 

Suzhou Poster Design Exhibition, “Innovative Suzhou, Great Journey”

Portland City Hall - July 27, 2018 to August 3, 2018 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of sister city relations between Suzhou and Portland and also the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up.  iSuzhou, part of Suzhou Daily, organized a poster design competition to highlight Suzhou’s journey in the past 40 years and to promote international exchanges in culture and cultural innovation.  Over 3000 entries were submitted into the competition by Suzhou citizens. The best 50 entries were selected as part of the “Innovative Suzhou, Great Journey” exhibit in Portland City Hall for the Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association’s 30th Anniversary Celebration festivities.

A ribbon cutting ceremony took place in the afternoon on July 27th in the North Atrium of  Portland City Hall. Ms. Chido Dhilwayo, Director of International Relations for the City of Portland, served as Master of Ceremony.  The event was organized by the Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association in collaboration with iSuzhou, Suzhou Foreign Affairs Office, and the Office of Government Relations of City of Portland.

Five Royal Rosarians warmly welcomed the Suzhou Delegation led by Mr. Gu Jie, Secretary General of Standing Committee of Suzhou Municipal Peoples’ Congress to Portland with welcome greetings and a commemorative certificate.   Mayor Ted Wheeler of City of Portland and Secretary General Gu Jie of Suzhou both gave remarks. Mayor Wheeler exchanged gifts with Mr. Jie, also accepted a seal with his name from the exhibit curator and signed a commemorative certificate.  

The ribbon cutting ceremony was performed by Secretary General. Gu Jie, Mayor Wheeler and representatives from both Cities of Portland and Suzhou.  A group photo was taken to mark this special occasion and everyone enjoyed looking through the beautiful poster exhibit before the event ended.

 

Original link here (note Chinese language)

 

 

My First PediCab Ride at the Portland Grand Floral Parade 2018

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Article contributed by Yeshe Versluys

(The son of PSSCA board member JeanLi)

Hi, my name is Yeshe and I attend Lake Oswego Junior High.

 

On June 9th, 2018, I participated for my first time in the annual Grand Floral Parade, part of Portland’s Rose Festival. I had a great time riding in the pedi-cab representing the Suzhou-Portland Sister City Association. We (My mom and I) arrived bright and early in the morning at the meeting place (which took some effort to find) and immediately got to work, decorating our cab with bundles of bright and scented flowers. Our fellow decorators from other associations commended us on our extravagant bundles of flowers lining the bright orange cab. Finally, our group arrived at the start of the parade, and I saw just how complex, but well organized an operation this was. Horses lined the street, their riders mounted high above everyone else, sporting bright colors and intricate designs in their clothing. I also noticed the various floats that were positioned behind our ensemble of 20 or so carts. Then we started moving.

I have two favorite moments from the parade; the first one was when our caravan entered the coliseum. I remember waving at the massive crowd of people lining the edges of the room, I couldn’t help but smile, taken away by the big audience and grand introduction. As our fleet exited the coliseum, I knew this would be a fun day.

My other favorite moment from the parade was seeing all of the different people, from different backgrounds and a wide range of ethnicities, coming together for this event. It brought a grin to my face as we paraded down the streets smiling, waving, and our drivers cheering their heads off (figuratively). I also enjoyed seeing people’s faces light up when they recognized the various cities being represented, I heard people on the side saying things like “Oh, Oh, Suzhou! I recognize that!”. I even saw some of my classmates there.

All in all, I had such an amazing time and I look forward to attending and maybe even participating next year!

 

2017 Jiangsu International Youth Art Contest

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Principal Julie Rickman of the Hope Chinese Charter School accepted the invitation from PSSCA President Lynne McIntyre and her VP Robert Fraser to participate in the 2017 Jiangsu International Youth Art Contest sponsored by the Jiangsu Provincial Government and Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation.

The purpose of this Contest was to highlight the friendship between the young generation of Jiangsu’s 13 cities including Portland Sister City to Suzhou and those in their sister cities around the world. This Contest encouraged the participation of children aged between 6 and 12 to introduce their hometown by painting in the universal language of art.

The theme of this Contest was “Painting Your Home, Dreaming Your Future”. The selected works will be exhibited in China, and the young artists will be awarded a certificate to celebrate their participation in this Contest. All students participating in the contest from Hope Chinese Charter School will receive a Certificate of Friendship with the City of Suzhou from PSSCA.

Yuan (Yuri) Liu Lead Chinese Teacher & Curriculum Coordinator, coordinated the project with the able assistance of Third Grade Mandarin Teacher Sara Li, Third Grade English Teacher, Carrina Schindler and Kindergarten English Teacher Kelly Matsushima. Approximately 40 students in total from both classes participated. Samuel William's artwork (right) from the Hope Chinese Charter School was one of three drawings submitted from the third grade for the competition.

2017 Portland Suzhou Student Exchange Program

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January of this year 2017, seventy seven students and 9 teachers from 5 schools in Suzhou had an extraordinary opportunity to experience Portland and our Portland-Suzhou Sister City Schools, and most of all to make new friends. It was also an opportunity for these students and teachers to experience a snow storm, an unusual experience for both cities.

Hosford Middle School hosted 27 students 3 teachers from Lida Middle School and ten students and their teacher from Dongshan Moli Middle School. The International School hosted 24 students and 2 teachers from Suzhou Experimental Elementary School. The Hope Chinese Charter School hosted 15 students and 2 teachers from Jiangsu Primary School which is attached to Xinsu Normal School. The French American International School hosted 6 students and 1 teacher from Jingfan Middle School. Jackson Middle School hosted students and teachers from Suzhou No. 10 Middle School.

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PSSCA wishes to thank PSSCA Board Member Kojo Hakam, PPS Mandarin Immersion Curriculum Specialist for Portland Public Schools and Ms. Hanning Bi, Executive Director of Portland’s Skybridge International for helping coordinate these student exchange programs. A number of these schools in Portland will be sending their students to experience Suzhou this year and to practice their Mandarin.

Also a big thanks to Lynne McIntyre, PSSCA President, Alice Lee, Treasurer and Robert Fraser VP, and Board Member Wei Nathan for visiting the schools and participating in their welcoming ceremonies. Each of the schools from Suzhou were presented with a welcoming letter from our Mayor Ted Wheeler.

2016 World Friendship Day

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March 12, 2016 PSSCA hosted a table at the Saturday, March 12, 2016 World Friendship Day event at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Vancouver, Washington. The event, sponsored by Friendship Force Columbia Cascade, commemorated the founding of Friendship Force International in 1977, a non-profit organization introduced by President Jimmy Carter that promotes international cultural exchange visits including home stays. PSSCA Board representatives, Maihwa Frances Li, Jennifer Li, Alice Yan Lee and Bonnie Starkey, hosted one of the 14 exhibitors’ tables at the event, displaying books and items from Suzhou and promoting the upcoming PSSCA Gala at Lan Su Chinese Garden on June 23

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Friendship Force International provides opportunities to explore new countries and cultures from the inside by bringing people together at the personal level. Through the signature program of home hospitality, local hosts welcome international visitors into their culture, sharing with them meals, conversation, and the best sights and experiences of their region.

2016 Portland Suzhou Exchange Program

Portland, Oregon February 1, 2016 Portland has once again hosted six school exchange programs representing approximately 100 students from middle and high schools from Suzhou China. This program occurs during the Chinese, “Spring Break” time period when students have two weeks of vacation.

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This program contributes to the ongoing success in promoting Portland as an excellent opportunity for a study abroad program for Chinese students interested in our K-12 programs as well as university studies here in Portland. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal the number of Chinese K-12 students rose 290% since 2008. There are now 360,091 Chinese students at US Universities. The benefits are enormous in terms of immediate and future economic development as well as global understanding and cooperation.

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The Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association in conjunction with Portland City Hall and Travel Portland participated in the welcoming ceremony for each school from Suzhou. In the cover photo, Bonnie Starkey has presented as a gift to the library of the Suzhou Experimental Elementary School Education Group the “Big and Awesome Bridges of Portland and Vancouver” by Portland author Sharon Wood Wortman and Ed Wortman. Jeff Hammerly, Manager, International Tourism -Asia at Travel Portland provided a Portland Travel Guide in Mandarin and a Portland Souvenir Notebook to record the memories of their visit.  A welcome letter from Mayor Hales was also presented. This presentation was made at the Cascade Heights Public Charter School. The French American International School, Woodstock Elementary School, The International School, Hosford Middle School and Cleveland High School also participated in the Suzhou Student Exchange program. Portland Board members presenting also included, Wei Nathan, Jenny Dong, Dr. Gao, Lynne McIntyre and Robert Fraser.

This exchange program which was first initiated by PSSCA could not be possible without the support of parents, teachers and school administrators as well coordinators Kojo Hakam, Curriculum Specialist, Portland public Schools Mandarin Immersion Program, and Hongyu Cai, Director of Skybridge International based in Portland, Oregon, a subsidiary of the Wuzhong Group, Suzhou, China.

The Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association is a non-profit organization of volunteers whose mission is the promotion of educational, cultural exchanges and business development between our two cities. Our annual fundraising Evening Under the Stars Gala is scheduled for Thursday, June 23 at the Lan Su Chinese Garden and is open to the Public. For additional information and sponsorships, contact Robert Fraser, Secretary at rjf@fraserglobalsourcing.com.

2015 Annual Meeting Dec 9 2015

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You are cordially invited to join us for a very special evening as we celebrate 30 years of history in the founding of the Portland-Suzhou Sister City Relationship and the development of its friendship project, the Lan Su Chinese Garden.We will pay tribute to the original founding group, many gathered in Portland this past summer to mark this very special milestone.Below are two pictures from their gathering in the Lan Su Chinese Garden with representatives from our association and the Lan Su Chinese Garden.

We are very honored to have as our keynote speaker, Mr. Patrick LaCrosse, one of the very few people that was involved from the beginning with this long and beautiful history 30 years ago.The title of Pat’s talk is “Suzhou, 1985.A Chance Encounter.”Pat is the former Director of the Portland Development Commission and first Director of the Lan Su Chinese Garden. 

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Pat was a member of the first Portland group to travel to Suzhou in 1985 that began the Portland Suzhou Sister City Relationship, was active for many years with PSU--Suzhou student relations, and was asked by Mayor Katz to take over the management of the Lan Su Chinese Garden 6 months prior to its grand opening in 2001.  Using anecdotes,  he will describe in detail some of the more colorful experiences.

Please join us to help celebrate these very special achievements.We look forward to greeting new and old friends, to thank our sponsors and supporters and to hold a short annual business meeting.

Date: Wednesday, Dec 9, 2015 6:00pm - Networking 6:30pm - Welcome 6:35pm - 10-course Chinese Dinner 7:30pm - Suzhou, 1985.  A Chance Encounter by Mr. Patrick LaCrosse 8:10pm - PSSCA Business Meeting/Election of 2016 Board and Officers 8:30 - 9:00pm - Networking

Location: Szechuan Chef Chinese Restaurant 5331 SW Macadam Ave, #115, Portland (Ground floor in John’s Landing)

PLEASE JOIN US!