Bellingham Sister Cities Video – It’s All About World Peace

Bellingham Sister Cities Association Board Member Lauren McClanahan recently produced a video about the history and goals of the Association and the City of Bellingham.

Featuring Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville, this video explores the experiences of some of its members and what the Bellingham Sister Cities Association hopes to achieve.

 

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Цагаан Сар/Tsagaan Sar Mongolian New Year Celebration!

Please join us for an afternoon of music, stories, food, good friends, and shared cultures!

  • Where: Bellingham Yacht Club, 2625 N Harbor Loop Dr, Bellingham, Washington 98225
  • When: March 4, 2017; 12:00pm—3:00pm
  • Can I contribute? It is a potluck! Please bring a dish to share. (Donations will be accepted in lieu of a dish. All proceeds to support Bellingham Sister Cities Association’s effort to promote world peace.)
  • Sponsored by: The Bellingham Sister Cities Association (BSCA) & The Blue Sky Education Project—Mongolia

Цагаан сар/Tsagaan Sar

Tsagaan Sar literally translates to “White Moon” in English, and is celebration of the first day of the Lunar calendar year. It occurs one month after the first new moon of the winter solstice. Tsagaan Sar is marked by visiting family, relatives, and friends (in this order), eating meat dumplings, called “buuz” Бууз (pronounced like the English word “boats”) among other traditional foods, and exchanging gifts/money.

The purpose of Tsagaan Sar is to greet the new year and send away the old year, to solidify the relationships between family and friends in the upcoming year and to start the year with a clean slate all around. In preparation for Tsagaan Sar many people repay debts and resolve disagreements, and essentially clean themselves both figuratively and literally in preparation for the upcoming new year so that the new year will start off ‘pure’ and white.

The celebration starts on the eve of Tsagaan Sar, which is called Bituun. It is the last day of the year and is spent sharing food and eating until everyone is full with family so that during the upcoming year, no one will go hungry. On the first day of Tsagaan Sar you start with greeting your immediate family, starting with the very oldest person first. People are greeted in the traditional manner, especially when greeting the oldest member of the family. We use the words “Amar baina uu?” to greet someone older than us, and the words “Amar sain uu?” to greet someone younger than us. Both phrases mean “Are you living peacefully?” in English. Usually the elder person has a hat on and is sitting, while the younger person does not have anything on their heads and is standing. To greet each other they both extend their hands and the younger persons’ arms hold up the older person’s hands. After this there are several other rituals, people ask each other about their herds, about the winter season, and how everyone’s Tsagaan Sar is going. This is also the time to learn from the experience of the elders and to teach the younger generation Mongolian customs.

Although, many Mongolians have discarded traditional clothing in favor of a more Western style of dress in everyday life in the city and towns, during Tsagaan Sar people wear their most ornate traditional clothing.

In addition to respecting and honoring your elders and solidifying relationships, Tsagaan Sar is the time to be eating. Before going straight to the buuz, people first ‘take a bite’ of tsagaalag, which means white-ing, it roughtly translates to vegetarian. Before eating anything people take a bite or spoonful of rice or some vegetarian option, such as any dairy product (aaruul, byaslag, tos). Then on the table there is usually lamb, a tall build of boov, buuz, salad, various meats, candy, and other foods and of course an always ready hot Mongolian tea.

We are looking forward to celebrating Tsagaan Sar with you!

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Japanese New Years – Shinnenkai – This Weekend January 14th!

shinnenkai (Japanese 新年会, literally “new year gathering”) is the Japanese tradition of welcoming the arrival of the New Year.  A shinnenkai is a shinnenkaiis their way of getting together to celebrate a new year and to make promises to each other to do their best for this year while wishing each other good luck and fortune.

You are invited to attend this event where there will be Mochi-Tsuki (A Japanese new years tradition), enjoy conversation, music and the potluck dishes that everyone should bring.  In addition to the celebration of the New Year, we will have a drawing for several items including a Japanese Silk Wall Hanging and a Blue Fin Sushi gift certificate.

This year we will hold the Shinnenkai at the Bellingham Yacht Club, 2625 South Harbor Loop Way, Bellingham, WA 98225 from 12:00-3:00 in the downstairs Ward Room.

Here is a link to last years pictures!

 

Co-sponsored by the Bellingham Sister Cities Association (BSCA) and the Whatcom Japanese Community Association

 

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A Note From Jeff Purdue About The Master of Asian Cinema Series

FlowingI hope everyone had a good summer. As you’ll note from the subject line, I’m now promoting a new film series called Masters of Asian Cinema. As I announced at the final film last year, the Masters of Japanese Cinema series is going to transform to have a broader focus. Why this change in focus? I’ve become increasingly excited by the films coming out of other countries in Asia, including Japan.

Twenty-Four-EyesFar from living in a time of the death of cinema, as some film writers seem to love to claim, we’re in a golden age of film, though you might have to haunt film festivals and other out of the way places in order to find the good stuff. And that’s just what this series aims to do – to bring several films to town during the course of the year that might otherwise not come here. We’ll also program some older titles that are newly available or otherwise under the radar. For example, in January we’ll be screening King Hu’s legendary martial arts epic A Touch of Zen, which has been out of circulation for many years and is recently restored in a glorious new print. As with the Masters of Japanese Cinema series, we will have local scholars and community members with a connection to film introducing these films before each screening.

woman-of-tokyoA list of the titles for this year is below my name. We will have three recent films from the People’s Republic of China, one from the modern master Jia Zhangke and two debut features. We will have one film by South Korean auteur Hong Songsoo, and the Taiwanese classic mentioned above, A Touch of Zen. We have two just-released films from Japan, and a lesser-known classic from Studio Ghibli. And, we will open with a documentary (about which more below).

I will say more about each film the week or so before they are screened. See you soon!

Jeff Purdue

  • December 6: Right Now, Wrong Then (dir. Hong Songsoo, South Korea, 2015)
  • January: A Touch of Zen (dir. King Hu, Taiwan, 1971)
  • February: Kaili Blues (dir. Bi Gan, China, 2015)
  • March: Creepy (dir. Kurosawa Kiyoshi, Japan, 2016)
  • April: Old Stone (dir. Johnny Ma, China, 2016)
  • May: Harmonium (dir. Fukada Koji, Japan, 2016)
  • June: Pom Poko (dir. Takahata Isao, Japan, 1994)

Also, as with the Japanese film series, Masters of Asian Cinema is a cooperative venture between the Libraries at Western Washington University and Pickford Film Center.

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Chamber Music, Artists, Auction And Great Food – Sign Up Today For The 2016 BSCA Annual Fundraiser

prague-orchestra-tourCome join us in a celebration of the diversity of cultures, listen to the beautiful sounds of the North Stars Chamber Orchestra, enjoy the artwork produced by Artists with Disabilites from our seven sister cities and dine on a meal for vegetarians, beef eaters and seafood lovers.

In addition to the great food that is being produced by the expert chef’s and culinary students at BTC, the Board of the Bellingham Sister Cities has obtained some great auction items that you will be able to bid on and take home, including a private concert with the North Stars Chamber Orchestra.

This will be a special evening, featuring food, brief international videos, music and artwork from our seven Sister Cites , and our silent auction. Remember, this will be held at Settlemyer Hall in the Campus Center Building at Bellingham Technical College, October 22, 2016 from 6:00-9:00. Doors will open at 5:30.

You can register by clicking here, or you can link to the registration from our home page on the upcoming events on the right side. Even if you cannot make it, please consider a donation to help your Bellingham Sister Cities continue its programs!

 

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BSCA 777 Dinner Fundraiser

Roast Salmon

Roast Salmon

BSCA 777 Fundraiser Dinner is a great opportunity to celebrate diversity of cultures, while enjoying a delicious dinner. Vegetarians, beef eaters and seafood lovers will all be honored equally!  The Bellingham Technical College will be preparing the following menu:  Fruit Salad (Waldorf Style), Arcadia Greens Mix Salad w/ two dressings, Greek Salad, Italian Black Rice, Roasted Seasonal Veggies, Scallop Potatoes, Baron of Beef, sautéed onions & mushroom, slider buns and au jus sauce, Carved Salmon (Wild Alaskan – Roasted Cedar  Salmon), served with a maple drizzle, assorted                                                                              fruit tartlets served with a la mode/whipped cream.

Not only will your taste buds be satiated, but your eyes will feast upon artwork art-image-03created by both local and international artists with disabilities. Their art will be on display during the special fund raising event: Seven Cities, Seven Cultures, Seven Challenges. Artists will have the option of either selling a piece of artwork, or allowing their art work to be on display.

This will be a special evening, featuring food, brief international videos, music and artwork from our seven Sister Cites , as well as a silent auction.  Remember, this will be held at Settlemyer Hall in the Campus Center Building at Bellingham Technical College, October 22, 2016 from 6:00-9:00.  Doors will open at 5:30.

You can register by clicking here, or you can link to the registration from our home page on the upcoming events on the right side.  Even if you cannot make it, please consider a donation to help your Bellingham Sister Cities continue its programs!

 

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Please Join Your Fellow Members Of Bellingham Sister Cities For Our 2016 Annual Fundraiser

artwork-for-articles

Artwork from the 2015 SISU Children’s Fund Artists With Disabilities Dinner

Come join us and the SISU Children’s Fund for an evening recognizing each of our Sister Cities, enjoy the artwork that is being produced by Artists With Disabilities from our countries and take advantage of the opportunity to purchase items from our auction.  100% of all procedes will be used for Bellingham Sister Cities Association projects.

This will be a special evening, featuring food, music and artwork from our seven Sister Cites and will be held at Settlemyer Hall in the Campus Center Building at Bellingham Technical College, October 22, 2016 from 6:00-9:00.  Doors will open at 5:30.

You can register by clicking here, or you can link to the registration from our home page on the upcoming events on the right side.  Even if you cannot make it, please consider a donation to help your Bellingham Sister Cities continue its programs!

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Come Join Your 2016 Lynda Hinton Windermere Real Estate Sister Cities Ski to Sea Team!

Lynda Hinton WindermereMeet the 2016 Lynda Hinton Windermere Sister Cities Ambassadors Ski to Sea Team!  Thanks to Lynda Hinton, Managing Broker at Windermere Real Estate as team sponsor we will have a true international team. Additional financial support has been provided by Saturna Capital, Bellingham Cold Storage, and Freeland and Associates. And, you are encouraged to participate in the public events surrounding your team’s visit that includes:

2016 Ski to Sea Media Calendar

And speaking of our Ski-To-Sea Team here they are:

2016 Ski to Sea Team Flyer

 Support our Sponsors:

2016 sponsor logo for footer

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Come Join Us To Celebrate Nakhodka Day In Bellingham!

Join us for this special event celebrating our Sister City Nakhodka Russia by registering here.

NakhodkaDayPoster.copy

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Images From Our Japanese New Year’s Celebration (Shinnenkai)

Some things are best said in pictures.  Enjoy, and we will see you next year!

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