Ding Ding TV report – Thank you to everyone who participated in Celebrate Lunar New Year Together 2024

What are our strengths, and what unites us? What makes us feel like we belong in our communities?

On February 17th, over 1000 people braved the weather to gather at Ding Ding TV backyard for the Second “Celebrate Lunar New Year Together.” Over the weekend, the Bay Area was battered by storms and the event organizers put together big tents with heaters to protect the attendees from the elements. People came together in great numbers to celebrate – share food and their stories with one another in a joyous celebration of the Lunar New Year.

25 elected officials attended, and about 100 diverse artists performed at the event. “Celebrate Lunar New Year” included Taste of Asian Food with vendors that prepared complimentary Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese food, Atul Bharat, Indian, Nepali, Kosher and vegetarian cuisine. One of the event’s highlights was the Santa Clara Fire Department’s (the event’s partner) Fire Engine and Fire Dog display, popular with children and grown-ups alike. There were 20 vendor booths where local artists and artisans showcased their arts and crafts with plenty of activities for children and adults, and Master Jinling Wang created calligraphy signs.

Minh Tran (Chair of Second Celebrate Lunar New Year Together) and Diana Ding (Co-Founding Chair) lead the team that hosted the event. Kai Jackie (Ding Ding TV reporter) and Li Zhang interviewed over 20 people and many of the elected officials who celebrated the Lunar New Year with the community.

Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor greeted the attendees at the event and said: “I want to thank Diana and her staff at Ding Ding TV for putting together this fabulous event… Diana and her staff have been so wonderful to our community and what she has done for me and for the city of Santa Clara. She has educated us on everything that has to do with diversity, inclusiveness, and all sorts of things including business and community relations.”

San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan said: “We are grateful to Diana and Ding Ding TV for bringing us together, convening exchanges and opportunities to learn and gather and celebrate our incredibly diverse cultures in the city of San Jose. We are incredibly proud that 42% of our population is Asian American, and we have made Lunar New Year a city holiday for the first time.”

Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein said, “I want to thank Diana and Ding Ding TV for being the voice of the Asian community. It is amazing the community they built, and being that voice is critical because it is a community that often isn’t heard from and isn’t seen. Pulling them together with events like this is exactly what you want to see in our community.”

Patrick Aherns, the District Director for Assemblymember Evan Low and the candidate for the State Assembly, presented Diana Ding with the Woman of the Year Award on behalf of the State of California.

The event included Civic Leadership Forum Silicon Valley with the topic “Bring Communities Together to Stop the Hate.” Joel Wong served as the moderator of the panel, and the panelists included Alan Wong (President of the San Francisco Community College Board), Beverly Molina (Firefighter, paramedic, and the Director of Community Engagement at the Santa Clara Fire Department), Harbir Bhatia (the CEO of Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce), and Philip Nguyen (the Executive Director of the Vietnamese American Roundtable and a professor at San Francisco State University). Joel Wong asked the panelists to share when they really felt that they belonged in this country and some of the occasions that they didn’t.

Panelists shared stories about their backgrounds.

Philip Nguyen, whose parents are refugees from Vietnam, shared how at home he felt too American while in the outside world, he felt like an imposter.

Harbir Bhatia spoke about being Indian, Punjabi, and Sikh and how she didn’t fit all when she came to the United States. She felt she belonged when she moved to California and saw the diversity. She also stressed the importance of realizing just how special and precious that is. Harbir said: “It is not a melting pot, it is a salad bowl.”

Alan Wong spoke about the importance of the educational system to get equitable access for all people and community colleges being places where people get a second chance in life.

Philip Nguyen spoke about the importance of Asian American Stories Video Competition and how it encourages people of all generations to tell their stories, as he didn’t have these stories growing up. He also said when growing up, food and stories were the language of love.

Beverly Molina said her experience of growing biracial informed her work with the Fire Department and how they try to hire people who speak more languages and are culturally competent to better serve everyone in the community.

About 100 artists performed at Celebrate Lunar New Year. The performances included the Vietnamese Dance “Spring in the South” and “Em di Chua Huong,” the Korean dance Uhwudong, the Beijing opera dance, the Chinese Dragon Dance, and the Original of the Chinese Spring Festival. Young artists also performed Japanese, Vietnamese, and Chinese songs. Children in attendance received red envelopes.

Elected officials that participated in the event included:
Evan Low (California State Assembly),
Aisha Wahab (California State Senator),
the representative of Ash Karal (California State Assembly),
the representative of Dave Cortese (California State Senator),
Susan Ellenberg (Santa Clara County Supervisor),
Cindy Chavez (Santa Clara County Supervisor),
Matt Mahan (San Jose Mayor),
Lisa Gillmor (Santa Clara Mayor),
Kathy Watanabe (Santa Clara Councilmember),
Suds Jain (Santa Clara Councilmember),
Yan Zhao (Saratoga Mayor),
Sheila Mohan (Cupertino Mayor),
Larry Klein (Sunnyvale Mayor),
Patrick Ahrens (De Anza Foothills College Board President),
Bien Doan (San Jose city Councilmember),
Margaret Abe-Koga (Mountain View city Councilmember),
Yang Shao (Fremont Vice Mayor),
Hung Wei (Cupertino city Councilmember and former Mayor),
Greg Tanaka (Palo Alto City Councilmember),
Linda Sell (Sunnyvale Councilmember),
Betty Duong C (CSO of Supervisor Cindy Chavez),
Vickie Fairchild (Santa Clara Unified School District President),
Bonnie Lieberman (Santa Clara Unified School District President),
Ben Yee (Chair of Fremont Planning Commissioner), and
Alan Wong (San Francisco City College Board President).

Celebrate Lunar New Year was organized by Ding Ding TV, Silicon Valley Community Media, and Vietnamese in San Jose Group. Partner of the event included California State Library. Co-organizers of the event included Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce, Phu Nu Cali Magazine, Santa Clara Fire Dept, India Currents, National Asian American United, and Silicon Valley Korean American Federation.

Volunteers that made the event possible included Diana, Minh, Queenie, Beverly, Tran, Francis, Vandana, Joel, Wesley, Harbir, Daniel, Jaya, Joanna, Susan, Hong, Amy, Jimmy, Chin, Liyan, Meiya, Tien, Sara, Nora, and Khochuoi.

Organizing committee included: Diana Ding (Founding Chair of Celebrate Lunar New Together), Minh Thanh Tran (Chair of 2024, President of Vietnamese In San Jose Group), Queenie Ngo (Co-Chair, President of Phu Nu Cali Magazine), Beverly Molina (Co-Chair, Community Engagement / IDE Officer – Santa Clara Fire Dept.), Tran Vu (Co-Chair, Board Member of Organization of Anonymous Contributors), Vandana Kumar (Co-Chair, President of India Currents), Joel Wong (Co-Chair, President of National Asian American United), Harbir Bhatia (Co-Chair, CEO of Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce), and Sarah Han (Co-Chair, Silicon Valley Korean American Federation).


Our heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who made the event possible, to all the elected officials, and each and every single person who attended the event!

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Celebrate Lunar New Year Together – Assemblymember Evan Low


Celebrate Lunar New Year Together – Assemblymember Evan Low

What are our strengths, and what unites us? What makes us feel like we belong in our communities? On February 17th, over 1000 people braved the weather to gather at Ding Ding TV backyard for the Second “Celebrate Lunar New Year Together.” Over the weekend, the Bay Area was battered by storms and the event […]


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