Overseas Chinese raise funds for quake victims

Updated: 2013-05-07 11:10

By Yu Wei in San Francisco (China Daily)

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Although far from home, overseas Chinese in Silicon Valley have teamed up to raise funds for victims of the devastating earthquake that ravaged Sichuan province on April 20.

More than 200 people died in the disaster, with more than 12,000 injured.

A fundraising concert, held on Saturday in Sunnyvale, California, featured performances by local artists and Chinese students from Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley; University of San Francisco; and California State University East Bay. Almost 200 Local Chinese businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals joined the concert.

"Chinese people in the Bay Area have a glorious patriotic tradition," said Xiao Xiayong, culture counselor at the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco. "When there is such a difficult time in China, people here are willing to do something for their compatriots. Our students especially have this awareness, which I think is very commendable."

Xiao said the Chinese general consulate in San Francisco has received many donations from overseas Chinese organizations since the earthquake struck Ya'an, Sichuan province.

"Everyone aims to help in his or her best possible way. People's small charity has really shown their big heart," Xiao said.

All the donations collected at the concert will be donated to the quake victims through the Chinese Consulate General.

"We will help to transfer the donations to China's Ministry of Civil Affairs as soon as possible," Xiao said.

Wang Lihong, an organizer of the event, said the fundraising concert was the first to be organized by Chinese students across multiple universities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"Those students and people in our community felt a sense of solidarity with the victims of the Ya'an earthquake and are eager to show love for people from our home country even though we are far away. It is a very sad time both for the people in China and for overseas Chinese communities. Our thoughts are always with them," Wang said.

Wang said the concert was prepared in two weeks. Performers sung Chinese and English songs and played Chinese traditional musical instruments. One of the highlights of the concert came when Yang Ru, president of the California International Calligraphy and Painting Academy, drew Chinese calligraphy on stage while California State University East Bay student Wang Jianlin played the flute.

Yang wrote shang shan ruo shui, which means "the highest level of morality is that of water" and was taken from the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Zi. She also wrote da ai wu hen, which means "great love without trace" and was taken from the ancient Chinese philosopher Zhuang Zi.

"I believe giving love for those in need should be presented subtly and in a low-key manner," Yang said. "I hope my love and care can be delivered to the earthquake victims through the ink."

Sun Haotian, co-president of the Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Stanford University, said this event gave students the opportunity to help out.

The Stanford University association helped to host a charity walk immediately after the earthquake and raised $2,000 for quake survivors.