Item consists of a recording of part three in a series of three “Back to the Roots” podcasts where the hosts Rose Wu and Wei Yan Yeong, "Dig up the roots of the past to unearth the foundations of the Chinese Canadian experience in Burnaby." This episode three is titled "Chinese Herbalist Shops and …
Podcasts hosts: Rose Wu; Wei Yan Yeong
Persons from recorded extracts: Denise Fong; Josephine Chow; Julie Lee
Guest: Dr. John Yang
Podcast Date: October 2020
Total Number of tracks: 1
Total Length of all tracks: 00:16:19 min
Photograph info: Store front of Way Sang Yuen Wat Kee & Co in Victoria, B.C., 1975. BV017.7.191
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Scope and Content
Item consists of a recording of part three in a series of three “Back to the Roots” podcasts where the hosts Rose Wu and Wei Yan Yeong, "Dig up the roots of the past to unearth the foundations of the Chinese Canadian experience in Burnaby." This episode three is titled "Chinese Herbalist Shops and TCM". The podcasts were created by students Rose Wu and Wei Yan Yeong from the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia Faculty and while student interns at Burnaby Village Museum. In this series the students connect their knowledge of food systems to their shared Chinese heritage in order to discover how Chinese Canadian history is rooted in their local food systems.
00:00 - 01:34
Podcast opens with an introduction to this episode in the podcast series.
01:35 - 03:43
This portion of the podcast consists of segments of pre-recorded interviews between Denise Fong and Chinese-Canadians Julie Lee and Josephine Chow who grew up in Burnaby. Josephine and Jule recall visiting herbalist shops in Vancouver's Chinatown during the nineteen fifties and sixties. Due to the lack of herbalist shops in the Burnaby community during that time, it was common for a Chinese farming family to travel to Vancouver’s Chinatown in order to obtain herbal prescriptions or dried goods. Julie speaks briefly about what the type of Traditional Chinese medical care and advice her mother and family received. Josephine Chow tells of a female Chinese doctor from Vancouver, Madeline Chung who was responsible for delivering a lot of Chinese babies including Josephine and describes how her mother would take members of the family to the herbalist in Vancouver's Chinatown.
03:44 - 04:44
In this portion, the hosts tell of how aside from its medicinal purposes, herbalist shops also have a major socio-cultural significance to the Chinese community. The hosts describe the traditional layout of Chinese herblist shops, with a table set up for the game Ma Jong in the back and a seating area where customers could chat while waiting and be served tea. The hosts provide an example of the "Way Sang Yuen Wat Kee & Co." herbalist shop in Victoria that was open between 1905 and 1967 and of how the shop and contents are now part of a permanent exhibit at the Burnaby Village Museum.
04:45 - 09:21
In this portion, the hosts describe "Traditional Chinese Medicine" also known as "TCM". In order to better understand the importance of TCM in Chinese culture, and specifically to Chinese-Canadian immigrants, the hosts interview Dr John Yang, the chairperson and program director of Kwantlen Polytechnic University's TCM program. Holding a PHD in TCM before migrating with his family to Canada, Dr Yang came here 30 years ago and immediately started his journey as a TCM practitioner at his home basement in Burnaby. Dr. Yang tells of how he worked with the lobbying group, ATCMA (The British Columbia Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Practitioners) to help legitimize TCM as a recognized form of medical health care. In 1996, the Canadian government finally approved the legitimization of TCM in Canada, where one is required to take a licensing exam before they’re allowed to start their practices in Canada.
09:22 - 15:17
In this portion of the podcast, Dr. Yang and hosts describe how Traditional Chinese Medicine and treatments differ from Western medicine, how TCM is a way of life and regularly incorporated into recipes and diets, the lack of social acceptance and the import of Chinese medicinal herbs and misconceptions.
15:18 - 16:19
Conclusion, credits and acknowledgements.
Beginning in 2018, University of British Columbia (UBC) students have interned with Burnaby Village Museum to create projects highlighting Chinese Canadian History in Burnaby. This project began as a joint partnership between Burnaby Village Museum and the UBC iniative for student teaching and research in Chinese Canadian Studies (INSTRCC), the UBC Asian Canadian & Asian Migration Studies program (ACAM), the UBC Centre for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL), the UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems, UBC Go Global and UBC St. John's College (SJC).
In 2020, due to the restrictions of COVID-19, the interns were asked to create virtual experiences to reimagine Burnaby Village Museum's historical Chinese Canadian programming in remote online spaces. Debbie Liang and Joty Gill (UBC alumni and graduates of Dr. Henry Yu's 2019 summer ACAM 390A Global Seminar to Aisa) returned to work with Burnaby Village Museum to create two short films showcasing the history of Chinese Canadian Chop Suey restaurants and piggeries in Burnaby. Rose Wu and Wei Yan Yeong (students in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC) created a three episode podcast series "Back to the Roots" which delved into the topics of family-operated farming businesses, Chinese contributions to early local and alternative food systems, and Traditional Chinese Medicine and herbalism. During their research the interns interviewed Dr. John Yang and Burnaby Village Museum researcher and PHD candidate, Denise Fong.
Title based contents of sound recording
See also Interview with Josephine Chow by Denise Fong February 7, 2020 - BV020.6.1; Interview with Julie Lee by Denise Fong February 6, 2020 - BV020.6.2
For associated video recording of research interview with Dr. John Yang - see BV020.28.1
Compilation of Research Resources used by authors Rose Wu and Wei Yan Yeong include:
B.C. to recognize doctors of Chinese medicine:
B.C. takes steps to legitimize traditional Chinese medicine:
Traditional Chinese medicine moves into the mainstream
Burnaby Village Museum - Interview with Josephine Chow by Denise Fong Feb. 7, 2020. BV020.6.1
Burnaby Village Museum, Interview with Julie Lee by Denise Fong Feb. 6, 2020. BV020.6.2