Show Some Love to Chinatown!

From New City Council Member Margaret Chin:

Since the coronavirus made the news, we have been seeing a rise in xenophobia and discrimination against Asian New Yorkers and businesses. There’s never an excuse to discriminate, yet sadly during Lunar New Year, what should be the busiest time of the year, Chinatown shop and restaurant owners have been hit especially hard.

But we’re committed to turn crisis into opportunity.

Last weekend, crowds of New Yorkers celebrated a new year and new beginnings at the Lunar New Year parade. This week, I stood with Chinatown Partnership, Council Member Rivera, and small business owners to ask you to show some love to Chinatown. Watch the event here.

You can share your solidarity by visiting a local business to enter for a raffle sponsored by the Chinatown Partnership, taking a pic at the new Valentine’s Day themed backdrop at the Baxter Street kiosk, or using #DineinChinatown and tagging us.

Thank you to all the elected officials who have shown their support!

Albany!

Here are more photos from Albany. Our students went to the state capital last week with other members of the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL) to advocate for $25 million in funding for Adult Literacy Education in New York State. We held a rally on the Million Dollar staircase, where in addition to Senator Jessica Ramos and Assembly Members Ron Kim and Pat Fahy, our very own Adult Literacy Program students Lifen and Jose spoke about how important programs like ours are. After the rally we visited state assembly members’ and senators’ offices and to tell them why adult literacy programs need more funding in New York.

To learn more about NYCCAL and what we’re advocating for, click here.

Rat Vs. Mouse

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Since 2020 is the Year of the Rat, some people have been asking about what the difference is between a rat and a mouse. Here’s some useful info for you courtesy of Diffen.com:

Mouse Versus Rat Comparison Chart

Mouse Rat
Identification Method Small feces Larger feces
Head Small, triangular, small relative to body Short, stubby, broad, large relative to body
Ears Ears are large relative to the head. Ears are small relative to the head.
Eyes Slightly bigger in relation to the head Smaller in relation to head
Muzzle Narrow with sharp muzzle Large and blunt with wide muzzle
Tail A mouse is small and has a skinny tail. A rat is bigger and has a thicker tail.
Digging burrows Mice do not dig deep and even if they do so, they may dig only to about a foot. Rats dig deep and long burrows.
Life Span 1.5 – 2.5 years 2-3 years
Genetic Differences Mice have 20 chromosome pairs & 2.6 million base pairs Rats have 21 chromosome pairs & 2.75 million base pairs
Best known species Common House Mouse (Mus Musculus) Black Rat (Rattus Rattus); Brown Rat (Rattus Norvegicus)
Romans call it Mus Minimus Mus Maximus
Spaniards call it Raton Rata

 

Year of the Rat!

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From chinesenewyear.net:

The Rat is the first of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first.

The Rat is also associated with the Earthly Branch (地支—dì zhī) Zi (子) and the midnight hours. In the terms of yin and yang (阴阳—yīn yáng), the Rat is yang and represents the beginning of a new day.

In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Because of their reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children.

Optimistic and energetic, people born in the Rat year are likable by all. They are sensitive to other’s emotions but are stubborn with your opinion. Their personality is kind, but due to weak communication skills, their words may seem impolite and rude.

On the financial side, they like saving and can be stingy. However, their love for hoarding will sometimes cause them to waste money on unnecessary things.

To learn more about the Year of the Rat, click here.