"I grew up in Hong Kong. That has not always been easy. The population was poor and there were few opportunities. Many residents abroad went off. In 1954 I took my stuff and went to try my luck in England. I did the necessary hospitality experience as a dishwasher and started a family. I got the opportunity to build assets and work experience. In 1977 I moved to Rotterdam and I opened my first restaurant. My second restaurant, Achipel, was established on Westblaak, in the building where now Shabu Shabu restaurant sits.
At Achipel ran things well. It was the first Chinese-Indonesian restaurant in town and I got to eat a lot of important people. My network grew. I'm going to devote myself to the Chinese community in Rotterdam. For example, the Chinese pagoda was realized next to the Euromast. In 1999, the opening of the Danhua Culture & Education Center. I thought it was important that Chinese children would continue to develop the language and culture of their ancestors. I predicted that trade relations between China and the Netherlands would strengthen in the future. it would be useful for Chinese Dutch to be educated multilingual and knowledge about China. And now look, I turned out to be right. But nowadays there to teach all kinds of people to the Saturday school in Chinese. Also Western people and the elderly.
My dream for the celebration of Chinese New Year in Rotterdam is that it is like Christmas. The celebration will see and feel are all over the city. Even the shops join special Chinese New Year discounts. I hope that we can witness the first steps in 2017. "
Yam Wong (1932) is the founder of the Danhua Culture & Education Center. He is also honorary president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Rotterdam and has been campaigning for years for the Chinese community in Rotterdam.
Image: Mark Bolk Text: Marjolein de Jong
Read more about Rotterdam Chinese New Year.