Program Six - Segment Four: The Teahouse

For many immigrants from China, running a restaurant has often been the only way for families to earn a living. The first Chinese restaurants started in California in the mid 1800s.  Now go to any city or small town in the U-S. Chances are you’ll find a Chinese restaurant.  Chinese restaurant families are an American tradition.  After the 1965 Immigration act, new arrivals from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China followed the path of immigrants before them, starting family restaurants. In Plymouth, Minnesota, near Minneapolis, two sisters run The Tea House Restaurant. Yolanda Wang and Melissa Ho arrived in the late 80’s from Anqing, [ahn-ching] in east central China.  The sisters had completed college when they arrived, along with their mother, father and four other sisters.  Sadly, within a year of arriving, their father died of cancer.  Yolanda and Melissa found that running a Chinese restaurant was their best hope of earning a living.


Yolanda Wang and Melissa Ho and their families.

Produced by Mary Stucky


The Teahouse Slideshow (opens in new window)


Jon Jang, Jazz Pianist is a jazz pianist who has studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and toured at major concert halls and music festivals in China, South Africa, Europe, Canada and the United States. He is featured on over ten albums and has composed commissions for many theater productions and major concert halls. Jon Jang bio online

Further Resources:


Chan, Sucheng, Asian Americans, An Interpretive History, Twayne Publishers, 1993

Takaki, Ronald, Strangers at the Gates Again: Asian American Immigration After 1965 (The Asian American Experience), Chelsea House Publishers, 1995

Zia, Helen, Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001


  © 2006 MediaRites - Contact Web Designer Sara Kolbet

Hosted By

George Takei

Margaret Cho

Major funding
provided by

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting

With additional
support from

National Endowment for the Arts

Oregon Council
for the Humanities

And underwriting support from