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Asians in Minnesota Oral History Project: Interview with Cheng-Khee Chee and Sing-Bee Ong
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Cheng-khee Chee was born in 1934 in a rural village near the city of Xiamen (Amoy), in the Xiangyu District of Fujian Province, China. He attended the village school for four and a half years before his family immigrated to Malaysia in 1948. Chee completed elementary and high school in Penang, Malaysia, and graduated from Nanyang University in Singapore. He arrived at the University of Minnesota in 1962 as a graduate student in library science. He completed a master of arts degree in 1964, and in 1965 he took a position as librarian at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Chee is an active member of the American Watercolor and Midwest Watercolor Societies. He paints in watercolors in both Asian and Western styles, has exhibited in both national and state exhibitions and won numerous awards, including the Gold Medal of Honor from the Allied Artists of American, 1980, and the Colorado Centennial Award from the Rocky Mountain National, 1976. Sing-bee Ong was born in Penang in 1934 of a Chinese family. She and Chee were classmates at Nanyang University. Ong arrived at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, for graduate study in education in 1965. Chee and Ong were married in August of 1965, and all their four children were born in Duluth. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Family background in China and Malaysia; Chee's decision to seek professional training in the United States; the later decision of Ong and Chee to remain in the United States and to raise their family in Duluth; their feeling of acceptance by the University community and townspeople; concerns on bringing up children in an area where few other Chinese live; Chee's work and recognition in the field of watercolor painting in addition to his work as librarian. COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW: The family background of both Chee and Ong illustrates the traditional pattern of emigration from Fujian Province in China to Malaysia. Their later experience also exemplifies the secondary migration from Malaysia to the United States that has occurred among overseas Chinese since the 1950s. Their interview provides material on the experience of Chinese in Minnesota who live outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
1.5 hours sound cassette
30 pages transcript
Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
00:42:36 running time
Interviewee: Chee, Cheng-Khee
Interviewee: Ong, Sing-Bee
Interviewer: Mason, Sarah R.
Made in: Duluth, Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States
Asian Americans -- Minnesota
Chinese Americans -- Minnesota.
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 51 (Library Call Number)
AV1981.361.12 (Accession Number)
MNHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Asians in Minnesota Oral History Project'