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22 August 2016 Comments Off on Glenda Joe – Extraordinary Texans – ’16

Glenda Joe – Extraordinary Texans – ’16

These people help make Texas spectacular

Written by Clayton Maxwell.

What does it take to be extraordinary? The Texans in these pages have each made their marks in vastly varied fields—from winemaking and writing to inventing a new way to watch movies—and they share characteristics essential to any true trailblazer: the bravery to try something different and the perseverance to carry their visions through. And for that, we salute this year’s Extraordinary Texans.

Extraordinary TexansIf you would like to see a hundred lions and dragons dancing amid the roar of one million Lucky Red Firecrackers, then get yourself to Lunar New Year Houston, one of the largest such festivals in the world and one of the few that still uses fireworks, which are now banned in most public celebrations. But thanks to Glenda Joe, the Chinese-Irish-Texan cross-cultural communicator who organizes this epic celebration, the firecrackers still explode in Houston.

In January or February each year, Glenda Joe directs TexAsia’s annual nonprofit event, Lunar New Year Houston, attracting 60,000-plus Houstonians of all backgrounds. TexAsia’s mission is to preserve and present authentic arts traditions for Houston. She also heads the Houston Language Bank, a nonprofit project that delivers vital public information to underserved immigrant and refugee communities. “We need to change the way we communicate,” says Joe. “We believe that the delivery of shared information builds shared values—and this is the cornerstone of American vitality and the foundation of community cohesion.”

Glenda Joe’s background in finding common ground amid cultural difference is long and varied. The Joe family patriarch, Jim Joe, settled in Houston in 1882 and started one of the first Chinese businesses in the city. Joe grew up working in her father’s store and observed at a young age how her African-American and Hispanic neighbors were treated differently. When she saw how miscommunication triggered violence, she wrote a “how-to” cultural-awareness resource titled The Asian Merchant’s Handbook, which was distributed nationwide. In 1967, she organized her first civil rights rally and coaxed her dad to speak at it. How can Texas’ different cultures get along and find common ground? “Listen,” she says. “Learn empathy. Walk a mile in their shoes.”

View this article online at Texas Highways

Photo Credit: Will van Overbeek. Texas Highways

18 August 2015 Comments Off on 2016 Year of the Red Fire Monkey

2016 Year of the Red Fire Monkey

This Fire Monkey Year focuses more powerful karmic Yang energy on success for the Individual with personal initiative, not for the Group. This Year favors fortune for quick minds with brave hearts. Ingenuity, inventiveness and intrinsic insight will reap unexpected rewards for incisive risk-taking. The ingenuity energy of this Year rewards those who dare to be different. Original thinkers, with smart, unconventional solutions are destined to succeed in this Red Fire Monkey Year!

The Red Fire Monkey Year is chaotic, dynamic, challenging and intensely competitive! Its exuberant high-speed pace accelerates progress & change in all life areas- business, technology, relationships, family & even in glacial government bureaucracies.

Advances in technology and communications across all human endeavors explode in unexpected success. Changes will come fast and furious, leaving many unsettled and uneasy; challenging others to compete as never before.

This is a time to re-evaluate old thinking, both in business and relationships. This is the prime opportunity to re-organize and re-evaluate our approach to stubborn problems and run with new ideas. Embrace the chaos. Trust your instincts.

Global economic growth and life-altering technologies are indicated for this year. Innovation and invention are rewarded. Individual initiative to re-conceptualize, working with existing resources, empowers ingenious problem solving this year.

For those who truly fear change, this will be a year to keep your head low and refrain from risk taking. This is not your year.

For all, beware the Trickster in the Red Fire Monkey. He is clever and an ever- wily con artist in deal making. The Yin of the Fire Monkey is his ability to seem so very guileless and charming, we never suspect deception. Be on guard. Take nothing for granted. Get all the facts before signing on the dotted line.

The Red Fire Monkey Year will easily overthrow old conventions that no longer work. It is a year of re-balancing of power, rewarding individual initiative for long-sought solutions that will make our world a better place.

8 December 2014 0 Comments

Year of the Green Wooden Goat – 2015

Heads up!
This will NOT be your typical Goat Year!

There is a confluence of cosmic forces coming that portend the Good Fortune of Positive Outcomes.

Traditionally, ‘Yu Wei’ or the 32nd year of the Green Wooden Goat (aka ‘Ram’ or ‘Sheep’) is symbolically represented as the ‘lazy-days of passing summer’ – a period of prosperity and well-being. Said of this year: “Its diligence applied to hard work ensures prosperity”.

But, the 2015 Goat Year will unfold to be much, much more than that…

For most, economic, social & political upheavals roiling these past years forced our arduous labor, struggling to cope with what seemed relentless conflict, without resolution. This Chaos will finally begin to show signs of long-awaited stabilization and positive resolution in this 2015 Goat Year. Watch for Innovation in Communication, Education, Political & Economic Stabilization.

We become better ‘Listeners’; better ‘Partners in Problem-Solving’.

The coming confluence of cosmic forces not only portend the good fortune of positive outcomes, but we’re told there have never been this many signs and favorable aspects confirming the coming of positive change. Astrologers, both Eastern & Western, predict the coming of, not simply a ‘gear-shifting’, but a full-blown change of direction. A newborn epoch is coming to replace the old, and the whole of humanity will see reason for hope that our world can change for the better.

So, watch as this Goat Year unfolds. Be ready to engage in one unforgettable year!

7 December 2014 0 Comments

Lunar New Year Houston 2015 Dedicated to the Vision & Leadership of Our Founder & Chairman

Daniel-WatanabeDaniel Hiroshi Watanabe
In Celebration – 1929-2014

Daniel Hiroshi Watanabe, age 85, died in Houston on December 28, 2014.

Born August 6th, 1929, in Los Angeles, CA, to Takeo and Tai Iwasaki Watanabe, he moved to Japan at the age of 6. While still in Japan, he joined the US Army and served as a Military Intelligence Translator in Occupied Japan and the Korean War.

He returned to the US and received a BS in Bacteriology at Penn State, a MS in Microbiology at UC Berkley, and a PhD in Virology at SUNY Upstate Medical University. In 1964, he married Akiko Ito. They lived in Berkley, Albany, Syracuse, Des Moines, Mt. Kisco, Hartsdale, and finally settled in Houston. Dr. Watanabe was a research scientist at Westchester Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine. He took great joy in teaching Biology and Microbiology to the students of Houston Community College. He shared his knowledge of Japanese Language and Culture with countless enthusiasts. And, he worked as a translator of Japanese and English.

He dedicated his life to bridging cultures in the Asian American Community; especially between the two countries he held dearest, the United States and Japan. He served as past presidents of Japan-America Society of Houston and Japanese American Citizens League Houston Chapter.

Dr. Watanabe is survived by his wife Akiko, daughter Midori Hargrove, son Fujio and granddaughters Alison, Reina & Naomi Watanabe.

A Celebration of Life was held on January 24, 2015, at Asia Society Texas Center.

Download the Program from Dan’s Celebration of Life, held at the Asia Society of Texas on January 24, 2015



Light of heart, progressive thinker and quiet visionary

Dr. Watanabe gently nudged the diverse energies around him to share his passion for peace and to embrace bridge -building across the cacophony of cultures of 1980 Houston.

Dan’s steady, patient cultivation of a new and innovative idea – our pan-Asian identity- sketched our path for Houston’s future as an International City.

We love him dearly.  He will always be with us.

Glenda Joe, Director
Lunar New Year Houston

4 September 2013 0 Comments

Year of the Water Horse – 2014

Lunar New Year Houston 2014

As the wise Water Snake slithers back into its karmic Yin darkness, we sense a faint, but steady pounding of the earth beneath our feet as the old year wanes.  The Year of the Horse breaks through with the dawn of January 31, 2014.  This year, 4712 on the Chinese calendar, is the Year of the Green Wood Horse.  The Horse is a Yang creature- hopeful, optimistic and confident.  This Wood Horse Year will be filled with great energy and big dreams.  This Horse is ready to run free.

Jump on.  Center your balance.  Ride the Year of the Horse to success!

14 September 2012 0 Comments

The Mystery of the Year of the Snake – 2013

The Snake is wise. The Snake is unforgiving. Understand this to prepare for the Year of the Snake. The Snake is the most complex force in the 12-year zodiac cycle and its Year presents as “unsettled”, at best. While history tells us the Snake Year has never been tranquil, it can be well spent in reflection, planning and in contemplation of long-sought solutions.

The Snake Years’ reputation for turmoil and “sharp dealings” can always be traced to missteps and excesses rooted in the preceding Dragon Year. These celestial serpents are inextricably intertwined. Unprecedented calamity struck in our last Snake Year – the 9-11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Opinions differ as to root causes, but its beginnings belong to the Dragon Year reign of 2000.

These years are always intense. It should be no surprise. Yin must follow Yang for the universe to be in balance. The Dragon Yang, as the cycle’s most powerful positive force, must be balanced by the cycle’s most powerful negative force, the Snake Yin. “Positive” and “Negative” cycle forces cannot be construed in moral framework as good or bad. Like atoms in physics, the positive and negative forces simply are.

So, how to best meet the challenge of this Snake Year? Consider the Snake.

A most ancient mysterious creature, both feared and revered. By nature, the Snake is patient and watchful, cautious but inquisitive, cunning and secretive in its hiding place; and, is most at peace in calm, cool quietude. Evolved over hundreds of millions of years to understand it is both predator and prey, its Snake radar is always on. Its eyes ever open, insinuates an ever wakeful knowing, an omniscient awareness. This is crux of the Snake’s legendary wisdom, its embodiment of esoteric knowledge and spiritual discovery.

Left undisturbed, the Snake does not go out of its way to interfere in the world. It craves the stillness of peace. But, when threatened, this most lethal of predators strikes suddenly and viciously with a merciless vengeance. It is the Snake’s remorseless intention to destroy the threat. She takes no prisoners.

So what does this mean for mere mortals navigating best outcomes for the 2013 Year of the Water Snake?

First, take advantage of what is left of this Dragon Year. Review your plans and actions in anticipation of the unexpected. Hone your insights. Settle differences or conflicts, if you can.

As the Dragon exits and the Snake begins to uncoil, there may be a sense of being slightly out of balance. Feelings become more acute and senses are heightened.
The Snake offers the opportunity to “see” more, notice more, and exercise perceptive abilities to advantage our decision-making.

The Snake prepares us for shake-ups in old realities that open the way for forward movement, refreshed understanding and growth. As the Snake sheds its skin, we are invited to release old thinking that has blocked growth and progress. This is a year with the energy to inspire newfound ambition to achieve great things.

The Snake Year is ripe for steady progress for the pragmatic thinker. Reflect, ponder and plan. Tread lightly and be more cautious. While a better year for industry and commerce, the cunning secretive Snake does love its shady deals, shrewd business manipulations, political shenanigans and coups d’etat.

More careful focus and attention to detail in legal documents and contracts are called for this year. The devil will be in the details. Speculation or immoderate gambling is taboo in this year. The Snake seeks protection in the security of safe places. This is not a year to take risks.

The Snake is transcendental in its capacity for spiritual healing of the individual, as well as the community. It seeks peace through recalibration of the karmic balance, understanding the mistrust born of chaos in which the world finds itself.

But, there is good reason for hope for in this Water Snake Year.

The Metal Element ruled the calamitous 2000-2001 Dragon-Snake cycle. Inflexible Metal is tempered in its hardness, brittle and unbending. Metal is fiercely stubborn
in its will to fight on.

The Water Element that rules this Dragon-Snake 2012-2013 cycle symbolizes wisdom, empathy and peacemaking. Persistent Water intuitively finds its way around obstacles and nurtures growth.

The Snake counsels balance in compromise as a path to peace. The wisdom of Water may find its way.

Glenda Joe
September 2012

Author’s note: This is an interpretation and analysis of the available information on the subject. Most of the culturally and referentially diverse research sources are available on the Internet.

5 October 2011 0 Comments

The Water Dragon Year – 2012

One of five distinctly formative Elements energizes each of the 12 zodiac creatures every 60 years. While the Dragon Year comes every 12 years, the Energy generated by these core Elements as Wood Dragon, Fire Dragon, Earth Dragon, Metal Dragon, or Water Dragon years will present different challenges. All Dragon Years are considered exceedingly powerful. But, as you might guess, a Fire Dragon Year brings different aspect impacts than a Water Dragon Year. For more on this, check out The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, by Lau.

The Energy of this Water Dragon Year will favor optimum expansion and growth, being less imperious and power-hungry than the other Dragons. This year favors the art of negotiation, progressive ideas with an eye to reinforcement of foundations for all we plan to build for the future. While Fire Dragons Years can be fiercely unforgiving and Metal Dragon Years may present as combative and intractable, the power of the Water Dragon Year is all about flowing over or around obstacles. At the same time, the Water element energy nourishes new beginnings, innovation and successful growth.

All five Dragon Years magnify both success and failure. They bring exceptional, unprecedented achievements, but disasters can be equally transcendent. Fire Dragon Years are said to be most disruptive to the balance and harmony of both Nature and Man.

Given the challenging conflation of current events, both natural and man-made, it is truly fortuitous that the Year of the Water Dragon is heralded for its serene, visionary intelligence. It is a Dragon Year that celebrates a balance of left-brain logic with right-brain creativity.

Water’s all-encompassing energy in this fearless Dragon Year will empower us to be far more cognizant of the needs of others; more socially and environmentally conscious; and, more civil in our discourse.

Water bestows a more peaceful energy in this Dragon Year. Use this power wisely in this Water Dragon Year for the good of all creatures and Mother Earth!

Like all Dragons, the Water Dragon is an innovative, fearless leader. But the Water Dragon is also far more sensitive to others’ needs, and is more likely to be progressive and diplomatic, as well as socially and environmentally conscious. Because Water bestows a more peaceful disposition, this Dragon will act wisely and intelligently, and unlike his fellow Dragons, is willing to set aside his ego for the good of all.

The Dragon is a creature of myth and legend. A symbol of good fortune and sign of intense power, the Oriental Dragon is regarded as a divine beast

They are your free thinkers, free spirits and risk takers. “Uninhibited” might as well be their middle name. They only follow the rules they find acceptable; they break those they don’t. Bureaucracy bores them.

China’s celestial dragon symbolizes potent and benevolent power. Dragons are ancient, majestic, wise, and intelligent, and Dragon years are considered particularly auspicious for new businesses, marriage and children. Dragon years also tend to boost individual fortunes and the world economy.

It’s also true, however, that all five of the Chinese Dragon years — Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water — tend to magnify both success and failure. So while they can mark huge achievement, disasters can be equally immense. The Year of the Fire Dragon (1917, 1976, and 2036) typically wreaks the most havoc.

However, the Year of the Water Dragon (1892, 1952 and 2012) is noted for its calm, visionary intelligence, and balance of right brain creativity with left brain logic.

What influence might the Water Dragon, which rules from January 23, 2012 to February 9, 2013, have on the powerful energies already anticipated at that time?

Like all Dragons, the Water Dragon is an innovative, fearless leader. But the Water Dragon is also far more sensitive to others’ needs, and is more likely to be progressive and diplomatic, as well as socially and environmentally conscious. Because Water bestows a more peaceful disposition, this Dragon will act wisely and intelligently, and unlike his fellow Dragons, is willing to set aside his ego for the good of all.

If you subscribe to the dawn-of-a-new-era theory of 2012, then it’s easy to see how the influence of the Water Dragon will increase the likelihood of success for progressive movements gaining momentum all across the globe. Energy conservation and green energy-producing technologies, curtailing Global Warming, challenges to multinational corporations, attention to world hunger and the renewed health of the oceans and sea creatures will all likely fare well.

If your expectations tend more toward disaster, then you might expect tsunamis, hurricanes, monsoons and other weather extremes to be in the headlines.

But of all the Dragon years, the 2012 Water Dragon is most likely to bestow the Chinese Five Blessings of harmony, virtue, riches, fulfillment and longevity, adding even more weight to the growing belief that 2012 will be about breakthroughs, not disasters.

It is said the celestials endowed the mythic Dragon to soar the highest mountain peaks and dive the deepest ocean depths.

The origin of the Chinese dragon is not certain. The presence of dragon in Chinese culture can dates back several thousands of years with the discovery of a dragon statue dating back to the fifth millennium BC from the Yangshao culture in Henan in 1987,[5] and jade badges of rank in coiled form have been excavated from the Hongshan culture circa 4700-2900 BC.[6]

10 December 2010 0 Comments

Year of the Rabbit – 2011

Greetings, LNYH Fans!

Bring the whole family to celebrate the New Year with 100 Lions & Dragons and a million Lucky Red Firecrackers!

New Show for 2011!

Terrific singers with The Rising Sun band will entertain with our favorite Vietnamese music for our Saturday, Feb. 12th, evening show from 7 pm – 10 pm at Viet Hoa Center. Party dancing and sing-alongs, delectable edibles and luscious libations will cap off a great day of celebration for the New Year!

Making It Happen!

Because Lunar New Year Houston is a FREE Event, our very best news is always about the generous support we receive from all sorts of wonderful folks.

The Brown Foundation has been a long-time supporter of Asian cultural programs and they have awarded a generous grant for Lunar New Year Houston 2011 for $5,000!  Thank you, Brown Foundation!

Borden’s Milk Products have generously contributed in-kind product support for 2011!  Yeah!  School Milk & School Juice!

The International Management District has awarded in-kind support for traffic control & security!  We are so grateful for IMD support!

The Texas Lottery is a 2011 Sponsor!  Games galore for Good Fortune in the Lucky Rabbit Year!

Kid Stuff!

2011 is our first year for LNYH KidZone activities.  If we secure enough KidZone sponsorships, LNYH will have Pony Rides, a Petting Zoo with Bunnies, 17′ Super Slide and the inflated Mission to Mars!  The Kids really need their own activities at LNYH.  Please share any ideas you may have for KidZone Sponsors!

As is our tradition, our Venue Host Viet Hoa International Foods will present Lucky Red Envelopes to the first 500 children under 5 years-old each day of the event.

Get Involved!

Visit for info for Volunteers,
Vendors, Feed the Lions Contributors and Sponsors!

More soon!

Glenda Joe