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Archive for November, 2009

AJ Panda Goes Live

The dream of AJ Panda has been realized. The dream was born 3 years ago when my family experienced the blessing and honor of adopting beautiful twin daughters from China. It was during my trip to China to complete the adoption process that I was inspired by my daughters’ birth country and became determined to learn and celebrate the culture of their heritage. Since that time in 2006 steady progress has been made to create a website that helps families learn about and celebrate Chinese culture.

Today is the official go-live date for AJPanda.com. While we have great expectations for the long-term success that awaits us, we humbly realize that today is a small step and that much more work and effort will be needed as we strive to realize our vision. As Confucius notes:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

So as we take this first yet significant step, I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who has helped thus far, especially Marjie, Andrew, and Ryan. I would like to express my appreciation to my loving wife who provides the strength and support to sustain our family. And lastly, I’d like to recognize the inspiration of this website, my daughters AnMei and JiaLi. You have enriched our family beyond words, and I am excited to develop this business to honor you and your birth country.

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I was recently in Chicago and happened upon the Contemporary Sculptures from China display in Millennium Park. The sculptures were created by four Chinese artists from different religious and educational backgrounds, but each artwork had common threads such as being inspired by traditional Chinese art, commercial culture, folk art, and industrial machinery.
Windy City Dinosaur
Windy City Dinosaur was created by Sui Jianguo, professor and head of the Department of Sculpture at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. The dinosaur is stamped with “Made in China” on its chest and represents the booming Chinese export economy.

Jia Shan Shi
Jia Shan Shi No. 46 by Zhan Wang symbolizes the adaptation of Chinese cultural tradition to today’s conditions and new aesthetics. Wang is a graduate of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and is famous for his stainless steel sculptures.

Valiant Struggle
Chen Wenling created Valiant Struggle No. 11 and blends irony, satire, comedy, and fantasy into his work. He often combines human and animal figures in three-dimensional clusters.

The last sculpture by Shen Shaomin is named Kowtow Pump and was inspired by his growing up near one of China’s major oil fields.

If you’re headed to Chicago any time soon, definitely swing by and check them out.

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A note from our founder

The start of AJ Panda can be traced back to November 2, 2006. That is the day I was handed a picture with the faces of two beautiful Chinese girls, who two months later would become my adopted twin daughters. While in China to complete the adoption process I was moved and inspired by the experience. People were beyond friendly and willing to forge bonds based on our common connections, and the history and tradition of my daughter’s birth country was awe-inspiring. I knew from that trip forward that our family would be committed to learning about China and celebrating its rich traditions and culture. Knowing I was not alone in this passion, AJ Panda was started to help both my family and others learn about and celebrate Chinese culture.

I am often asked about the meaning of our company name… AJ Panda. The initials, A and J, are a tribute to my daughters, AnMei and JiaLi. And since panda bears are a national symbol of China, Panda was chosen to honor China, who honored and blessed my family by allowing us to be the proud parents of two amazing daughters.

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AJ Panda is a site dedicated to helping families celebrate Chinese culture and traditions. It is our goal that anyone who is interested in Chinese history, customs, and culture, can come to AJPanda.com and find what they are looking for. We are primarily dedicated to families who have adopted from China and want to be a one-stop resource for adoption information, Chinese gifts, and information on China, especially holidays and festivals.

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