May 30, 2019,

Finding a purpose in life is more than half the battle.

And make no mistake about, many important purposes in this sometimes confrontational life will involve struggle.

Sometimes very intense.

The only question for yourself is, do you really want to be a part of it.

Well it depends how important it is to you and what you bring to the table to be an asset to the cause.

Anastasia Lin is a Canadian actress, model, beauty pageant titleholder and human rights advocate.

Some would say activist too.

Those are some strong and influential credentials. What else does she bring to the table of purpose? Her theme. Her moniker. Her logo, so to speak. And what is that?

Beauty with a purpose., photo credit

Sounds creatively effective.

We would like to know more about her.

In January 2016, she was listed as one of the “Top 25 Under 25” by MTV Fora. In June of 2016 she won the Leo Award for best lead performance by a female for her role in the film The Bleeding Edge.

Ms. Lin won the Miss World Canada title in 2015 and was to represent Canada at Miss World 2015 pageant to be held in China but was refused a visa by Chinese authorities after being declared persona non grata.

The news of her rejection from the pageant, and her subsequent attempt to enter China through Hong Kong, caused global media attention for several weeks, leading to a front-page article in The New York Times and op-eds and editorials in major newspapers.

Most of the coverage praised what it said was Ms. Lin’s bravery for “resistance to tyranny” using the novel form of a beauty pageant, and she was hailed as “an outspoken advocate for freedom of conscience.”

That is quite a cause and quite an institution to have feel adversarial towards you.

Beauty with a purpose coupled with mounds of courage.

So where’s the beef?

Media Analysts widely suspected the reason for her refusal of entry was to be due to her advocacy of human rights in China and choice of film roles.

Her rejection from the pageant caused widespread reflection on the ability of China to exert its influence far beyond its own borders.

It’s a good our beautiful activist graduated from the University of Toronto.

When it comes to freedom of speech, isn’t it nice to be on the Western side of the border?

It is always wonderful to be in Canada.

If you can’t travel to China, then perhaps China will come to you. And it did. And it has.

There is a Chinatown in Ms. Lin’s hometown of Toronto and it is very special., chensiyuan wikimedia photo credit

Toronto’s Chinatowns are ethnic neighborhoods in and around Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with a high concentration of ethnic Chinese residents and businesses.

Typically when people think of Chinatown, they think of the incredible and world renowned one in San Francisco. We’ve been there countless times and it is located in one concentrated area.

There are multiple Chinatowns in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area.

When used directly, the name typically refers to West Chinatown, which extends along Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue.

The Chinese community in this Downtown Chinatown originated from the First Chinatown, which was located in what used to be known as The Ward in the early 20th century.

With changes in the city and subsequent waves of immigration from the mid-20th century onwards, Toronto has since developed East Chinatown at the intersection of Broadview Avenue and Gerrard Street, as well as Chinatowns in Scarborough and North York.

In the Greater Toronto Area, Markham, Mississauga, and Richmond Hill, have all developed sizable Chinatowns.

Variety, especially when it comes to Chinese Food, is indeed the spice of life.

Toronto’s Chinatown is one of the largest in North America.

With the population changes of recent decades, it has come to reflect a diverse set of East Asian cultures through its shops and restaurants, including Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai. The major Chinese malls in the area are Dragon City and Chinatown Centre.

Historically, Toronto’s Chinatown has been represented by immigrants and families from southern China and Hong Kong. Since the transfer of Hong Kong’s sovereignty to the People’s Republic of China in 1997, immigrants from mainland China have greatly exceeded those from Hong Kong.

If you have the privilege to visit there, the fun travel team at has a suggestion. “The best way to enjoy Chinatown is simply to explore it on foot, popping into the many stores, herbal remedy shops, cafes, restaurants, and produce markets that line the area. In addition, the Chinatown area is also in close proximity to the always impressive Art Gallery of Ontario and eclectic Kensington Market. Also in the area, you’ll find Bau-Xi Gallery, one of Canada’s top commercial art galleries featuring Canadian and international artists, and Art Square Gallery, which also houses a quaint café with an extensive menu.”

Thanks for the tip.

Of special note, Chinatown hosts two popular festivals a year. The Toronto Chinatown Festival and a Chinese New Year celebration.

The Toronto Chinatown Festival started in the year 2000 and features traditional and modern Asian dance groups, bands and musicians.

You’ll also fall in love with the street food, some of it unique to those special occasions.

If you want the inside scoop, as always, Trip Advisor has some informative reviews. Here are two:

“Lots of shops and restaurants typical of a North American Chinatown. Dumpling houses, dim sum restaurants, noodle houses, herb/medicine shops, trinkets, jewelry (24k) gold, etc. We enjoyed our dim sum brunch at the New Treasure Restaurant.”

“Lots to see, eat, and buy in this Chinatown. The cheapest priced souvenirs are here, and tons of flavorful satisfying places to eat. Many little shops to buy trinkets and useful objects too. Even get a cheap haircut, manicure/pedicure, relaxation massage, buy clothes.”

That sounds enticing enough for us. We can just smell the sweet, sour and spicy aromas already.

“My favorite thing in the world is going out to get Chinese food, then coming home and renting a movie.”…Bindi Irwin

The West has greatly benefited from the influx of Chinese culture. Part of that enhancement is reflected in the incredible cuisines that those of us have enjoyed in San Francisco, New York’s and Toronto’s multiple Chinatowns to name a few.

A region like Toronto offers an abundance of freedom in terms of speech and life choices not found in other parts of the world. That is in part why it is attracting so many people who want to live there from all over the world.

When East meets West, it can be a mutual and wonderful relationship., Brett Sayles photo credit

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Opening photo  Lisa Fan Wikimedia photo credit,_Toronto