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Xong Wang – Erhu & Hulusi

Episode 2: ——- Dig what I’m doing? Consider donating $5 or more at the bottom of this post

Xong Wang is a co-owner of The Asian Market in Charlottesville, VA. I have known his brother, Xing for over 10 years, as he worked with my mom at a restaurant she owned called The Little Hunan (near UVA, from 1999-2001).  Xing is also a co-owner of The Asian Market, as well as Ming Dynasty Restaurant, next door.

Xong and his family are always at the store, hardly ever taking a day off.  It is their life and they work hard to make a decent living so their families (here and in China) are taken good care of.  When there is downtime, Xong likes to play the Erhu (Chinese 2 stringed violin) and the Hulusi (Chinese gourd flute) as you’ll see and hear in the video below.

In some ways, markets like these feel a bit like a 2nd home to me.  As a kid, I remember my mom and I used to drive 2 hours to Washington, D.C. just to go shopping at a couple of different Asian grocery stores.  Mind you, this was way before Charlottesville was what it is today.  There was no “international section” or specialty stores like most cities have now. We would spend all day shopping so we could keep what we purchased for months on end.  This was food from my parent’s homeland; traditional spices, curries, sauces, fruits / vegetables, and huge bags of rice.  My cousin (Niall) and I would sit on top of the mountain of rice bags, playing with our toy wrestling figures while we waited for my mom to finish shopping.  Sometimes we’d get so tired that we’d fall asleep on them.  This Asian Market here in Charlottesville reminds me of those times and always makes me feel like my mom is still around whenever I visit.

Xong doesn’t speak much English, and I don’t speak any Chinese but each time I walk through the doors we say “how are you” in Thai.  It is relationships like this that definitely display that music & food are indeed universal languages.

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