Chinatown Cultural Visit
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China Town Cultural Visit I
Asian culture is something that I have found high interest in for years. I have found much joy and interest in visiting places that give me a taste of Asian culture. Chinatown is one of my favorite places to visit. I have visited Chinatown in Atlanta, New York and here in Chicago and have noticed that there are differences between the three.
The Chinatown in New York is larger than the ones in Chicago and Atlanta. It is more focused on the tourism aspect and carries many items that are not authentic to true Chinese culture. When I went to Chinatown in New York I spent a bit of time going through the shops, and restaurants to differentiate between what is Americanized and what is from true Chinese culture.
The Chinatown in Atlanta is interestingly enough not even an actually a true Chinatown. The Chinatown in Atlanta is actually a Koreatown. Its given the nickname Chinatown from the locals because of the asian influence. Like many Americans, most of the people in Atlanta do not truly know the difference between many of the asian cultures. But this Korea town is more authentic in showing true asian culture than the Chinatowns in Chicago and New York. This asian influenced area is different than the others because is not filled with tons of gift shops and restaurants but is more like a regular community.
There was one similarity with the three that I have found and that is in the grocery stores. This is the most authentic part of china town. In the grocery stores you will see live fish, shrimp and eel in tanks to be purchased. When you go to the frozen food isle you will see dumplings as frequently as you see hot pockets in an American store and the dried mushrooms, chrysanthemum teas, ginseng and asian pears are all staples. When you go down the juice isle you will see aloe juice as much as you see apple juice in an American store. Every bit of a Chinese grocery store I have found interesting on each of my visits.
I do have to say that there is one big disappointment that I have found in the Chinatowns in Chicago and New York. The amount of product that is carried in their novelty shops that are not actually Chinese but of other asian cultures that are similar, namely Japanese. Although for someone like me who is very interested in Japanese culture I can honestly say that it was somewhat of a disappointment to see some of my favorite things in some of the shops in Chinatown. Mixing the two of these cultures in Chinatown stores only gives credit to the belief that many Americans have about Chinese and Japanese cultures being the same. I can picture how many Americans will think that something such as a shuriken brought in Chinatown is Chinese although in actuality is Japanese. It only diminishes any clarity that Americans even have about these two cultures.
China town observation II
I enjoyed this experience