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Chinatown always intrigued me. The crowd, the food, the smell, the people are one of a kind. It brings back the memory of my childhood.

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This attraction  continues during my travel. Chinatown appears in almost all parts of the world, a result of  Chinese long history of exploration and finding new worlds.

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Each Chinatown is enriched with the local culture that nurture them. Singapore’s is visually colorful – reflecting its diverse culture.

WP_JOU_130107CHI_05It was scenic with the colorful European-influenced buildings, Chinese characters billboard, and women walking with their saris to the nearby Hindu temple.

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San Fransisco has the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest Chinese community outside Asia.

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The city of was one of the port of entry for Chinese immigrants in the early 1900. For me, it was a great portrayal of how Chinese people survived to keep their roots while adapting to the local routines.

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My favorite is Jakarta’s Chinatown in Glodok. As a child my memory was filled with its red lanterns and burns of incense as people start roaming the area during Chinese New Year.

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Jin De Yan temple was the center of the crowd. People not only come to pray but also to watch the barongsai – the dancing dragon which brings good luck and overthrow devils.

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On Chinese New Year’s eve this February, family would come to bring offerings for gods and pray for guidance on the coming year.

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The burning candles followed by a moment of silence to honor the gods and ancestors would fill the night.

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Every year would be challenging, but with lots of joy and fortune it would be promising. Gong Xi Fa Cai!  – Rassi Narika