A Chinatown Exploration
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.
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.
Each Chinatown is enriched with the local culture that nurture them. Singapore’s is visually colorful – reflecting its diverse culture.
It was scenic with the colorful European-influenced buildings, Chinese characters billboard, and women walking with their saris to the nearby Hindu temple.
San Fransisco has the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest Chinese community outside Asia.
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.
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.
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.
On Chinese New Year’s eve this February, family would come to bring offerings for gods and pray for guidance on the coming year.
The burning candles followed by a moment of silence to honor the gods and ancestors would fill the night.
Every year would be challenging, but with lots of joy and fortune it would be promising. Gong Xi Fa Cai! – Rassi Narika