45,000 people were expected to attend today’s Chinese New Year Parade in Washington D.C.’s Chinatown. The Washington Post reports the parade is seen as a way to bring Chinese culture back to the area.
“The Chinese used to be concentrated here because it’s the only area where they could make a living,” parade coordinator Sam Wong said. “The next generation is not that close to Chinese culture and they’re not that close to Chinatown.”
In fact, its estimated only 300 Chinese still live in the area. Many of the businesses that have opened of late have no connection to the Chinese culture. Gentrification has taken its toll.
Now the Chinatown Revitalization Council is working to bring back some of what has left.
“What’s missing in Chinatown is the culture,” said Stan Lou, vice president of the D.C. chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans. “Chinatown is an important touchstone to us Asian Americans. It’s a place where we can identify with our culture. In D.C., particularly in our nation’s capital, we need to figure out how we can make it more ethnically appealing and preserve that history.”
The report in the Washington Post looks at what’s being done to bring Chinatown back and how the China in Chinatown has gone missing.