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NW Asian Weekly: The Evolution of Seattle’s Little Saigon

Little Saigon, Seattle Seattle celebrated the diversity of the Vietnamese community this weekend at the Celebrate Little Saigon festival.

According to NW Asian Weekly, the festival highlighted the three regional cultures of Vietnam.

The community has undergone a number of changes over the years. Little Saigon is located in the easternmost part of the International District.

Before the Vietnamese immigrated to the US as refugees, what is now known as Little Saigon was largely Jewish and African American. It was the area known for its vibrant nightlife with its many jazz clubs. At about the same time in the 1920s, South Jackson Street became a social gathering place for Filipino, Chinese and Japanese residents.

Then came World War II and the massive forced exodus of the Japanese into incarceration camps.

Strip malls took over the area in the 1960s when a freeway was put in creating a western boundary. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, Seattle’s Vietnamese and Southeast Asian population grew from 2,000. 12,000 Vietnamese Americans now live in Seattle, according to the 2010 US Census.

So how did Little Saigon get its name and what happened to the area with the migration of the Vietnamese? You can read about that in NW Asian Weekly.

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