Chinatown
Overview
A Chinatown is an ethnic enclave
Ethnic enclave
An ethnic enclave is an ethnic community which retains some cultural distinction from a larger, surrounding area, it may be a neighborhood, an area or an administrative division based on ethnic groups. Sometimes an entire city may have such a feel. Usually the enclave revolves around businesses...

 of overseas Chinese people
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

, although it is often generalized to include various Southeast Asian people. Chinatowns exist throughout the world, including East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

, Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

, the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

, Australasia
Australasia
Australasia is a region of Oceania comprising Australia, New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. The term was coined by Charles de Brosses in Histoire des navigations aux terres australes...

, and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. Binondo's Chinatown located in Manila, Philippines is the oldest Chinatown, established in 1594. Many Chinatowns are considered significant centers of commerce
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

 and tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

, while some also serve, to varying degrees, as centers of multiculturalism
Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g...

.

While some Chinatowns are focused on commercial tourism, others are actual living and working communities; many are in fact a synergetic synthesis of both.
Quotations

Listen, pal. I make an honest living. People only come to me when they're in a desperate situation. I help 'em out. I don't kick families out of their houses like you bums down at the bank do.

You're dumber than you think I think you are.

He passed away two weeks ago and one week ago he bought the land. That’s unusual.

Morty: In the middle of a drought and the water commissioner drowns! Only in L.A.

Man with Knife: You're a very nosy fellow, kitty cat. Huh? You know what happens to nosy fellows? Huh? No? Wanna guess? Huh? No? Okay. They lose their noses. [flicks knife, cutting open Jake's nostril] Next time you lose the whole thing. Cut it off and feed it to my goldfish. Understand? Understand!?

Encyclopedia
A Chinatown is an ethnic enclave
Ethnic enclave
An ethnic enclave is an ethnic community which retains some cultural distinction from a larger, surrounding area, it may be a neighborhood, an area or an administrative division based on ethnic groups. Sometimes an entire city may have such a feel. Usually the enclave revolves around businesses...

 of overseas Chinese people
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

, although it is often generalized to include various Southeast Asian people. Chinatowns exist throughout the world, including East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

, Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

, the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

, Australasia
Australasia
Australasia is a region of Oceania comprising Australia, New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. The term was coined by Charles de Brosses in Histoire des navigations aux terres australes...

, and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. Binondo's Chinatown located in Manila, Philippines is the oldest Chinatown, established in 1594. Many Chinatowns are considered significant centers of commerce
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

 and tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

, while some also serve, to varying degrees, as centers of multiculturalism
Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g...

.

While some Chinatowns are focused on commercial tourism, others are actual living and working communities; many are in fact a synergetic synthesis of both. Chinatowns can range from slum ghettos to modern sites of up-to-date development. In some, recent investments have revitalized rundown and blighted areas and turned them into centers of buzzing economic and social activity. In certain cases, this has led to gentrification
Gentrification
Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities. Urban gentrification is associated with movement. Consequent to gentrification, the average income increases and average family size...

 and a reduction in the specifically Chinese character of the neighborhoods.

Several Asian Chinatowns, although not yet called by that name, have a long history. Those in Nagasaki, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Binondo in Manila, and Hoi An in central Vietnam all existed in 1600. Glodok, the Chinese quarter of Jakarta, dates to 1740. The Chinatown centered on Yaowarat Road
Yaowarat Road
Bangkok's Chinatown is centered on Yaowarat Road in Samphanthawong district.The Chinatown is an old business center covering a large area around Yaowarat and Charoen Krung Road. There are many small streets and alleys full of shops and vendors selling all types of goods...

 in Bangkok
Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...

, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, was founded at the same time as the city itself, in 1782. The Chinatown in San Francisco is the oldest and one of the largest Chinatowns in North America. Other cities in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 where Chinatowns were founded in the mid-nineteenth century include almost every major settlement along the West Coast from San Diego to Victoria
Victoria, British Columbia
Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia, Canada and is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada's Pacific coast. The city has a population of about 78,000 within the metropolitan area of Greater Victoria, which has a population of 360,063, the 15th most populous Canadian...

. By the second half of the nineteenth century, bustling Chinatowns were also established in Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Philadelphia, Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Detroit, and Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

. The discovery of gold in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 caused the establishment of relatively small Chinatowns in cities there, and similar migrations of Chinese resulted in tiny settlements termed "Chinatowns" being established in New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. European Chinatowns, such as those in Germany, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, are for the most part smaller and of more recent history than their North American counterparts. Newer Chinatowns, such as Chinatown, Las Vegas
Chinatown, Las Vegas
The Chinatown of Las Vegas, Nevada The Chinatown of Las Vegas, Nevada The Chinatown of Las Vegas, Nevada (Chinese: 拉斯維加斯中國城 (pinyin: Lāsīwéijiāsī Zhōngguóchéng) is a series of large strip malls with ethnic Chinese and other pan-Asian businesses on Spring Mountain Road, with the original called...

 in 1995, Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 and Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo, known officially as Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic. Its metropolitan population was 2,084,852 in 2003, and estimated at 3,294,385 in 2010. The city is located on the Caribbean Sea, at the mouth of the Ozama River...

 have also received official recognition recently.

History of the earliest Chinatowns by region

Trading centres populated predominantly by Chinese men and their native spouses had long existed throughout Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

. Emigration to other parts of the world from China accelerated in the 1860s with the enactment of the Treaty of Peking, which opened the border for free movement. Early emigrants came primarily from the coastal provinces of Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 and Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 (Fukien, Hokkien) – where Cantonese, Hakka, and Chaozhou (Teochew, Chiu Chow) are largely spoken—in southeastern China. Initially, the Qing government of China was unconcerned by the emigration of this population as they were likely considered socially undesirable and "traitorous" to China. Trading and moneymaking was considered vulgar and consequently frowned upon in Confucian China
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

, in which Chinese migrants were intending to earn wages as sojourners. However, the Chinese were not strictly united as a group but were divided along sub-ethnic/linguistic lines and friction between those of Cantonese (Punti
Punti
The Punti, a rough transliteration of the Cantonese term for "original locality," refers to the Cantonese-speaking populations of Guangdong province in southern China...

) and Hakka stocks were common occurrences. Generally, there were also mild but recognisable sub-divisions based on Chinese clan
Clan
A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor. The kinship-based bonds may be symbolical, whereby the clan shares a "stipulated" common ancestor that is a...

s/surname
Surname
A surname is a name added to a given name and is part of a personal name. In many cases, a surname is a family name. Many dictionaries define "surname" as a synonym of "family name"...

s.

Taishanese people
Taishanese people
Sze Yap Cantonese are a Han Chinese group coming from a region in Guangdong Province in China called Sze Yap , now called Ng Yap, which consists of the cities of Taishan, Kaiping, Xinhui, Enping, Heshan and Jiangmen; which now administers these cities...

 and Cantonese
Cantonese people
The Cantonese people are Han people whose ancestral homes are in Guangdong, China. The term "Cantonese people" would then be synonymous with the Bun Dei sub-ethnic group, and is sometimes known as Gwong Fu Jan for this narrower definition...

 settled in the first North America, Australian, and Latin American Chinatowns. Most of them were brought as contract coolies
Coolie
Historically, a coolie was a manual labourer or slave from Asia, particularly China, India, and the Phillipines during the 19th century and early 20th century...

 to build the railroad, but many had come originally in pursuit of gold. As a group, the Cantonese are linguistically and ethnically distinct from other groups in China with migrants especially coming mostly from the Siyi and Sanyi
Sanyi
Sanyi could refer to the following places in mainland China or Taiwan:*Sanyi, Mengcheng County , town in Mengcheng County, Anhui*Sanyi Township, Pengshui County , in Pengshui Miao and Tujia Autonomous County, Chongqing...

 regions (with various variations of spoken Cantonese) of Guangdong; Cantonese remained the dominant language and heritage of many Chinatowns in Western countries until the 1970s. Due to laws in some countries barring the importation of Chinese wives (for fear of the perceived Yellow Peril
Yellow Peril
Yellow Peril was a colour metaphor for race that originated in the late nineteenth century with immigration of Chinese laborers to various Western countries, notably the United States, and later associated with the Japanese during the mid 20th century, due to Japanese military expansion.The term...

), some Chinatowns emerged as bachelor's societies where males dominated and the male-to-female ratio population was generally skewed. In Latin America, many Cantonese-speaking migrants arrived as indentured labourers particularly in Peru (to work in the deadly guano
Guano
Guano is the excrement of seabirds, cave dwelling bats, and seals. Guano manure is an effective fertilizer due to its high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen and also its lack of odor. It was an important source of nitrates for gunpowder...

 fields) and Cuba (to labor in sugar plantation
Plantation
A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

s) giving those countries substantial Chinatowns.

The Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

 and Chaozhou
Chaozhou
Chaozhou is a city in eastern Guangdong province of the People's Republic of China. It borders Shantou to the south, Jieyang to the southwest, Meizhou to the northwest, the province of Fujian to the east, and the South China Sea to the southeast...

 (both groups speaking the Minnan sub-group of Chinese dialects), along with Cantonese
Cantonese
Cantonese is a dialect spoken primarily in south China.Cantonese may also refer to:* Yue Chinese, the Chinese language that includes Cantonese* Cantonese cuisine, the cuisine of Guangdong province...

 are the dominant group in Southeast Asian Chinatowns. Chinese migrants also pioneered some major Southeast Asian cities, such as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and hence Chinese influence is felt there. The Hakka groups established Chinatowns in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 (particularly Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

), Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

, and the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

. Northern Chinese settled in Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

 in the 1940s.

In Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, early Chinese were generally seamen who jumped ship and began to provide services for other Chinese mariners. In the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 treated China as part of its unofficial Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 employing Chinese in its merchant marine
Merchant Navy
The Merchant Navy is the maritime register of the United Kingdom, and describes the seagoing commercial interests of UK-registered ships and their crews. Merchant Navy vessels fly the Red Ensign and are regulated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency...

 in significant numbers. Consequently, from the 1890s onwards, significant Chinese communities grew up in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 – the main ports for the China trade. However, these communities were a mixture of Chinese men, their British wives and their Eurasian
Eurasian (mixed ancestry)
The word Eurasian refers to people of mixed Asian and European ancestry. It was originally coined in 19th-century British India to refer to Anglo-Indians of mixed British and Indian descent....

 children. Moreover, they were generally inhabited by those Chinese catering for Chinese seamen. The majority spread throughout these cities usually operating laundries at this time.

France received a large settlement of Chinese immigrant laborers, mostly from the city of Wenzhou
Wenzhou
Wenzhou is a prefecture-level city in southeastern Zhejiang province, People's Republic of China. The area under its jurisdiction, which includes two satellite cities and six counties, had a population of 9,122,100 as of 2010....

, Zhejiang
Zhejiang
Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of the People's Republic of China. The word Zhejiang was the old name of the Qiantang River, which passes through Hangzhou, the provincial capital...

 province of China (to this day, France continues to attract many Chinese immigrants from this particular province; Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

' newest Chinatown in Belleville
Belleville, Paris
Belleville is a neighbourhood of Paris, France, parts of which lie in four different arrondissements. The major portion of Belleville straddles the borderline between the 20th arrondissement and the 19th along its main street, the Rue de Belleville...

 is heavily influenced by such immigrants). Chinatowns also are found in the India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n city of Kolkata (See article
Chinatown, Kolkata
Chinatown in the eastern part of the city of Kolkata is the only Chinatown in India. The locality was once home to 20,000 ethnic Chinese, now the population has dropped to 2,000 or so. The traditional occupation of the Chinese community here had been working in the nearby tanning industry and the...

) (once Hakka influenced) and formerly in Mumbai (See article
Chinatown, Mumbai
Up to the 1960s Mumbai had a small Chinatown in Mazagaon. After the 1962 Sino-Indian War, most Chinese were viewed as traitors, and left the town. Currently, Mumbai has a small ethnic Chinese population of 400 families. The Chinese temple and cemetery are both located at Mazagaon....

).

By the late 1970s, the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 also played a significant part in the development and redevelopment of various Chinatowns in developed Western countries. As a result, many Chinatowns have become pan-Asian business districts and residential neighborhoods. By contrast, most Chinatowns in the past were solely inhabited by Chinese from southeastern China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

.

Historic Chinatowns such as San Francisco has had a significant influence on the perception of Chinatowns in western countries. Although, in reality, it and other North American Chinatowns fall outside the tradition of Chinese settlement in having significant numbers of Chinese women.

Africa

There are three noteworthy Chinatowns in Africa located in the coastal African nations of Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

, Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

, and South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. South Africa has the largest Chinatown and the largest Chinese population of any African country and remains a popular destination for Chinese immigrants coming to Africa. The Chinatown on Derrick Avenue in Cyrildene
Cyrildene
Cyrildene is a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. It is noted for a new Chinatown that exists on Derrick Avenue. This new Chinatown is now considered as the main Chinatown in Johannesburg, replacing the declining Chinatown on Commissioner Street in the inner-city of Johannesburg.-History:Up...

, Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...

 is South Africa's largest Chinatown.

Asia

Chinatowns in Asia are widespread with a large concentration of overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 in East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

 and Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 and ethnic Chinese whose ancestors came from southern China – particularly the provinces of Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

, Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

, and Hainan
Hainan
Hainan is the smallest province of the People's Republic of China . Although the province comprises some two hundred islands scattered among three archipelagos off the southern coast, of its land mass is Hainan Island , from which the province takes its name...

 – and settled in countries such as Brunei
Brunei
Brunei , officially the State of Brunei Darussalam or the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace , is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia...

, Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

, Malaysia, Myanmar
Myanmar
Burma , officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, and the Andaman Sea on the south....

, Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, and Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 centuries ago—starting as early as the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

, but mostly notably in the 17th through the 19th centuries (during the reign of the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

), and well into the 20th century.
  • Chinatown, Gachsaran (Mahale chiniha)
    Mahale Chiniha
    Mahale Chiniha is a Chinatown in the center of Gachsaran City, Iran and its most populous area. Running for about , although there are no Chinese people in the town, it is one of the most crowded in the city, especially at sunset. The buildings are a unique mixture of traditional, modern, Chinese...

     (Iran
    Iran
    Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

    )
  • Chinatown, Singapore
    Chinatown, Singapore
    Singapore's Chinatown is an ethnic neighbourhood featuring distinctly Chinese cultural elements and a historically concentrated ethnic Chinese population. Chinatown is located within the larger district of Outram....

     (Singapore
    Singapore
    Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

    )
  • Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur (Petaling Street) (Malaysia)
  • Chinatown, Bangkok (Yaowarat Road)
    Yaowarat Road
    Bangkok's Chinatown is centered on Yaowarat Road in Samphanthawong district.The Chinatown is an old business center covering a large area around Yaowarat and Charoen Krung Road. There are many small streets and alleys full of shops and vendors selling all types of goods...

     (Thailand
    Thailand
    Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

    )
  • Chinatown, Manila (Binondo) (Philippines
    Philippines
    The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

    )(oldest outside Chinese territory established 1521)
  • Chinatown, Davao City
    Mindanao Chinatown
    Mindanao Chinatown, commonly known as Davao's Chinatown, is the only Chinatown in Mindanao located in the island's de facto capital, Davao City, Mindanao, the Philippines...

     (Philippines
    Philippines
    The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

    )
  • Chinatown, Nagasaki (Shinchimachi)
    Nagasaki Chinatown
    Nagasaki Chinatown is located in Nagasaki, Japan. This area today is a big shopping strip that covers many blocks.-History:...

     (Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

    )
  • Chinatown, Ho Chi Minh City (Cholon) (Vietnam
    Vietnam
    Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

    )
  • Chinatown, Jakarta (Glodok)
    Glodok
    Glodok is a part of the Jakarta, Indonesia. The area is also known as Pecinan or Chinatown since the Dutch colonial era, and is considered the biggest in Indonesia, as a majority of the traders in Glodok are of Chinese descent...

     (Indonesia
    Indonesia
    Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

    )
  • Chinatown, Kolkata (Tangra)
    Chinatown, Kolkata
    Chinatown in the eastern part of the city of Kolkata is the only Chinatown in India. The locality was once home to 20,000 ethnic Chinese, now the population has dropped to 2,000 or so. The traditional occupation of the Chinese community here had been working in the nearby tanning industry and the...

     (India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

    )
  • Chinatown, Karachi (Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

    )
  • Chinatown, Yokohama
    Yokohama Chinatown
    Yokohama Chinatown is located in Yokohama, Japan, which is located just south of Tokyo. Its history is about 150 years long...

     (Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

    )
  • Chinatown, Kobe
    Kobe Chinatown
    Kobe Chinatown is located in Kobe, Japan. One of only 3 designated Chinatowns in Japan, Nankinmachi is situated south of Motomachi station adjacent to the elegant Daimaru Department Store. This small, yet lively enclave is home to not only one of the few remaining Chinese communities in the...

     (Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

    )
  • Chinatown, Incheon
    Incheon Chinatown
    Incheon's Chinatown is Korea's only official Chinatown. It is in Jung-gu ward and was formed in 1884. It used to be the largest such Chinatown in South Korea before the exodus of Chinese from the country....

     (South Korea
    South Korea
    The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

    )
  • Chinatown, Mumbai
    Chinatown, Mumbai
    Up to the 1960s Mumbai had a small Chinatown in Mazagaon. After the 1962 Sino-Indian War, most Chinese were viewed as traitors, and left the town. Currently, Mumbai has a small ethnic Chinese population of 400 families. The Chinese temple and cemetery are both located at Mazagaon....

     (India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

    )

Sydney

Sydney's main Chinatown centres around Sussex St in the Sydney CBD, Sydney. It stretches from Central Station in the east to Darling Harbour in the west. It is Australia's largest Chinatown.

Melbourne

The Chinatown of Melbourne in Australia lies within the Melbourne Central Business District and centers around the eastern end of Little Bourke St.
Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Little Bourke Street in Melbourne's CBD runs roughly east–west within the Hoddle Grid. It is a one-way street heading in a westward direction...

 It extends between the corners of Swanston and Exhibition Street
Exhibition Street, Melbourne
Exhibition Street is a major street in the central business district of Melbourne, Australia. The street is named after the World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building, which is located in the Carlton Gardens.- Geography :...

s.

Melbourne's Chinatown originated during the Victorian gold rush
Victorian gold rush
The Victorian gold rush was a period in the history of Victoria, Australia approximately between 1851 and the late 1860s. In 10 years the Australian population nearly tripled.- Overview :During this era Victoria dominated the world's gold output...

 in 1851 when Chinese prospectors joined the rush in search of gold. It is notable as the oldest Chinatown in Australia. It is also the second-longest continuously running Chinese community outside of Asia, only because the 1906 San Francisco earthquake
1906 San Francisco earthquake
The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was a major earthquake that struck San Francisco, California, and the coast of Northern California at 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 1906. The most widely accepted estimate for the magnitude of the earthquake is a moment magnitude of 7.9; however, other...

 all but destroyed the chinatown in San Francisco in California.

Adelaide

the Chinatown of Adelaide in Australia was originally built in the 190's and as renovated in the 1980's. It is located near Adelaide Central Market and Adelaide Bus Station. It is the smallest Chinatown in Australia.

San Francisco

A Pacific port city, San Francisco has the oldest and longest continuous running Chinatown in the Western Hemisphere.
It originated circa 1848 and served as a gateway for incoming immigrants who arrived during the California gold rush
California Gold Rush
The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California. The first to hear confirmed information of the gold rush were the people in Oregon, the Sandwich Islands , and Latin America, who were the first to start flocking to...

 and the construction of the North American transcontinental railroad
Transcontinental railroad
A transcontinental railroad is a contiguous network of railroad trackage that crosses a continental land mass with terminals at different oceans or continental borders. Such networks can be via the tracks of either a single railroad, or over those owned or controlled by multiple railway companies...

s. Chinatown was later reconceptualized as a tourist attraction in the 1910s.
Contrary to the beliefs of some, San Francisco's Chinatown was nearly, but not completely destroyed by the 1906 earthquake, nor did all of its inhabitants re-locate elsewhere. Looming large were proposals by real estate speculators and politicians to expand the Financial District's influence into the area, and moving the Chinese community to the southern part of the city. In response, many of Chinatown's residents and landlords stayed behind to stake their neighborhood's claim, sleeping out in the open and makeshift tents.
Numerous businesses and housing based in brick buildings survived with moderate damage and continued functioning, if only in a limited capacity. In just 2 short years after the earthquake, the landmark Sing Fat and Sing Chong buildings were completed as a statement of the Chinese community's resolve to remain in the area. As a result of this action, Chinatown remains the longest, continuous running Chinese community outside of Asia.
Still a community of predominantly Taishanese-speaking inhabitants, San Francisco's Chinatown became one of the most important Chinese centers in the United States.

New York City

Main articles: Chinatown, Manhattan
Chinatown, Manhattan
Manhattan's Chinatown , home to one of the highest concentrations of Chinese people in the Western hemisphere, is located in the borough of Manhattan in New York City...

; Chinatown, Flushing
Chinatown, Flushing
Chinatown, Flushing, or Flushing Chinatown , in the Flushing area of the borough of Queens in New York City, is one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic Chinese enclaves outside of Asia, as well as within New York City itself...

; and Chinatown, Brooklyn
Chinatown, Brooklyn
Chinatown, Brooklyn, or Brooklyn Chinatown , in the Sunset Park area of the borough of Brooklyn in New York City, is one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic Chinese enclaves outside of Asia, as well as within New York City itself...



The New York City Metropolitan Area contains the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia, enumerating 665,714 individuals as of the 2009 American Community Survey Census statistical data, comprising at least 7 Chinatowns (including 6 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 proper). Chinese Americans, as a whole, have had a (relatively) long tenure in New York City. The first Chinese
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

 immigrants came to Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan is the southernmost part of the island of Manhattan, the main island and center of business and government of the City of New York...

 around 1870, looking for the "gold" America had to offer. By 1880, the enclave around Five Points
Five Points, Manhattan
Five Points was a neighborhood in central lower Manhattan in New York City. The neighborhood was generally defined as being bound by Centre Street in the west, The Bowery in the east, Canal Street in the north and Park Row in the south...

 was estimated to have from 200 to as many as 1,100 members. However, the Chinese Exclusion Act, which went into effect in 1882, caused an abrupt decline in the number of Chinese who immigrated to New York and the rest of the United States. Later, in 1943, the Chinese were given a small quota, and the community's population gradually increased until 1968, when the quota was lifted and the Chinese American population skyrocketed. In the past few years, the Cantonese
Cantonese
Cantonese is a dialect spoken primarily in south China.Cantonese may also refer to:* Yue Chinese, the Chinese language that includes Cantonese* Cantonese cuisine, the cuisine of Guangdong province...

 dialect that has dominated Chinatown for decades is being rapidly swept aside by Mandarin Chinese, the national language of China and the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 of most of the latest Chinese immigrants.

Additional Chinatowns

  • Chinatown, Boston
    Chinatown, Boston
    The only historically Chinese area in New England, Chinatown, Boston is a neighborhood located in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. Centered on Beach Street, the neighborhood borders Boston Common, Downtown Crossing, the South End, and the Southeast Expressway/Massachusetts Turnpike.Part of it...

  • Chinatown, Philadelphia
    Chinatown, Philadelphia
    Philadelphia Chinatown is a predominantly Asian American neighborhood located within the Center City district in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States...

  • Chinatown, Washington, D.C.
    Chinatown, Washington, D.C.
    Chinatown in Washington, D.C., is a small, historic neighborhood east of downtown consisting of about 20 ethnic Chinese and other Asian restaurants and small businesses along H and I Streets between 5th and 8th Streets, Northwest. It is known for its annual Chinese New Year festival and parade and...

  • Chinatown, Los Angeles
    Chinatown, Los Angeles
    Chinatown in Los Angeles, California is located in the city's downtown area. Built in 1938, it is the second Chinatown to be constructed in Los Angeles. The original historic Chinatown was founded in the late 19th century, but was demolished to make room for Union Station, the city's major rail...

  • Chinatown, Chicago
    Chinatown, Chicago
    The Chinatown neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, is on the South Side , centered on Cermak and Wentworth Avenues, and is an example of an American Chinatown, or ethnic-Chinese neighborhood. By the [ftp://ftp2.census.gov/census_2000/datasets/demographic_profile/Illinois/2kh17.pdf 2000 Census], has...

  • Chinatown, Honolulu
    Chinatown, Honolulu
    The Chinatown Historic District is a neighborhood of Honolulu, Hawaii known for its Chinese people and is one of the oldest Chinatowns in the United States.-History:The area was probably used by fishermen during ancient Hawaii but little evidence remains...

  • Chinatown, Detroit
  • Chinatown, Houston
    Chinatown, Houston
    Chinatown is a community in southwestern Houston, Texas, United States. It is roughly bounded by Fondren, Beechnut, State Highway 6, and Westpark, west of Bellaire in the Alief area. The naming of the new Chinatown is disputed, as various ethnic groups live within the community...

  • International District, Seattle
  • Chinatown, Portland

Vancouver

Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

's Chinatown is the largest in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. Dating back to the late 19th century, the main center of the older Chinatown is Pender and Main Street
Main Street
Main Street is the metonym for a generic street name of the primary retail street of a village, town, or small city in many parts of the world...

 in downtown Vancouver, which is also, along with Victoria's
Victoria, British Columbia
Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia, Canada and is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada's Pacific coast. The city has a population of about 78,000 within the metropolitan area of Greater Victoria, which has a population of 360,063, the 15th most populous Canadian...

 Chinatown
Chinatown, Victoria
The Chinatown in Victoria, British Columbia is the oldest in Canada and second in age only to San Francisco's in North America, with its beginnings in the mass influx of miners from California to what is now British Columbia in 1858. Its history goes back to the mid nineteenth century. It remains...

, one of the oldest surviving Chinatowns in North America, and has been the setting for a variety of modern Chinese Canadian culture and literature. Vancouver's Chinatown contains numerous galleries, shops, restaurants, and markets, in addition to the Chinese Cultural Centre and the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden and park; the garden is the first and one of the largest Ming
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 era-style Chinese gardens outside China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

.

Although only one neighbourhood is designated as Chinatown in modern Greater Vancouver
Greater Vancouver
Greater Vancouver is the metropolitan area centred on the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, roughly coterminous with the Greater Vancouver Regional District, which is governed by a body known as Metro Vancouver...

, the high proportion of Chinese people living in the region (the highest in North America) has created many commercial and residential areas that while Chinese-dominated are not called "Chinatown", as in Greater Vancouver that refers only to the historic Chinatown in the city core. There is an abundance of Chinese and Asian malls in the region, with the highest concentration in the Golden Village
Golden Village (Richmond, British Columbia)
Golden Village is a commercial district of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada best known for its high concentration of Asian-themed shopping malls. It is the home to the second-largest Asian community in North America....

 district of Richmond
Richmond, British Columbia
Richmond is a coastal city, incorporated in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Part of Metro Vancouver, its neighbouring communities are Vancouver and Burnaby to the north, New Westminster to the east, and Delta to the south, while the Strait of Georgia forms its western border...

.

Toronto

Chinatown, Toronto
Chinatown, Toronto
Chinatown is an ethnic enclave in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with a high concentration of ethnic Chinese residents and businesses extending along Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue. First developed in the late 19th century, it is now one of the largest Chinatowns in North America and...

 is an ethnic enclave in Downtown Toronto
Downtown Toronto
Downtown Toronto is the central business district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is approximately bounded by Bloor Street to the north, Lake Ontario to the south, the Don River to the east, and Bathurst Street to the west...

, Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, with a high concentration of ethnic Chinese residents and businesses extending along Dundas Street West
Dundas Street (Toronto)
Dundas Street, also known as Highway 5 west of Toronto, is a major arterial road connecting the centre of that city with its western suburbs and southwestern Ontario beyond...

 and Spadina Avenue
Spadina Avenue
Spadina Avenue is one of the most prominent streets in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Running through the western section of downtown, the road has a very different character in different neighbourhoods....

. First developed in the late 19th century, it is now one of the largest Chinatowns in North America and one of several major Chinese-Canadian communities in the Greater Toronto Area
Greater Toronto Area
The Greater Toronto Area is the largest metropolitan area in Canada, with a 2006 census population of 5.5 million. The Greater Toronto Area is usually defined as the central city of Toronto, along with four regional municipalities surrounding it: Durham, Halton, Peel, and York...

.

Additional Chinatowns

  • Chinatown, Calgary
    Chinatown, Calgary
    Calgary's Chinatown is the fourth largest in Canada after those in Vancouver,Toronto, and Montreal. The size of Calgary's Chinatown is indicative of the relatively high proportion of people of Asian descent living in the city....

  • Chinatown, Edmonton
  • Chinatown, Montreal
    Chinatown, Montreal
    Chinatown in Montreal is located in the area of De la Gauchetière Street in Montreal. The neighborhood contains many Asian restaurants, food markets, and convenience stores as well being home to many of Montreal's East Asian community centres, such as the Montreal Chinese Hospital and the Montreal...

  • Chinatown, Ottawa
    Chinatown, Ottawa
    Ottawa's Chinatown is located along Somerset Street in downtown Ottawa. It runs from Bay Street in the east to Rochester St in the west...

  • Chinatown, Victoria
    Chinatown, Victoria
    The Chinatown in Victoria, British Columbia is the oldest in Canada and second in age only to San Francisco's in North America, with its beginnings in the mass influx of miners from California to what is now British Columbia in 1858. Its history goes back to the mid nineteenth century. It remains...

  • Chinatown, Winnipeg
    Chinatown, Winnipeg
    The Chinatown of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada was formed in 1909. It is on King Street between James and Higgins Avenues, and was officially recognized in 1968. Some 20,000 Chinese live in the Winnipeg area....


Latin America

Chinatowns in Latin America developed with the rise of Chinese immigration
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 in the 19th century to various countries in Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

 as contract laborers in agricultural and fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

 industries. Most came from Guangdong Province. Since the 1970s, the new arrivals have typically hailed from Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, Macau
Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

, and Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. Latin American Chinatowns may include the descendants of original migrants – often of mixed Chinese and Latino
Latino
The demonyms Latino and Latina , are defined in English language dictionaries as:* "a person of Latin-American descent."* "A Latin American."* "A person of Hispanic, especially Latin-American, descent, often one living in the United States."...

 parentage – and more recent immigrants from East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

. Most Asian Latin Americans are of Cantonese
Cantonese people
The Cantonese people are Han people whose ancestral homes are in Guangdong, China. The term "Cantonese people" would then be synonymous with the Bun Dei sub-ethnic group, and is sometimes known as Gwong Fu Jan for this narrower definition...

 and Hakka
Hakka people
The Hakka , sometimes Hakka Han, are Han Chinese who speak the Hakka language and have links to the provincial areas of Guangdong, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan and Fujian in China....

 origin.
Estimates widely vary on the number of Chinese Descendants in Latin America.

Notable Chinatowns in Latin America include:
  • Chinatown, Mexicali
    Chinatown, Mexicali
    Chinatown, Mexicali is claimed to have the largest per capita concentration of residents of Chinese origin, around 5,000, by Mexicali. While this does not compare to U.S. cities like San Francisco or New York, early in the 20th century Mexicali was numerically and culturally more Chinese than Mexican...

     (Mexico
    Mexico
    The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

    )
  • Chinatown, Lima
    Chinatown, Lima
    The Chinatown in Lima, locally known as Barrio chino. There are over 6000 Chinese restaurants in Lima called "chifas". Peru is by far the country with the most Chinese restaurants in Latin America. Very commonplace Chinese dishes, such as Mapo dofu, are almost impossible to find on a menu...

     (Peru
    Peru
    Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

    )
  • Chino de La Habana
    Chinese Cuban
    A Chinese Cuban is a Cuban of Chinese ancestry who was born in or has immigrated to Cuba. They are part of the ethnic Chinese diaspora .-History:...

    , Cuba
    Cuba
    The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

  • Chinatown, Buenos Aires
    Chinatown, Buenos Aires
    The area known as Chinatown in Buenos Aires is a largely commercial section about five blocks long in the barrio of Belgrano, Buenos Aires. The Asian community living in Belgrano is less than 0.5% of the ward's total...

    , (Argentina
    Argentina
    Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

    )
  • Chinatown, Mexico City
    Chinatown, Mexico City
    Mexico City’s Chinatown, known locally as Barrio Chino, is located in the downtown area of Mexico City, near the Palacio de Bellas Artes. It is very small, encompassing only two blocks on Dolores Street and consists of a number of restaurants and businesses that import goods...

    , (Mexico
    Mexico
    The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

    )
  • Chinatown, Santo Domingo, (Republica Dominicana)
  • Chinatown, Panama, (Panama
    Panama
    Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

    )
  • In São Paulo
    São Paulo
    São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

    , Brazil, there is also a famous, large Japanese neighborhood known as Liberdade.

Europe

Several urban Chinatowns exist in major European capital cities. There is Chinatown, London
Chinatown, London
The name Chinatown has been used at different times to describe different places in London. The present Chinatown is part of the Soho area of the City of Westminster, occupying the area in and around Gerrard Street...

, England as well as a major Chinatown in Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

, and two Chinatowns in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France: One where many Vietnamese – specifically ethnic Chinese refugees from Vietnam – have settled in the Quartier chinois in the XIIIe arrondissement
XIIIe arrondissement
The 13th arrondissement of Paris is one of the 20 arrondissements of the capital city of France....

 of Paris, and the other in Belleville
Belleville, Paris
Belleville is a neighbourhood of Paris, France, parts of which lie in four different arrondissements. The major portion of Belleville straddles the borderline between the 20th arrondissement and the 19th along its main street, the Rue de Belleville...

 in the northeast of Paris. In 2002 and 2003, Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, Germany was considering establishing a Chinatown. Antwerp, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 has also seen an upstart Chinese community, that has recently been recognised by the local authorities. The city council of Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

 has plans to recognise the Chinese Diaspora in the city.
  • Ireland: two Chinatowns in Dublin, located on both ends of Parnell Street
    Parnell Street
    Parnell Street is located on Dublin's Northside and runs from Capel Street in the west to Gardiner Street and Mountjoy Square in the east, and is at the north end of O'Connell Street, where it provides the south side of Parnell Square....

    .
  • United Kingdom
  • Chinese Quarter, Birmingham
  • Chinatown, Liverpool
    Chinatown, Liverpool
    The Chinatown in Liverpool, England is located near the city centre's southern edge close to Liverpool Cathedral, and is home to the oldest Chinese community in Europe. The arch located at the gateway is also the largest, multiple-span arch of its kind outside of China, the largest single-span...

    : the oldest Chinese community in Europe.
  • Chinatown, London
    Chinatown, London
    The name Chinatown has been used at different times to describe different places in London. The present Chinatown is part of the Soho area of the City of Westminster, occupying the area in and around Gerrard Street...

    : established in the Limehouse
    Limehouse
    Limehouse is a place in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is on the northern bank of the River Thames opposite Rotherhithe and between Ratcliff to the west and Millwall to the east....

     district in the late 19th century
  • Chinatown, Manchester
    Chinatown, Manchester
    Chinatown, Manchester is an ethnic enclave within the city centre of Manchester. It is second largest Chinatown in the United Kingdom and the third largest in Europe. It is located in east central Manchester, and situated next to the Gay Village...

    : located in east central Manchester.
  • Chinatown, Newcastle upon Tyne
    Chinatown, Newcastle
    The Chinatown in Newcastle is a district of Newcastle upon Tyne, located to the west of the city on the edge of the shopping and commercial centre, mostly along Stowell Street...

  • Netherlands
  • Chinatown, Amsterdam
  • Chinatown, The Hague
  • Chinatown, Rotterdam
  • France
  • Chinatown, Paris: located in the 13th arrondissement.

Features

The features described below are characteristic of most Chinatowns. In some cases, however, they may only apply to Chinatowns in Western countries, such as those in North America, Australia, and Western Europe.

Arches (Paifang)

Many tourist-destination metropolitan Chinatowns can be distinguished by large red arch entrance structures known in Mandarin Chinese as Paifang
Paifang
Paifang, also called pailou, is a traditional Chinese architectural gating style as an archway.The word paifang originally was a collective term used to describe the top two levels of administrative division and subdivisions of ancient Chinese city. The largest division within a city in ancient...

(sometimes accompanied by mason lion statues on either side of the paifang that greet visitors). They usually have special inscriptions in Chinese. Historically, these gateways were donated to a particular city as a gift from the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 and People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 governments (such as Chinatown, San Francisco) and business organizations. The long-neglected Chinatown in Havana
Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

, Cuba, received materials for its paifang from the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 as part of Chinatown's gradual renaissance. Construction of these red arches was also financed by local financial contributions from the Chinatown community. Some span an entire intersection and some are smaller in height and width. Some paifang can be made of wood
Wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

, masonry
Masonry
Masonry is the building of structures from individual units laid in and bound together by mortar; the term masonry can also refer to the units themselves. The common materials of masonry construction are brick, stone, marble, granite, travertine, limestone; concrete block, glass block, stucco, and...

, or steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

 and may incorporate an elaborate or simple design.

However, some Chinatowns that still do not have the arch feature are considering installing one, such as the Chinatowns in Houston and Toronto, as these arches are believed to increase tourist traffic. Additionally, work is being done by the Chinatown community
Chinatown, London
The name Chinatown has been used at different times to describe different places in London. The present Chinatown is part of the Soho area of the City of Westminster, occupying the area in and around Gerrard Street...

 of London to develop a new and more authentic Chinese arch on Wardour Street to act as a counterpoint to the Western influenced one on Gerrard Street (pictured above).

Bilingual signs

Many major metropolitan areas with Chinatowns have bilingual street signs in Chinese and the language of the adopted country. Other public services are sometimes bilingual, like banking machines.

Antiquated features

Many early Chinatowns featured large numbers of Chinese-owned chop suey
Chop suey
Chop suey is a Chinese dish consisting of meat and eggs, cooked quickly with vegetables such as bean sprouts, cabbage, and celery and bound in a starch-thickened sauce...

 restaurants, laundry businesses, and opium den
Opium den
An opium den was an establishment where opium was sold and smoked. Opium dens were prevalent in many parts of the world in the 19th century, most notably China, Southeast Asia, North America and France...

s, until around the mid-20th century when most of these businesses began to disappear. Though some remain, they are generally seen as anachronism
Anachronism
An anachronism—from the Greek ανά and χρόνος — is an inconsistency in some chronological arrangement, especially a chronological misplacing of persons, events, objects, or customs in regard to each other...

s. In early years of Chinatowns, the opium dens were patronized as a relaxation and to escape the harsh and brutal realities of a non-Chinese society, although in North American Chinatowns, they were also frequented by non-Chinese. Additionally, due to the inability on the part of Chinese immigrant men to bring a wife and lack of available local Chinese women for men to marry, brothel
Brothel
Brothels are business establishments where patrons can engage in sexual activities with prostitutes. Brothels are known under a variety of names, including bordello, cathouse, knocking shop, whorehouse, strumpet house, sporting house, house of ill repute, house of prostitution, and bawdy house...

s became common in some Chinatowns in the 19th century. Chinese laundries, which required very little capital and English ability, were fairly prosperous. These businesses no longer exist in many Chinatowns and have been replaced by Chinese grocery stores, Chinese restaurants that serve more authentic Chinese cuisine, and other establishments. While opium dens no longer exist, illegal basement gambling
Gambling
Gambling is the wagering of money or something of material value on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods...

 parlors are still places of recreation in many Chinatowns, where men gather to play mahjong
Mahjong
Mahjong, sometimes spelled Mah Jongg, is a game that originated in China, commonly played by four players...

 and other games.

Restaurants

Most Chinatowns are centered around food and as a result Chinatowns worldwide are usually popular destinations for various ethnic Chinese and other Asian cuisines such as Vietnamese, Thai, and Malaysian. Some Chinatowns, such as Singapore
Chinatown, Singapore
Singapore's Chinatown is an ethnic neighbourhood featuring distinctly Chinese cultural elements and a historically concentrated ethnic Chinese population. Chinatown is located within the larger district of Outram....

, have their localized style of Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine is any of several styles originating in the regions of China, some of which have become highly popular in other parts of the world – from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa...

. Restaurants serve many Chinatowns both as a major economic component and social gathering places. In the Chinatowns in the western countries, restaurant work may be the only type of employment available for poorer immigrants, especially those who cannot converse fluently in the language of the adopted country. Most Chinatowns generally have a range of authentic and touristic restaurants.

Generally, restaurants serving authentic Chinese food primarily to immigrant customers have never conformed to these Chinatown stereotypes. Because of ethnic Chinese immigration and the expanded palate of many contemporary cultures, the remaining American Chinese
American Chinese cuisine
American Chinese cuisine refers to the style of food served by many Chinese restaurants in the United States. This type of cooking typically caters to Western tastes, and differs significantly from the original Chinese cuisine.-History:...

 and Canadian Chinese cuisine
Canadian Chinese cuisine
Canadian Chinese cuisine is a popular style of cooking exclusive to take-out and dine-in eateries found across Canada. It was the first form of commercially available Chinese food available in Canada. This cooking style was invented by early Cantonese immigrants who adapted traditional Chinese...

 restaurants are seen as anachronisms but remain popular and profitable. In many Chinatowns, there are now many large, authentic Cantonese seafood restaurants, restaurants specializing in other varieties of Chinese cuisine such as Hakka cuisine
Hakka cuisine
Hakka cuisine is the cooking style of the Hakka people, who are primarily found in southeastern China , but also may be found in many other parts of China, as well as in the Chinese diaspora...

, Szechuan cuisine
Szechuan cuisine
Szechuan cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, or Szechwan cuisine is a style of Chinese cuisine originating in the Sichuan Province of southwestern China famed for bold flavors, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, as well as the unique flavour of...

, Shanghai cuisine
Shanghai cuisine
Shanghai cuisine , also known as Hu cai is a popular style of Chinese cuisine. The city of Shanghai itself does not have a separate and unique cuisine of its own, but modifies those of the surrounding provinces, is Jiangsu and Zhejiang coastal provinces. What can be called Shanghai cuisine is...

, and small restaurants with delis.

Chop suey and chow mein eateries

Often lit by neon signage, restaurants offering chop suey
Chop suey
Chop suey is a Chinese dish consisting of meat and eggs, cooked quickly with vegetables such as bean sprouts, cabbage, and celery and bound in a starch-thickened sauce...

 or chow mein
Chow mein
Chow mein is a Chinese term for a dish of stir-fried noodles, of which there are many varieties.-Etymology:...

, mainly for the benefit for non-Chinese customers, were frequent in older Chinatowns. These dishes are offered in standard barbecue restaurants and takeouts (take-away restaurants).

Cantonese seafood restaurants

Cantonese seafood restaurants
Cantonese cuisine
Cantonese cuisine comes from Guangdong Province in southern China and is one of 8 superdivisions of Chinese cuisine. Its prominence outside China is due to the great numbers of early emigrants from Guangdong. Cantonese chefs are highly sought after throughout the country...

 (海鮮酒家, pronounced in Cantonese as hoy seen jau ga) typically use a large dining room layout, have ornate designs, and specialize in seafood such as expensive Chinese-style lobster
Lobster
Clawed lobsters comprise a family of large marine crustaceans. Highly prized as seafood, lobsters are economically important, and are often one of the most profitable commodities in coastal areas they populate.Though several groups of crustaceans are known as lobsters, the clawed lobsters are most...

s, crab
Crab
True crabs are decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a very short projecting "tail" , or where the reduced abdomen is entirely hidden under the thorax...

s, prawn
Prawn
Prawns are decapod crustaceans of the sub-order Dendrobranchiata. There are 540 extant species, in seven families, and a fossil record extending back to the Devonian...

s, clam
Clam
The word "clam" can be applied to freshwater mussels, and other freshwater bivalves, as well as marine bivalves.In the United States, "clam" can be used in several different ways: one, as a general term covering all bivalve molluscs...

s, and oyster
Oyster
The word oyster is used as a common name for a number of distinct groups of bivalve molluscs which live in marine or brackish habitats. The valves are highly calcified....

s, all kept live in tanks until preparation. Some seafood restaurants may also offer dim sum
Dim sum
Dim sum refers to a style of Chinese food prepared as small bite-sized or individual portions of food traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates...

 in the morning through the early afternoon hours as waiters announce the names of dishes while pushing steamy carts of food and pastries across the restaurant. These restaurants are also used for weddings, banquets, and other special events.

These types of restaurants flourished and became in vogue in Hong Kong during the 1960s and subsequently began opening in various Chinatowns overseas. Owing to their higher menu prices and greater amount of investment capital required to open and manage one (due to higher levels of staffing needed), they tend to be more common in Chinatowns and satellite communities in developed countries and in fairly affluent Chinese immigrant communities, notably in Australia, Canada, and the United States, where they have received significant population of Hong Kong Chinese émigrés. Poorer immigrants usually cannot start these kinds of restaurants, although they too are employed in them. There are generally fewer of them in the older Chinatowns; for example, they are practically non-existent in Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

's Chinatown, but more are found in its suburbs such as Richmond
Richmond, British Columbia
Richmond is a coastal city, incorporated in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Part of Metro Vancouver, its neighbouring communities are Vancouver and Burnaby to the north, New Westminster to the east, and Delta to the south, while the Strait of Georgia forms its western border...

, British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. Competition between these restaurants is often fierce; hence owners of seafood restaurants hire and even "steal" well-rounded chefs, many of whom are from Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

.

Barbecue delicatessens/restaurants

Also, Chinese barbecue
Barbecue
Barbecue or barbeque , used chiefly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of...

 deli
Delicatessen
Delicatessen is a term meaning "delicacies" or "fine foods". The word entered English via German,with the old German spelling , plural of Delikatesse "delicacy", ultimately from Latin delicatus....

 restaurants, called siu laap (燒臘) and sometimes called a "noodle house" or mein ga (麵家), are generally low-key and serve less expensive fare such as wonton
Wonton
Not to be confused with WantonA wonton is a type of dumpling commonly found in a number of Chinese cuisines.-Filling:...

 noodles (or wonton mein), chow fun (炒粉, stir-fry rice noodles), Yeung Chow fried rice
Yeung Chow Fried Rice
"Yeung Chow Fried Rice" or "Yangzhou Chao Fan" is a popular Chinese style wok fried rice dish in many Chinese restaurants in China, The Americas, Australia, United Kingdom, and the Philippines...

 (揚州炒飯), and rice porridge
Rice pudding
Rice pudding is a dish made from rice mixed with water or milk and sometimes other ingredients such as cinnamon and raisins. Different variants are used for either desserts or dinners. When used as a dessert, it is commonly combined with a sweetener such as sugar.-Rice pudding around the world:Rice...

 or congee
Congee
Congee is a type of rice porridge popular in many Asian countries. It can be eaten alone or served with a side dish. Names for congee are as varied as the style of its preparation...

, known as juk in Cantonese Chinese. They also tend to have displays of whole pre-cooked roasted ducks and suckling pig
Suckling pig
A suckling pig is a piglet fed on its mother's milk . In culinary, a suckling pig is slaughtered between the ages of two and six weeks. It is traditionally cooked whole, often roasted, in various cuisines...

s hanging in their windows, a common feature in most Chinatowns worldwide. These delis also serve barbecue pork
Pork
Pork is the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig , which is eaten in many countries. It is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC....

 (叉燒, cha siu), chicken feet
Chicken feet
Chicken feet are a part of the chicken that is eaten in Mexican, Chinese, Trinidadian, Jamaican, South African, Peruvian, Dominican, Philippine cuisine and middle east. Most of the edible meat on the feet consists of skin and tendons, without much muscle. This gives the feet a distinct texture...

, and other Chinese-style items less welcome to the typical Western palate. Food is usually intended for take-out
Take-out
Take-out or takeout , carry-out , take-away , parcel , or tapau , is food purchased at a...

. Some of these Chinatown restaurants sometimes have the reputation of being "greasy spoon
Greasy spoon
Greasy spoon is a colloquial or slang term originating in the United States to mean a small, especially cheap, archetypal working class restaurant or diner. The term is now used in many English speaking countries to mean the same thing...

s" and reputation for poor service.

Vietnamese immigrants, both ethnic Chinese and non-Chinese, have opened restaurants in many Chinatowns, serving Vietnamese pho
PHO
PHO may refer to:* Primary Health Organisation* Potentially hazardous object, an asteroid or comet that could potentially collide with Earth...

 beef noodle soup
Beef noodle soup
Beef noodle soup is a Chinese noodle soup made of stewed beef, beef broth, vegetables and Chinese noodles. It exists in various forms throughout East Asia and Southeast Asia. It was created by the Hui people during the Tang Dynasty of China.In the West, this food may be served in a small portion...

s and Franco-Vietnamese sandwich
Sandwich
A sandwich is a food item, typically consisting of two or more slices of :bread with one or more fillings between them, or one slice of bread with a topping or toppings, commonly called an open sandwich. Sandwiches are a widely popular type of lunch food, typically taken to work or school, or...

es. Some immigrants have also started restaurants serving Teochew Chinese cuisine. Some Chinatowns old and new may also contain several pan-Asian restaurants offering a variety of Asian noodles under one roof.

Chifas

A special feature of Chinatown in Lima, Peru (Barrio Chino de Lima) is the chifa, a Chinese-Peruvian
Chinese-Peruvian
Chinese Peruvians, also known as tusán , are people of Overseas Chinese ancestry born in Peru, or who have made Peru their adopted homeland....

 type of restaurant which mixes Cantonese Chinese cuisine with local Peruvian flavours. Chifa is the Peruvian Spanish deriative of the Cantonese phrase jee fon (饎飯), which renders as "cook rice" or as "cook meal'". This type of restaurant is popular with native Peruvians.

Shops

Most Chinatown businesses are engaged in the import-export and wholesale businesses; hence a large number of trading companies are found in Chinatowns.

Ginseng, herbs and animal parts

Small ginseng
Ginseng
Ginseng is any one of eleven species of slow-growing perennial plants with fleshy roots, belonging to the genus Panax of the family Araliaceae....

 and herb shops are common in most Chinatowns, selling products used in traditional Chinese medicine. The Canadian government has stepped up policing of Chinese traditional medicinal stores and on a few occasions several Chinese stores in Vancouver and Toronto
Chinatown, Toronto
Chinatown is an ethnic enclave in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with a high concentration of ethnic Chinese residents and businesses extending along Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue. First developed in the late 19th century, it is now one of the largest Chinatowns in North America and...

 have been raided for products taken from the harvesting of rare and endangered species, such as tiger bone, bear paw and bear gall bladder. This has been alleged by some Chinese to be racial persecution, despite environmental and moral concerns. Other products sold in this trade include sea cucumbers, sea horses, lizards, deer musk glands, shark fins, swallows' nests, antlers, bear bile pills, crocodile bile pills, deer musk pills, rhino skin pills, and pangolin pills, as well as a wide range of mushrooms, herbs, bark, seaweed, roots, and similar items.

Markets

As with the restaurant trade, grocery stores and seafood markets serve a key function in Chinatown economies, and these stores sell Chinese ingredients to such restaurants. Such markets are wholesalers. Chinatown grocers and markets are often characterized by sidewalk vegetable and fruit stalls – a quintessential image of Chinatowns – and also sell a variety of grocery items imported from East Asia (chiefly Mainland China, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, Japan, and South Korea) and Southeast Asia (principally Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia). For example, most Chinatown markets stock items such as sacks of Thai jasmine rice
Jasmine rice
Jasmine rice , sometimes known as Thai fragrant rice, is a long-grain variety of rice that has a nutty aroma and a subtle pandan-like flavor caused by 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline.Jasmine rice is originally from Thailand...

, Chinese chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemums, often called mums or chrysanths, are of the genus constituting approximately 30 species of perennial flowering plants in the family Asteraceae which is native to Asia and northeastern Europe.-Etymology:...

 and oolong
Oolong
Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea produced through a unique process including withering under the strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting. Most oolong teas, especially those of fine quality, involve unique tea plant cultivars that are exclusively used for particular varieties...

 tea
Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

s, bottles of oyster sauce
Oyster sauce
Oyster sauce describes a number of sauces made by cooking oysters. The most common in modern use is a viscous dark brown condiment made from sugar, salt and water thickened with cornstarch, flavoured with a little oyster essence or extract and some versions may be darkened with caramel, though high...

, rice vermicelli
Vermicelli
Vermicelli is a traditional type of pasta round in section that is thicker than spaghetti.-Vermicelli thickness comparison:In USA, the National Pasta Association, founded in 1904, lists, together with various spelling mistakes, vermicelli as a thinner type of spaghetti.-History in Italy:In...

, Hong Kong soybean
Soybean
The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses...

 beverages, Malaysian snack items, Taiwanese rice crackers, and Japanese seaweed
Seaweed
Seaweed is a loose, colloquial term encompassing macroscopic, multicellular, benthic marine algae. The term includes some members of the red, brown and green algae...

 and Chinese specialties such as black duck eggs (often used in rice porridge), bok choy, and water chestnuts
Eleocharis dulcis
The Chinese water chestnut , more often called simply the water chestnut, is a grass-like sedge grown for its edible corms. The water chestnut is actually not a nut at all, but an aquatic vegetable that grows in marshes, underwater in the mud...

. These markets may also sell fish (especially tilapia
Tilapia
Tilapia , is the common name for nearly a hundred species of cichlid fish from the tilapiine cichlid tribe. Tilapia inhabit a variety of fresh water habitats, including shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes. Historically, they have been of major importance in artisan fishing in Africa and the...

) and other seafood items, which are kept alive in aquariums, for Chinese and other Asian cuisine dishes. Until recently, these items generally could not be found outside the Chinatown enclaves, although since the 1970s Asian supermarket
Asian supermarket
An Asian supermarket, sometimes called an "Oriental supermarket", is a grocery store in non-Asian countries that stocks items imported from the many countries in East and Southeast Asia. They carry items and ingredients generally well-suited for Asian cuisines and not found in most Western...

s have proliferated in the suburbs of North America and Australia, competing strongly with the old Chinatown markets.

Religious and funerary supplies

In keeping with Buddhist and Taoist funeral traditions, Chinese specialty shops also sell incense and funeral items which provide material comfort in the afterlife of the deceased. Shops sell specially-crafted replicas of small paper houses, paper radios, paper televisions, paper telephones, paper jewelry, and other material items. They also sell "hell money
Hell Bank Notes
Hell bank notes are a form of joss paper printed to resemble legal tender bank notes. This faux money has been in use since at least the late 19th century and possibly much earlier. Early 20th century examples took the resemblance of minor commercial currency of the type issued by businesses across...

" currency notes. These items are intended to be burned in a furnace.

These businesses also sell red, wooden Buddhist altar
Altar
An altar is any structure upon which offerings such as sacrifices are made for religious purposes. Altars are usually found at shrines, and they can be located in temples, churches and other places of worship...

s and small statue
Statue
A statue is a sculpture in the round representing a person or persons, an animal, an idea or an event, normally full-length, as opposed to a bust, and at least close to life-size, or larger...

s for worship. Per Chinese custom, an offering of oranges are usually placed in front of the statue in the altar. Some altars are stacked atop each other. These altars may be found in many Chinatown businesses.

Video CD stores

Chinatowns may contain small businesses that sell imported
International trade
International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product...

 VCDs
Video CD
Before the advent of DVD and Blu-ray, the Video CD became the first format for distributing films on standard 120 mm optical discs. The format is a standard digital format for storing video on a Compact Disc...

 and DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

s of Chinese-language films and karaoke
Karaoke
is a form of interactive entertainment or video game in which amateur singers sing along with recorded music using a microphone and public address system. The music is typically a well-known pop song minus the lead vocal. Lyrics are usually displayed on a video screen, along with a moving symbol,...

. The VCDs are mainly titles of Hong Kong and PRC films, while there are also VCDs of Japanese anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 and occasionally pornography
Pornography
Pornography or porn is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction.Pornography may use any of a variety of media, ranging from books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video,...

. Often, imported bootleg
Counterfeit
To counterfeit means to illegally imitate something. Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product...

 DVDs and VCDs are sold owing to lax enforcement of copyright laws.

Street merchants

Street merchants selling low-priced vegetables, fruits, clothes, newspapers, and knickknacks are common in most Chinatowns. Most of the peddlers tend to be elderly (Cantonese: lo wah cue).

Annual events in Chinatown

Most Chinatowns present Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year – often called Chinese Lunar New Year although it actually is lunisolar – is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an all East and South-East-Asia celebration...

(also known as Lunar New Year) festivities with dragon
Chinese dragon
Chinese dragons are legendary creatures in Chinese mythology and folklore, with mythic counterparts among Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Bhutanese, Western and Turkic dragons. In Chinese art, dragons are typically portrayed as long, scaled, serpentine creatures with four legs...

 and lion dance
Lion dance
Lion dance is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture, in which performers mimic a lion's movements in a lion costume. The lion dance is often mistakenly referred to as dragon dance. An easy way to tell the difference is that a lion is operated by two people, while a dragon needs many people...

s accompanied by the rhythm of clashing of cymbal
Cymbal
Cymbals are a common percussion instrument. Cymbals consist of thin, normally round plates of various alloys; see cymbal making for a discussion of their manufacture. The greater majority of cymbals are of indefinite pitch, although small disc-shaped cymbals based on ancient designs sound a...

s, clanging on a gong
Gong
A gong is an East and South East Asian musical percussion instrument that takes the form of a flat metal disc which is hit with a mallet....

, clapping of hardwood clappers, by pounding of drum
Drum
The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments, which is technically classified as the membranophones. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a...

s, and by loud Chinese firecracker
Firecracker
A firecracker is a small explosive device primarily designed to produce a large amount of noise, especially in the form of a loud bang; any visual effect is incidental to this goal. They have fuses, and are wrapped in a heavy paper casing to contain the explosive compound...

s, set off especially in front of ethnic Chinese storefronts, where the "lion" character attempts to reach for a lettuce
Lettuce
Lettuce is a temperate annual or biennial plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. It is most often grown as a leaf vegetable. It is eaten either raw, notably in salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, tacos, and many other dishes, or cooked, as in Chinese cuisine in which the stem becomes just as important...

 or catch an orange
Orange (fruit)
An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus × sinensis and its fruit. It is the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world....

. The lion typically contains two performers and performances may involves several stunts. In return, storekeepers usually donate some money to the performers, some of whom belong to local martial arts affiliations.

In addition, Chinatowns close off some streets for parade
Parade
A parade is a procession of people, usually organized along a street, often in costume, and often accompanied by marching bands, floats or sometimes large balloons. Parades are held for a wide range of reasons, but are usually celebrations of some kind...

s, Chinese acrobatics and martial-arts demonstrations, street festivals, and carnival ride
Carnival Ride
Carnival Ride is the second studio album from American country pop artist Carrie Underwood. It was released in the United States on October 23, 2007. It has been certified 3x Platinum by the RIAA. The album includes the singles "So Small", "All-American Girl", "Last Name", "Just a Dream", and "I...

s—this is dependent on the promoters or organizers of the events. Other festivals may also be held in a parking lot
Parking lot
A parking lot , also known as car lot, is a cleared area that is intended for parking vehicles. Usually, the term refers to a dedicated area that has been provided with a durable or semi-durable surface....

/car park, local park
Park
A park is a protected area, in its natural or semi-natural state, or planted, and set aside for human recreation and enjoyment, or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats. It may consist of rocks, soil, water, flora and fauna and grass areas. Many parks are legally protected by...

, or school
School
A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is commonly compulsory. In these systems, students progress through a series of schools...

 grounds within Chinatown.

Some Chinatowns hold an annual "Miss Chinatown" beauty pageant, such as "Miss Chinatown San Francisco," "Miss Chinatown Hawaii," "Miss Chinatown Houston" or "Miss Chinatown Atlanta."

Benevolent and business associations

A major component of many Chinatowns is the family benevolent association, which provides some degree of aid to immigrants. These associations generally provide social support, religious services, death benefits (members' names in Chinese are generally enshrined on tablets and posted on walls), meals, and recreational activities for ethnic Chinese, especially for older Chinese migrants. Membership in these associations can be based on members sharing a common Chinese surname
Chinese surname
Chinese family names have been historically used by Han Chinese and Sinicized Chinese ethnic groups in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and among overseas Chinese communities. In ancient times two types of surnames, family names and clan names , existed.The colloquial expressions laobaixing...

 or belonging to a common clan, spoken Chinese dialect, specific village, region or country of origin, and so on. Many have their own facilities.

Some examples include San Francisco's prominent Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (中華總會館), aka Chinese Six Companies
Chinese Six Companies
The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association is a historical Chinese Association established in various parts of the United States with large populations of Chinese...

, and Los Angeles' Southern California Teochew Association. The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association is among the largest umbrella groups of benevolent associations in the North America, which branches in several Chinatowns. Politically, the CCBA has traditionally been aligned with the Kuomintang and the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

.

The London Chinatown Chinese Association is active in Chinatown, London. Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 has an institution in the Association des Résidents en France d'origine indochinoise and it servicing overseas Chinese immigrants in Paris who were born in the former French Indochina
French Indochina
French Indochina was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin , Annam , and Cochinchina , as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887....

.

Traditionally, Chinatown-based associations have also been aligned on ethnic Chinese business interests, such as restaurant, grocery, and laundry (antiquated) associations in Chinatowns in North America. In Chicago's Chinatown, the On Leong Merchants Association was active.

Dragon and lion dances

Dragon
Dragon dance
Dragon dance is a form of traditional dance and performance in Chinese culture. Like the lion dance it is most often seen in festive celebrations. Many Chinese people often use the term "Descendants of the Dragon" as a sign of ethnic identity, as part of a trend started in the 1970s. Another...

 and lion dance
Lion dance
Lion dance is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture, in which performers mimic a lion's movements in a lion costume. The lion dance is often mistakenly referred to as dragon dance. An easy way to tell the difference is that a lion is operated by two people, while a dragon needs many people...

s are performed in Chinatown every Chinese New Year, particularly to scare off evil spirits and bring good fortune to the community. They are also performed to celebrate a grand opening of a new Chinatown business, such as a restaurant or bank.

Ironically, many lion and dragon dances are considered more preserved in true form in Chinatowns than in China itself. This discrepancy is attributed to the fact that traditional Chinese customs, including lion and dragon dances, were unable to flourish during the political and social instabilities of Imperial China
Late Imperial China
Late Imperial China refers to the period between the end of Mongol rule in 1368 and the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912 and includes the Ming and Qing Dynasties...

 under rule of the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 and were almost eliminated completely under the communist order of the People's Republic of China under Chairman Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

. However, due to the migration of Chinese all over the world (particularly Southeast Asia), the dances were continually practiced by overseas Chinese and performed in Chinatowns.

Ceremonial wreath
Wreath
A wreath is an assortment of flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs and/or various materials that is constructed to resemble a ring. They are used typically as Christmas decorations to symbolize the coming of Christ, also known as the Advent season in Christianity. They are also used as festive headdresses...

s and leafy green plants with red-coloured ribbons strewn across are also usually placed in front of new Chinatown businesses by well-wishers (particularly family members, wholesalers, community organizations, and so on), to assure future success.

Names for Chinatowns

Although the term "Chinatown" was first used in Asia, it does not come from a Chinese language. Its earliest appearance seems to have been in connection with the Chinese quarter of Singapore which by 1844 was already being called "China Town" or "Chinatown" by the British colonial government. This may have been a word-for-word translation into English of the Malay name for that quarter, which in those days was probably "Kampong China" or possibly "Kota China" or "Kampong Tionghua/Chunghwa/Zhonghua". As noted below, Singaporean Chinese themselves used other names.

The first appearance of a Chinatown outside Singapore may have been in 1852, in a book by the Rev. Hatfield, who applied the term to the Chinese part of the main settlement on the remote South Atlantic island of St. Helena. The island was a regular way-station on the voyage to Europe and North America from Indian Ocean ports, including Singapore.

One of the earliest American usages dates to 1855, when San Francisco newspaper The Daily Alta California
The Daily Alta California
The Alta California or Daily Alta California was a 19th-century San Francisco newspaper...

described a "pitched battle on the streets of [SF's] Chinatown." Other Alta articles from the late 1850s make it clear that areas called "Chinatown" existed at that time in several other California cities, including Oroville and San Andres. By 1869, "Chinatown| had acquired its full modern meaning all over the U.S. and Canada. For instance, an Ohio newspaper wrote: "From San Diego to Sitka..., every town and hamlet has its 'Chinatown'."

In British publications before the 1890s, "Chinatown" appeared mainly in connection with California. At first, Australian and New Zealand journalists also regarded Chinatowns as Californian phenomena. However, they began using the term to denote local Chinese communities as early as 1861 in Australia and 1873 in New Zealand. In most other countries, the custom of calling local Chinese communities "Chinatowns" is not older than the twentieth century.

Several alternate English names for Chinatown include China Town (generally used in British
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

 and Australian English
Australian English
Australian English is the name given to the group of dialects spoken in Australia that form a major variety of the English language....

), The Chinese District, Chinese Quarter, and China Alley (an antiquated term used primarily in several rural
Rural
Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...

 towns in the western United States for a Chinese community; some of these are now historical sites). In the case of Lillooet, British Columbia, Canada, China Alley was a parallel commercial street adjacent to the town's Main Street, enjoying a view over the river valley adjacent and also over the main residential part of Chinatown, which was largely of adobe construction. All traces of Chinatown and China Alley there have disappeared, despite a once large and prosperous community.

In other languages

In Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

, Chinatown is usually called "唐人街", in Cantonese
Standard Cantonese
Cantonese, or Standard Cantonese, is a language that originated in the vicinity of Canton in southern China, and is often regarded as the prestige dialect of Yue Chinese....

 Tong yan gai, in Mandarin
Standard Mandarin
Standard Chinese or Modern Standard Chinese, also known as Mandarin or Putonghua, is the official language of the People's Republic of China and Republic of China , and is one of the four official languages of Singapore....

 Tángrénjiē, in Hakka Tong ngin gai, and in Toisan
Taishan dialect
Taishanese is a dialect of Yue Chinese. The dialect is closely related to Cantonese.Taishanese is spoken in the southern part of Guangdong Province in China, particularly in and around the city-level county of Taishan...

 Hong ngin gai, literally meaning "Tang people's street(s)". The Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 was a zenith of the Chinese civilization, after which some Chinese—especially in the South—call themselves.
Some Chinatowns are indeed just one single street, such as the relatively short Fisgard Street in Victoria
Victoria, British Columbia
Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia, Canada and is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada's Pacific coast. The city has a population of about 78,000 within the metropolitan area of Greater Victoria, which has a population of 360,063, the 15th most populous Canadian...

, British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

, Canada or the sprawling 4-mile (6.4 km) new Chinatown
Chinatown, Houston
Chinatown is a community in southwestern Houston, Texas, United States. It is roughly bounded by Fondren, Beechnut, State Highway 6, and Westpark, west of Bellaire in the Alief area. The naming of the new Chinatown is disputed, as various ethnic groups live within the community...

 in Houston, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

. However, most Chinatown are in fact multiple intersecting streets.

A more modern Chinese name is 華埠 (Cantonese: Waa Fau, Mandarin: Huábù) meaning "Chinese City", used in the semi-official Chinese translations of some cities' documents and signs. , pronounced sometimes in Mandarin as , usually means seaport; but in this sense, it means city or town. Likewise, Tong yan fau (唐人埠 "Tang people's town") is also used in Cantonese nowadays. The literal word-for-word translation of ChinatownZhōngguó Chéng (中國城) is also used, but more frequently by visiting Chinese nationals rather than immigrants of Chinese descent who live in the Chinatowns.

In Francophone
Francophone
The adjective francophone means French-speaking, typically as primary language, whether referring to individuals, groups, or places. Often, the word is used as a noun to describe a natively French-speaking person....

 regions (such as France and Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

), Chinatown is often referred to as le quartier chinois (the Chinese Quarter; plural: les quartiers chinois) and the Spanish-language term is usually el barrio chino (the Chinese neighborhood; plural: los barrios chinos), used in Spain and Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

. (However, barrio chino or its Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

 cognate barri xines do not always refer to a Chinese neighborhood: these are also common terms for a disreputable district with drugs and prostitution, and often no connection to the Chinese.). The Vietnamese term for Chinatown is Khu người Hoa, due to the prevalence of the Vietnamese language in Chinatowns of Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Montreal as ethic Chinese from Vietnam have set up shop in them. Other countries also have idiosyncratic names for Chinatown in local languages and in Chinese; however, some local terms may not necessarily translate as Chinatown. For example, Singapore's tourist-centric Chinatown is called in local Singaporean Mandarin
Singaporean Mandarin
Singaporean Mandarin is a variety of Mandarin Chinese widely spoken in Singapore. It is one of the four official languages of Singapore along with English, Malay and Tamil....

 Niúchēshǔi (牛车水), which literally means "Ox-cart water" from the Malay 'Kreta Ayer' in reference to the water carts that used to ply the area. Some languages have adopted the English-language term, such as Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

, German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, and Bahasa Malaysia. In Malaysia, the term Chinatown is named under administrative reason. Instead, the name Chee Chong Kai (茨厂街)is preferred and agreed upon by the locals. Chee in Hakka means tapioca, chong means factory and kai means street. This is originated from a factory that was set up by Yap Ah Loy, a rich Kapitan
Kapitan China
Kapitan Cina or Capitan China was originally a Portuguese title for the representative of a Chinese enclave. The 15th century rulers of Southeast Asia, such as Melaka and Banten , chose to deal with a single individual from each ethnic group under their rule...

 (a Chinese immigrant who had administrative and political power under the British rule) that made tapioca. Chee Chong Kai is also called jalan Petaling or "Petaling Street".

See also

  • Big Trouble in Little China
    Big Trouble in Little China
    Big Trouble in Little China is a 1986 American martial arts comedy film directed by John Carpenter. It stars Kurt Russell as truck driver Jack Burton, who helps his friend Wang Chi rescue Wang's green-eyed fiancee from bandits in San Francisco's Chinatown...

  • Chinatown bus lines
    Chinatown bus lines
    Chinatown bus lines are discount intercity bus services that have been established in the Chinatown communities of the East Coast of the United States since 1998. Similar Chinese American-run bus services are cropping up on the West Coast...

  • Europe Street
    Europe Street
    Europe Street is a government-built theme park in Beijing, China where European culture is on display.Europe Street is located near Chaoyang Park, and is sponsored by a delegation from the European Commission of the European Union...

    , a street in China dedicated to European culture
  • Jack Manion
    Jack Manion
    Inspector John J. Manion, , San Francisco Police Department, was a veteran officer assigned by Chief Dan O'Brien in 1921 to head up the notorious 16-member Chinatown Squad which had been established in 1875....

     San Francisco's Chinatown squad
  • Japantown
    Japantown
    is a common name for official Japanese communities in big cities outside Japan. Alternatively, a Japantown may be called J-town, Little Tokyo, or Nihonmachi , the first two being common names for the Japanese communities in San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively.-North America:Japantowns were...

  • Koreatown
    Koreatown
    Koreatown is a term to describe a Korean ethnic enclave within a city or metropolitan area. Similar terms may include Little Seoul or Little Korea.-Beijing:There are more than 150,000 Koreans living in Beijing...

  • List of named ethnic enclaves in North American cities
  • List of U.S. cities with significant Chinese American populations
  • Little India (location)
    Little India (location)
    Little India is an ethnic enclave containing a large population of Indian people within a society where the majority of people are either not South Asians or where the majority in the enclave are indigenous to states in the country of India within a South Asian Society not identifying as Indian...

  • Little Pakistan
    Little Pakistan
    "Little Pakistan" is a general name for an ethnic enclave populated primarily by Pakistanis or people of Pakistani ancestry , usually in an urban neighborhood.-List of Little Pakistans:-Norway:...

  • Little Saigon
    Little Saigon
    Little Saigon is a name given to any of several overseas Vietnamese immigrant and descendant communities outside Vietnam, usually in the United States...

  • Little Taipei
    Little Taipei
    Little Taipei was an informal name given to the city of Monterey Park, California in the late 1970s when it had a large immigrant population from Taiwan...

  • Thai Town, Los Angeles


Further reading

  • Chew, James R. "Boyhood Days in Winnemucca, 1901–1910." Nevada Historical Society Quarterly 1998 41(3): 206–209. ISSN 0047-9462 Oral history (1981) describes the Chinatown of Winnemucca, Nevada, during 1901–10. Though many Chinese left Winnemucca after the Central Pacific Railroad was completed in 1869, around four hundred Chinese had formed a community in the town by the 1890s. Among the prominent buildings was the Joss House, a place of worship and celebration that was visited by Chinese president Sun Yat-Sen in 1911. Beyond describing the physical layout of the Chinatown, the author recalls some of the commercial and gambling activities in the community.
  • "Chinatown: Conflicting Images, Contested Terrain", K. Scott Wong, Melus (Vol. 20, Issue 1), 1995. Scholarly work discussing the negative perceptions and imagery of old Chinatowns.
  • Pan, Lynn. Sons of the Ugly Yellow Emperor: A History of the Chinese Diaspora (1994). Book with detailed histories of Chinese diaspora communities (Chinatowns) from San Francisco, Honolulu, Bangkok, Manila, Johannesburg, Sydney, London, Lima, etc.
  • Williams, Daniel. "Chinatown Is a Hard Sell in Italy", Washington Post Foreign Service, March 1, 2004; Page A11.

External links

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