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Friday, March 27, 2015

Is Vancouver for me?

A very perspicacious friend of mine wrote to me one day, “Why not you in Vancouver? It's very Chinese!” As I tried to come up with a complete and honest answer, I concluded that it was an essay question.

The question assumes that I want to be in a North American city that is culturally very Chinese. It is a rather solid assumption. You get the best of both worlds--whatever you seek in North America when you migrated out of China and whatever you are accustomed to culturally. In fact Vancouver is like a paradise for many Chinese--certainly for my two uncles and their families when they migrated there from Hong Kong in the 1990’s.

The sheer number of Hong Kongers who moved to Vancouver due to the scare of the British handover of the colony to the Communist China in 1997 created a home away from home in Vancouver, now known as “Hongcouver”. You get everything that makes Hong Kong special here: authentic Hong Kong cuisines, shopping malls, night markets, longer shop opening hours, the very rich Hong Kong dialect, the familiar etiquettes . . . you name it--but minus the crowd, the pollution, and the reach of the PRC government.

So really, why not me in Vancouver?