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Buenos Aires Chinatown

Buenos Aires Chinatown or Barrio Chino as known locally is tucked away in Belgrano neighbourhood and located alongside a railway track.


Its has a U shape layout with lots of Chinese businesses offering basic necessities and restuarants as well as the Tzong Kuan temple, a Buddhist monastery and the only Chinese religious institution in Buenos Aires Chinatown.

A shared Chinatown

This Chinatown is not a Chinese majority space but shared with locals. Buenos Aires Chinatown is essentially a functional Chinatown meeting basic needs of the Chinese community and it is not quite promoted as a tourist attraction. Its most public moment is probably the Chinese New Year when there are pubic performances and celebrations.

Buenos Aires Chinatown milestones and archway

Its most prominanet marker especially from afar is a Chinatown Archway presented by the People's Republic of China to commemorate Argentina's 200th anniversary of their nation.

It is quite an amazing achievement for Buenos Aires Chinatown as not every Chinatowns around the world has an archway.

Unfortunately, beneth these features are tensions that have surfaced.

The Chinese community had applied to the local authorities to recognise their area as an official Chinatown. However, this request has been rejected on grounds that other groups lived there too.

Many Chinatowns have other ethnic groups apart from Chinese and a Chinatown can mean areas of Chinese economic and cultural life even if they are not in the majority. It remains to be seen if another request will be made and the subsequent outcome.

Similiarly, when the archway was unveiled, it attracted controversy again as different stalk holder object it its presense on cultural and political grounds.

A controversial Chinatown

These forces that emerged make Buenos Aires Chinatown one of the more controversial one considering that most Chinatowns around the world are being marketed as tourist sites and also as symbols of cultural diversity.

Only time will show thos this Chinatown will unfold.



 

 

 

 

Related article:

Chinatowns of the world
Chinatowns in Americas

Archways
Argentina

 








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