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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Oldest Chinatown in the World


As a friend of mine and I were debating which was the oldest Chinatown in the US, I said San Francisco, she said New York. I did a little research to see who was right, and yes I was right, San Fransisco has the oldest Chinatown in the US, established in 1848 by Chinese Immigrants. But I was actually surprised that it wasn't the oldest Chinatown in the world. That honor goes to a place called Binondo, located in the heart of Manila, one of the busiest cities in the Philippines. This was established around 1594 by Spanish Colonizers to keep the Chinese Community in one area, and thus under their control.

Exploring Chinatown: A Children's Guide to Chinese Culture
Exploring Chinatown: A Children's Guide to Chinese Culture
Our Price: $22.95  

This is a book for kids, families, and teachers who’d like to get more out of their visit to Chinatown than an “I escaped Alcatraz” t-shirt or oversized pencil. It’s a guide to what makes Chinese culture, well, “Chinese.” It covers almost everything, from how to order in a restaurant, and what not to do with chopsticks, to how to write characters in Chinese and how to make potstickers. It tells about herbal medicine shops, temples, and tearooms. 

Chinatown in Binondo, Manila has been the center of business for the Chinese community in the Philippines since from the Spanish times up until the present. I happen to have a friend from the Philippines who said, “You can find anything and everything in Binondo, from authentic Chinese cuisine to electronics to clothes, they've got it all!”. Maybe one of these days I can plan a trip to the Philippines and visit the “oldest Chinatown in the World”

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