井底之蛙

2/19/2007

Globalized Chinese Culture

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 3:48 pm

Chinese culture is global culture. Though Hawai’i is, in some ways, not a good sample, nonetheless there’s an awful lot of Chinese culture which has been nativized here, well beyond the presence of significant Chinese communities. Actually, this island has the lowest ratio of Chinese of any of the well-populated ones in the state, but the influences are unmistakable.

We just had our own Chinese New Year celebrations here in Hilo, for example, complete with firecrackers, and the usual downtown festival with fried foods and local crafts:

The tradition of firecrackers at New Year’s has been adopted by the State for the secular New Year, as well, producing hours of smoke-filled, eardrum-threatening fun at the turning of the calendar, regular reports of injuries and fires, and ever-so-slowly-tightening regulations about purchase and use of fireworks.

The annual visit by the Shanghai Circus (not the one based in Branson, MO, but I’m not sure which troupe exactly it is) is another big cultural event in Hilo, bringing out a huge population of children and parents:

In spite of that, the Chinese food in this town is terrible. On the up side, we have at least half a dozen decent-to-great Thai restaraunts (no, I don’t know why?, and fantastic Japanese food (that’s an easy one).

Update: to be fair, I should point out that Hilo does have a Chinese diaspora community, though it’s not as large as it has been. They used to have a church, though it no longer serves a purely ethnic constituency.

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