Sunday, July 10, 2016

I was born in Vancouver and have lived here all my life.


J.J. McCullough J.J. McCulloughJan 7, 2013I was born in Vancouver and have lived here all my life.
2.2k Views · J.J. has 60+ answers in Canada
I think the most accurate way to describe the Vancouver status quo is the old Canadian trope of "two solitudes," in this case, an Asian Vancouver and a White Vancouver that are increasingly separate, uninterested, and (thus) distrustful of each other.

Many of Vancouver's Chinese residents live in Chinese-dominated neighbourhoods in the suburbs (particularly Richmond and Coquitlam), often complete with Chinese supermarkets, Chinese newspapers, Chinese billboards, and all manner of by-and-for Chinese businesses. As many of these areas are actually quite well-off, or at the very least comfortably middle class, many white Vancouverites don't really think of these places as "support communities" for struggling immigrants (in the sense of, say, a turn-of-the-century Russian ghetto in New York) but rather a conscious effort on the part of the Chinese to create a parallel society exclusively for themselves.

Though whites visit Chinese malls and restaurants and so forth, it's common for them to complain that such places are not welcoming or friendly, and often brazenly break provincial laws (such as demanding cash-only payment and not printing receipts to avoid paying tax), which seems both rude and unfair. There's a sense that the Chinese "get away" with many things whites never could, which seems doubly unfair since they're the immigrants and thus the ones who should at least be trying to fit in.

Then there are more superficial complaints based around stereotypes (the Chinese never tip, the Chinese burp and fart and spit in public too much, the Chinese eat all the free food samples at Costco, etc) that are less fair, but still quite common.

I grew up in a very Chinese-heavy part of greater Vancouver but have mostly white friends, which I think is quite common for someone of my generation (I'm 28). When I was in high school and university, the majority of white students didn't really seem to interact much with the Chinese, and vice-versa.