Archive for the ‘Chinatown’ Category

I drove through Liverpool’s Chinatown today and saw a number of Chinese tourists there. I wonder how much at home they felt. “Goodness me,” did they think (in Mandarin or Cantonese)? “This is just like home. Specifically that really weird road back home where every shop is a restaurant.”
Liverpool’s Chinatown is the oldest in Europe and there are tons of them around the world. Apparently if the occupants of every Chinatown jumped up and down at once, there would be a mild ripple on the world’s oceans. The insignificance of this result probably explains why nobody has ever tackled the logistical nightmare of bringing it about.
But this is beside the point. What I want to know is why it is that the Chinese area in cities is known as Chinatown, but the Italian area isn’t known as Italytown. Italian areas are uniformly called Little Italy, but Chinese areas are never called Little China*. Did Mao tell the UN it’d all kick off if anybody dared to call these outposts “Little?” If that’s the case, it’s entirely understandable, but it’s still a tremendous mystery.
I bet David Carradine would have known.
*Apart from in that film. You know the one.

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