Harmonious Culture In Little Saigon Essay

1518 words - 7 pages

These days, many migrants gather together and make their own small place to hold their cultures. Because their cultures are more a blend of multiple cultures rather than a traditional, they are different each other. However, even though a mixed culture seems like a unique non-traditional, it is as same as one strong culture. In the story, Culture is Ordinary, Raymond William says, “every human society has its own shape, its own purposes, its own meanings. Every human society expresses these, in institutions, and in arts and learning” (93). I have visited Little Saigon, Westminster where was a little town for Vietnamese immigrants. This little society has built unexpected strong identities ...view middle of the document...

They usually work in unstable jobs because they have no American education. They shape their Vietnamese American culture as educational generation. Many people now immigrate for their children’s education. Also, when I walk around the outskirt of the business area, I saw two elementary schools, Hayden and John A Murdy. When I passed there by, I only heard English conversation between children. It means that those young people were born in America or came here at very young age. They are second generation who usually are comfortable with English and do not know Vietnamese. The children shape their identities by learning English and American culture more than Vietnam culture. Also, I have one 1.5-generation Vietnamese American friend, Ahn. She came here when she was a teenager so she knows both English and Vietnamese fluently. She says that many Vietnamese like to listen Korean music and to watch Korean drama, so she always talks about Korean celebrities. She shapes her identity by accepting Korean cultures and American language. Those three different generation groups shape the one big Vietnamese American culture by creating and acquiring many different new cultures.
In the cultural artifacts, Little Saigon manifests their unique identities by building the Vietnamese style architecture. When I was at Little Saigon, I was surprised about the bus station which each has the Asian style roof tiles. I haven’t seen that traditional architecture of the bus stop, and Little Tokyo, Korea town, Chinatown and other city do not care of the bus station style. It shows how proud Vietnamese American are, how they value their traditional styles. Also, I went to Hue Quang Buddhist Temple, which building has a beautiful Vietnam style with gold and red color. It was very clean and simple, but very impressive enough. The temple’s atmosphere reflects how quiet and clean Little Saigon is. Like any other temple and the funeral place, its streets and roads were very clean and quiet. Also, when I looked around the city, I saw many American and Vietnamese flags in front of houses and buildings. Especially, the Vietnamese flag is for South Vietnam. It shows that Little Saigon people still remembers the South Vietnam, which does not exist today. They feel proud of being part of American and like to commemorate the history of South Vietnam. The buildings’ architecture and its beautiful style and the meaning of the flags shape their own unique identity and cultures.
Since the Vietnamese American in Little Saigon has mixed cultures between Asian and American, they try to maintain aspects of the dominant culture or identity. Not only their building artifacts, but also their cultural materials show their identities. When I went to the Asian Garden Mall, I saw Vietnamese cultural items. They sell their cultural items such as small Buddhist sculptures, cellphone accessories, Buddhist prayer beads and other souvenirs for tourists or Vietnamese people. They also sell their...

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