I wrote! Reader NotesGo to section
Many of the world's big cities have one. That's why you couldn't miss in Buenos Aires: Chinatown is one of the must-see walks in the city. Located in the neighborhood of Belgrano , it offers us a lightning trip to a very distant and, above all, different culture. Ready to meet him?
Over the decades, Buenos Aires was the destination chosen by thousands of immigrants from different parts of the world to take root and project a better future. Asians came, for the most part, in the 80s and many of these families settled in this Belgrano area . Although popularly known as “Chinatown,” the reality is that the immigrants who settled there came from different countries in the East, such as China, Taiwan and Japan.
What we know today as Chinatown is a sector located between Arribeños, Juramento, Olazábal, Montañeses , and its surroundings. Asian families who settled in that area completely changed the appearance of the neighborhood . Typical restaurants, street locals and even Buddhist temples were opened. One of the first in the city was the Chong Kuan Temple, opened in 1988 on Montañeses Street.
Currently, some 200,000 Chinese live in our country, 70 percent of whom live in Buenos Aires City and the metropolitan area, according to the latest survey by the Under-Secretariat for Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism in Buenos Aires. This positions the Chinese community as the fourth largest in the country , behind the Bolivian, Paraguayan and Peruvian.
Chinatown is a regular walk for both the porteños and tourists. While there are many ways to enter, virtually everyone chooses the same: through the imposing access arch , located in Oath and Arribeños. It is that, when we go under that structure, we feel that we are really leaving Buenos Aires behind and entering a completely different world.
This arch, made of cement and stone, was brought unarmed from China and then assembled at Arribeños Street access . It measures 11 meters high, has three levels of tiles and the ends of the ceilings adorned with dragons. Each column ends with a stone lion carved at the base.
We have already passed under the arch, now we have to start the route. On both sides of that street, the adventure begins: shops and supermarkets with typical oriental products of all kinds , from imported food to decorative objects or local manga and anime. Shops are open from Monday to Friday, but they are crowded with visitors especially on weekends , when there are also street stalls of all kinds.
The plan is to walk, walk around and get into the places that attract us the most. The most fun thing is to discover the great amount and variety of things we can find there. Gastronomy is another of the strengths of the walk. There are restaurants with typical dishes, but also many food stalls on the go at really affordable prices. The offer is for every taste and for every budget. That's right: the fortune cookie to finish the meal and find out what fate will hold us.
Appreciating the details that refer us to oriental culture is also part of the experience offered by Chinatown. In the already mentioned entry arch, lions are erected as access guards. There are those who believe that touching their claws brings luck. But in reality, tradition indicates that you have to look into your mouths for a hidden ball and caress it . That ball symbolizes wisdom.
On Arribeños, towards Oath, there is another typical sculpture, which was also donated by the Chinese community in 2016. It is a protective dragon that, according to the seasons, brings different elements for well-being. Murals adorn the neighborhood and, on several occasions, fish dominate the scene. For Chinese culture, fish is a sign of abundance.
The colors also have great symbology for Asians. Red is the fundamental color , and you can see it everywhere, starting with the Chinese flag. Why red? It is said to scare away evil spirits . Dorado, meanwhile, means power and wealth.
A good time to visit Chinatown is between the end of January and the beginning of February, when the Chinese New Year is celebrated. In the celebrations the Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese and Thai communities living in Buenos Aires come together. Musical shows, activities and a great fair with food stalls, crafts, souvenirs and all kinds of oriental objects make it really worth the visit.
Publication Date: 02/11/2020
We suggest you continue reading the following notes:
There are not comments
Valentín Saal is a Mendocino business manager working in China. Via Instagram he told us the experie...
Bethlehem, Roberto and Pampa, took the route in a combi model 59. We tell you his story.
Accompanied by their Caribbean dog, the Rioja couple claims that they are not tourists because they...
Patrizia nos trae una clase más para que continuemos con el reto yogui, esta vez con una práctica un...