Human Geography

Bright lights, colorful signs, and delicious smells, all are things that may be found in an ethnic neighborhood. An ethnic neighborhood is a neighborhood, where the majority, if not all the population is of the same belief, and follows the same religion. One of the most well-known neighborhoods in Chicago is Chinatown. Chinatown has many cultural traits that set it apart from neighboring areas; however there is always a looming threat of internal and external threats to its culture. China town possess many cultural traditions and customs. One major cultural trait is the color red.
In Chinese culture, red signifies happiness, prosperity, and luck. Many buildings have a very generous use of red. Doorways, walls, and even windows covers have been painted red. Another cultural style was having curved roofs. Buddhists in China believed in having ghosts, spirits, and demons. Evil spirits and demons bring bad luck to households, and were believed to try to torment the people in the dwellings. To counteract this, Buddhists believed curved roofs warded evil spirits. Because of this belief in china, it was also migrated into Chinatown.
Many roofs in china town had curves on the edges. One last trait is the Chinese festival of lights. On Chinese New Year’s, during the festival, paper lanterns were lit. In addition to this, the elderly were considered to be the most wise, so on New Year’s they were addressed to first. Chinatown has many different cultural traits, and because of an intercity location, it is always under constant threat. One way it can be affected is via external threats. External threats can impact many ethnic neighborhoods. They can disrupt the established customs residents are used to.

One such example is the migration of new people with different cultural heritages. Because Chinatown is in a mid-city location, people are constantly moving and entering the area. In the future, it is possible that a new group of people will move into what is now china town. Western business like Walgreens, target, and Wal-Mart disrupt the local culture. They introduce modern conveniences that the neighborhood may not have had before. Although many of those stores had signs in Chinese, it doesn’t change the effect the stores had on the neighborhoods.
While external threats are a looming danger, they are not the only threat. Internal threats also can compromise the established local structure. There are many internal threats prevalent as well. As people live life in the U. S, or experience other culture, they may want to integrate the new culture into their own. One such example is with kids. When kids go to school, they meet people of other cultures, and beliefs. Over time, they may think that an aspect of their beliefs is better than their own. This can cause a recession in the local culture of an area. Another internal threat is that of movement.
As kids grow older they may get bored of their surroundings and decide to move out. When people move, buildings generally become open for sale, and often for low prices. These vacancies are enticing to many people who are seeking a home. This can greatly disrupt a neighborhood, as suddenly what was previously a Chinese neighborhood, is now half polish. One last example is with oriental Chinese food. Asian dishes are generally spicy, with many herbs. People often change recipe to fit the American palette. Over time Chinese-American may come to enjoy the new Americanized flavor more.
Chinatown has many cultural traits that set it apart from neighboring areas; however there is always a looming threat of internal and external threats to its culture. People can move in, American businesses can set shop and disrupt the traditions, but people can also move out, or take aspects of other cultures and integrate them into their own. The local culture of an ethnic neighborhood is always under threat, in the modern world. Placelessness s used to describe areas with no distinctive features. Many areas are combating this by building houses with older, less modern styles, to differentiate them from all the new houses.

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