The Dark Side Of A Vibrant Chinatown

Chinatowns in Western cities across the globe are constantly dubbed as not only sites that are a home away from home for the Chinese living here but also multicultural hubs.

Hubs where non-Chinese locals can meander about, appreciate Chinese lifestyles/food/products and chat with their Chinese community members. Hubs that promote camaraderie amongst people of various races.

The back of the front entrance of Melbourne's Chinatown. The arches embody traditional Chineseness, but also stereotypical notions. Photo by Mabel Kwong.

The back of the front entrance of Melbourne’s Chinatown. The arches embody traditional “Chineseness”, but also stereotypical notions. Photo by Mabel Kwong.

Or so many of us think. There is always more than meets the eye and as clichéd as it sounds, we should never naively judge a book by its cover. Even Chinatowns.

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