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当代移民谁还稀罕唐人街?
Chinatown is no longer part of culture identity for immigrants of modern era

 
对某些华裔群体人士来说,唐人街是家乡文化的代名词。从高悬于BBQ餐馆的霓虹灯招牌,到各式首饰俱全的街头珠宝店,唐人街以其浓厚的故乡气息而勾起他们对往昔岁月的回忆。

Certain ethnic groups with some Chinese background claim that Chinatown is part of their cultural identity, believing that the features of Chinatown – from the bright neon signs on the BBQ restaurants to the vast selections in the jewellery stores -- highlight their hometown culture and can bring them a flood of nostalgic memories. 


但唐人街却不是我的故乡梦,也从来没有给我带来过任何归属感。对于我这一代移民来说,唐人街不过是贫困、剥削和歧视的代名词。三十年前,当身为新移民的我在唐人街的一座公寓安家落脚时,这片华裔聚居区被大批香港移民占据。那时候来自大陆的新移民大都在贫困线上挣扎,并且饱受歧视。由于不会讲粤语,他们常常遭香港人的白眼,并遭到低人一等的待遇。

But Chinatown has never been my cup of tea nor has it ever brought any sense of belongings to me. It has only represented poverty, exploitation, and discrimination for my generation of immigrants. Thirty years ago, when I settled down in a Chinatown apartment as a newcomer, the cultural enclave was dominated by immigrants from Hong Kong. Many newcomers from China were in poverty at the time, being fraught with experience of discrimination.  Speaking little Cantonese, they were looked down upon by their Hong Kongese counterpart and considered inferior.


那些为了养家糊口而沦为廉价劳动力的大陆新移民们,在唐人街的雇主面前从抬不起头。而即使那些找到工作的幸运儿也会常常惹祸上身,遭到各种无理指责,成为从伤及顾客利益到盗窃雇主钱财等种种恶行的替罪羊。

Many of us experienced the distain looks by Chinatown employers as we were desperately seeking cheap labour jobs to make ends meet. Those who were lucky enough to be hired were often at the receiving end of wrongful blames for varies kinds of misconducts – from causing mishaps to store patrons to stealing money and materials from their employer. 


毫无疑问,对于接受过良好教育并渴望成功的移民来说,唐人街仅仅是他们成长的跳板而根本不是他们的久留之地。许多新移民摆脱了唐人街的束缚而大胆地追求加国梦。他们前往大学深造,不断提高自己的英语水平,并努力融入主流社会。

Undoubtedly,Chinatown never held any appeal to those who were well educated and desired to be successful but only served as their launch pad.  Many of us were determined to break out from the Chinatown enclaves to chase Canadian dreams. They sought college education, improved English skills.

 
几十年后,他们的努力终见成效。离开臭气熏天的唐人街后,他们掌握了市场所需之技能,在加国的大公司内占有一席之地。就职于加国各个领域的这批大陆移民们在经济上渐站稳了脚跟。他们买了房,有了体面的收入,财务状况大为改善。

Decades later, their assimilation efforts have borne fruits. After leaving the stench filled Chinatown,   they gained marketable skills and broke into Canada’s corporate world. Embracing job opportunities across all of the employment spectrum in Canada, they become property owners and begin making decent salaries, and their financial status has dramatically improved. 


加拿大统计局的统计数据显示,尽管在移民早期生涯中面临困境和挑战,在加国生活10年后的新移民们的收入已赶上当地人士。与此同时,在拥有高科技领域学位的加国人士中,新移民也占据较高比例。在2001年,华裔学生占加国大学毕业生总数中的6%,他们在数学、物理或计算机科学专业毕业生中的比例高达12%,在工程或应用科学专业毕业生中的占比为11%。此外,在商业、金融业、管理业以及制造业领域的就业人口中,华裔移民的占比也相对较高。

According to StatsCan, despite early struggles on their immigrant journey, newcomers make the same level of income as local Canadians after a decade of living in Canada.  The first generation of Chinese Canadians also represent a high proportion of those with degrees in highly technical fields. In 2001, people of Chinese origin made up 6% of all university graduates in Canada, representing 12% of those with degrees in mathematics, physics, or computer science, and 11% of those in engineering or applied science.  People of Chinese origin also represent a relatively high proportion of those employed in business, financial and administrative positions, as well as in manufacturing.


统计局数据还显示,绝大多数华裔移民都可以熟练使用加拿大一种官方语言。在2001年,有85%华裔移民至少可以使用一门官方语言进行交流,其中有78%的人会说英语,还有6%的人既会说英语也会说法语。

StatsCan data also indicates that a vast majority of immigrants from China can converse in one of Canada 's official languages. In 2001, 85% could carry on a conversation in at least one official languages, with 78%, could speak English, and 6% could carry on a conversation in both English and French. 


如果说离开唐人街是我为了提高自身的社会经济地位而迈出的第一步,那唐人街显然不会是会令我怀念或是想要重返的地方。在那些长了本事的大陆移民们大步逃离这垃圾污水便流,喧嚣噪音不断的唐人街之际, 这片华人聚集地更难以吸纳来者,只得在孤独的氛围中挣扎求生。

If leaving Chinatown marked my first step taken to improve my social and economic wellbeing, Chinatown is not a place that I would miss or want to return in the near future. Amid the overflowing juices from garbage bins as well as buzzing noises disrupt our preferred peace, skilled immigrants continued their mass exodus from Chinatown, fueling its struggles to maintain its population and to sustain the isolated enclaves. 

 
尽管温哥华唐人街近期说服了市政府,得以让公寓开发商暂时远离Keefer Street,但唐人街在当代移民的心中早已没有了立足之地。可以预言,在今后的数代人中, 都不会几个人知道所谓的唐人街。

Vancouver Chinatown can win the recent battle at city hall to keep the condo developers out of Keefer Street – for the time being, but Chinatown can’t earn a place in the heart of the modern era of immigrants. As a matter of fact, the next few generations may not even give a damn about its existence. 
 
 
 
 

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