Taiwanese American - Settlement

Settlement

Owing to their relative wealth and education attainment, many Taiwanese immigrants have not settled in the old Cantonese-speaking Chinatowns. Instead, they have generally immigrated directly to American suburbia and in effect, they started new Taiwanese communities. For example, beginning in the late 1970s and early 1980s at the height of Taiwanese immigration, the Taiwanese emigrants were instrumental in the development of Monterey Park, California in Los Angeles - thus causing it to earn the moniker of "Little Taipei" and derisively as "Mandarin Park" - and vicinity and in Flushing, New York, which generally reflected new investments and capital flowing from Taiwan into newer Taiwanese enclaves instead of the well-established and mostly dilapidated Chinatowns.

While Monterey Park is no longer the major Taiwanese community in Los Angeles today, Flushing remains the main vibrant Taiwanese cultural, commercial, and political center in New York City. In Los Angeles County, California, newer communities such as Rowland Heights, Hacienda Heights, Arcadia, San Marino, Diamond Bar, Walnut, San Gabriel, Temple City, give the ambience of "Little Taipei" . However, many annual Taiwanese cultural events (especially during Taiwanese Heritage Week) are still held in Monterey Park. As an attempt to duplicate the Taiwanese success of Monterey Park in Houston, Texas, Taiwanese immigrant entrepreneurs pioneered in the mid 1980s what is now widely considered as Houston's new Chinatown on Bellaire Boulevard (although many Vietnamese-born Chinese immigrants have increasingly settled and set up shop in the area as well). A number of Taiwanese American businesses and organizations still operate and flourish in this part of Houston.

The prestige and performance of particular school districts, as well as access to careers in high-tech firms, have in general played significant parts in influencing the settlement patterns of Taiwanese Americans. Areas with high concentrations of Taiwanese immigrants include the San Gabriel Valley (Greater Los Angeles), Santa Clara Valley (Cupertino, San Jose), East Bay (El Cerrito, Oakland), Los Angeles/Orange County border communities (Cerritos/Artesia), and Irvine in Central Orange County. Outside of California, there are also major Taiwanese concentrations in Flushing, New York, Rockville, Maryland (northwest of Washington, D.C.), Sugar Land, Texas (near Houston), Richardson, Texas (near Dallas), Bellevue, Washington (and adjacent areas) (part of the Greater Seattle Area's "Eastside" communities), and Chandler, Arizona. Additionally, the northeastern suburbs of the Atlanta, Georgia area has also received a significant influx of Taiwanese immigrant residents. The Taiwanese population was formerly dominant in Monterey Park, California. The San Gabriel Valley has a larger population of "49er" Taiwanese (also known as Waishengren), essentially outnumbering native Taiwanese. Since the middle 1980s through the 1990s, however, large numbers of more affluent Taiwanese Americans began moving out to more upscale neighborhoods like Cupertino, San Marino, Arcadia, South Pasadena, and Temple City in Western San Gabriel Valley; Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Walnut, and Diamond Bar in Eastern San Gabriel Valley; with immigrants from the People's Republic of China and Cantonese and Teochew (mostly from Vietnam) taking their place in Monterey Park, as well as Alhambra.

Similarly, for the past 10 years, Benshengren have been immigrating to upscale neighborhoods in Los Angeles and Orange County such as Cerritos and Irvine respectively. The city of Cerritos is located in Los Angeles County but borders Orange County and has a large diversity of Asian immigrants. The city of Irvine has a very large Benshengren population, though now more and more Waishengren and Mainland Chinese immigrants have flocked to the city. The Irvine Chinese School, which serves mostly the American-born children of Taiwanese immigrants, is one of the largest Chinese Schools in the Orange County area. These immigrants belong to branches from some of the most politically and economically powerful Taiwanese families (with the surnames Chiang, Chen, Cheng, Kung, Tsai, and Wu).

Convenient Taiwanese-oriented strip malls and shopping complexes are typically complete with supermarkets and restaurants, thus Taiwanese American suburbanites have very little need to visit the older Chinatowns. In addition, shops offering imported Taiwanese goods allow for young Taiwanese expatriates in the United States to keep up with the current trends and popular culture of Taiwan. Taiwanese Americans have also brought with them Taiwanese cuisine to the communities they have settled, which, possibly excluding bubble tea, is not generally well-known or served outside these aforementioned Taiwanese immigrant enclaves.

Read more about this topic:  Taiwanese American

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Famous quotes containing the word settlement:

    The difficult and risky task of meeting and mastering the new—whether it be the settlement of new lands or the initiation of new ways of life—is not undertaken by the vanguard of society but by its rear. It is the misfits, failures, fugitives, outcasts and their like who are among the first to grapple with the new.
    Eric Hoffer (1902–1983)

    [The Settlement House] must be grounded in a philosophy whose foundation is on the solidarity of the human race, a philosophy which will not waver when the race happens to be represented by a drunken woman or an idiot boy.
    Jane Addams (1860–1935)

    ... if the Settlement seeks its expression through social activity, it must learn the difference between mere social unrest and spiritual impulse.
    Jane Addams (1860–1935)