Shoppers chatted in Cantonese with the clerks and each other, picking up flyers on events for the Asian community, and taking a break from Detroit's stressful conditions. Tai Pan proffered something I had never seen before including Fried Pork Buns, oblong, granulated sugar-coated donuts stuffed with lengths of deep-fried pork chop, raw cuke, and mayonnaise. Their baked roast-chicken buns, an imitation of the more traditional cha siu bao , are a better choice. There is a strong Vietnamese community in Detroit, seemingly centered around the superb Saigon Market Posters for upcoming Vietnamese nightclub events provides emails for community leaders dinhsycuong sympatico.
The young counterman told me they grow their own Chinese specialty vegetables at a family farm in Ohio about an hour and a half away, and that they are having trouble keeping up with demand. Also delicious, are moist homemade steamed rice noodle rolls with fish sauce, containing either bright pink dried shrimp and scallions, or ground pork and black fungus. It is closed Tuesdays, but when open, the house specials are fried red snapper and catfish simmered in Hanoi tomato sauce.
Asian businesses are by no means confined to John R. Small outposts are found scattered about the mall of malls that is Detroit. At 3 pm, just like in restaurants around the world, the staff eats their main meal of the day, in this case, bok cai stems with fatty pork and white rice. The thick, oily, soy-soaked wheat noodles were loaded down with wokked onion and scallion, oddball slabs of chicken, good doses of sugar and MSG, and approximately one one-hundredth of a giant carrot.
It is perfectly satisfying if you are starving and as long as you do not venture into the last two or three inches of the takeout pail. There the oil rapidly pools and ruins the noodles. Dynasty has one hundred forty-two offerings on a 'boiler-plate' bilingual Chinese-American menu. There are a handful of Vietnamese dishes hiding on the back of their menu.
Yuppies love their slogan: 'Let us mess up our kitchen, not yours. You can learn more about these 'Cravings' and their pre-packaged meals at www. At the time of my visit, Southfield, Michigan was promoting an Asian Rice Festival at the Pavilion and posters promised 'cultural entertainment, exotic food, arts and crafts, plant sale, door prizes. They offered visitors a chance to 'eat rice, learn rice, know about rice and nutritional value.
Break dancing, sumo wrestling, popcorn, cotton candy and free fortune cookies were added come-ons to this fun sounding event. The ultra-exclusive enclaves around Bloomfield seem to have the only place in Detroit with daily dim sum not to mention nightly karaoke. Despite their swanky page in hardback paid-advertising magazines found in hotels, Shangri-la is, like seemingly everything else in Motown, in a mall. Detroit foodies love to gather on weekends at the gigantic Eastern Market, one of the places in this city where people feel comfortable walking about.
There were no specifically Asian marketers but they did have exciting foods like fresh pineapple mint. Detroit has been a long-suffering city, but there are many citizens, a large proportion of Asians among them, who love their town and are dedicated to its rebirth. Luckily, Chinese culture seems destined to play an important role in Detroit's future. He also thanks to Soh Suzuki, Adriene Lim, Emily, and the owners of the websites mentioned herein, for informing and enhancing this article.
Book reviews. Restaurant reviews. Article Index all years, slow. Article Index Article Index last 2 years. Setauket NY Their belief in education is not simply carried over from the homeland, but also reaffirmed by the reality that education is the only possible means for social mobility. Asian immigrants also encounter the "model minority" stereotype frequently imposed on Asian Americans, which on the surface is a positive image but in fact sets Asian Americans apart from other Americans and holds them to higher-than-average standards.
In this paradoxical situation, the value of education is heightened not merely as a means to enrich the self and honor the family, as Confucianism dictates, but as the most effective means for getting ahead in American society. The value of education and the means for achievement have been accepted by both middle-class and working-class Chinese and Korean immigrants. While the value these immigrant families place on education is constantly adapting to contextual changes, its actualization always requires material support. American public education is open to all, but easy access does not ensure quality, nor does it guarantee success.
The family's higher socioeconomic status can affect educational success by adding class-based resources, such as financial, social, and cultural capital, along with access to safe neighborhoods, quality schools, and various extracurricular activities. In contrast, low socioeconomic status may subject children to poverty, unsafe neighborhoods, inadequate schools, and disruptive social environments harmful to educational achievement. For ethnic minorities, however, family socioeconomic status may not be the sole determinant of educational outcomes. The ethnic community can also be a source of support.
Chinese and Korean ethnic communities are supported by robust coethnic entrepreneurship. Even more importantly, the relatively high socioeconomic status of Chinese and Korean immigrants before they immigrated to the United States enables these groups to carry over and revitalize a practice that originated in the homeland. As the demand for education exceeds what public schools can offer, ethnic entrepreneurs provide after-school programs to their coethnics. Also, because of the higher standards imposed on Asian American children as a model minority, parents increasingly turn to these ethnic institutions in the hope of giving their children an extra boost in the race for admission to prestigious schools.
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While contemporary ethnic businesses are a mixture of small mom-and-pop retail stores and large, upscale commercial enterprises, there are also small, mom-and-pop, after-school establishments and childcare services as well as extensive and costly buxibans , hagwons , and early-childhood development centers in the Chinese and Korean communities. The growth of ethnic-language schools in the Chinese and Korean immigrant communities has not led to significant or satisfactory improvements in ethnic-language proficiency in the second generation.
For example, more than two-thirds of U. Apparently, preserving the parental language is not the only goal of language schools.
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A Chinese-school principal said their mission is also to enlighten children about their cultural heritage. A Korean-language school principal agreed and added that it was important to create a sense of community so that students "feel comfortable being here and being Korean Americans. Private ethnic after-school institutions, on the other hand, tend to be highly specialized and have concrete objectives that are often more academically oriented than linguistically oriented. They are also marketed more to the parent than the child. As advertised in ethnic-language media, they make promises such as "bring out the best in your child.
The Chinese and Korean systems of supplementary education have consequences far beyond children's educational experience, though these effects are often implicit or unintended. The most significant unintended effect for the parents is that many ethnic institutions, especially weekday after-school institutions in urban ethnic enclaves or ethnoburbs, serve as community centers that meet the social and cultural needs of immigrants while providing child care and after-school services for dual-worker families.
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For Korean parents, social and cultural needs are met on Sundays at immigrant churches. For Chinese parents, and particularly for those who do not reside in Chinatown or Chinese ethnoburbs, needs are often met in newly established ethnic organizations. During traditional Chinese holiday seasons, Chinese schools participate in celebratory parades, evening shows, and other community events, such as sports and choral or dance festivals. Korean-school students also learn about and celebrate traditional Korean holidays.
Participation in these activities exposes children to their cultural heritage, thereby reaffirming their ethnic identity.
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Thus, ethnic schools provide a unified cultural environment where the children are surrounded by other Chinese or Koreans and are under pressure to feel and act Chinese or Korean. In addition, Chinese and Korean teachers take on the role of teaching values such as filial piety, respect for authority, and hard work.
Nonprofit ethnic-language schools also serve as intermediate ground between the immigrant home and American school, helping immigrant parents — especially those who do not speak English well — learn about the American education system. Through these ethnic institutions, immigrant parents are indirectly but effectively connected to formal schools and are well-informed about the factors crucial to their children's educational success.
In this sense, social capital arising from participation in ethnic-language schools, immigrant churches, and other ethnic institutions is extremely valuable in promoting academic achievement. Furthermore, ethnic-language schools and immigrant churches foster a sense of civic duty in immigrants who are often criticized for their lack of civic participation.
Many parents volunteer their time for tasks ranging from decision-making to fundraising, and they also organize community events, such as ethnic and American holiday celebrations. For children, there are multiple unintended consequences of the ethnic system of supplementary education. First, ethnic-language schools and other relevant ethnic institutions offer an alternative space where children can express their feelings of growing up in immigrant families.
Second, these ethnic institutions provide unique opportunities for immigrant children to form different peer networks. In immigrant families, parents are usually more comfortable and less strict with their children when they hang out with coethnic friends. When children are doing things that would cause their parents anxiety, they can use their coethnic friendship network as an effective bargaining chip to avoid conflict. For example, a Chinese girl may simply tell her mother she will be studying with a friend from Chinese school while she is actually spending time with her non-Chinese boyfriend.
Third, these ethnic institutions nurture ethnic identity and pride that children may otherwise reject because of the pressure to assimilate. In ethnic-language schools and other ethnic-school settings, children are exposed to something quite different from what they learn in their formal schools. Such cultural exposure reinforces family values and heightens a sense of ethnic identity, helping children to relate to their parents' or their ancestor's "stuff" without feeling embarrassed.
More importantly, being part of this particular ethnic environment can help alleviate bicultural conflicts. Many children interviewed, especially the older ones, reported that they did not like being made to attend these ethnic institutions and to do extra work, but that they reluctantly did so without rebelling because other coethnic children were doing the same. However, there are also unintended negative consequences. Tremendous pressure on both children and parents for school achievement can lead to intense intergenerational conflict, rebellious behavior, alienation from the networks that are supposed to assist them, and even withdrawal from formal schools.
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Ironically, pressures and conflicts in a resourceful ethnic environment can also serve to fulfill parental expectations. Children are motivated to learn and do well in school because they believe that education is the only way to escape their parents' control.
This motivation often leads to desirable outcomes. A nonprofit program organizer said they generally succeed in getting these kids into college. It should also be noted that access to the ethnic system of supplementary education is more restricted for working-class families than for middle-class families in both Chinese and Korean immigrant communities.
While ethnic-language schools and church-affiliated, after-school programs are affordable for most families, the academic and specialized enrichment programs embedded in these nonprofit institutions are more expensive. Many high-quality private buxibans and hagwons rival costly, mainstream institutions such as the Princeton Review and Kaplan. Although the value Chinese and Korean immigrants place on education is seemingly rooted in Confucianism, this study of Chinese and Korean after-school institutions shows that the emphasis on education has been constantly shaped and reinforced by broader and ethnic-specific structural conditions.
Without question, these institutions have played a crucial role in helping the children of Chinese and Korean immigrants graduate from high school and gain entrance to prestigious colleges in disproportionately large numbers.
Yet the ethnic system of supplementary education is highly exclusionary. Although Korean and Latino families share the same neighborhood in Koreatown, the children of Latino immigrants generally do not attend Korean-run after-school institutions in the area because of their low socioeconomic status and the language and cultural barriers that block access to Korean social networks.