【えいごで読む物語】Welcome to the Neighborhood : Ho Chi Minh City(英文)のアイキャッチ

【えいごで読む物語】Welcome to the Neighborhood : Ho Chi Minh City(英文)








A neighborhood can also be defined by the cultural groups that occupy the area. In cultural studies there is what is known as a “diaspora.” Simply put, a ‘diaspora’ is a group upholding the traditions and customs of their home country while living in another. Maddie from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, comes from one of these communities. She was kind enough to introduce the areas she would spend most of her time in while living in Vietnam.

During my childhood and even now I spend most of my time in district 11 and 5, which is known as the “Chinatown” of the city.

A large population of the Chinese ethnic group lives here. There are restaurants and markets that are run mostly by Chinese Vietnamese, and you can see signs of Chinese culture and traditions here and there.

I grew up in district 11, but frequently visited district 5 where my grandma’s house is. I am a Chinese Vietnamese myself, and my family mostly lives in these two areas, so I spent the most time here. You could say that I am a local in these two districts.

I think the most special thing about this part of the city is that it feels like a “little China/ Guangzhou” in the middle of Ho Chi Minh city. Vietnamese culture is great, but here you can experience traditions that are unique to Chinese/Cantonese. If you’re looking for authentic Chinese/Cantonese food, this is the place to go.

For me, I really miss the community and food that I grew up with. It is hard to describe it here but living in this district makes me feel “at home” and connected to my Chinese descent. Most of the people in my neighbourhood are also Chinese Vietnamese like me and everyone knows each other growing up (from my grandpa’s generation until now).

As I mentioned, I miss the food here as Chinese/Cantonese food are the first cuisines that I was introduced to. The owners of local food stalls around my place even remember my preferences for how I like to eat my food (or my regular orders) and serve it according to my liking.


Living in a diaspora community can create a stronger sense of self, and a closer connection to one’s own cultural heritage. The tight-knit communities that Maddie describes can often feel more like one large family where everyone looks out for one another. Even down to the smaller details that she mentioned such as the food vendors remembering her “regular” order and knowing how to make it just right to fit her preferences. These are the features of a community that I think anybody would be blessed to be a part of.

Reading about Maddie’s experience growing up and living in districts 5 and 11 definitely makes me want to go try some of the food stalls, take in the sights, and get to know more about the community that she grew up in.
How is your experience with a close local community like this? Do you have a local spot where the chef knows your “usual” order?

Are you curious to know more about local communities like this?
If so, come connect with us at LanCul, in person and online!


実は「a “little China/ Guangzhou”(小さな中国・広州)」のような街だなんて新しい発見ですよね!