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Culture Lesson: Boston Chinatown

Average: 3.6 (11 votes)

Experience the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of Asia right here in downtown Boston's very own Chinatown. It is one of the largest Chinese neighborhoods in America. Chinatown is a mixture of Asian cultures such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Malaysian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese.

Chinatown has several sights and sounds that are very interesting! The interesting things you notice immediately are that the signs are not in English, along with all the sounds. Suddenly you are surrounded by a variety of Asian languages all at once. This is when you know for sure that you have crossed the border into Chinatown. Fabric shops are filled with beautiful material being sold for great prices. Jewelry shops sell jade, gold, and other sparkly accessories. Medicine shops, filled with dried herbs and animal products, promise to cure everything from headaches to broken bones. But you can not pass through Chinatown without going to the Chinatown Gate. It is a very big, red and gold monument which is protected by four fierce-looking concrete Fu dogs. Very close by is Tian An Men Park, which is a nice place to relax and feed the birds! Sometimes, you see a group of old men gathered there, chatting loudly while playing traditional Chinese board games. Have you ever seen a pagoda-topped pay phone? In Chinatown you will!!

Chinatown is a haven for food, food, and more food. As you walk along the sidewalks you see roast ducks on hooks, aquariums filled with seafood, and bakery shelves offering a wide selection of baked goods. Their smells take over your body, make your mouth water, and lead you to one of the many restaurants found in Chinatown. But a visit to Chinatown is not complete unless you go to a Chinese restaurant and eat Dim Sum, bite-sized dumplings or other small servings of seafood, chicken, pork, or vegetables all served in a steamy wooden basket. If you are still hungry, you will be tempted by the warm, hypnotizing smells of one of the many bakeries where you can delight in delicious desserts such as egg tarts, or coconut buns. Another great way to experience the culinary delights of Asia is to walk through the food markets. There you can find fresh fish, hard-to-find Asian vegetables, and other popular products of Asia.

Go ahead! Experience Chinatown!!

By Mardy Arenas, Teacher, EC Boston

Key Words


Noun: The outer edge of something; the boundry of an area or country.


Adjective: Giving off tiny flashes of light; glittery


Verb: a way of healing or restoring to health; remedy.


Noun: any place of shelter and safety; refuge


Verb: To be attracted to do something


Verb: To influence, control, or direct completely, as by personal charm, words, or domination.


Verb: to have great pleasure; take pleasure

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