Monday, February 02, 2009

Chinese New Year 2009


The Chinese community in Paris is more and more visible. Not only do they take a larger and larger part in the economical life of the city, but they also take a larger and larger role in the public life. Hence, the Chinese New Year's parade which not only takes place in the traditional Chinese quarter, but also in the middle of Paris, where I took this photo. Their next step is to appear in the media; as far as I know, there are still no Asian journalists on French television...

58 comments:

  1. Do you find them mostly in a particular arrondissement, & if so, which one? Love this colorful picture taken from the famous Tenin perspective!

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  2. I hardly remember there being any Chinese community at all when I was there back in the sixties.
    Is that the case, I wonder?

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  3. I looove the way she is looking at you !!!!!
    I think that's funny and that you might have been a bit funny to her, down on your knees to take the picture!
    Don't you think so? ;)

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  4. Alexa,

    If I remember correctly there are two "Chinatowns" in Paris. I know that one of them is in the 13th, but I'm not sure where the other one is, but I know that I read about it on Wikipedia at one point.

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  5. In a few, the microcosm of art will call it "the famous Tenin perspective", you're right Alexa, LOL. Congrats on Gf!

    This young girl seems so serious! Did she scold you, Eric?!
    The sun ray is really nice, was a sunny sunday. Too bad, I spent it in my bedroom!

    Alexa, you find the Chinese community mostly in the 13th arr. I used to live there, and that's a nice area.

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  6. Thanks, Justine. I'd hate to think that there was an entire ethnic community that was completely off my radar—although at the time there were arrondissements where I hardly ever set foot.

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  7. When I enlarged the picture,it then looks like everyone is playing drums.
    Am I to assume big high school type bands are tres American? I know when you throw in cheerleaders, baton twirlers and a drum major, it does not resemble anything European.
    Because i created a monster, I waited until today to bring up what was brought to my attention---Katie should have been GF yesterday as she had 2 full sentances.Long live both Queens!!!!

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  8. what a beautiful shot Eric! & everyone actually looks warm!

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  9. Wow, the sunlight, the colours - the pink is such a beautiful frivolous touch to the regimented and masculine uniforms. (Or did they wear them especially for you, Eric? How thoughtful!)

    Congrats for today's GF, Alexa, and Congrats Katie in retrospect for 29th.

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  10. Interesting, It is not something that would be obvious -- a significant Chinese presence in Paris.

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  11. Such a colorful shot. I'm surprised there are no Asian TV journalists in Paris! There's one one area where we can be ahead of Paris, at least.

    Can you photograph these faces because they are appearing at a public event? I'm wondering what the rule is now.

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  12. Hi Eric,

    You said there are no Asian journalists on French television but just a while back, I saw an Asian lady reporting the news in French on TV5Monde! :)

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  13. My first thought was also: "Ah, the famous Tenin perspective." Are you sure she wasn't looking at you amusedly because you were lying at her feet, Eric?!! I don't know, but that camera looks pretty low. ; }

    Walking through Belleville in November, I saw a huge number of Chinese businesses - is this perhaps a developing Chinatown? Or a Chinatown on the demise?? Sadly, I never went to the Chinatown in the 13th ..... hmm, yet another reason to go back!! : )

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  14. I'm really surprised about lack of Asian journalists given how cosmopolitan Paris is. I guess the wheels of progress grind in their own time.

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  15. I like the look she is giving you, Eric. A bit bemused or just leery? Weren't you wearing your Friendly Parisian badge? :D

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  16. I just looked at Paris demographics on Wikipedia and was surprised to see that censuses in France disallow questions about ethnic background, therefore disallowing any idea of what the population breakdown is in that sense. There was an estimate that 19.5% of the pop was born outside of France.

    We are so used to this kind of question here in the states that I was really surprised. I wonder if we will stop asking people to self-identify? I think that there are pluses and minuses to it, just as there are to everything.

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  17. PHX -- I think you DO mean yesterday that Katie really won. She & I logged in at the same time, but she did indeed have more to say. So congrats in retrospect, Katie! (Looks to me like uselaine won on the 29th.)

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  18. A bit of a change of subject:

    Just a note to remind you all, anyone who will be in the Los Angeles area on February 15th: Minnesota Jeff will be visiting and we're having a get-together! email me at pb (at) petrea burchard (dot) com - no spaces, of course - if you're interested, and I'll put you on the mailing list and keep you updated as to time and place.

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  19. drums drums drums drums drums...
    dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum ... ;-) Now you're playing my song Eric. This is a wonderful angle. Feels like I'm there. As always great coverage. You're a photographer on the move. Merci! I'll now paradiddle my way out of the crowd. ;-)

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  20. Do you have a pink baseball cap, Coltrane? You might stand out otherwise...

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  21. Good sport Alexa! You deserve your 2009 crown in more areas than one.

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  22. Nice weather and Chinese food in Paris . Yummy

    ==Alaska

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  23. very interesting. curious to know though, are there english language- produced shows that are aired in french television?

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  24. Shell...faded red is the closest I've got in caps to pink. I do have one cap with a "C" on it that works great in Chicago. However, it too faded as fast as my team in post season play. But that's another story. :-)

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  25. "C" for "Chinese New Year" would work very nicely, Coltrane ;)

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  26. The fist Chinese quarter I remember, when I lived in Paris, 25 years ago, was located in the 5h, at Maubert, Rue Monsieur le Prince.

    After the peace treaty that ended the "Guerre d'Indochine", Chinese who didn't want to become Vietnamese citizens, "escaped" from South Vietnam.
    They made there a smal but very active community, lost of cheap restaurants and groceries, heaven for the many students from the nearby Quartier Latin.

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  27. I love the transparent pink with the sunlight bursting through it. I reckon she's thinking "Ah. They told us to expect an 'Eric' on the ground."

    I'm surprised there were not demonstrations! People are going crazy in London re: Tibet so this would not be possible there at the moment I think.

    I'm also astonished you have no Asian presenters.

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  28. No Asian presenters on French TV, that's true, but then the Asian community isn't that big outside big cities such as Paris. I am yet to find a trace of the Chinese New Year in Avignon.

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  29. and BTW, I WAS expecting a photo of one of Paris's beautiful "passages" yesterday but we could count on you Eric for taking a creative approach to the theme.

    I like the perspective in today's photo. You are definitely keeping fit by kneeling down everywhere, aren't you Eric?

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  30. Eric, the parade in the 3rd is not there because "it's in the center of the city", but because the original Chinatown is in the 3rd arrondissement.
    The first Chinese immigrants (from Wen Zhou) in France settled rue au Maire and rue Volta during the beginning of the 20th Century, making those the first Chinatown in Paris.

    Nowadays there are three Chinatowns in Paris, the one rue au Maire (it's very tiny), the "official" one in the 13th (Olympiades, Avenue d'Ivry, Avenue de Choisy), and nowadays Belleville the Chinese population is becoming more and more important.

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  31. Sorry to not have more Chinese people in the Sud of France. They are so nice and discret and polite and so on....
    Here,no parade but we were invited for a great Chinese Party
    in a Public Lounge Saturday 24th.
    It was great.

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  32. Eric
    That is the way we are heading : a mixture of cultures wherever you go.
    I love your open mind attitude towards foreigners.
    We need to embrace everyone and, in the process, become better people by absorbing the best of their culture and giving them opportunity to learn from ours.
    Hopefully, in a not too distant future, the world will be a better place to live.

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  33. Well said Rose.
    The only thing I will say is I don't agree with the UK importing people from other countries for jobs when British people need them badly! I don't see the logic except maybe they'll work for less £, but then that's exploiting those people.

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  34. Oops there's been more shoe throwing. The Chinese premier visited Cambridge University today and got a shoe thrown at him by a protestor during his address. The shoe didn't hit him.

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  35. The info from David about the Chinese settlement areas is interesting--and fun, because I stayed on rue Volta during two visits to Paris and, yes, there is a tiny little Chinatown there.

    Years ago I would celebrate the Chinese New Year by attending a restaurant in a suburb here that offered a seven-course Chinese dinner. It was really fun. I drove by the restaurant recently and noticed that it changed names and looks different now.

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  36. The protestor shouted out "How can this university prostrate itself with this Dictator?"

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  37. Is shoe-throwing the new middle finger? Should you toss a shoe or flash a moon? Watch "Protest Protocol" on Headline News at ten.

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  38. Apparently it is, Jeff! I suppose it's the one weapon they can't screen for and, in some countries, carries the ultimate insult.

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  39. These shoe-throwers all seem to have pretty lousy aim. Still, I see the day coming soon when all attendees at any function that features a prominent personage will be required to leave their footwear at the door. Can you picture what that will be like when everyone looks for their wing-tips as they exit (for example) the Republican Convention!

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  40. Well, Alexa, big mosques seem to have figured it out centuries ago!

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  41. lol Jeff! Let's face it if you were going to do it, you'd choose your cheapest pair; unlikely you'd get it back.

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  42. What, Eric, nothing on the Steelers' momentous victory in Superbowl XLIII?!!?

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  43. Wow, I'm impressed, lots of very interesting comments here.

    Photolicious, there might be an Asian journalist on TV5Monde, but it's not really French Television!

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  44. Oooh he's here! Are we getting the new post now? Ooh oo.

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  45. Alexa "although at the time there were arrondissements where I hardly ever set foot."

    You know, I think that's true of everyone who lives in Paris or anywhere else, for that matter. There are places you go to all the time, and others, well, you just don't go unless you have something specific you need to do there.

    So to answer your questions, well, I'm not really sure I remember a "Chinese Community" in Paris in the 70's (don't really remember much of the 60s', honestly, besides highly specific events like May 68 or whatever) but like you, there were areas I never set foot in. I'm still under the impression that the phenomenon started sometimes in the mid to late 80's.

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  46. Ah, OK, I see David's comments on the chron.

    Well, I'm comparing with San Francisco's Chinatown which is one of the largest Chinese community, I think the 2d on this continent, so...

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  47. There was mention of "important photos." The most important that I am aware of are those of Maty. I am so curious.

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  48. I cannot figure out how Paris can have so many Chinese living there. I haven't been in Paris in almost three years but I remember a large increase in the amount of Chinese people I would see out and about. I also think that it was the "Year of the Chinese" or something in Paris so there were a lot of travel bargains encouraging them to visit as I believe many of them were tourists. Is there a "Quartier Californien" in Paris?? Do you think I could emigrate to France as easily as all these Chinese have???

    I remember a woman in a cafe near Ecole Militaire talking to me about how she felt Paris was being invaded by the Chinese at that time and she was not happy about it. "Ils sont partout" she said. As she was talking to someone from San Francisco I could only laugh. We have the largest "China-Town" in the entire USA here.

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  49. He's making us wait for Maty, Tall Gary, clearly.

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  50. True, TF. I think it's 1st in the US and 2d in North America or even possibly anywhere outside China. Definitely the place to go if you want to try out dim sum or chicken feet.

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  51. Another Tenin invisibility perspective! Very nice shot, Eric!

    Won't it be nice when we notice people instead of race...

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  52. Great every year comes is a very big party and we almost need to enjoy it so much

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