A New Generation Embraces Its Chinatown Roots (St. Paul's Hospital)
One evening in March 2015, 500 immigrants and their families gathered in the largest Chinese restaurant in Canada to remember their ancestral home. That meant a lot of Cantonese-style steamed fish and braised duck, martial arts demonstrations, and the annual performances of Cliff Richard songs by a man in a pearl suit.
Everyone at the annual banquet had roots in Hoy Ping, a Cantonese county of villages 10,000 kilometres away from the restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown. It was organized by Hoy Ping’s benevolent association. However, not everyone was enjoying the four-hour long celebration. A few teens hid behind iPads and textbooks, wishing their parents had left them at home.
During the Christmas of 2012, the grandmother of Doris and June caught a bad case of pneumonia. The sisters were in and out of St. Paul’s Hospital that holiday for visits as her condition worsened. There was one thing their grandmother made them promise: help the Hoy Ping association. It was the one place in Chinatown where she knew she could get help if she needed it. “It was then we realized how valuable and engrained it was to her,” said Doris.
Christopher Cheung reports