I’m I’m going to try and keep this short and let the video speak for itself.
Lately I have been grappling with the contention between what’s taught in the classroom and its relationship to the outside world. How do the intangible pieces of theoretical knowledge we learn substantiate into something tangible? Or more importantly, something meaningful? How can we sustain knowledge if it’s produced only at the highest echelon of society, inaccessible to those who don’t have the privilege of attending university? I found myself trying to answer some of these questions through this project. So we created this video for this big varied audience: for our generation Y’s, our list-making buffs, our non- Asian friends, our never-been- to- Chinatown-friends… there’s a little something in here for everyone: 4 Reasons Why You Should Care about Vancouver’s Chinatown
A few months ago, I would have admitted to being pretty apolitical. ‘Politics’ is this murky terrifyingly- charged word that that we 20-somethings we avoid. But as I’ve come to realize, being involved with politics can be as simple as advocating to a cause with the community, in this case, considering Vancouver’s Chinatown as it faces a redevelopment battle.
The City of Vancouver has decided that Chinatown needs to be revamped and revitalized by creating glass towers in place of the historical pieces of land that have belonged to the Chinese community for a long time. Okay. What are your thoughts about that?
Here’s my take:
Back in November, I attended a Chinatown-hosted community forum featuring Vancouver’s mayoral candidates to hear their thoughts on the future of Chinatown. I noticed that the crowd was heavily made up of adults and seniors, sprinkled with a few young faces under the age of 30. That was kind of concerning. Our generation fails to realize the influence we hold in determining the future we will live in. The future of Chinatown will be most impactful on our lives in 10 years, rather than our parents and their parents, who have most likely resigned to the fact that change is constant. Yes, with modernization, change is bound to happen. But as a generation, we have the opportunity to be apart of a change that we accept and value, to create a Chinatown that a younger generation can appreciate. Did you get that?! This place has so much potential! Is this going to become a space where we gather for cultural events, a place where foodies unite, a place where a piece of Canadian (not just Chinese!!) culture is preserved? You don’t need to agree with me.
I am a firm believer that both action and inaction have implications. Our generation can have positive impact on Chinatown’s whether we act on it or not— the least we can do is to educate ourselves on the issues at hand.
Some of the most important lessons that I’ve learned inside the classroom, and especially this class, have prompted my inquisitive mind to consider how what I’ve learned applies to my life, and maybe even beyond. Still, the most important lesson I’ve ever learned inside a classroom (and from Pa) is to question and critically think about why things are the way they are. Disagree, agree, be neutral…but don’t just passively consume the information fed to you.