Monday, February 28, 2011

A Country of Immigrants

Ellis Island is just a few minutes away from Liberty Island, and so after lunch, we conveniently took a connecting ferry to get to the island.

Singapore is similar to America in her earliest beginnings, where the majority of the people today were descendants from immigrants who settled down in the country and went on to raise their offspring and contribute to the eventual prosperity of the country.

Ellis Island is particularly significant to many Americans since "one third of the population - can trace their ancestry to the immigrants who first arrived in America at Ellis Island before dispersing to points all over the country" (Wiki).

I like this multifacted flag

Ms Annie Moore, the first immigrant to arrive in U.S. under the new Ellis Island Immigration Scheme

We viewed the free video screenings at the immigration museum to understand the immigrants' perspectives when they first arrived in Ellis Island.

The museum entrance

After leaving Ellis Island for NYC mainland, we took the city sights bus once again and alighted at Chinatown. The purpose was to find out the location of this tour agency that we've booked online for our 3 days Canadian trip.

Before that, we saw the (underside of) Brooklyn Bridge.

And then, there's Chinatown.

Courtesy of Milk's camera

Courtesy of Milk's camera

You know you're in Chinatown when you notice 'Chinese' elements everywhere - Chinese characters on billboards and building names, Asian faces speaking Mandarin and/or Cantonese and then speaking American acented English in the next breath.

We had dinner at a recommended Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. I had char siew (barbecued pork), wantan (dumplings) with noodles. Not bad, but I've had better back home. The serving is huge, I had a tough time finishing it actually.

After walking the long streets of Chinatown, we realised that the landscape had changed and suddenly we find ourselves in Little Italy.

In a multicultural melting pot like the U.S., immigrant enclaves like Chinatown, Little Italy, Little France are bound to spring up, a reminder that the immigrants are living amongst the locals in harmony and are an important part of society. I do think in this aspect, Singapore is very much similar.

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