New York, London, Los Angeles and now Valencia. The city will be the first in Spain to have its own ‘Chinatown‘. The Chinatown will be perfectly bounded by two arches or porticoes in oriental style, which will be located in the Xátiva street at its crossroads with Pelayo and Jerusalem Convent streets, which will welcome any visitor.
The project starts thanks to an investment raised by a citizen through the Participative Budgets Decidim 2020-21. The proposal has an initial endowment of 14,000 euros to write the preliminary study and the preliminary project. The citizen proposal explains that in almost all the great cities of the world «there is at least an arched entrance to the Chinatown that identifies where they exist major businesses of chin originor, like the ones in the streets Pelayo, Matemático Marzal and Convento Jerusalen ». These arches would not only help to identify the neighborhood for tourists, “but would decorate the street in a unique way. They are arches of great beauty and in each city they are different. They always attract tourists and are emblematic places of the city for take photos and selfie», He describes. The performance could be carried out by the Fallas Artists Guild, “making the structure with fiberglass reinforced with polyester resin,” adds the neighborhood proposal.
Yesterday the president of the Chinese Cultural Association in Valencia, Haili Liu, was “very happy” because the Valencia City Council you are going to install these eastern porches in the Pelayo area. “Valencia will be the first city in Spain to have its own Chinatown, because only in Reus, in a park, there is something similar,” said Liu, who recalled that in his cultural entity “we have been asking the council for several years” to install these doors in Chinatown so that “there is something typical” in this part of the city.
“For years,” he stressed, “we have been promoting the Pelayo area for Chinese tourists to come here, as well as Spanish or foreign tourists,” he said. In fact, they have maintained contacts in this regard with the regional secretary Francesc Colomer and with a Tourist Office so that a translator can show these streets to Chinese tourists. In Valencia there are more than 20,000 Chinese and only in these downtown streets there are a hundred businesses between restaurants and shops.
Among the activities carried out by this cultural entity, the decoration with red lanterns in Pelayo and its nearby streets stands out on the occasion of the Chinese New Year, which is celebrated in February. In addition to enthusiastically joining the Cavalcade of the Dragon, which is already a classic in Valencia at this time. Pelayo Street is precisely the place from where the New Year’s festive procession begins, in which collectives and institutions such as the Confucius Institute of Valencia begin. Its director, Vicente Andreu, considers “an exceptional and brilliant initiative” the installation of these arches in this part of Extramurs.
“As a cultural entity,” he declared to Levante-EMV, a newspaper of Prensa Ibérica as INFORMACIÓN, “that we are a bridge between Chinese and Valencian culture, we applaud this popular citizen initiative that we also knew about and that we have even voted for,” Andreu said.
The director of the Confucius Institute trusted “that we can be the first city in Spain to have its own Chinatown and one of the pioneers in Europe.” Finally, he congratulated the City Council for betting on a community as established and integrated in Valencia as the Chinese one.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.