Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

An ode to 'the 626'

In a piece that does a nice job of capturing the cultural evolution of the San Gabriel Valley - not to mention its eateries and and boba joints - the Los Angeles Times' Rosanna Xia interviews The Fung Brothers comedy duo of "the 626" celebrated in their hip-hop YouTube ode to the SGV.

The video itself is classic, the song catchy. And fittingly, David and Andrew Fung are interviewed at the newish 626 Night Market in Pasadena, which after a rocky start is becoming a regular fixture, styled after traditional Asian night markets. For many, the market represents a symbolic coming-of-age for the San Gabriel Valley as a Chinese American cultural hub, albeit one that is now well into its second generation and evolving in a distinctly American way. Xia writes:

Today, the first generation of Chinese Americans who grew up in the area is coming of age. To many of them, with their often halting Chinese and brash American ways, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong seem distant and strange. At the same time, they don't want to abandon the world their parents left behind.

"You don't fit anywhere, so you create something new," says Aileen Xu, 21, who grew up in the San Gabriel Valley. "A lot of us don't necessarily connect to our homeland. We're not from China. We speak English."

This new creation is not entirely formed, but you can see the signs of it in song and dance; food from a dozen provinces with an American twist; a funny way of talking that mixes bits of dialect from across China and American hip-hop.

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