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  • Kim Kovacik

Chinese New Year (Bangkok, Thailand)

I have a special place in my heart for Bangkok's Chinatown. I had the pleasure of attending the New Year festival while I was in Bangkok and liked the neighborhood so much that I booked a hostel in the heart of Chinatown on my return route. I was so enamored by the food, smells and the constant hustle of everyone around me that I had to go back.

This was during the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. Even in its beginning stages, it was crazy to see the difference of Eastern versus Western media and how that affected its people. Out there I never experienced anything more than answering a few questions at the border or getting my temperature checked at a local tourist destination. Meanwhile back home in the States, Chinatowns across the country were in the midst of economic crises, hand sanitizer was flying off the shelves, flights were canceled and the widespread racism/xenophobia among Asians Americans was growing. All thanks to media's role in creating general panic and the widespread misinformation spread by individuals who let stereotypes guide them.

I didn't originally intend to dedicate an entire photo essay to this one day, but after everything that's been happening, I wanted to create this as an ode to Chinatowns everywhere. So please go support your local Chinese restaurant. Eat some dumplings and be merry!

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