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Next Ethnic Enclave: Cambodia Town

[Image by flickr user getofab]

Cambodians feel left out. With Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Koreatown, Little Saigon, Little Armenia, Thai Town, Historic Filipinotown, and Little Ethiopia peppering Los Angeles and Orange County, Cambodians are now negotiating with Long Beach to establish Cambodia Town.

The Economist provides us with some interesting analysis of the ethnic town-naming trend, as a cheap way to lure tourists and to make educated liberals feel better about themselves:

More recently, [local officials] have been influenced by Richard Florida, a sociologist who argues that young, educated workers are attracted to tolerant melting-pots. Celebrate your immigrants and gays, the thinking goes, and your city might become the new Silicon Valley.The irony, they argue, is that at the same time we're celebrating our "ghettos," the ghettos are emptying as recent immigrants move to the suburbs. Oh, and Indians can't catch a break: Indeed, California is now such an ethnic mish-mash that it is hard to tell where one enclave ends and another begins. Los Angeles's Armenian and Thai residents had to agree to share a section of Hollywood Boulevard. In 2004 a group of Indian businessmen in Artesia, a small suburb, tried to label their shopping district “Little India”. They failed. Artesia contains fewer Indians than whites, Mexicans, Chinese or Filipinos.
· Ghetto fabulous [The Economist]