New Chinatown in S. Africa celebrates 'Year of China' in style
BEIJING, March 17 (Xinhuanet) -- 2015 has been dubbed the "Year of China" in South Africa, we took to the streets of New China town to explore a world of flavours and culture.
Thirteen years ago this neighbourhood known as Cyrildene was mainly a Jewish area, today it's still a colorful hub of culture, but has become Johannesburg's New China town and home to hundreds of local Chinese businesses.
Derrick Avenue is lined with a myriad of Chinese shops, most of the street signs are in Mandarin - English, is optional around here.
But, language doesn't seem to stop anyone from coming here to learn more about China.
"To build ties with China is important for us so that we can develop new ties, be it in trade, in leaning things and the Chinese from my experience do things very fast, they are good at implementing things, so we will probably pick up new skills," said an anchor-reporter named Moferefere Lelcovosoana.
China and South Africa's strong trade investment ties, is also strengthening cultural ties, and in this neighbourhood those ties are being nourished through the love of food.
"The food is brilliant, it is actually one of the places that remind me of home, there are so little Chinese restaurants in South Africa and this one is one of the best ones to actually eat it, also not just to eat, to converse, the people, the culture here the atmosphere actually remind me of home," said a student named Carlo Yeh.
"The two countries can learn a lot from one another. There is a lot in common in terms of culture, our respect for culture our respect for food, our respect for cultural rituals and I think it is something the Chinese and Africans have a lot in common," said a resident named Lauren Fok.
This neighbourhood, a stone's throw from Bruma Lake and Eastgate, has become home to an integrated Chinese community that find here everything they need.
"Basically you can find everything, chinese products here, and it is very important for the chinese people, and also there are some delicious restaurants here," said a woman.
It's a fact that South Africa is China's largest trading partner in Africa. But, in this neighbourhood, China has become part of South Africa and both cultures have embraced their strong cultural diversities.