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2008.040.021 Oral History Interview with Sio Wai Sang April 18, 2008

Sio Wai Sang sits down with MOCA to discuss his experience in Chinatown since he first arrived in the 1970s by way of Macau and the Dominican Republic. He discusses his experience working as a jeweler, how he set the precedent for immigrant jewelers in Chinatown, and how the counterfeit industry has negatively affected Chinatown businesses by making them all seem cheap. He also shares his thoughts on the more close-knit community culture of Chinatown when he lived there and how he perceives it to have changed over the past several decades as the different generations come and go. Mr. Sang also talks about how he believes Chinatown should move forward and develop by creating a Business Improvement District. He believes that it will improve the commercial side of Chinatown and leave the residential side unharmed because of the internal cohesion of the Chinese community which wants to keep Chinatown Chinese. He also expresses his belief that plans for development should be approached with a cautious perspective, so new developments don’t become too commercial and harm the cultural character.