Little Saigon is an Eclectic and Authentic Enclave in Sacramento
October 20th, 2011
Amy Jacobson Kurokawa, Community Web Producer
Little Saigon of Sacramento, a newly designated area that expands from Fruitridge Road to Florin Road on Stockton Boulevard, is approaching economic development to difficult economic times. With the formation of The Greater Sacramento Vietnamese-American Chamber of Commerce (GSVACC) in March 2011, the chamber is taking things into its own hands to improve the local economy by dedicating to strike a delicate balance between creating an unique experience of Little Saigon for the mainstream Sacramento population while maintaining its authentic ethnic roots.
GSVACC is launching the Taste of Little Saigon, a directory of food services in Little Saigon, to be distributed at strategic locations to attract a new audience to the prospering area. GSVACC will be holding a launch event for the Taste of Little Saigon directory on October 21st, 2011 at Happy Garden Restaurant from 6pm-11pm (5731 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento CA). In addition, on January 21st, 2012, there will be the Little Saigon Festival, held during the Vietnamese Tet Nguyen Dan (Lunar New Year). The goal of the directory and the festival is to create simultaneous push-and-pull activities that introduce Little Saigon to the mainstream.
A significant challenge to economic development is the barrier between the isolated ethnic enclave of Little Saigon, which consists mainly of Vietnamese and Chinese businesses, and the mainstream population in the Greater Sacramento region. Because of this, the Chamber is focusing on visibility and image as one of the pillars of economic development with plans to educate, market, and change the perception of Little Saigon area—formerly known as South Sacramento.
Prior to the establishment of the GSVACC, of the approximately thirteen Vietnamese organizations in the Sacramento area, there was not a single organization that directly represented the vibrant and concentrated business area now known as Little Saigon. However, with the ability of the younger generation to assimilate into the American culture, GSVACC hopes to maintain the Vietnamese culture as well as advance into the mainstream with a stronger voice.
GSVACC is dedicated to the balance between creativity and practicality. Therefore, the chamber has created various community-serving programs with the goal of creating a safer and a more business friendly environment: K-12 Tutoring, Taste of Little Saigon Festival, the Business Walk with the City of Sacramento Economic Development Department, the proposed lighting and camera plan, and the proposed Little Saigon freeway sign on Highway 99 project.
The creation of the chamber’s logo, the crossing of the South Vietnamese and the American flags, symbolizes GSVACC’s mission to be a bridge dedicated to the community’s advancement, especially in time of economic turmoil, by finding a balance between complicated factors that directly impact the outcomes: cultural and economic values, private institutions and local governmental branches, businesses and different communities, and Little Saigon and the mainstream.
It is about integrating Little Saigon into the American culture while preserving its uniqueness.