US police all a-twitter about Weibo
Updated: 2014-01-10 08:51
Members of staff of the Alhambra Source news portal at work.[Zhang Chaoqun/Xinhua]
Chang, who now works and lives in Beijing, grew up surrounded by Chinese-American friends who shared a similar cultural background. Like him, they were mainly kids whose families had arrived from Taiwan - very few had connections with the Cantonese culture, and there were even fewer mainlanders.
"Religious places are good venues for mixed populations to mingle and get to know each other. But beyond those venues, greater efforts have to be made to bridge the gap between languages and cultures. The police Weibo account is definitely a rare attempt to reach out."
For Hung, to whom the latest generation of Chinese immigrants appears more "aggressive" and outgoing - as he himself was "shy" and "quiet" growing up - making friends with a person from a Cantonese background is only possible when the lingua franca is English. "My best friend right now is a white American," he added.
Although both men were excited by the Alhambra police account, they expressed a shared concern - how successful will the initiative be?
Chief Yokoyama believes the account will flourish. In the coming months the police department will contact local Chinese businesses via Weibo and will also set up an information booth in a community center during the Chinese New Year festival, which falls at the end of the month, to further promote the Weibo account and aid integration.
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Wayne Chou and Brian Liou contributed to this story.