At Omroep West: Chinatown vs the corona virus

The Netherlands is slowly coming out of the lockdown that has been paralyzing the country during the past few months. In Chinatown, the lockdown caused many difficulties amongst store-owners, restaurants, etc. Almost all restaurants, cafes, and lunchrooms, had to close their doors. Those who remained open saw their turnover drop by 80%.


Last Friday, July 3rd, Chinatown got a moment of national fame when it was part of a TV series broadcasted at Omroep West. Reporters came to Chinatown and made a short clip for their new series called ‘Anderhalve Meter Sessies’ or- ‘1.5 Meter Sessions’. How did Chinatown experience the coronavirus?


During the early days of 2020, when the coronavirus was mainly a problem of China and its neighbors, Chinatown and her Asian residents already faced increased discrimination. People appeared scared and unwilling to consume Chinese foods, as China was the place this virus came from, wasn’t it? Many residents of Chinatown had to deal with outings of racism. Quickly, though, the hashtag #ikchinees (a wordplay on the Dutch way of saying “I am going to eat Chinese [takeaway]”) was launched as a campaign by Asian restaurant owners.


Then, the coronavirus arrived at the doors of The Netherlands, and the entire country went into lockdown. With that, the hit Chinatown took for the entire ordeal worsened. Chinatown’s streets were almost completely empty in March and April of 2020. And so… The very first classical Chinese gates on European soil became not an entry to a lively, bustling neighborhood, but an entry to a ghost town.


We are happy again! Because lockdown is easing, we can do more and more. Since June 1st, Chinatown has been completely re-opened for everyone. Shops, restaurants, cafes, specialty shops, etc. all have taken their necessary precautions. Come by and get an authentic taste of Asia right in The Hague. Chinatown is bustling again!


The video below shows the episode of ‘Anderhalve Meter Sessies’ in which Chinatown was featured. Unfortunately, the video is in Dutch, however, you can still see the streets of Chinatown!



The part featuring Chinatown starts at 18:13. Enjoy!