Hi, I'm a Chinese from South East Asia who plan to move over to BA
in the near future. My concern is that whether Chinese can blend well
into the society in BA? Will they be discriminated by the locals? My
spanish is pretty well. Your opinion is appreciated. Wong
I don't think asian people are particularly discriminated here. During my high school here in Bs AS, I had a japanese girl and a two korean girls in my classes and they were very popular among us actually.
I think that in general asian people here - particularly of chinese and korean origin - do not socialize much with the rest of the people unless they work or study together, for instance, very rarely you will be invited to their homes, meet their family, etc. The families do not want their kids to mix with portenos, or worse: date when they grow older, etc.
At the same time, the young asians feel embarrased about some of their traditions, culture, etc. The end result is that portenos feel that asians are closed to becoming friends, etc and asians feel isolated and only hang out with other asians. A lot of the older asians here cannot speak the language.
In the US asians are very well integrated, they speak the language perfectly as well. The asian inmigration is relatively new to Buenos Aires, and the people used to come here to live only for a few years and then emigrate to the US, so they never really wanted to get involved much. Also, the presence of mafias has been widely publicized on newspapers, tv, etc, so some people fear that they can get in trouble if they get to close to their asian neighbours, and so on...
In the past 8 years or so, I noticed that young asians integrate a lot better, and actually come here to stay permanently - now that Argentina is not under the visa waiver program -
Japanese people are in a different situation, since they inmigrated very early to Argentina and are very well integrated.
Life is a big paradox sometimes: being a big fan of asian cuture, philosophy, arts, etc I always wanted to get closer to asians I met during the years, I wasn't very lucky though, since sometimes the parents weren't very keen on the idea very much and we were young. I had the best time when I visited San Francisco six years ago! There I actually noticed the differences and how much more integrated both cultures are. I think it is something that is already changing and evolving here as well, might take some time, but people are a lot more open. Portenos are naturally curious and like to get to know other cultures, some might have misconceptions, but I think that is kind of natural, once they get to know you, I am sure you will have no problems making friends, etc.
This article is in spanish, it gives you a good idea on how things work here