Westport’s Chinese population is small.
But it’s diverse. There are doctors, financiers and restaurant owners.
Some are immigrants from mainland China. Others are transplants from New York. Some have lived here for over 30 years. Others moved in the other day.
Some came here for work opportunities. Many chose Westport for its excellent public schools, safe reputation and/or affordability (compared to towns closer to the city).
Some of Westport’s Chinese residents are involved in community affairs. Others are not. In that way, they mimic the rest of the town.
But all know that their new year begins this Saturday (January 21). Many — and many other Chinese, from throughout the area — will celebrate the Year of the Rooster right here in Westport.
They won’t be at Shanghai Gourmet, Little Kitchen or Tengda though. Instead, they’ll head to … the Westport Woman’s Club.
That’s where the Organization of Chinese Americans of Fairfield County is holding their annual New Year’s bash. There’s food, entertainment, raffles, an art show, book signing — in fact, there’s so much to do, there are 2 different sessions (12-3 p.m. and 4-7 p.m.).
The OCA is a social, political and economic group, promoting Chinese heritage, ethnicity and culture. The local group also operates a Mandarin language school in Stamford.
Steven Chin is the new president of the Fairfield County chapter. An “ABC” — American-born Chinese — he’s a 6-year Westport resident eager to bring the New Year’s celebration to his town.
“As our children grow older, we want them to recognize their parents’ struggles to attain the American Dream,'” Chin says. “But we want to them to be good citizens of their communities too. OCA members of all ages perform a variety of charitable services.”
OCA has held events in Stamford, Darien and Norwalk. Last May, they sponsored a beach party at Burying Hill.
Chin’s wife Lina is a member of the Westport Woman’s Club. So the venerable building on Imperial Avenue seems a perfect place to celebrate a much, much older holiday.
(For more information about the Chinese New Year celebration on Saturday, January 21 — and to make reservations — click here. Non-members are welcome!)