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East Asian and Pacific Community

 

General Information

History

The East Asian and Pacific Communities in the Pittsburgh region are as diverse and rich in culture as the countries they represent. Like many communities, they are spread throughout the region. Although they may not live in one specific neighborhood, they come together for cultural and community events such as the Dragon Boat Festival and the Pittsburgh Folk Festival. On a smaller scale, you may find community members enjoying tai chi in the park or mah jong nights at neighbors' houses.
Many individuals from Asian communities have established restaurants in the region expanding the range of available cuisine. Represented are Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese. Most members of the communities are established professionals in a wide range of fields. Many organizations and places of worship have been established for the sake of cultural, social, and religious fellowship. There is also a strong Asian presence among students and faculty on the University and College campuses in the region.
Pittsburgh East Asian and Pacific communities came here for a variety of reasons, and for a variety of reasons they have decided to stay. We invite those interested in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region to come and help build our growing communities.

Arts (film, dance, music)

  • Silk Screen Film Festival: (www.silkscreenfestival.org)
    Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival is a multiple-day Asian American Film Festival held in May in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The festival is an annual event showcasing films and filmmakers with origins in India, Japan, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Iran, and more.
     
  • Dragon Boat Festival: (http://pdbf.org)
    The mission of the festival is to highlight the Asian cultures in the Pittsburgh region, and to promote intellectual understanding between the East and the West in a fun way
    .
  • Pittsburgh Folk Festival: (http://pghfolkfest.org)
    The mission of the Pittsburgh Folk Festival Inc., is to promote unity in cultural diversity by organizing and presenting an annual Folk Festival to showcase the diverse cultures of people in Western Pennsylvania.

Professional Associations

  • Chinese Association for Science and Technology- Pittsburgh Chapter: (http://www.castp.org/index.php)
    The Chinese Association for Science and Technology - Pittsburgh Chapter has promotes China's economic reform while bringing prosperity to both China and the US by facilitating channels for technological, commercial, and cultural exchange between the two countries, to promote opportunities and environments for Chinese professionals to network and exchange information, and to promote greater understanding of Chinese traditional culture in the United States.
     
  • National Association of Asian American Professionals: (www.naaap.org)
    NAAAP, the National Association of Asian American Professionals, is a non-profit organization where Asian American professionals across the country, can work together to enhance Asian American leadership in our careers and the communities that we live and serve in.
    Information about the Pittsburgh chapter can be found on this site.

Religious Information

  • Pittsburgh Chinese Church: (www.PghChineseChurch.org)
    The Pittsburgh Chinese Church has been in existence since the seventies. It is located in Oakland. It offers Sunday services in Chinese and English.
    134 North Dithridge St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
     
  • Chinese Alliance Church of Pittsburgh:  (www.chinesealliancechurchofpittsburgh.org)
    CACP is a Chinese speaking church.
    515 Monroeville Ave., Turtle Creek, PA 15145
    Phone: 412-824-1500
     
  • The Korean Catholic Community of the Diocese of Pittsburgh: (http://www.tkccp.org/)
     
  • Korean Central Church of Pittsburgh:
    821 South Aiken Avenue,
    Pittsburgh, PA 15232-2209
    Phone: 412-687-7775
     
  • Korean United Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh: (http://www.kupcp.org/)
    7600 Ross Park Drive,
    Pittsburgh
    Phone: 412-369-9470
     
  • Catholic community:
    Fr. Dam Nguyen
    Phone: 412-884-2301 or 412-881-8117

     

  • The Vietnamese Buddhist Association of Pittsburgh:
    Phone: 412-461-2358
    Contact: Thu Vo
    Phone: 724-863-4730
    Chon Nhu Buddhist Meditation Institute:
    Phone: 412-636-9113
     
  • Cao Dai community:
    Mr. Dang Trinh
    Phone: 412-824-0519
     
  • Hoa Hao Buddhist community:
    Mr. Coi Nguyen
    Phone: 412-687-7436

Cultural Organizations

  • Asian Students Alliance, University of Pittsburgh
    A Pan-Asian organization that is committed to the social and political pursuits of Asians and Asian Americans. Holds various events for all Asian communities throughout the year.
    Phone: 412-648-5220
    Email: asians@pitt.edu
     
  • Asian Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh: (http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/asp/)
    4400 Posvar Hall
    Pittsburgh, PA 15260
    Phone: 412-648-7370

Chinese

There is a vibrant Chinese community in the city of Pittsburgh. Chinese immigrants came to Pittsburgh in three stages: those who came before the 1960s, those who came during and after the 1960s but before the 1980s, and those who came after the 1980s. The earliest Chinese settlers in Pittsburgh came directly from Mainland China; many of them were laborers or restaurant owners. There was a section of the downtown area near Second Avenue and Grant Street occupied by these Chinese settlers; a remnant of this community is still visible by the façade of the front of the building facing Second Ave. which now houses the restaurant China Town Inn.
In the 1960s a major wave of Chinese immigrants came to the United States and to Pittsburgh from Taiwan; these Chinese immigrants were all well-educated and came to the United States for graduate studies. After they finished their Master's and Doctorate degrees, most of them chose to stay in the United States; they are now very well established in Pittsburgh as well as in other parts of the U.S.

In the eighties, a new wave of Chinese immigrants came to the United States and to Pittsburgh; hundreds of Chinese students come to study in the universities and colleges in the region.

Frank Y. Liu, Professor of Law, and Director, the Center for Legal Information, Duquesne University, wrote this brief description. His goal is to use this as the basis for developing a comprehensive and true picture of the Chinese Community in Pittsburgh.

  • Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) - Pittsburgh Chapter: (http://www.ocapghpa.org)
    OCA is a national civil rights advocacy and educational organization dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent, to securing the rights of Asian and Pacific Islander American citizens and permanent residents through legislative and policy initiatives at all levels of the government., and to bettering the lives of the more than 12 million Asian and Pacific Islander Americans across the country.
     
  • The Pittsburgh Chinese School (PCS): (http://www.pittsburgh-chinese-school.org/)
    Pittsburgh Chinese School is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution. Our mission is to operate as a Chinese language school and to prepare multi-ethnic students to meet the challenge of globalization;  promote an understanding of Chinese culture and heritage; engage school youth in community services and help them to achieve cultural communication and harmony.
    School Address:
    Allderdice High School
    2409 Shady Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15217
     
  • Chinese Student and Scholar Association at the University of Pittsburgh: (http://www.pittcssa.net)
    Organization dedicated to serving the interests of all Chinese students, scholars and other CSSA members in the University community.
     
  • Three Rivers Families with Children, China: (http://www.trfcc.org)
    Three Rivers Families with Children from China (TRFCC) began in 1997 as a small group of people who had adopted from China that were looking for camaraderie.  In recent years, our membership has swelled to over 200 families with, and awaiting Chinese children in western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.
     
  • Oriental Star Dance School: (http://www.orientalstardanceschool.com/)
    Established in August 2004, the Oriental Star Dance School is the first and only professional Chinese dance school in the tri-state area.
    Studio Address:
    Diamond Building
    Suite 300
    100 5th Ave.|
    Pittsburgh PA 15222
     
  • Pittsburgh Chinese Restaurant Association : (http://www.pcrapa.com)
    The PCRA is a very active community organization helping the restaurant owners solve problems relating to their businesses.

Filipino

  • Filipino American Association of Pittsburgh (FAAP): (www.thefaap.org)
    FAAP seeks to develop, promote, and preserve the Filipino cultural heritage among its members and to acquaint the general public with the many facets of Filipino culture. FAAP strives to leave a legacy of hospitality, cooperation and generosity. Maraming Salamat Po!
     
  • Philippine American Medical Society of Western Pennsylvania: (http://pamsofwesternpa.org)
    The Philippine American Medical Society of Western Pennsylvania (PAMS of WPA) has been conducting Medical/Surgical Missions to various islands and rural areas of the Philippines since 1999.
     
  • TheFilipino.com: (http://www.thefilipino.com/filipinosinpennsylvania.html)
    For a list of Pennsylvania Filipino American Communities & Organizations please visit this site.

Japanese

From leading robotics scientists to students learning ESL, the Japanese community is involved in all aspects of life in Pittsburgh.  Japanese do not live in a specific geographic area; therefore, a newcomer may find it hard to find a fellow Tokyoite at first. But with a little initiative, they will find a diverse Japanese community working and participating in Pittsburgh life.

To help make the transition to the States a little easier, Japanese food items are available at Asian markets, and the city boasts several good sushi restaurants. In addition, there are community organizations that promote friendship between the citizens of Japan and the United States, such as Japan-America of Pennsylvania, the Japan Association of Great Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh-Saitama Sister City Committee.

  • The Japan Association of Greater Pittsburgh (JAGP): (http://www.jagp.org/)
    A non-profit organization for Japanese, Japanese Americans and people in the greater Pittsburgh area who are interested in Japanese culture. JAGP promotes cultural, social, informational and friendship networks.
    3112 Ponerossa Drive
    Allison Park, PA 15101-3950
    Phone: 412-486-4460
     
  • The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania (JASP): (http://www.us-japan.org/jasp/)
    The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania is the region's premiere organization for educational, business and arts activities related to Japan and Japanese-American relations.
    600 Grant Street, Room 444
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2703
    Phone:  412-433-5021
     
  • Japan Information Center: (http://www.library.pitt.edu/libraries/eal/services-jic.htm)
    The Japan Information Service (JIS) at the East Asian Library of the University Library System is happy to provide a variety of information on Japan to help people with their research. The service was established in 1996 as a collaborative effort between the University of Pittsburgh and the Japan Center for Intercultural Communication (JCIC) in Tokyo.
    2nd Floor, Hillman Library
    Pittsburgh, PA 15260
    Phone: 412-648-7617

Korean

Thai

Vietnamese

Prior to 1975, only a small group of Vietnamese nationals lived in Western Pennsylvania. Most were either college students from South Vietnam or spouses of Americans. This expatriate population swelled rapidly after the collapse of South Vietnam, when scores of refugees fleeing Communism settled in Pittsburgh and its outlying areas. According to an unofficial account, the Vietnamese community in Pittsburgh was at its peak in 1977, when the estimated population was 2,500 people. Many relocated to warmer climates. The community today consists of about 550 families with about 1,000 people.  Among them are many professionals: physicians, pharmacists, nurses, engineers, college professors and teachers. Many non-professionals with other skills tended to move southward to warmer climate states with established Vietnamese populations like California, Texas, Florida and Louisiana.

  • Vietnamese Students Association, University of Pittsburgh: (http://www.pitt.edu/~sorc/vsa/index.html)
     
  • The Vietnamese Association of Pittsburgh:
    VAP Public Relations Committee
    P.O Box 065
    Natrona Heights, PA 15065
    Phone: 724-224-7916
    Nghi Nguyen, M.D. Chairman, VAP Board of Directors
    Email: nguyen338@aol.com
     
  • Vietnamese Restaurants:

    MeLyng Restaurant:
    213 West 8th Avenue,
    Homestead, PA 15120-1010
    Phone: 412-464-1477

    My-Ngoc Restaurant:
    2120 Penn Ave., Strip District
    Phone: 412-765-1150

    Pho Minh Restaurant:
    4917 Penn Avenue,
    Pittsburgh, PA 15224
    Phone: 412-661-7443

    Tram's Kitchen :
    4050 Penn Ave,
    Pittsburgh, PA 15224
    Phone: 412-682-2688

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