Chinese Influence on Northern Virginia

Chinese Influence on Northern Virginia: Cultural Contributions and Famous Faces

Asians are the second fastest growing demographic in Virginia. While that includes all residents of Asian descent, from India to Pakistan to Burma, it also includes China. Chinese residents are flocking to northern Virginia in numbers never before seen, drawn by real estate investing, the promise of good jobs, affordable housing, and the chance to be part of thriving Asian population. While those are influences of the state on residents, the Chinese have also helped to shape the state itself in a number of ways.

Arlington, Virginia

Great Wall Supermarket

While the Great Wall supermarket chain might be based in New York City, it’s certainly had an effect on northern Virginia, and caters to the state’s growing Chinese and Asian population. Led by president, CEO and founder Lihui Zhang, Great Wall fuses East and West in a unique combination by providing Asian foods in a Western style supermarket layout. Currently, the company has a location in Falls Church, but there’s always the possibility that it will expand to other areas.

Peter Chang

When it comes to influence, the ancients new best. “An army marches on its stomach” is an old axiom for the fact that without food, no one does much of anything. Food is an integral part of American society these days, and one Chinese embassy chef turned restauranteur is having a big impact on the entire state of Virginia. Peter Chang made waves when he cooked for the Chinese embassy, but he’s since turned that passion into profit. Today, he operates three successful restaurants in the Richmond and Fredericksburg area. He also intends to push out into D.C. In addition to his established restaurants (each of which is a standalone eatery), Chang intends to open a chain in Virginia, staffed by handpicked Chinese students who learn directly from him.

Good for the Community

Peter Chang isn’t limited to influencing the culinary choices of Virginians. He’s also a humanitarian, and was instrumental in starting a charitable movement geared to providing cold water to high school athletes. Chang partnered with the principal of Massaponax High School (Dr. Joe Pisani), and will donate 5% of each check to provide the school with five-gallon water coolers for every classroom on campus.

Helen Wan

Author and lawyer Helen Wan is a native of northern Virginia, and grew up in Burke. She made waves with her debut book, The Partner Track, which took an uncompromising look at diversity in the legal workplace, and the effect of ham-fisted attempts to make companies more culturally aware. She has earned praise from sources from the Wall Street Journal to the Washington Post, and as a result of the book’s success and acceptance, as well as her honest portrayal of the hurdles facing Chinese and other minorities in today’s workplace, she has been invited to speak at groups including the Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

These are just a few of the ways that Virginia’s Chinese residents have influenced the state.




Canadians Invest in Northern VA Real Estate

Canadians Invest in Northern VA Real Estate

Stately Single Family

Canadians in Northern Virginia: Where to Call Home

Northern Virginia has seen a significant amount of growth from a number of international immigrants. The Hispanic population is the largest of these, certainly, followed by those of Asian origin (including Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese and more). However, Canadians are also coming to the state in measurable numbers. Where do Canadians frequently settle? What sort of lifestyle do they enjoy?

Canadian  Real Estate Investors Come to Urban Areas

The most common choice for Canadians choosing to make their homes in northern Virginia is urban centers. You’ll find residents of Canadian origin in cities like Charlottesville, Arlington, Fairfax, Alexandria and Leesburg. Cities closer to Washington D.C. have a higher concentration of Canadian immigrants than those in more rural areas.

What Draws Canadian Immigrants?

Canadians are attracted to northern Virginia for the same reasons as other groups – namely, employment options, proximity to popular attractions and areas, the quality of the education, and the relative affluence of the area. Northern Virginia has the state’s highest average salary per household, and it’s also home to the most of the technology companies that call Virginia home. Combine that with attractions like Washington D.C., shopping areas like Potomac Mills and Tysons Corner Center, as well as historic attractions like Civil War monuments and battlefields, and it’s easier to see why Canadians are attracted to live here.

  • Lifestyle – Canadians immigrants will find that life in northern Virginia isn’t much different from what they knew at home. Canadians and Americans share a very similar culture, and there are no language barriers. In fact, many Americans are unable to tell that someone is from Canada unless they come from Quebec, or specifically state their nation of origin. So, Canadian immigrants enjoy the same lifestyle as their natural-born American counterparts, including the same employment opportunities, potential housing options and more.
  • Home Life – When it comes to purchasing real estate, Canadians have plenty of options. There are numerous apartment complexes in larger urban areas (think Alexandria and Fairfax, for instance). There are also condos, townhomes, single-family homes and more. The more rural the area, the less diverse the housing options will be, though, so immigrants seeking a short-term rental generally gravitate to more urban areas.
  • Religion – While technically part of the Bible Belt, northern Virginia is home to a growing number of religions. The majority of the area’s residents are Protestant, but Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism and other religions are also present.
  • Employment Options – Canadians moving to northern Virginia will find that most of the area’s employment options are centered closer to Washington D.C. Cities like Arlington and Fairfax offer jobs within their bounds, as well as a place to live within easy reach of D.C. and the myriad employment options available with the federal government. Technology companies, businesses in the tourism industry, healthcare workers and state and federal government jobs are the prime options.

Canadian immigrants choosing to call northern Virginia home will find that things aren’t so different from home, and that there’s plenty to love in the state.