系列报道四 | 罗斯福公园翻建在即,存在了35年的东南亚市场会消失吗?



这一系列报道是新主流传媒公司与费城华埠发展会(PCDC)合作,和Sojourner Consulting协同,并获得独立公共媒体基金会(the Independence Public Media Foundation)的大力支持。

This article is the fourth of a series of nine stories which seeks to increase visibility and understanding of the diverse Asian American communities in the Philadelphia region and their strengths, challenges and histories. Now more than ever, we must ensure Asian voices have a platform to speak out against the issues impacting our communities.

This series is developed by New Mainstream Press in partnership with the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation and in consultation with Sojourner Consulting, with support from the Independence Public Media Foundation.


记者:Eleni Finkelstein

中文编辑:李蓓 / Alan Lu (实习)

赛杰·萨拜吉特(Saijai Sabayjit)在泰国曼谷长大,每天她都会看着母亲烹制多达20种不同的咖喱菜肴。赛杰把自己对烹饪的热爱从家庭厨艺课扩展到她在泰国开的餐厅。现在,她正准备在费城经营一辆售卖正宗泰国美食的餐车。在餐车“启动”之前,今年4月到11月的每个周末,你都会在费城罗斯福公园(FDR Park)的东南亚市场找到赛杰,还可以吃到她用泰式烤架和炒锅制作的拿手好菜。

Saijai Sabayjit grew up in Bangkok, Thailand watching her mom cook up to 20 different curry dishes a day. Saijai’s love of cooking expanded from family tutorials to her own restaurant in Thailand, and she is now in the works of opening a food truck which will serve authentic Thai flavors in Philadelphia. Until it opens, on weekends from April to November, you can find Saijai’s Thai Food with her grill and wok bowl at the Southeast Asian Market at FDR Park.


As one of the only Thai vendors at the market, Sanjai enjoys sharing her meals and Thai iced tea with a diverse demographic of customers who come by her booth. She cheerfully acknowledges that for now, the work is not highly profitable, but it is satisfying.


Saijai posing with her booth at the market. Personal photo

位于罗斯福公园(FDR Park)里的东南亚市场,开始于35年前。1985年,一个来自老挝和和柬埔寨家庭开始在公园里摆摊卖家常菜。他们的生意越做越好,引来更多东南亚族裔商贩的加入。在公园的空地上,摊位越来越多。

The Southeast Asian Market at FDR Park started 35 years ago when two vendors, a Lao and Cambodian family, began to sell home-cooked food in the park in 1985. When word got out about the vendors’ success, many other vendors began joining them or selling on their own time at the park whenever they saw an open spot.


Photo credits to FDR official website


Today, over 70 vendors set up each weekend, selling a variety of grilled and prepared food, produce and goods under tents on a grassy field. Around the field, families and young people gather on picnic blankets and around tents, creating a distinct festival air.


Photo credits to Yelp

东南亚市场所在的罗斯福公园(FDR Park)是南费城最大的自然公园, 占地345英亩, 是费城市民们户外活动和休闲娱乐的好去处,也是最体现费城多元文化的公园之一。公园举办过很多休闲体育赛事,钓鱼比赛和费城花展等大型活动,瑞典美国人历史博物馆也坐落在公园内。

According to the department, FDR Park is one of the most diverse parks in the city, with park-goers coming from all over the city and world to enjoy events like recreational sports leagues, fishing, and infrastructure such as the American Swedish Historical Museum, which is located on park grounds.


Photo credits to myphillypark.org

最近,一项罗斯福公园的改造计划引起了包括东南亚社区在内很多人的关注。费城公园和娱乐部门媒体主管(Communications Director of Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation Department)麦塔·索卡普(Maita Soukup)在接受记者采访时表示,罗斯福公园(FDR Park)即将进行多年改造项目,以解决园内经常发生的洪水问题;同时开放更多的空间,让大家亲近大自然,进行更多种类的娱乐活动。

The market’s home in FDR Park in South Philly is about to undergo significant changes which will impact all of the park’s users, including the Southeast Asian community. The park is scheduled to undergo a multi-year renovation project to address “frequent flooding and open up more of the park’s three acres to both natural and recreational users for all park-goers,” says Maita Soukup, Communications Director of Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation Department.


How will this project impact on the Southeast Asian market? Will the market, which has existed for 35 years, disappear?




A History of Struggle and Finding Community

杜特·程(Dute Cheng)来自柬埔寨,是驻扎在东南亚市场10年之久的老摊主了。她在这里销售自制的糯米酱和兰花仙人掌、柠檬草之类的独特植物和草药。这些工作占据了她主要的时间,所以在集市上摆摊算是她的主业了。

For Dute Cheng, a Cambodian, 10-year vendor at the Southeast Asian Market, selling at the market is her main business, as her homemade sticky rice sauces and unique plants and herbs such as orchid cacti and lemongrass take a lot of work to prepare.


Dute Cheng- Posing with her booth at the market

Personal Photo


Surrounded by hanging, hot pink flowers, and frequently interrupting to banter with customers and friendly vendors, she seems completely in her element. She finds customers across the region where Cambodians congregate, noting she is also a long-time vendor in a temple market in .


Cheng’s story is similar to a lot of long-time vendors at the market. She came to the United States in 1982 and attended school briefly before working in restaurants for years. For many years, she worked for a man who owned his own greenhouse, and became successful enough to expand to multiple locations. Seeing that his success did not affect her own standing, in 2016, she started her own business and has since sold to the Southeast Asian population and many Latinx individuals who favor her unique herbs and plants.


According to the vendors, the majority of vendors at the market are Cambodian, with many Laotian individuals and other Southeast Asians, and many come to the market to sell because the community and park remind them of home. Over 2,000 Cambodians, Lao, and Vietnamese arrived in Philadelphia in the 1980s as a result of the Vietnam War.


Photo credits to Yelp


Refugees often lived in crowded conditions, with 3-4 families per home, and after their initial placement they had limited support to find jobs to fund their families. Despite wartime experiences of displacement, violence, malnutrition, and other forms of trauma, mental health issues were not addressed and continue to linger and do harm.

根据最新的人口普查数据,费城现在有大约17,000名东南亚裔居民,其中大部分聚居在南费城(South Philly)和北费城(North Philly)。时至今日,他们仍面临着重大的社会和经济挑战,比如:他们是费城亚裔中贫困率最高的族群;英语仍然是他们融入社会的屏障;过去有犯罪记录的柬埔寨裔还面临被驱逐的危险;他们的呼声也往往被费城声量更大的东亚族裔所淹没。

According to the most recent census, the city is now home to about 17,000 Southeast Asians, with a large concentration of families and individuals in South Philly and North Philly. Today, these groups continue to face significant social and economic challenges, including some of the highest poverty and limited English proficiency rates out of Asian groups in Philadelphia. The Cambodian population has faced a deportation crisis targeting community members with past criminal convictions. However, their identities and challenges are often subsumed by the needs of larger and more visible East Asian groups in Philadelphia.

在开始摆摊做生意之前,许多商贩都有为社区居民提供餐食,赚点儿小钱的经历,打零工的也不在少数。商贩协会 (the Vendors Association)的社群召集人卡泽埃·维拉蓬(Catzie Vilayphonh)回忆起自己年轻时曾做过一份采摘蓝莓的工作,摘上一大盘,只挣3美元。

Before they began selling at the market, many of the original vendors would cook for other families in the area for a fee . Others struggled to make money by doing odd jobs for little pay, like Catzie Vilayphonh, the Vendor Community Cultivator of the Vendors Association, who recalls picking blueberries for $3 a tray when she was young.

种族歧视和仇外心理也是许多东南亚商贩不得不面对的问题。阿尔瓦罗·德拉克·科特斯(Alvaro Drake-Cortes)是费城欢迎中心 (Welcoming Center)的项目经理,也是志愿组织“罗斯福公园之友”的董事会秘书,主要负责公园的维护和改建工程。他在接受采访时表示:多年来,东南亚集市和同在罗斯福公园驻扎的拉丁集市都饱受种族歧视和攻击性暴力行为之苦,东南亚集市更甚。口头和肢体上的冲突,对一个多由难民和移民组成的社区来说是雪上加霜。

Racism and xenophobia have also been a strong factor in the lives of many vendors. Alvaro Drake-Cortes is the Program Manager at The Welcoming Center and Secretary on the board of the volunteer organization Friends of FDR Park, who are largely responsible for keeping the park maintained and managing the renovation process. He explained that both the Southeast Asian Market and Latinx Market have experienced violent acts of racism and aggression from locals and authorities over the years, with the Southeast Asian market experiencing the brunt of it. These verbal, and sometimes physical confrontations have been an additional obstacle for this largely-refugee and immigrant community.


Photo credits to Yelp


A former vendor and former treasurer of the Vendor’s Association recalls visiting the market with her young son years ago. A woman was selling fried bananas and had a long line of customers when a park ranger asked her to stop selling due to her business lacking a permit. The situation escalated after the woman, who did not speak English, did not understand what the man was saying. The park ranger proceeded to handcuff her and tackle her to the ground, a response the treasurer claims was uncalled for, and feels would likely have been handled differently if it were an English-speaking or white vendor.

商贩协会的社群召集人维拉蓬(Vilayphonh)也谈到了坊间流传的其他“事件”。比如网络社交媒体上曾出现歧视商贩的帖子:“公园好臭,他们是不是在烤猫和狗?” 维拉蓬(Vilayphonh)无法想象还有什么更可怕的内容。

Vilayphonh also speaks about different threads on community sites, such as Facebook groups, writing racist posts about the vendors such as “The park smells, how do we know they’re not grilling cats and dogs?” She says she can only imagine what’s being said in community groups she is not a part of.

维娜·索克(Vina Sok)对亚裔在费城“低人一等”的现状非常有感,她认为被边缘化的东南亚社区更难被看到和被尊重。维娜在东南亚市场上摆摊不仅是为了多挣点儿钱,养活自己和她身有残疾的丈夫;对于她和其他摊贩来说,这个市场更是东南亚裔的“避风港”。

Vina Sok feels strongly that in Philadelphia, Asians are perceived as beneath others, and that it is even more difficult for those who do not identify with a Chinese ethnicity or nationality to be seen and respected. She started selling as a way to generate more income to support herself and her husband, who is disabled.  For herself and others, the market has become a community and safe haven for Southeast Asians to celebrate their culture with park-goers and with each other.


Vina Sok – Posing with her booth at the market

Personal photo


While her stand has seen success over the years, she expresses worry about the acts of racism she’s seen over time towards her fellow vendors as well as the upheaval of the market that the park renovations may bring. “I’m trying so hard for this to succeed,” she says, “I want to see the future of the market. I don’t just fight for Cambodians, I fight for the [whole Asian] community.”



 Finding a Permanent Home

尽管周末集市上人头攒动,一片繁荣景象。但是到现在,罗斯福公园(FDR Park)也没有给东南亚市场提供一个永久性的地点。

Despite the long-term attendance of vendors and shoppers at the market, FDR Park has not yet given the market a permanent home at the park.

这些年,东南亚市场一直按照固定的时间表“迁徙”。每年四月到六月底,市场出现在宽街(Broad Street)的入口处。在七月到十一月之间,市场则会搬到公园的棒球场旁边。场地的不固定和每年一次的大搬家对于摊主来说很辛苦,特别是那些现场制作和售卖小吃的摊主,每次出摊他们都需要把沉重的烤架和厨房用品搬来搬去,重新拆装。

In recent years, the market setup has followed a schedule of when they have to move. From April until the end of June, the market is located by the Broad Street entrance. From July to November, the market moves over to the baseball fields at the park. This yearly transition is difficult for vendors, particularly those selling food, who sport heavy grills and other equipment that need to be set up and broken down each day.


Photo credits to Yelp


Many vendors arrive at 7am to begin setting up their tents and equipment. The uncertainty of their space remains as park renovations begin, but park officials say they want to secure the integrity and culture of the markets as the park continues to change and grow.


Park renovations will be primarily focused on leveling the ground and improving drainage throughout the park to protect against flooding. There are also plans to put new fields in for sports games and modernize recreational spaces for park-goers, including a newly renovated Welcome Center. The park renovation’s Master Plan proposes a permanent market area that is convenient and accessible for vendors and park-goers, with the location still to be determined.


Last year, the Vendor’s Association was formed to represent the vendors and provide business assistance around set up, permitting and other issues.

维纳·索克(Vina Sok)是东南亚市场上的一名柬埔寨农产品商贩,她也是商贩协会的主席。她作为商贩们的代表提出诉求,希望有个永久市场区域,并把市场安置在水泥地面上。这样既可以防止洪水,桌椅和烹饪设备也会更加安全。

Vina Sok, a Cambodian produce vendor at the market, also serves as the President of the Vendor’s Association. As a representative of the vendors, she says they want a permanent, covered market area with cement grounds, which will prevent flooding and make it safer to set up their tables and cooking equipment.


There is also the problem of regulations that puzzles the Southeast Asian market. Many vendors at the markets technically lack permits, but due to the rich history of the markets, the city has allowed it over time. When the market began 35 years ago, language and cultural barriers, including lack of translation services, lack of awareness of American business laws and permit requirements, meant that many vendors set up informally.


Photo credits to secretsofphiladelphia.com


As a consequence of the FDR Park renovations, for the first time, vendors are now going to be required to be licensed, which raises an issue of accessibility to classes and programming for this to be achieved.

“这一变化很难被理解,尤其是因为大家一开始就没有遵守这个规矩。” 商贩协会 (the Vendors Association)的社群召集人卡泽埃·维拉蓬(Catzie Vilayphonh)提到,申请营业许可不仅耗时,而且培训和获得文书都要花钱。

“Change is of course difficult to understand, especially for vendors when there were no rules to begin with,” says Vilayphonh.Training and getting a permit to sell is a long and expensive process for vendors, and includes a fee along with classes and paperwork.


Photo credits to Yelp

目前,商贩协会的社群召集人卡泽埃·维拉蓬(Catzie Vilayphonh)正在与大费城地区柬埔寨协会(CAGP)、“罗斯福公园之友”(the Friends of FDR Park)合作,为个体商贩们申请正式的经营许可证。

Catzie Vilayphonh, the Vendor Community Cultivator of the Vendors Association, is working with the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia (CAGP) on the process of applying for formal permits for individual vendors.


All 70+ vendors attended training before the first weekend of the market this year, which included paperwork on what they are selling and handbook training discussing food safety, cleanliness policies, and more.


The training has been divided by language, so all vendors have an equal opportunity to understand the process. While many vendors were opposed to the trainings at first, they are beginning to understand the value behind it. The Vendor’s Association plans to offer a ServSafe course for vendors in the near future.



The Significance of Representation at the Market and in Philly


With the long history of the Southeast Asian Market and other Asian celebrations around the city, such as an increased number of Cambodian and Thai restaurants, these communities are more comfortable familiarizing Philadelphians, Asian and non-Asian, with their food and culture. “People are starting to pay attention now and include Southeast Asian narratives in their community,” exclaims Vilayphonh.

费城公园和娱乐部(The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department) 以及“罗斯福公园之友”的负责人都表示:多元文化的市场对商贩和游客都很重要,他们正在共同努力在公园里建立一个永久和规范的市场。在未来几年公园转型期间,市场的繁荣可期。

The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department and Friends of FDR Park both say they value the meaning of the cultural markets for vendors and park-goers and are working together to make a permanent and regulated marketplace in the park where the traditions of the markets can continue to thrive as the park continues to transition over the next few years.

正如费城公园和娱乐部媒体主管(Communications Director of Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation Department)麦塔·索卡普(Maita Soukup)所说:”安全无障碍的费城公园和绿地让我们的社区更强大,也为移民和亚太裔提供更多互通文化、分享传统和建立社群的空间。”

“Safe accessible green spaces make our communities stronger, and give immigrant and AAPI Philadelphians the space to make cultural connections, share tradition, and build community,” says Soukup.


The market runs on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 6pm from April 2 until November 27. If you would like to support the market and its vendors you can visit during open-hours or donate to the Southeast Asian Market at www.fdrseamarket.com.


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