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Golden Silk Valley (金絲谷) Simmet Alley is a short alley that runs from Sinners Passage in the east to Integrity Way in the west, parallel to Sinner Street and Little Bighorn Avenue. It is located in Textile City, a small commerce neighborhood located in Downtown Los Santos. It borders Alta to the north, Mission Row to the south, Pillbox Hill to the west and La Mesa to the east. It is one of the smallest districts in San Andreas and covers just two blocks laterally and longitudinally. San Andreas Avenue denotes the border between Textile City and Mission Row. Since the late 19th century Simmet Alley has been home to a majority of the Chinese community of Los Santos, plus smaller groups of predominantly South-East Asian origin who took refuge within the community. Nicknamed Golden Silk Valley, or Gam Si Gow (金絲谷) by it's locals, the alley contains various businesses along it's street level, with residents living above those businesses or in local apartment complexes. Golden Silk Valley was born in the 1860s due to the first large Chinese immigrant wave, a result of the gold rush and a need for cheap labor to construct the Central Pacific Railroad. These immigrants found it both difficult socially and financially to live in the usual residential districts of Los Santos, causing them to search for an alternative housing district. This came in the form of a plot of empty land within the ( then ) developing industrial district of East Los Santos. The migrants used this plot of land to build housing for themselves, forming a socially gated community. Simmet Alley began as a backstreet between two rows of housing complexes but quickly became much more than that, as local businesses were opened in the excess space. These businesses were mainly targeted towards the community itself, seldom attracting outside attention. Throughout the next few years railway construction moved further and further inland, causing many of the locals to move in order to keep their jobs. The remaining population was comprised mainly of local business owners and those who had managed to get a job within the city. Many of the housing complexes built for the migrant workers were deemed useless at this point and demolished, reducing the size of the still infant Chinatown, a size which it has maintained to this day. During the years after that, migrants came and went, three different Tongs were opened and sex-restrictive immigration laws were passed against the Chinese. Previously, the Tongs had been involved in assisting migrants, providing them with housing, arranging them work opportunities and educating them, as well as operating gambling dens, but now they took on a new role. The Tongs began smuggling Chinese women into America for purposes of marriage, and later on prostitution. This ensured the continued existence of the community for many generations to come. In time, the three Tongs united under the name the Golden Silk Valley Benevolent Society for Upstanding Migrant Workers, renaming itself to the Golden Silk Valley People's Association of Peace and Prosperity in 1949 with the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Throughout the 20th century the Tong expanded it's illegal activities into any field it could manage, continuing to smuggle women, but now also drugs and anything else profitable into the country. The height of the drug trade for the Tong was during the 70s, however with it's heightened profits came heightened tensions. The Tong began splintering into factions, threatening to create new Tongs and bringing violence to the street. This violence cost the community the lives of both criminals and the innocent, until finally an innocent Caucasian was caught in the crossfire. The city intervened, arresting anyone it could and bringing an end to the chaos. The Tong continued it's activities, but all operations went completely underground. Splinter cells went on to become their own gangs, sometimes falling as quickly as they could rise. In 1994 the Golden Silk Valley People's Association of Peace and Prosperity was declared defunct and shut it's doors to the public. In recent decades the community has seen a significant surge in Cantonese population, mainly due to the (relatively) recent immigration waves from Hong Kong and Macau. Mandarin serves as a bridge language and is commonly spoken between locals of different ethnicities, Chinese or otherwise. Today, Golden Silk Valley serves as a central Chinatown in Los Santos and a hub for the Asian community as a whole. Local businesses stand tall, some of which date back over a century ago and the locals themselves take great pride in their heritage and shared history, banding together in the past during times of crisis. OOC Information Our aim is to portray a realistic modern day Chinese community of varying ethnicities and even pan-Asian nationalities. If you are interested in the faction you can join our discord (click) for more information.
黑毒蛇 Black Vipers Brief overview The Black Vipers is a semi-organized street gang based on Little Bighorn Avenue in Textile City. Founded by Chinese migrants in the 1980's, the gang upheld traditional conservative values brought over from Hong Kong and Macau, preferring the tradition of their homeland to the liberalized culture of the United States. The Black Vipers is and has always been made up of entirely males ranging from the ages of sixteen to late twenties and has always occupied Little Bighorn Avenue since its inception. Females were allowed in the gang, but it was a rare occurrence; a woman would have to grind twice as hard to get what a male got, it was how it was back home, a traditional patriarchal value. 1980's With the restrictions on Asian (primarily Chinese) migration to the United States in the late seventies and early eighties, a vast flow of Chinese migrants entered into what is now the Golden Silk Valley. The Black Vipers operated as snakeheads, smuggling in anti-communist Chinese peoples who would have otherwise been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party. These people they brought in either kept close ties to their "liberators" or worked for them themselves. These staunch anti-communists were people who valued their Chinese tradition and heritage, thus why even to this day the gang upholds their conservative view on society. 1990-1995 The peak of this groups snakehead operations were after the British surrender of Hong Kong in the early 1990's. The group brought in primarily young men and women, which brought on their dive into rackets such as sex trafficking, drug smuggling, and arms smuggling. During this period, the Black Vipers began to extort businesses along Little Bighorn Avenue. After all, the gang had leverage over the local business owners as the people they "liberated" oftentimes made up the majority of their employees. Notoriously, if the business owners refused, their employees paid up regardless due to their favorable outlook on their "liberators" from communist rule. The mid 1990's was the beginning of the short-lived golden era of the Black Vipers, where they had the manpower and connections to efficiently control their expanding turf. Late 1990's - Early 2000's With the growth of the Black Viper's operations on Sinner Street, tensions with Sinner-Side 23 eventually boiled over. The late 1990's and early 2000's was a bloody period for the Black Vipers, where they would engage in multiple conflicts against Sinner-Side 23 and other local street gangs. The event that marked this period of blood was the Ten Cent Theater Massacre, where a verbal argument between Black Viper gang affiliates and members of Sinner-Side 23 turned violent. BREAKING NEWS 06/05/2004 Ten Cent Threater - Sinner Street, Los Santos Late last night, multiple 911 calls from Ten Cent Theater on Sinner Street were received. As first responders arrived on scene, they were greeted by a large and frightened crowd. Inside the theater, two Asian-American individuals were found shot dead. The incident is suspected to be motivated by gang affiliation in the local area. With crime rates rising in this part of the city, an incident like this could occur again, leading to more lives lost, both gang-affiliated and civilian. Eventually, these conflicts were halted by law enforcement crackdowns on local gangs. The decline of the Black Vipers had begun after nearly a decade of bloody conflicts. 2010's The 2010's bred agreements between the Black Vipers and Sinner-Side 23, bringing an end to the bloody conflicts and establishing recognized turf that neither would impede on. The effects of the conflicts in the early 2000's would be felt with a severe loss of manpower in the gang, which directly reflected on their decrease in prominence in the area. Though still active, the Black Vipers were effectively wounded and their operations became severely smaller. However, with the Chinese crackdown on Hong Kong in the mid-2010's, their snakehead origins were revived, bringing countless enemies of the Chinese Communist Party through to the United States. Though not on the same scale as before, this tradition of the Black Vipers brought a slight increase in their manpower once again, and a "revival" of the gang on Little Bighorn Avenue. Their presence here in the late 2010's was stronger than it was during the earlier part of the decade, but not nearly as strong as it was in the 1990's and 2000's. Present day Though the gang replenished some of its manpower issues, they remain a shadow of what they once were. The Black Vipers still uphold their traditional values and conservative nature in an everchanging world. Though, they have adapted with the times as it pertains to producing an income, diving into skimming and vehicle chopping. The Black Vipers remain very exclusive to this day, along with little known about their hierarchy or who leads them. OOC: We aim to portray a realistic approach to a modern Chinese street gang. We will be starting off very small and with little influence or power, as all development of the gang will occur in game. Any questions or concerns should be directed to my PM's
Preface: By no means do I consider myself an expert on the matter of Chinese roleplay, I've just spent some time doing it and want to share my knowledge. Originally I wrote out this stuff to post on our faction's discord for people to check out but I figured I might as well post it here too (certain texts have been altered for this version). This guide should give you the basics to roleplay a Chinese character, especially for those of you who are interested in joining our Chinese community based in Textile City. Chinese roleplay has some serious depth to it if you're willing to take the plunge. Characters can vary significantly due to their/their family's geographic origin, affecting the language/s they speak, the food they make, to generalize, their culture and lifestyle as a whole. I'll add that Shah of Persia has an extremely well written in-depth guide on the matter of Chinese roleplay and I highly recommend checking it out, that is once the old forums are visible again (as of writing this thread its still hidden). Geography, Language and Culture The People's Republic of China administers 34 provincial-level divisions or first-level divisions, including 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities, and 2 special administrative regions and 1 claimed province. China is big, so big it's divided up into pieces, and those pieces are divided into smaller pieces which are divided into smaller pieces and so on. Different regions in China have different cultures, and more importantly, languages. When speaking about the language, the term "Chinese" is an extreme generalization since it's actually divided to various languages that for the most part are not mutually intelligible, though they do share the same writing system/s (traditional or simplified Chinese characters, aka Hanzi). Among these languages are Standard Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, Wu, Gan and some others. The geographical origin of your character's family is important here because it will affect the first thing you decide when creating a character, said character's name. Because of there being different languages between regions, pronunciation may vary greatly and while the writing system for all the languages is the same, the sounds the characters make are completely different, and by extension how they are written in English. An example of this is the Mandarin name Wang, an extremely popular name among Chinese people. In Cantonese the name is written and pronounced Wong and in Wu Chinese it can be Waon or Whang. Wherever you choose your character's family to have originated from should impact the way their last name is spelled and the Chinese dialect they speak. Have fun with it, research regional culture and customs to represent in your character and achieve it's full potential. You can find a Wikipedia article containing a chart with Chinese surnames and their romanizations according to language here. Mandarin as a bridge language Due to the various languages spoken throughout the Chinatown environment a bridge language is required (a language or dialect systematically used to make communication possible between groups of people who do not share a native language or dialect), usually in addition to their original regional language, unless the bridge language is their regional language. In our community we will be using Standard Mandarin as a bridge language, meaning that if you roleplay a character originating from our community it is optional for him to speak Standard Mandarin in addition to whatever dialect native to his geographic origin. If your character originated from elsewhere in the city, country or otherwise, and only recently moved into or around the Chinatown it is entirely possible they will not speak Standard Mandarin unless as previously mentioned, their geographical origin would make it logically so. This does not mean other languages will not be spoken throughout the community, rather we highly encourage people to create varied characters, not necessarily even Chinese. Roleplaying a non-Chinese Asian character in the Chinatown community is totally fine. The use of this bridge language is simply to permit the majority of characters in our community to communicate on a comprehensive level. In fact, no one said your character has to be good at the bridge language, neither do they have to speak it at all for that matter if you choose to do so. The choice is yours. Face Interesting as the Chinese physiological face is, the psychological face makes a still more fascinating study. It is not a face that can be washed or shaved, but a face that can be "granted" and "lost" and "fought for" and "presented as a gift". Here we arrive at the most curious point of Chinese social psychology. Abstract and intangible, it is yet the most delicate standard by which Chinese social intercourse is regulated. Simply put, face is a concept within Chinese society that can be translated as honor, respect or social standing. This is actually a widespread concept throughout Asia and other parts of the world and can even be seen in how most street gangs operate socially. This is especially relevant in a Chinatown setting where as much effort as possible is put in to ensure the continuation and preservation of Chinese culture against the surrounding Western culture/s that attempt to influence these communities. At it's core, face is how people perceive you. To lose face is to be seen as less, to gain face is to be seen as more, and to save face means you have managed to maintain your status despite some sort of incident that could have cost you face. Actions have consequences, and people will look at you with disdain if you are a stain on their society, however they may also think highly of you if you are an upstanding member of the community. On the subject of Snakeheads, Triads and Tongs (This is a very brief explanation of each term so you may be acquainted with it, recommended to research on your own if it interests you) Snakeheads are individuals involved in human trafficking and smuggling. If you need to get into America illegally from China, you get in contact with a Snakehead who will get you in, for a price. Triads are illegal organizations, usually secret societies originating in China. Triads do not exist within the United States of America. A Triad may however have operations that extend to America or groups operating under them within that territory. Tongs are benevolent organizations founded within Chinatowns that serve as community centers of sorts. Originally they were founded to support local migrants with work, housing and education, but also operated gambling dens and became tied to illegal operations operating out of those same Chinatowns. The word "Tong" is Cantonese for the word "hall", a gathering place. Afterword Hopefully this guide has given you the basic tools to create a Chinese character or taught you something new. Questions will be answered, criticism is welcome, pointed out mistakes will be fixed and if you've got another section you'd like to see added, pitch it, I'll see if I can write something. Thanks for reading. -m.p.C.C