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February 17, 2013

“‘Koreatown’ Image Divides a Changing Annandale”

by Lindsey Fay

wellsfargoannandale

I grew up and live in Annandale, Virginia, which is a town in Northern Virginia that has changed a lot over the last twenty years. My grandma moved to Annandale in 1965 when the majority of the development occurred. During that time, many of the residents were white and most likely all of the businesses were owned by white people. However, by the early ’90s, it had deteriorated.

So what? Well, during the mid- to late ’90s, almost all of the business that developed in Annandale was done so by Koreans. In fact, upon searching “businesses in annandale”, a blog entry entitled “‘Too Many Korean Businesses in Annandale and a Washington Post article called “‘Koreatown’ Image Divides a Changing Annandale” appeared on the first page. So, if it’s unclear, there is an incredible amount of Korean-owned Businesses in my town.

Anyway, yesterday, my mom and I stopped at Wells Fargo to use the ATM. Upon entering the bank, I turned to the left, saw this lovely ad and chuckled. As everyone can see there are some bank-looking men and a boy from the 1800’s in the bottom right and then absurdly enough there is a Korean family (from, presumably, a similar time period) posted in the top left. Why on Earth would there be a 19th century Korean family featured on this ad when there weren’t any Koreans in Annandale at that time? Answer: the bank clearly identified its target market – Korean business owners that operate in Annandale.

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