626 culture: "Just own it"

The YouTube sensation the Fung Brothers, whose viral video features now-iconic SGV boba and dim sum spots, are a driving force in a growing "626" phenomenon: a fusion of traditional Asian roots with an American lifestyle, the Los Angeles Times reports. The front page of the Los Angeles Times on Monday, reviews the shifting Asian demographics in the San Gabriel Valley, and takes a visit to the Asian Night Market.

"You don't fit anywhere, so you create something new," SGV resident Aileen Xu, 21, told the Times. "A lot of us don't necessarily connect to our homeland. We're not from China. We speak English."

Ironically, the resident rappers of the 626 movement, the Fung Brothers, didn't grow up in the SGV. Raised in a predominantly white suburb of Seattle, David and Andrew fell in love with the 626 lifestyle after visiting a cousin, they told the Source in March. They moved to Monterey Park in 2011 and have since helped create a culture around food, social media, and music.

The LA Times followed them to the 626 Asian Night Market, where they rapped up and down the aisles of the second 626 Night Market last month, passing Beijing-style grub like xia bing'er (shrimp pancakes) and rou chuan'er (mutton kabobs).

"We can't create the culture of people going to boba shops five times a day, but we put a name on it," Andrew told the Times. "People weren't proud of it before, and we're telling them: 'Just own it.'"

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