Vietnamese Diaspora in Prague

Even when compared to the rest of Europe, the Czech Republic is an extremely racially homogeneous country.  The data is incomplete due to 26% of the population under an “undeclared” race, but roughly 72% of the country is white, plus some part of the 26% undeclared people.  This is partly due to the country’s extremely tight immigration and asylum laws compared to countries like Germany and England.  The largest non-white ethnic group in the Czech Republic would be the Vietnamese population here.  In one of my classes about European Migration, we learned that when the Soviets controlled Czechoslovakia, they took in a large amount of economic migrants from Vietnam because they were a communist ally to the Soviets.  My professor, who is an anthropologist and sociologist who focuses on migration, said that the Vietnamese migrants fit well into Czech society because they were interested in starting small businesses, opposed to Czech people who typically rather working as employees for larger companies.  We interviewed a few Vietnamese small business owners, and even took a trip to what Czechs refer to as a Vietnamese “ghetto” called SAPA, Czech Republic.  While the Vietnamese citizens of the Czech Republic integrate into society well in terms of occupations, they typically live outside the center city in neighborhoods with other Vietnamese people.  SAPA was several metro and bus stops from the center of Prague in a seemingly empty area of the countryside aside from the small congregation of restaurants, markets, and apartment buildings.  My professor also mentioned that most of the Vietnamese markets and convenience stores in Prague buy their goods in bulk from SAPA instead of Czech suppliers.