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At Mandarin open mic stand-up shows in U.S., 'warmth' overcomes hate

Anti-Asian sentiment and pandemic push Chinese youth overseas on stage

Mandarin open mic club CrazyLaugh has given Chinese expats in the U.S. a place to share their common experiences. (Photo courtesy of CrazyLaugh) 

NEW YORK -- It was easy to miss the entrance. A small door on the street of St. Marks Place in Manhattan's East Village opened up to a narrow hallway, where a young Chinese man whispered in Mandarin, "Here for CrazyLaugh? Let me scan your QR code."

Behind the curtain, a dark room was packed with people waiting to be entertained. The venue made one feel as if they had been teleported to mainland China, where conversations were in Mandarin and rows of young Chinese people sat closely to each other.

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