Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dimsum.co.uk - In print again


New Zealand Born Chinese

I am a descendant of Poll Tax payers to New Zealand and I have been workingon recording stories from elders in the community. I have been privledged tosee photos albums, and to talk to them about the past, the prejudices andhardships - The life they had here compared with family left back home.Chinese New Year 2002 - the Government of New Zealand formally apologisedto the Poll Tax payers and their decendants for the actions of previousGovernments in imposing a poll tax on Chinese persons entering New Zealandand in enacting other discriminatory statutes.As part of this apology, Government has supported the establishment of theChinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust, and, in 2005, paid to this Trust the sum of$5,000,000 as a gesture of reconciliation in support of the formal apology.This has seen a resurgence of Chinese history - and a book Zengcheng NewZealanders was launched in August 2006, on the 80th anniversary of The TungJung Association of New Zealand, founded in 1926 by Chinese who came to NewZealand from the Jungsen and Dong Guan districts in the Guangdong provincein Southern China.Life in New Zealand in the 1920s was difficult for the Chinese. There weremany prejudices to overcome both socially and in business. In 1926 a groupof progressive and far-sighted people from Jung Shing and Dong Guan countiesdecided to form an association for mutual help in a country far from home.Thus was born the NZ Tung Jung Association - the first Chinese communityorganisation to be established in New Zealand. The primary objective of theAssociation is to unite and maintain the identity and kinship of those whoclaim affinity to the counties of Jung Shing and Tung Quan and theirdescendants.I am proud that my Grandfather was one of the original members of theassociation and want my children and future generations to recognise thepart that our ancestors played in NZ society. There are many more storiesleft to tell.A new project is the Wong Clan from Gwa Liang Village (Melon Collar) -recording the genealogy from 1150 to 2006 - 26 generations.My blog gives an insight to our life here in New Zealand - and I'm sure our experiences have been replicated in so many countries in the world. No matter where our ancestors went - the experiences were the same. http://nzbornchinese.blogspot.com/

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