Monday, October 30, 2006

Hawaii Chinese

Source Information: Hawaii Chinese Exclusion Index [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:, Inc., 1998. Original data: United States, National Archives and Records Administration. Index to Immigration Investigation 'Chinese Exclusion' Case Files of the Honolulu District Office of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, ca. 1903-44.. National Archives and Records Administration--Pacific Region (San Francisco), [May 1998].
About Hawaii Chinese Exclusion Index
Index of New York INS Chinese Exclusion Act Case Files 1882-1960 For more information about this database, click here.
This is an index to over 16,600 "Chinese Exclusion" case files among the immigration investigation files created by the Honolulu District Office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, ca. 1903-1944. Most of the case files document the arrival into Hawaii from the U.S. mainland or foreign ports of Chinese aliens and the reentry of U.S. citizens of Chinese ancestry under the Chinese Exclusion Acts passed by Congress between 1882 and 1930, and repealed in 1943. There are also some case files relating to the arrival and departure of non-Chinese Asian immigrants and other foreign-born individuals. The index includes only names of individuals and case numbers. The case files are available from the Pacific Region (San Francisco) of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1000 Commodore Drive, San Bruno, California 94066-2350, phone: (650) 876-9001, fax: (650) 876-0920, Most case files include correspondence, lists of related cases, transcripts of interrogations, and witness statements. Some files include birth certificates, coaching documents, family history forms, and marriage licenses, and photographs of individuals and families.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Beating The Language Barrier

Beating the language barrier20 October 2006
By HEATHER McCRACKENPolice volunteer Daniel Chan can see the relief when he greets Chinese people at Howick station.
"You can read it on their face when they come in and find there is an Asian person standing at the counter," he says.
Mr Chan has helped at Howick police for more than two years, helping both Chinese Aucklanders and members of the wider community.
He's one of three Mandarin and Cantonese-speaking volunteers working in Counties Manukau east.
"It's good because I get the chance to do something for the community and also I get the chance to brush up my English," Mr Chan says.
Eastern police are encouraging the Chinese community to make use of the volunteers to report crime or ask for assistance.
Senior sergeant Andrew Berry says language can be a barrier to approaching police or finding out about services like Neighbourhood Support.
"Whether it's taking a statement, filling out a form, or coming to see a police officer, it's all about breaking down that first barrier," he says.
Police are also looking for a Korean speaker to volunteer each week. They would need to commit to a regular time, and be police vetted.
Cantonese and Mandarin speakers are available at Howick police station all day Thursday and Friday afternoons and in Otara on Tuesday from 10am to 2pm.
To find out more about volunteering, phone: 272-0900.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Poll Tax F Q A

What was the Poll Tax? The Poll Tax was an entry tax that was imposed on Chinese immigrants to deter them from entering New Zealand. When was it imposed? In 1881 under the Chinese Immigrants Act 1881. Who paid it? All Chinese immigrants to New Zealand had to pay the Poll Tax. Did anyone else pay it? No one else had to pay a Poll Tax to enter New Zealand. Why was it imposed? The Poll Tax was imposed to restrict Chinese immigration to New Zealand. New Zealand wanted to totally exclude Chinese from New Zealand but Britain would not allow this to occur due to the Treaty of Nanjing. The compromise solution was a Poll Tax. How much was it? When it was imposed in 1881 it was 10 pounds per person. In 1896 it was raised to 100 pounds per person, equivalent to around six or more years’ earnings for the average Chinese person. How much was paid in total? Approximately 308,080 pounds was paid by Chinese immigrants during the time the tax was enforced. New Zealand Chinese Association figures estimate this to be about $25-30 million in today’s terms. How many Chinese people paid it? It's been estimated that around 4,500 Chinese people paid the tax. When was it abolished? Payment of the tax was waived by the Government in 1934. The Poll Tax was officially repealed in 1944. Why was it abolished? For two main reasons, the first being the then Labour government's policy of repealing all discriminatory laws against Chinese people. The second was the Second World War. Because China was an ally in the war against the Japanese, Chinese people became "our brave allies". Did any other countries have a poll tax? Two other countries had poll taxes, both of which were colonies of Great Britain. From 1855 Australia's six colonies imposed a number of poll taxes on Chinese people. The last Australian poll tax was repealed in 1903, following the federation of the colonies in 1901. Canada imposed a poll tax on Chinese immigrants between 1885 and 1923. What other statutory discrimination was there?
The Old-age Pensions Act 1898 discriminated against 'Asiatics' by preventing pension payments to Asians (including Chinese).
In 1908 Chinese people, including infants, were required to leave a thumbprint on their "Certificate of Registration" before leaving the country. No other ethnic group was required to leave a thumbprint.
In 1908 Chinese people were deprived of the right to naturalisation. This was not rescinded until 1951. The first Chinese became naturalised in 1952. No other ethnic group was deprived of this right. For example, in the period when Chinese people were deprived of the right to naturalisation, some Asians, mostly from India, were granted naturalisation.
In 1935 entry permits for reunification of family and partners of Chinese people working in New Zealand were introduced, but restricted to 10 permits per year, and to 15 per year in 1945. In 1939 temporary permits were granted to war refugees of families of Chinese working in New Zealand. In 1947 the refugees were granted permanent residence. In 1949 and in 1950 fifty Chinese people who had been here for over 20 years were able to apply for their families to join them.

Poll Tax Descendants N Z

Poll Tax Descendant (Early Settler) Community: Key Facts
Community dates back to: 1866
Population: ca 18,000 in 2003 (total NZ Chinese population 2003: 105,000)
Fewer than 5,000 between 1867-1945. Did not exceed 10,000 till 1966
Place of origin in China: Three main areas of Guangdong Province (Canton): Seyip (Four Counties); Poon Yu and Fah Yuen counties; Jung Seng and Tung Goon counties
Heritage language: Cantonese (Yue, Guangdong hua)
Traditional occupations: Goldmining (19th century), Laundries, Market gardening (over half until WWII), Fruitshops/greengrocers
Culture: The Poll Tax descendant community is the early settler Chinese community, comprising Poll Tax payers, their descendants and close family members who were reunited with their families after WWII. From 1866-1960 the Chinese New Zealand community was homogenous, linked by complex family and village networks, and united by common New Zealand experience. The vast majority of early settlers came from Guangdong (Canton) province.
The Poll Tax descendant community has a uniquely Chinese New Zealand culture. It strongly identifies with its New Zealand history (many are now 5th generation New Zealanders and over), and its culture has been greatly influenced by the experience of living in New Zealand and being Chinese. When referring to history, culture and language, the community is particularly referring to its New Zealand history, traditional Chinese culture as well as Chinese New Zealand culture, and its heritage language Cantonese (as distinct from China’s official language, Mandarin).
The culture of the early settler community is very different from the cultures and customs of newer Chinese migrants.

Asian Vote - Listener article - Keith NG

How can political parties woo the largely untargeted, 300,000 Asian New Zealand voters?
Chinese opera, like most performing arts, loses something without its staging, costume and cast. So it’s no surprise that the lonely, unaccom-panied Chinese opera singer performing at the Chinese New Year celebrations in Parliament earlier this year was struggling to win over the politicians who had popped in for a quick chardonnay and spring roll.
It was obvious that they weren’t enjoying it – but would saying so show them to be cultural ignoramuses? The safe choice, as always, was to clap and smile politely.
Such “cultural events” have become popular whistle-stops for political parties keen to woo the nearly 300,000 Asian New Zealanders of voting age. Not only is this a large group of voters, but it is largely untargeted, and often misunderstood.
What do they care about? According to research conducted by Shee-Jeong Park at Auckland University last year, the most important issues for Asian voters are the economy and law and order, but they vote in a similar pattern to the rest of the population, with a
preference for Labour (47 percent), followed by National (40 percent), and Act a distant third (six percent).
Steven Young, a prominent member of the Wellington Chinese community, explains the results: “First of all, if they come from China, they think the government party must be good, and the Opposition party must be criminals! The National philosophy has more appeal to the well-established Chinese, Taiwanese, Malaysian and so on. Labour’s philosophy has more appeal to the mainland Chinese.”
The Labour Party has traditionally been on good terms with New Zealand’s oldest and, until recently, largest Asian community, the descendants of the Chinese goldminers who arrived in the 19th century. These “old Chinese” worked hard – but quietly – over the many decades to carve out a place for themselves in New Zealand, but are now struggling to cope with the new dynamics created by the arrival over the past two decades of Asian immigrants, who are mostly well-educated professionals and entrepreneurs.
This new generation of Chinese New Zealanders came to the fore in 1996, when National’s Pansy Wong became “the first Asian member of Parliament”. Labour redoubled its efforts to court the “ethnic communities”, appointing a Minister of Ethnic Affairs in 1999, and giving a formal apology to the Chinese community over the Poll Tax imposed on the original Chinese migrants.
But although the Poll Tax apology was warmly greeted by the old generation, Wong was still the trump card for scoring votes with the new generation.
Labour tried to recruit its own “Asian MP”, but struggled. Many in the old generation saw it as a token role that would make little real difference, while few in the new generation have had enough experience in New Zealand politics. In the end, Auckland businessman Steven Ching received the support of Chris Carter and found himself 42nd on the Labour list – the third highest non-sitting MP.
But Auckland University academic Man-ying Ip, warns against equating Asian MPs and candidates with community leaders, and is critical of political parties for using Asian candidates as “posterboys or postergirls” to get into the pockets of the Asian communities. “Some parties regard the Asian community as walking moneybags … Honestly, I feel angry about some of [the candidates]. I think they do the community a great disservice.”
Ching, for example, has been a very successful fund-raiser for Labour, as well as being a donor. This endeared him to the party hierarchy, but his list placement caused resentment among party members, who were less than impressed by his credentials as a
His selection turned sour when the Herald on Sunday reported in April that he failed to disclose a guilty plea for obstructing a fisheries officer in 2001, and alleged that he asked an acquaintance to lend him $50,000 after offering the acquaintance help to become a justice of the peace. Ching stood down from the party list pending an investigation into the claim. Last week, Labour’s ruling council refused his plea for reinstatement. President Mike Williams said that nothing would change until police gave Ching the all-clear.
Ching’s rise and rapid fall has been the cause of much chagrin within the Chinese community, but even before the scandals there was an obvious barrier to his becoming a parliamentary representative – he barely speaks English.
Language is a sensitive issue. People who don’t speak fluent English need representation, too, maybe even more so, since they are less able to speak for themselves. But what good is a representative if they are unable to represent the views of their constituents?
Ching, when asked why he was standing for Labour, replies: “Basically, in New Zealand, there’s always two different parties in Parliament. Either National Party or Labour Party. But, they have different policy. I think Labour Party is much better. They look after old people, poor people, rich people. Equal.”
He didn’t understand the meaning of the word “tokenism”, but was able to explain Labour’s strategy to get the Asian vote. “It’s simple, because Labour, they select me as a candidate, that has already proved the Labour Party value the Asian community.”
Act MP Kenneth Wang also speaks English as his second language, though his Act-speak is fluent: “From day one I landed in this country, I was attracted to Rogernomics”; “We hate crime. We’re frustrated by police chasing traffic …”
He also speaks with a heavy accent. “Of course that’s a disadvantage,” says Wang, “but I don’t think that determines the ability to do the job, because I think that, fundamentally, people will look at who you are representing and the party you stand for.” He cites Helen Clark, who scolded the Opposition for bullying George Hawkins over his speech impediment and wondered how Parliament would treat a hearing-impaired member.
But an accent is not as insignificant as it might seem. A National Party source says that it’s unlikely that Pansy Wong will rise any further in the party because of concerns that her accent will alienate non-Asian voters. However, Wong is attempting to change their minds with her campaign for Auckland Central.
“I don’t believe that ethnic minorities, once they acquire political nous and skill, should always be list MPs,” she says. “We look different, maybe we speak English with an accent, but I would want to show people that, ultimately, the political party principle and value can be represented well by us.”
The reason there aren’t more Asian voices in public life, says Young, “is that people of my generation or a little younger don’t even put themselves forward. The people born here have been traumatised so much that they don’t want to put their head up. They’ve grown up when they had to keep ducking, or be invisible, so it needs another half generation for the people who don’t feel [like] that to reach a certain age and maturity so they can express that.”
Ip thinks that perhaps the Asian communities are not established enough to produce leaders. “In some ways, we can say the community – we ourselves – are responsible. We’re not mature enough, we don’t have enough people. Perhaps people who are really committed, really love the country, they may seek to serve in another way.
“Real political power does not fall from the sky. The Asian community’s interest would be served only when the community is strong enough and cohesive enough. It is no good to have a token person put there for decoration, it’s just misleading.”
However, Ip is optimistic about the political future of the Asian communities: “She’ll be right.”
August 20-26 2005

Henry Ah Kew

Ah Kew, Henry 1900 - 1966Lawyer, community leader
Henry Ah Kew was born in Auckland on 22 September 1900, the son of James Ah Kew and his wife, Mellie Guey, also known as Mary Fong. Henry’s father, whose Chinese name was Yan Kew, was born in the Chinese province of Guangdong. He moved to Victoria, Australia, and in December 1871 arrived in Auckland. In 1879 he was naturalised, his occupation being described as fancy goods merchant. It is not known when his wife arrived in New Zealand, but in 1888 they were married, making the Ah Kew family one of the longest-resident Chinese families in Auckland.
James Ah Kew’s business flourished and he had two stores, one in Queen Street, the other in Rutland Street. However, within a few years of Henry’s birth the family’s fortunes had faltered. Alexander Don, the Presbyterian missioner to the Chinese, visited Auckland in 1904 and described James as a ‘once rich Chinese merchant, now old opium-smoker, living on his clansmen’. Three years later, in 1907, he was dead.
James’s death left his wife with two young children to raise. Henry went through the local school system, attending the Auckland Normal School in Wellesley Street East for his secondary education. He then enrolled at Auckland University College, graduating in 1924 with a law degree. It is said he was the first Chinese in New Zealand to do so.
The decision to enrol at university was most unusual for a Chinese New Zealander at that time. Most were restricted by family obligations, lack of education and anti-Chinese prejudice from going on to tertiary education and the professions. Henry, born and educated in New Zealand, and free from the necessity of working in a family business, was less bound by these restrictions. On leaving university he joined the Auckland law firm Oliphant and Oliphant. By 1928 he had set up his own practice, which he continued until shortly before his death. Most of the clients were Chinese.
On 26 June 1940, in Auckland, Henry Ah Kew married Mavis Eileen Reardon. Like many Chinese--European marriages of the time, the match was not approved of by either the Chinese or European communities. The couple lived in Epsom and in 1944 a son was born. In 1948 Mavis suffered a brain haemorrhage and died. Henry threw himself into his work, leaving the raising of his young son mostly in the hands of various Chinese friends.
Much of Ah Kew’s spare time was subsequently taken up with cultural activities. He had always been interested in painting and music: he sang, played the piano and clarinet, and was a life member of the Auckland Junior Symphony Orchestra and an executive member of the Auckland Amateur Operatic Society. His support of local painters was generous, and his house was full of New Zealand art. He was a member of the Auckland Society of Arts, the Connoisseurs’ Society and a trustee of the Mackelvie Trust.
Ah Kew also maintained a strong connection with his Chinese heritage. He studied and gave lectures on Chinese culture and society and was an excellent cook of Chinese food. A member and president of the Chinese Young Men’s Club in Auckland, he helped organise an annual China ball, the proceeds of which went to a nurses’ fund. A leader of the Auckland Chinese community, he supported the local Chinese in both his public lectures and in his legal work.
In Auckland on 2 October 1964 Henry married again. His second wife was 23-year-old Elizabeth Mary Brainsby, a shop assistant. He retired from his practice shortly afterwards. Henry Ah Kew died on 19 January 1966 of a heart attack. He was survived by his wife and the son of his first marriage.


Obit. New Zealand Herald. 20 Jan. 1966: 3

HOW TO CITE THIS BIOGRAPHY: Murphy, Nigel. 'Ah Kew, Henry 1900 - 1966'. Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, updated 7 April 2006 URL: original version of this biography was published in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography Volume Four (1921-1940), 1998 © Crown Copyright 1998-2006. Published by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Wellington, New Zealand. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Immigrants Must Adapt to Find Jobs

Mark Berghan: Immigrants must adapt to find jobs
Wednesday September 27, 2006
I read with interest Lincoln Tan's article on the barriers to meaningful employment in New Zealand for new migrants. Obviously, Mr Tan has not had much experience as an employer or business owner in New Zealand.
It would seem he requires New Zealand employers to take on new immigrants on the employees' terms, irrespective of whether the employee has the skills and cultural adaptability to perform the role.
It is just so easy, if you only skim the surface of the issue, to cast around terms like discrimination, prejudice and racism, something Mr Tan seems quite comfortable doing.
I lived and worked in a non-English speaking country for more than 10 years. Like our new immigrants here, I was offered a work visa and an opportunity, which I took up.
I arrived in the country with virtually no language skills and no job, but I knew I would not be able to do things in the same way I had done them in New Zealand. I never expected that employers there had to change their way of doing things to suit me.
They were never under any obligation to employ me, let alone employ me on my terms. It was up to me to adapt, to learn the language and present myself and my skill set in a culturally appropriate manner.
Why does Mr Tan think New Zealand employers have the responsibility to change their requirements to suit a poorly adapted skill set?
So what is the reality from a Pakeha employer's perspective? I have been involved in New Zealand (as an employer, not a recruitment consultant) in hiring people in a variety of industries and for a range of positions, from front desk and administration staff through to educators and management roles.
Over this time I have reviewed literally hundreds of applications from new immigrants and kept data on the outcomes.
As far as new immigrants go, here are the issues that have led me to decline their applications before I looked at their actual skills and personality.
1. Spelling/grammar.
People who can't be bothered to spell and grammar check their resume. If I receive a resume that has bad spelling, typographical errors or incorrect grammar, it goes in the bin.
Forty-eight per cent of all applications from new immigrants that I have received end here.
2. The job advertisement.
People who can't be bothered to address the requirements in the original advertisement for the position. If the advertisement requests a one-page resume, or three verifiable referees, or specific qualifications, and they aren't included in the application, it goes in the bin.
Thirty-seven per cent of surviving applicants from stage one end here.
3. Fake documents.
People who provide fake documentation. I am not talking about people who may pad their previous job descriptions or exaggerate their skills, but fraud. I have seen forged certificates, university degrees, drivers' licenses and written references. I have also had people offer me large sums of money in return for a job offer at the interview stage.
Nine per cent of surviving applicants from stage two end here.
4. Neat and not smelly.
People who turn up for an interview in unsuitable attire or with poor personal hygiene. Thirteen per cent of surviving applicants from stage three end here.
5. Late arrivals.
People who turn up for an interview late. Now emergencies do happen, but if someone says I missed the bus or I couldn't find the office then sorry. This just tells me, the prospective employer, that the applicant is disorganised and unprepared.
Get a map, take the earlier bus and sort out where you have to go before the interview. Twelve per cent of surviving applicants from stage four end here.
6. Language.
People who do not have suitable English language ability. In New Zealand the vast majority of businesses have 10 or fewer employees. Almost all positions within these companies require some kind of communication with end-users/customers.
Our businesses do not have the scale to shield anyone from communicating directly with the customer. At a minimum this means face-to-face communication, but usually telephone skills as well.
If the applicant is not capable of communicating at a suitable level in English, then sorry, but I will not risk losing a client because an employee couldn't take the customer's message accurately.
Overall, 50 per cent of surviving applicants from stage five end here.
So, if I start with 50 applications from new immigrants, I can expect around five possibilities, before accounting for whether anyone actually has the skills and personality for the role.
Using the six steps above, if I had 50 applicants who were all New Zealand born and educated, I would end up with around 20 possibilities before looking at skills and personality.
That's not to say I have never hired a new immigrant. I have employed people who were originally from China, Korea, the Philippines, Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and India. Most have been fantastic employees.
These were people who often used a native English speaker to proofread/edit their resume They read the job advertisement and addressed its requirements, dressed well with good personal hygiene and turned up on time.
They didn't present forged documents or offer bribes, were honest about their skills and abilities and spoke and understood English well (but not necessarily fluently).
In short, they showed they were prepared to adapt to the New Zealand cultural context. This doesn't mean they have to abandon their own culture.
They may find some processes and procedures New Zealanders take for granted confusing and frustrating (as I definitely encountered overseas). As they say, there is nothing common about common sense.
But they have shown that they are willing to try to work within the local framework. The steps mentioned above are part of how they demonstrate that to the potential employer.
I think Mr Tan is showing his own deep-seated prejudices when he criticises New Zealand employers. If he wants to look only at the surface of employment issues he should visit his local new immigrant-owned businesses.
In my neighbourhood there are several restaurants, a taxi company, a travel agency, a liquor store, a computer and printing shop and several grocery shops, all owned by new immigrants. How many Pakeha or Maori are working in these businesses? None.
But visit my local New Zealand-owned cafes, two supermarkets, multiple retail shops, any of the four banks, the local doctor's surgery and the Post Office.
How many new immigrants do you see working there, right the way from the shop floor to senior management? Lots, and they are doing it well.
Using the logic of Mr Tan's argument, it would seem to me that it is the new immigrants, as employers, who are discriminating against the New Zealanders, rather than the other way round.
* Mark Berghan is managing director of A2ZTranslate Ltd, which employs staff here and overseas from China, Japan, Russia, Turkey, Iran and Malaysia. He has worked in management roles in educational institutes and spent 10 years working in Japan.
Readers' Views
Your article did not really address what Mr Lincoln Tan has been writing about in regard to jobs for immigrants. Mr Tan has been writing about the fact that "lack of New Zealand experience" is often given as a reason for not giving a job to an immigrant. Your opinion piece did not allude to that at all and therefore was not really an appropriate rejoinder to what Mr Tan has been writing about. All that you wrote was no doubt true but it was like trying to compare chalk and cheese.
Even though I am a Caucassian New Zealander born in Auckland, circumstances were such that with a master's degree in mathematics and registration with the NZ Teachers Registration Board, I could not get work as a teacher in New Zealand because, at the age of 51, I lacked New Zealand experience (that is, I had never taught in a NZ school). This reality was explained to me through an intermediary by a high-up personage in the NZ education scene. Thirty one applications for positions with not one interview (so I could not be evaluated for personal hygiene, punctuality, ability to express myself in oral English, the comprehensibility of my accent, and so on); four applications to Australia and two positive responses. The offer that I finally accepted involved payment of fares for me and my family to my work location in Australia plus certain removal expenses.
There are many stories like mine. One of my favourites is that of a Bangaldeshi accountant who, even though she had a NZ accountancy degree, spent five years looking for work as an accountant in New Zealand, and only 19 days in Australia once she got there. Examples like this exemplify why Australia is creaming up on free human capital and just what New Zealand is losing.
As Mr Tan wrote, bit by bit New Zealand is destroying itself economically by this illogical rejection of applicants for work who do not have New Zealand experience. It's classical Catch 22: To get a job you need NZ experience but to get such experience you need a job. - - - posted 12.49am Sept 28, 2006 by Barrie Stephens (Darwin, Australia)

Wife killed with 80 blows from meat cleaver, hammer and knife

Wife killed with 80 blows from meat cleaver, hammer and knife
11.50am Friday October 13, 2006
A man who bashed and stabbed his wife nearly 80 times with a meat cleaver, a hammer and a knife has been jailed for 17 years.
Shunlian Huang was alive for 11 minutes after the attack began, knowing that she was likely to die an agonising death at the hands of her husband Zeshen Zhou, the High Court at Auckland heard today.
Justice Judith Potter said Zhou moved his wife's body halfway through the attack from the kitchen to the bathroom of their south Auckland home, where he put her in the shower to minimise the mess.
The judge said the dead woman had 36 chopping blows to her head, six or seven stab wounds to her neck which severed her windpipe and right carotid artery, and another six stab wounds to her left breast which penetrated her lung.
She also had defensive wounds to both arms where she had been hit by the meat cleaver.
Zhou, 35, was told the murder was particularly violent and brutal and he did not qualify for anything less than a minimum term of 17 years in prison.
Shunlian Huang was murdered at her home in Papatoetoe in September last year.
Crown Prosecutor John Dixon said said at an earlier hearing that in the weeks leading up to her death the couple had spoken of separating and the day she died they had talked to a real estate agent about selling their house.
Zhou had pleaded not guilty to murder before his conviction.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Chinese Australian Historical Images

The Chinese-Australian Historical Images in Australia (CHIA) database is a catalogue of historical images of Chinese, Chinese immigrants and their descendants held in Australia. It primarily draws on the photographic holdings of the Chinese Museum but also includes photographs from other online archives, publications and private family collections. Built into the database is the beginnings of an encyclopaedia of Chinese-Australian history, complete with bibliography, which provides contextual information about the images in the database.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Lawerence Chinese Camp

Lawrence Chinese Camp Historic Area
Other or former name(s)
[plus dates associated with those names]
The two remaining buildings associated with the former Chinese Camp site at Lawrence are the former Chinese Empire Hotel and its associated concrete outbuilding. The hotel operated at the Camp from the 1860s through until around 1901. Originally wooden, it was rebuilt in brick in the 1880s.
Area Description
The site is made up of four buildings (the former hotel and three associated outbuildings – two of which are thought to post-date the Chinese Camp). The rest of the site comprises a fenced grassed paddock used for grazing. This grassed area was the site of the Lawrence Chinese Camp, which at its peak housed several hundred people and supported the Chinese miners in the district.
The ownership of the site is complex. Part is owned by Mrs R. Pratt of Lawrence and is for sale. Part is a road reserve and presumably vested in the District Council. The balance consists of a number of old titles still in the names of their (long dead) Chinese owners. The whole area has been used for grazing and the current owner of the former hotel wishes to amalgamate the titles. The land and buildings are part of a 5 hectare block that is currently on the market (May 2003).

French History in Taiwan

Exhuming French history in TaiwanFrance attacked Taiwan in 1884, angry with its Ching-dynasty rulers over a Vietnamese territorial dispute. Many of the French casualties of that little-known battle are today interred in an even lesser-known cemetery in Keelung
By Steven CrookSTAFF REPORTER Thursday, Nov 15, 2001, Page 11

A headstone marks one of some 600 graves in Keelung's French cemetery. PHOTO: STEVEN CROOKKeelung has a long history of contact with the West -- at various times the port has hosted a Spanish garrison, a Dutch trading post, and a British consulate -- but many visitors overlook the port's French cemetery, a relic of the Sino-French War of 1884 to 1885 located on a city plot hemmed in by buildings near the ruins of Ershawan Fort (二砂灣).
Part of the significance of this graveyard lies in it being the largest concentration of foreign remains in Taiwan, with the exception of Taichung City's Paochueh Temple (寶覺寺), where the bones of Japanese nationals who died during the colonial period were reburied after World War II.
The French cemetery is the subject of a new book by Christophe Rouil titled Formosa: Some Nearly-Forgotten Battles, which took the author a year and a half to research and write. The French-language edition will be launched at the end of this month. English and Chinese-language versions will appear next year.
With the help of the Social Affairs Bureau, Rouil collected information from the archives of the French armed forces and diplomatic corps, and visited Makung in the Penghu Islands, where the leader of the French expedition, Admiral Amedee Courbet, died of a tropical disease in June 1885.
" The French no sooner landed in Keelung than they began to experience what the climate of Formosa is for the European."
-- Archibald R. Colquhoun and J.H. Stewart-Lockhart, writing in an 1885 issue of `The China Review'
Battle a `minor detail'
Courbet is regarded as one of France's heroes because of his military exploits in the 1860s, but neither the war in which he died nor the fate of the Keelung French cemetery are well known in France.
"History books treat the Sino-French War as a minor detail in the history of France's colonization of Indochina," Rouil says. France attacked Taiwan in 1884 because of a dispute with the Ching (清) imperial court over Vietnamese territory.
The current French cemetery is not the original, Rouil explains. The remains were moved there from a seaside location in 1909.
The graveyard -- which is not much bigger than a tennis court and is shaded by a canopy of trees -- has been looked after by the Keelung City Government in recent years. Unlike the foreigners' cemetery in Tamsui, the site has not been designated a national relic, but it is open to the public.
Near-identical obelisks stand at opposite ends of the plot -- one in French is dedicated to soldiers and sailors; the other, in both French and Chinese, is dedicated to officers as well. A few other markers are too weathered to read. One standing over a mass grave reads: "Here lay the soldiers and sailors of France who died in Keelung."
The number of French servicemen buried here is unknown, according to Rouil, though, neither the often-cited figure of 500, nor the 700 inscribed on the graveyard's memorial stone are accurate. His research indicates that the remains of around 600 French officers, soldiers, and sailors lie in the Keelung French Cemetery. Approximately 120 of them were killed in battle, while 150 died later of their wounds. The majority succumbed to malaria, cholera, dysentery, or other maladies. More than a fifth of the French force never returned home.
Archibald R. Colquhoun, a British political commentator who visited Keelung during France's eight-month-long occupation, and J.H. Stewart-Lockhart, described the decimation of the French forces in an 1885 issue of The China Review: "The French no sooner landed in Keelung than they began to experience what the climate of Formosa is for the European. The small force under Admiral Courbet has been greatly weakened by sickness, a considerable number of men being sent away by each French mail steamer, calling fortnightly at Keelung, as well as by each available transport."
It seems, however, that everyone was vulnerable to the hot, unsanitary conditions prevailing in 19th-century Taiwan. Some historians have attributed the Ching dynasty's weak control over the island to the pestilential climate, which kept Mandarins away and demoralized army units charged with expanding the area under Han Chinese control. An 1874 Japanese punitive expedition lost 500 men to malaria; and when the Japanese returned in 1895 to colonize Taiwan, half of their soldiers died within weeks.
According to the soon-to-be-published diaries of the Reverend George Mackay, several deserters from the French Foreign Legion turned up in Tamsui, which French warships had shelled and blockaded en route to Keelung.
In From Far Formosa, Mackay writes that some seven Presbyterian churches were destroyed by angry mobs and numerous Christians were beaten, at least two of whom died of their wounds.
In 1889, 1891, 1895 and 1901 the Keelung French Cemetery was tidied up by sailors from French warships dropping anchor nearby. In 1890 France entered into a maintenance agreement with the Ching authorities; a similar arrangement with Japan ensured that the graveyard was looked after during the 1895-1945 colonial period.
After World War II the cemetery fell into disrepair. In 1947, M. Bayens, a French diplomat based in Shanghai, reported to his superiors that the graveyard was in a terrible state. Rather than wait for instructions from Paris, he spent around US$100 of his own money (which was later reimbursed by France's foreign ministry) to have the cemetery fixed up, Rouil says.
Voyage of no return
After leaving Keelung, the French flotilla sailed for Penghu. Admiral Courbet was not the only member of the expedition to die there. Two officers and several other enlisted men also fell victim to disease.
Courbet's body was taken back to France and accorded a state funeral on Sept. 1, 1885. He is buried in Abbeville in northern France, his hometown. The two officers were disinterred in 1954 and reburied, with new headstones, in the Keelung French Cemetery.
The soil at the original burial site was carefully sieved so that every tooth and bone could be retrieved and the skeletons reassembled, Rouil recounts in his book. The exhumation process was complicated by local superstitions. To placate possibly troublesome spirits, salt was scattered over the plot, incantations chanted, "and the local people insisted on hiding the skulls from the sun with red paper," says Rouil.
French expatriates in Taiwan visit the cemetery three times a year in May, July and November to place flowers on the graves and hold memorial services.
Contributed By: Larry Kingsbury
This cemetery is on the National Registry of Historic Places. The following is a short history written for the Payette Natl. Forest, Heritage Program, July 2002. The burial listings appear at the bottom.
On a hillside just northwest of Warren lies a cemetery resting above the mining scars of the gold rush era of central Idaho. The Chinese immigrants arrived by ship on the West Coast of the U.S. after the onset of the California Gold Rush of 1848. They came seeking fortunes in the gold fields, railroad camps, fish canneries, and later, the great ranches of the southwest. These Chinese immigrants were primarily from six districts of the Guangdong (previously Kwangtung) Province. They soon journeyed beyond California, arriving in Idaho during the 1860's. So too, came the "Six Companies", clan societies to provide housing, protection, and to mediate disputes among those from one district or another. The company would also ship the bodies of workers back to China if they should die while in America.
The Warren miners voted to open the district to the Chinese, unlike Dixie, where they were not allowed to mine. Although they were not permitted to purchase land, except for lots in town, they were permitted to buy claims or lease the right to placer operations. From 1870 - 1900, at least twelve Chinese mining companies monopolized the gravel placers of Warren. They sometimes worked the ground of a single claim two or three times over.
Chinese were the dominant ethnicity, outnumbering all other groups combined. In the partially segregated community the Chinese created their own cemetery and practiced their customs surrounding the dead. The cemetery was used exclusively during the period between 1870 and 1920 for the burial of Chinese. The year 1887 is significant in that the "feeding of the dead" at Warren was widely reported. The Grangeville Free Press, September2, 1887, publishes the following article: "The Chinese in camp had a grand festival last Sunday, the occasion being the feeding of the dead. Several hogs and chickens were barbecued and taken to the burying ground and were then brought back and made a repast for the living. . . About ten o'clock at night they burned a whole lot of joss sticks and colored paper and spilled lots of indifferent whiskey on the ground as an obligation to the evil spirits. . .
The burials, on a hillside, were arranged in parallel rows oriented northeast to southwest. The majority of the graves are concentrated on both sides of the mortuary. A mortuary is utilized as part of Chinese cultural practices. In Warren it may have also been used for storage of bodies when the ground was too frozen to excavate the traditional grave. It is believed that nameplates affixed to wooded markers attached with square nails were used to identify graves. The nameplates facilitated identification so the remains could be exhumed and shipped to the Chinese homeland. A total of 29 burial slots have been documented as part of the Chinese Cemetery. Oral tradition and artifacts indicate that the site experienced cemetery related activity intermittently from 1870 to 1920, with exhumation ceremonies as late as the 1930's.
Exhumation was an important burial practice among overseas Chinese and has been documented at several Idaho cemeteries. when a Chinese man died, the body was in most cases, eventually shipped back to China. Relatives would take up the bones and boil them before they were sent off on their long journey. The Chinese believed that when the flesh decomposed the devil was driven out. It was customary for them to leave dishes of food on the graves, and also numerous small confetti-like papers with small holes in them, the idea being that through these the devil could not get to the body of the deceased, but would become confused if he attempted to find his way among all the supposed obstructions.
One Warren resident, Frank Sheiffer, reportedly witnessed an exhumation. He said he had gone up to the cemetery to watch the men dig up the bodies. They uncovered the body of a Chinese woman that had not decomposed. When they realized it was a woman they covered up the body. Women did not have the same rights as men and the grave diggers were not paid to exhume them. There are several local stories that mention that a Chinese woman, Too Hay, and perhaps one or two other individuals were never exhumed. It is believed that these are the only remaining burials at the site.
The land the cemetery is on is owned and maintained by the Payette National Forest. The metal Dragon Memorial was erected in 1984 by a local informant Herb McDowell to commemorate the Chinese as a apart of the heritage of Warren.
Ah Batt, Ah Tolk,Foak Sing, Ah Fay, Ah Jol, Ling Sing, Ah Kaw, Litttle Doc, Ah Bowk, Ah Loo
Ling Yu, Ah Bing, Ah Lye, Hi Lee, Fy Sing, Ah Chung, Chow Lee, Fut Say, Ah Fong, Ho Muth
Ah Farling, Ah Soon, Quinn Lee, Ah Suen, Ah Hi, Lee Dick, Lee Mon, Lay Foed, Wong Goon
He Ely, Ah Chow, Fong Sing, Young Chung, Yayun Cao, Chang Yu

British Columbia Revisited:

Exhumation and Repatriation of the Dead
One of British Columbia's anti-Chinese laws, "An Act to Regulate the Chinese Population of British Columbia" (1884), explicitly addressed cultural issues.20 A clause in it stipulated that "no Chinese was to be removed from a cemetery without the permission of the Provincial Secretary."21 Though some British Columbia residents understood the technicalities of the practice of repatriating human remains to China, they either did not appreciate its cultural relevance or saw it as an uncivilized and filthy ritual. The British viewed exhumation as socially unacceptable, and unhygienic, and this contributed to the cultural stereotype of the Chinese.
As mentioned above, exhumation of Chinese remains was a common practice in British Columbia. David Lai says that overseas Chinese of the period believed that when they died in foreign countries, their souls would remain troubled until their earthly remains were repatriated.22 Indeed, when Chinese died in British Columbia, they were buried-- only to be dug up seven years later. Following the exhumation and cleaning of bones, the jiefang (street associations) "shipped them to the Tung Wah hospital in Hong Kong, which distributed them to the various villages of destination."23
The practice, which appeared as uncivilized to the British, was in fact seen as an organized and valuable cultural necessity by the Chinese. As Sinn points out, this "concern...was typically Chinese, and Chinese associations of every kind tried to service the dead. Among overseas Chinese, the problem became paramount, making the ability and willingness to arrange for Chinese burials, together with exhumation, re-interment and repatriation of bones to the native village, a keystone of community leadership and influence."24
Anti-Chinese supporters saw the exhumation and repatriation process as clear evidence that the Chinese were "a non-assimilable race". The fact that the Chinese went to great lengths to return human bones to China fuelled accusations that they were not intending to settle in Canada. To the British, it made no sense that the Chinese would have meticulously prepared and repatriated the bones of the dead if they had considered Canada their true home. Ironically, the fact that more permanent Chinese cemeteries began to appear in many areas of British Columbia throughout the 1880s, may have indicated that they were becoming more settled.25
Tokyo homes may sit on WWII mass grave(AP)Updated: 2006-09-18 17:19
Tokyo - The Toyama No. 5 apartment block is quiet at midday, laundry flapping from balconies, old people taking an after-lunch stroll. But the building and its nearby park may be sitting on a gruesome World War II secret.
The Japanese Kwantung soldiers fire cannons at Chinese troops in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province in this September 18, 1937 file photo. This year marks the 75th anniversary of 'September 18 Incident' that Japanese troops used as a pretext and occupied China's northeastern provinces. [Xinhua]
A wartime nurse has broken more than 60 years of silence to reveal her part in burying dozens, perhaps hundreds, of bodies there as American forces occupied the Japanese capital.
The way experts see it, these were no ordinary casualties of war, but possible victims of Tokyo's shadowy wartime experiments on live prisoners of war, an atrocity that has never been officially recognized by the Japanese government, but is well documented by historians and participants.
The neighborhood on the west side of Tokyo is deeply troubled.
"I feel sorry for remains with such a sad history," said Teppei Kuroda, a college senior who lives there. "I think they should be dug up and mourned properly."
Their first burial was anything but dignified.
Former nurse Toyo Ishii says that during the weeks following Japan's surrender on Aug. 15, 1945, she and colleagues at an army hospital at the site were ordered to bury corpses, bones and body parts, she doesn't know how many, before the Americans arrived.
A mass grave of between 62 and more than 100 possible war-experiment victims was uncovered in a nearby area in 1989. But Ishii's account, publicly released in June, could yield a far larger number and a firmer connection to Unit 731, Japan's dreaded germ and biological warfare outfit.
"If the bones are actually there, they are likely related to Unit 731 itself, because the facility that used to stand in that part of the compound was closely linked to the unit," said Keiichi Tsuneishi, Kanagawa University history professor and expert of Japan's wartime biological warfare.
Ishii's disclosure led to a face-to-face meeting with Health Minister Jiro Kawasaki and a government pledge to investigate. But it may be a long time before anything is confirmed. Health Ministry official Jiro Yashiki rules out a speedy exhumation.
"People still live there and we can't visit each family to remind them of the bones ... just imagine how they feel about it," he said. "What if we find nothing after all the trouble?"
The 84-year-old nurse's story is the latest twist in the legacy of Japan's rampage through Asia in the 1930s and '40s.
From its base in Japan-controlled Harbin, China, Unit 731 and related units injected war prisoners with typhus, cholera and other disease as research into germ warfare, according to historians and former unit members. Unit 731 also is believed to have performed vivisections and frozen prisoners to death in endurance tests.
The 1989 find, during construction of a Health Ministry research institute at the former army medical school site in Tokyo, revealed dozens of fragmented thigh bones and skulls, some with holes drilled in them or sections cut out.
Japanese police denied any evidence of a crime, and the bones weren't properly analyzed until two years later. In 2001 the Japanese Health Ministry concluded that the remains, many of them of non-Japanese Asians, were most likely from bodies used in "medical education" or brought back from the war zone for analysis at the medical school.
The Japanese ministry said the bones could not be directly linked to Unit 731, though it acknowledged that some interviewees had suggested they were shipped from Manchuria, a historical region of northeastern China, where the unit was based.
In 2002, the Health Ministry built a memorial repository for the bones. But it has refused repeated requests for DNA tests from relatives of several Chinese believed to have perished in Unit 731.
Ishii says she was never involved in nor knew about experiments on humans. Her account dwells on the final chapter of the war and the rush to conceal it.
In an interview at her Tokyo home, she said she was assigned to the hospital's oral surgery department in 1944.
She said the hospital had three morgues, where bodies with numbered tags around their necks floated in a formalin-filled pool, awaiting dissection. Body parts were preserved in bottles.
After the surrender, workers piled the bodies and bottles in carts and brought them to empty lots in the compound, she said.
"We took the samples out of the glass containers and dumped them into the hole," she wrote in a statement to the government in June. "We were going to be in trouble, I was told, if American soldiers asked us about the specimens."
She said a hospital official told her years later that a public housing complex for the families of senior doctors and hospital officials, including himself, was built at the site to cover up the mass grave. That complex was later replaced by Toyama No. 5.

Exhuming a grave

Exhuming a Grave
In land scarce country like Singapore, more than 80,000 graves were exhumed over the last 30 years. In the past, more than 100 graves a day to make way for land development e.g. building highways, Mass Rapid Transit or new housing. Nowadays, there are fewer graves to exhume.
Rites and Rituals:
1. Depending on the hour, usually in the early morning, a priest e.g. Taoist priest conducts a simple ritual of prayers and offerings. The exhumation date is pikced according to the Chinese horoscopes of the deceased and family.
2. When digging starts, the family membrs who were present, MUST turn away when the first grain of dirt is unearthed. Chinese custom considers it unlucky to look when an ancestor's grave is dug up.
3. When the diggers reach close to the depth of the coffin, they set up a plastic cover over the grave because the Chinese believe that the dead cannot look at the sky.
4. Bones MUST be picked up in the RIGTH order. The first few bones unearthed are placed in a basin and washed in rice wine. There were situations where the corpse were in `excellent condition'. In such a situation, arrangement must be made to cremate the body together with the coffin.
5. Next, a relative will carry the bones in a white bag, with an identification tag under a Chinese wooden canvas umbrella to "guide the soul of the dead" out of the grave to it's new "home". The bag is handed to the diggers, who will then meet the family later in the day to cremate the remains.
6. Any valuables found e.g. rings or other `treasures' are returned to the relative.
WARNING, do not accept any `valuables' e.g. black buttons or items of clothing in the grave. These are very unlucky.
This is a true story: There was one situation where I recall, the diggers were not happy with the `red packet' or `ang pao' extra money given on the spot to the diggers and they asked the family member to give a black button to her child who was with her. Her child, a 4 year old boy cried non-stop after holding the black button for the whole day. Later, she had to approach to priest to `bless her child'. After that, the child immediately stopped crying.
7. After the bones were cremated, some families prefer to place all the ash into an urn and place it at a crematoria. While some family members may decide to bring back some ash and place them in an urn to pray at home.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Cavensham project

Oral History Databases
The Project's interview collection was constructed to serve as a source of data on topics central to gender (our quantitative sources were often deficient). It is an indexed and cross-referenced collection of 89 interviews. These interviews were conducted in the early 1980s and from 1995 to 1998 with residents of the Caversham area who had been born between 1894 and 1922. Subjects including housing, health, transport, sexuality and shopping were canvassed. The interviews were transcribed and then entered into QSR NUD*IST, a type of textbase software, which allows all mentions of any specified subject or combinations of words to be immediately viewed.

Caversham Otago - Early Chinese


: Oh yes I did. Yeah. Yeah. Sing Wah - they had the fruit shop in St Kilda and they were great friends of mum and dad's, and they used to give the rice for mum. Mum used to have that pure Siam rice - or whatever it was, you know - Siam rice - it was CHINESE rice anyhow. And mum would repay them by giving her some of the cooking. They wouldn't take money for the rice. But mum would repay them; every time she'd do some she'd send some round to them. And Walter, me eldest brother, he got great mates with them, yeah. He used to go down there and play cards. 930JB: Yeah. Me second eldest brother, Walter. Yeah. He used to go there. And that's how we got to know a few of the CHINESE community was through SingWah and his family and their relations. And we'd go up - Abe and I, we might be walking past and say: "hey Sing!". And he'd go: "hey, how'ya? come on!". And we'd go in there and he'd give us a banana or give us an apple, whatever was going, you know. He was great with mum and dad.Mum and dad were good - liked to make friends - you take the Massettis in the hotel - the St Kilda Hotel. They're Italians, and of course their meals - there's just about, something about ours, you know, well, some of them are. Then they used to come down every now and then, not all the time, and they'd have a meal with mum and dad - Lebanese meal. They loved the meals.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Andrew Young - Speech

Going Banana Conference: Multiple Identities Forum
12 August 2006

Andrew Young Speech Notes:

Most of you will know the significance of the colour RED - a hugely symbolic colour in Chinese culture.

Red is a symbol of good luck and fortune;
The colour of celebrations
The colour of public pomp and ceremony
The colour of prosperity, power and strength
The primary colour of the Chinese flag
The colour of vibrancy and vitality

But for me, RED was also the colour of my shame of being Chinese.
Red was the colour of my face during teenage years

The embarrassment of being different
The embarrassment of feeling different
The embarrassment of being a first a generation Chinese New Zealander, from a working class immigrant family in a very WHITE world.

RED, the colour of the heated arguments I had with my parents, who felt I was becoming too westernized – even though they were raising me in a western country and expecting me to excel in this environment, against very Western standards.

I will talk more about this turbulent time, but will start with some context to better explain the source of my angst.

I was born in 1970, the fourth of five children.

We grew up in the peaceful seaside community of Plimmerton, north of Wellington.

It was a very complete early childhood in that we were a self-contained, insular family unit; quite unique in a very Pakeha community and very isolated.

But there wasn’t a feeling of loneliness because our focus was on the family’s fruit and vege shop, which our lives centred around. We were taught early on that it was our duty to work in the shop before and after school and during the holidays. Play was what lazy Say-Yun (or Pakeha) people did and was a waste of time.

We were therefore actively discouraged from having Say-Yun friends, going to their parties or having them around to our house. That would just lead us astray and we would learn their lazy ways.

We were to be the perfect citizens. School was there to teach us, so we could excel and do much better than the lazy Say-Yun.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

We seemed to accept this without question – even if the lazy way seemed like a lot more fun.

The hiccup came during my teenage years, when I wasn’t quite so accepting.

I began to question why we were discouraged from having Pakeha friends or God forbid – even Maori friends.

I had become great mates with both Pakeha and Maori kids I went to school with, as there were slim pickings to hang out with exclusively Chinese kids in Lower Hutt, where we were then living.

I grew to resent working morning, afternoon and night in the fruit shop, with the constant drive to also do well at school, as university was the only option for me beyond school.

Being Chinese was becoming a real drag. It seemed like an endless ton of toil, keeping your head down, keeping your opinions to yourself, not making any trouble. And for what rewards?

We were to live modestly and not show any pretension of wealth, as that would cause jealousy. Or Maori people would come and steal it from us.

But this was the path of success and being better than everyone else, we were told.

My so-called lazy Say-Yun friends were meanwhile playing after school, learning to windsurf, meeting girls even and going to the beach. In the holidays, they’d be off on trips – whereas I was faced with 6am trips to the markets and long days in the shop.

And for so-called lazy people who wouldn’t get very far, they seemed pretty alright to me. Their Dads wore suits, their Mums didn’t were smocks and moccasins and kept their houses pretty immaculate and they drove perfectly nice sedans.

On that point, why did Dad have to park right in front of the school on rainy days in his rusty fruit shop truck? Couldn’t he go round the corner where the whole school couldn’t see?

Why did we have to eat rice every night, when normal families on tv ate with knives, forks and plates?

And did we have to kill live chickens in our backyard – what was wrong with picking a frozen chicken up from the supermarket?

Resentment grew; the feelings of being so different grew and the price of being different seemed so distant and unrewarding.

Teenage years are difficult for most of us. Conforming to the norm is important, standing out means being a freak. And that’s how I felt.

My relationship with my parents was obviously under severe strain. Here was their son constantly questioning their whole belief system, their values, the only way they knew how to raise a family.

Tensions had flared with my older siblings, who had also felt the same way and wanted so badly to fit in; to be like everyone else we knew.

My parents did encourage us to join the Chinese basketball association and we did meet good friends – but that was a Sunday morning experience which couldn’t replace the other six days of our week. Those other six days were what was largely shaping us.

I remember at school finding it hard to participate in conversations, because people would be talking about hit tv shows in the afternoon or early evening. In fourth form, I didn’t know what a Smurf was. Friends were constantly amazed that I was in some kind of vacuum – and I was – working hard in the back of the family fruit shop.

At about aged 17, I came to the decision that it was easier not being part of the Chinese community; and I remember being quite defiant about it – and I’m sure it really upset my parents – I had stopped playing the basketball, I had stopped going to the Chinese dances; I didn’t want to hang out with any Chinese people. For me it was my way of coping with my teenage years and trying to conform and trying to be, in retrospect someone who I wasn’t, but we all have our ways of getting through teenage years

But I did inherit some Chinese traits; one thing I was good at was earning money through working in the shop and taking on other after school work.

When I was old enough to get away with buying alcohol, I would openly drink beer in front of my parents - a cardinal sin in our tea-total household and a clear sign that I was succumbing to the Western way. I was becoming a demon Say-Yun.

The first two years of varsity were a blur. I was there more for the social life.

Still feeling the family pressure, I enrolled in a double degree of Law and Commerce. Subjects I had little interest in, but was studying them to keep some peace with my parents. And I drifted between lectures, the pub and a myriad of part time jobs to feed my cruisy lifestyle.

Flashes of RED continued at home, with regular run ins for being out too much, not studying hard enough, not getting high enough grades, hanging out too much with the wrong people.

Flatting of course was out of the question. We were told that’s what Pakeha kids did because their parents didn’t care for them enough – and soon it would be reciprocated with Pakeha kids not caring for their parents in their old age.

It was a pretty miserable time where I felt my parents and their culture were completely alien.

I was deeply ashamed of them, what they represented.

My way of coping was to pretend I wasn’t Chinese. I embraced mainstream culture. Country Road became my yuppie clothing of choice to wear to law lectures. LA Law was my favourite programme and Arnie Becker was my hero. I was so proud of my first pair of Sabago Docksider boat shoes. I spent all my hard-earned savings on an MG Roadstar convertible.

Yes, I was living some weird American-inspired dream, drowning in labels and pseudo status symbols which proved I was white.

No one would know that my parents owned a little fruit shop in Lower Hutt.

The sum total was that my parents grew quite ashamed of me. My mother was in despair and couldn’t figure out where she’d gone wrong.

In late 1990, she told me that she was paying for me to go on a trip, which she hoped would be good for me. I was going, with my younger brother, to China with some other NZ born Chinese.

Cool I thought. A trip overseas at last. Cool said my best friends – as China was quite radical, very edgy.

I had no idea my whole life outlook was about to be turned on its head.

What hit me hardest was going back to my dad’s village. I was completely unprepared by what I saw and it will probably remain one of the most emotional days of my life.

Firstly, my brother and I were blown away by the amazing welcome we got from our relatives, who we didn’t know. I think they were quite fascinated by us and treated us like royalty.

And secondly I don’t think we were quite prepared for the poverty and how primitive the village was. And this was emphasised when we were needed go to the toilet and we were expecting a flushable loo. They said to us do you want to do “number ones” or “number twos” in Chinese and that it took us aback – because we thought it was a very personal question, but there was a very good reason: if you wanted to do number ones you had to go in a big pottery urn in the corner of the room and if you did number twos you went out into the garden and dug yourself a little hole. So yes, it was quite a shock to us.

There was a second cousin who was my age and he asked me whether I had a girl friend. I was going out with Jennifer, who is now my wife, and I told him about varsity and how I owned a car and how I was doing my degree. It was such a contrast to his life. He worked in the rice paddy fields but was looking forward to a new factory opening in the village and he was hoping desperately to get a job on the production line.

He thought a factory job was his big ticket out of the field. I asked him if he had a girl friend and he said his prospects were very slim because there were too many men in the village and the few females around were hoping to marry city men.

To me he had comparatively grim prospects. Here we were, of similar age, and with totally different paths in front of us and I just felt incredibly privileged.

The other moving part was having a chicken killed in our honour, as part of the evening dinner. My relatives were so poor that they only ate chicken once a year. There was a family discussion and they decided we were such honoured guests, that they’d cook the chicken. Unfortunately when it came time to eat dinner, our air-conditioned charter bus arrived to return us back to our language school. It couldn’t wait, so we could not even honour their gesture by staying for dinner.

When it came time to saying goodbye, I hopped on the bus with my brother. As the bus pulled away, I had tears just rolling down my cheeks because when I looked out of the bus window I could see myself standing there. I was thinking how easy it could have been that I could was the one living in the village working this terribly hard life, working in the paddy fields and hoping for a job on the production line of a bag factory.

Having been back to China and my father’s and mother’s villages, and seeing what my parents have created, it has made me incredibly proud to be Chinese. I’m incredibly proud of what has been achieved here in a short amount of time and it has reinforced to me how important heritage is. Here we are on the other side of the world, but it is important for all of us to touch base with our roots.

In terms of helping me define my identity, the Winter Camp gave me a sense of my history, the struggle to get to NZ and why my parents thought and acted the way they did.

A defining moment in life – yes it would be right up there.

So, I returned to NZ with newfound pride, respect and an inner confidence that was never there before.

I had thousands of questions for my parents on what they and my grandparents had to go through.

My maternal granddad is Willie Joe Ling.

My maternal grand parents set up in New Plymouth, they were married in China and my grand father came out when he was in his twenties. Like many Chinese men he paid the poll tax, earned whatever money he could, then brought out my grandmother. By that stage they already had three children born in China, including my mother, who is the middle child. So my mother ended up coming out when she was 15 years old to New Plymouth to meet a man she didn’t know – her father.

It was decided because of my mother’s age, she wouldn’t go to school but would work in the fruit shop that my grandfather had set up. She therefore didn’t have the experience of school life and coping with Pakeha friends.

My father came out when he was six years old after his father, my paternal grand father, had similarly come out first from China and had eked out a living. My father was the eldest of nine children, living in Courtney Place in Wellington. His life was characterized by hard work and early financial difficulty.

I found all of this fascinating and I think my parents were relieved that the Winter Camp had had such a profound effect on me. I was actually interested in others, not just myself.

With this change came focus – I finished my degree and got accepted into the Diploma in Journalism. I spent seven years working for print publications in Auckland, including a NZ Herald, before joining the Starship Foundation seven years ago, where I’m now the CEO.

What I carry now is a huge sense of respect for my parents and the older generation. The Winter Camp has instilled an ongoing fascination in China as a place and of the politics that have occurred there.

In summary:
We live in a country that has a predominantly western culture. I don’t think we can cling whole-heartedly onto our cultural assets and expect them to remain fully intact.

I think that is an unrealistic expectation and it goes back to what I said before about my parents being concerned that we were becoming western quite quickly – that we were speaking English fluently in school.

I don’t think my parents should have expected us to have come through without losing a lot of our language and culture as a result, especially since they had to work so hard themselves in the shop and focus on just earning a living.

I think that we have done very well considering all of the expectations placed on us, whether we’re a parent or a child, having come through and attained that model minority status.

I think a lot of young Chinese parents are in the same situation as me - committed to seeing our children going to Chinese classes to try and build back the cultural experiences that we want our children to have, experiences that we may or may not have had ourselves.

It’s trying to get the best of both worlds – having grown up here, having lost some of the culture and trying to find ways of building that back for the next generation – and I think that is really positive.

Red is indeed a colour that means many things

RED is my daughter’s favourite colour; a colour which makes her happy. I hope in time, it’ll symbolize her pride of being a Chinese New Zealander.

Grapes - Wah Jang Fruit Shop - Queen St Auckland

作者:chinesetimes发表时间:2005-11-3 19:57:00(七) 纽西兰孟尝君---黄尔昌的“和栈”十九世纪末叶和二十世纪初叶的老华侨都是坐轮船来纽,而且要二十五天的航程才能由香港到达屋仑市,轮船也不会很大,只不过是由五千吨至八千吨的货客轮而已。来往轮船最多的是太古洋行,该洋行属下有多艘轮船定期航行于太平洋各大城市。轮船抵达屋仑市后,必定要购买一个月的粮食,当时“和栈”(WAH JANG)就是包办粮食落船的蔬果商号,为老华侨的共识。“和栈”开设于二十世纪初叶,约于一九一O年间,位于市中心皇后街三十一号,即现今的DOWN TOWN大楼。该铺楼高两层,铺面长阔,由QUEEN ST.通过ALBERT ST.,两边街都有门口,楼下是蔬果、粮食批发店,楼上是俱乐部及宿舍。早期来纽的华人都是很辛苦的,特别是初到步及年老、回乡的华人,他们都很需要有落脚之所,同时,他们都不懂得英语,又需要别人替他订船位,而“和栈”却担负起这个任务。“和栈”的经理人黄汝春懂英语及粤语,专为华人订船位、买保险、介绍工作。“和栈”还提供住宿和俱乐部。店内每天都开大锅饭,食客少者十余人,多者三十多人,雇有专职厨师,对来往之侨胞招待妥善,不收分文,为各界华人所称赞。开设“和栈”之东主原有黄尔昌、陈九、关子楷三人。不久,关子楷退出,剩余黄尔昌和陈九二人,主理店务者为黄尔昌,并聘土生华裔黄汝春为经理,他懂英语和粤语,不但能处理店内事务,还兼保险生意,当时最主要者为华人购买汽车保险。华人遇到有问题发生,黄汝春必挺身出来帮助解决。“和栈”有优良的业绩,他的功劳很大,同时他常为老华侨办事,故受到华人所尊敬。黄尔昌虽不懂英语,但肯忠诚为侨胞服务,经常照顾年老及失业的华人,收客在店内免费食宿,在华人心中留下良好的印象,有“纽西兰孟尝君”的雅号,受到各界华人所尊崇。与此同时,黄尔昌还致力于社团工作,为了团结华人,是先后组织“纽西兰华侨联合总会”、“屋仑友会”、及“华侨会所”的主要份子。在屋仑华侨会所早期的职员集体照中亦有他在内,至今他已有四代儿孙定居于纽西兰了。二十世纪七十年代时“和栈”与附近的商店均已改建大楼,老铺已不存在了。老铺拆卸后由他的孙儿曾将“和栈”迁往GREAT NORTH RD.一间小店继续经营,为时不久,他的孙儿亦举家迁往美国工作,把小店转让给一位洋人,现已人面已非了。  相关文章:Andrew Chong Snr Biography....Short biography from James Ng's Windows of a Chinese Past Vol 3 pg 200Little has been written about Andrew Chong, but it is clear that had he lived longer (he died front a heart attack in 1957, aged 51), he would have succeeded to the top leadership among the Chinese in New Zealand. He possessed public spirit. and a balanced character combined with leadership qualities and fluency in English. Andrew Chong was born in Wanganui in 1906, his father a fruiterer, and a relation of Wong Kwok Min. In those days, it was believed that the children had to return to China for art education to gain Chineseness and not 'bane ah fun kwie' (become a foreign devil). For example, Bill Wong, George Wong and Ernest Sar Louie were sent back. So Andrew was sent to his home village of Gar Leung in Zengcheng at the age of 13. When he returned he was bilingual and literate in both languages. He became an interpreter and commission agent, for example. in travel. He went to Auckland where he became the manager of Wah Jang Co. which had two fruitshops, were shipping agents and supplied hotels. In arranging travel, Wah J ang was especially competitive to the Ah Chees. The three main fruit and vegetable auctioneers in Auckland also each provided a Chinese agent who would smooth out any difficulties and negotiate loans for the garden, the purchase of a truck, etc. Andrew Chong became such an agent for A.B. Donalds. His important Chinese contemporaries in Auckland included Henry Ah Kew, the solicitor (there was another Chinese Solicitor, S.W.W. Tong, of whom little is known except lie was practising around 1928. National Archives. Auckland. BCAG, A74, File 22/1). But it was Andrew Chong who was the public figure who could best mix and work with Europeans. He was the first Chinese justice of' the Peace in New Zealand.    下期介绍:华人杂货店百年历史:位于屋仑市HOBSON STREET的“和利”杂货店,始创于一九O四年。一九三O年代,华人从事农业后,日渐增加,他们每天都要把农业品运到市区的菜栏出售,很需要有地方歇息,同时也很注重乡情,还要购买粮食什货。于是当年有十多位四邑乡亲(合山、新会、开平、恩平等四个县)合股经营常源杂货店,使业农的乡亲们有休息及买必需品的场所。  

Saturday, October 07, 2006