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The earliest Chinese professionals tended to serve primarily the Chinese community. In British Columbia, Chinese professionals were barred for years from practicing such professions as law, pharmacy and accountancy. The first Chinese-Canadian lawyers were called to the Bar only in the s. Since then, discriminatory laws have been repealed. Nevertheless, even in the s, Chinese Canadians were still heavily involved in the service industry.

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At the turn of the 21st century, Chinese Canadians could be found in many occupations, such as television reporter, jazz musician, classical dancer, novelist, police officer, and politician, as well as in the traditional careers of educator, scientist, and entrepreneur. Although some tension between new and old immigrants exists, the network of kinship is still strong.

During the 19th century, and most of the 20th, Chinese Canada reflected such cultural traditions as the kinship system based on ancestral descent , the joss house or temple , and Chinese theatre. Communities have also incorporated North American characteristics.


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Chinese communities in Canada have generated "voluntary" associations that are adapted from models in China that provide personal and community welfare services, social contact, and political activity. Rural Chinese immigrants have typically had to adapt to urban conditions, and these associations have helped migrants adjust to a new culture and to manage prejudice and discrimination and racism.

During the early decades of the 20th century, fraternal-political associations such as the Guomindang and the Freemasons were involved in Chinatown politics and community issues. Larger Chinese communities established Chinese Benevolent Associations as the apex of their organizational structures; these organizations adjudicated disputes within the community and spoke for the community to the outside world.

None of these organizations, however, has been an effective national voice. Typically Canadian organizations such as the Elks, Lions, Masons and veterans' associations have appeared within Chinese communities. Because of the influx of Chinese emigrants from the global diaspora, community organizations reflecting Chinese persons from Cuba, India, Jamaica, Mauritius, Peru, etc.

Immigrants from the People's Republic of China have organized into many associations. Professional organizations are gradually replacing the old Guomindang, Freemasons, and Chinese Benevolent Associations. The original Chinese communities were isolated from white culture for several reasons. The Chinese have often been stereotyped as "sojourners;" that is, in Canada temporarily to obtain financial security for relatives in China.

During the 19th century especially, the Caucasian society of British Columbia perceived Chinese persons as people who could not be assimilated; certain aspects of Chinese life and culture in Canada reinforced the xenophobic notion that Chinese communities posed a threat to Caucasian society.

The poverty-stricken living conditions in which Chinese Canadian workers lived were denounced as conduits for disease that might spread to Caucasian neighbourhoods. For example, Dr. Roderick Fraser, medical health officer of Victoria, BC, stated in the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration report that, "I think the Chinese are more unhealthy as a class than the same class of white people. It is only about thirty years since our people commenced emigrating to other lands. A large number have gone to the Straits' Settlements, Manila, Cochin China and the West India Islands, and are permanently settled there with their families.

In Cuba, fully seventy five per cent have married native women and adopted those Islands as their future homes. Many of those living in the Sandwich Islands have done the same. There is quite a large number of foreigners in China, but few of whom have brought their families, and the number is very small indeed who have adopted that country as their future home. You must recollect that the Chinese immigrant coming to this country is denied all the rights and privileges extended to others in the way of citizenship; the laws compel them to remain aliens. I know a great many Chinese will be glad to remain here permanently with their families, if they are allowed to be naturalized and can enjoy privileges and rights.

Fears of disease e. Thus, the transitional mentality, reinforced by Canadian legislation that excluded Chinese immigration to Canada between and , prevented easy immigration of Chinese families and precluded their participation professionally, socially or politically in the dominant society. It was not until that Chinese Canadians were granted citizenship. Religion for Chinese Canadians has commonly been expressed in private. Generally, it has declined in practise.

In the census, Chinese communities were significantly different from the rest of the Canadian population, reporting that 58 per cent had no religious affiliation, compared to 15 per cent of the Canadian population as a whole. The proportion of Christians in the Chinese Canadian population rose from 10 per cent in to 60 per cent in , but declined to 26 per cent by Other Chinese Canadians follow Buddhist, Islamic and other faiths.

Among Canadians of Chinese origin who maintain religious affiliation, 34 per cent were Buddhist, 28 per cent Catholic and 22 per cent belonged to a Protestant denomination. Although membership in many Christian churches has declined, Chinese membership in the Baptist Church has continued to grow. The major Chinese festival is the Lunar New Year February or late January , which is celebrated in many Chinese communities with firecrackers and lion and dragon dancers.


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Other important festive days are Clear and Bright, a springtime sweeping of the graves of ancestors, and Mid-Autumn, also known as the Moon Festival, symbolizes harvests and family reunions. Since the mids, Chinese Canadian culture has blossomed. This robust culture has begun to develop not just as a reflection of China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan, but with reference to the varied experiences of Chinese communities in Canada. The doyen of Chinese Canadian filmmakers, Keith Lock, directed The Ache , a critically acclaimed feature that explored the dynamics of fantasy, perception and spirits.

One of the first influential literary and political magazines to create a dynamic venue for many Chinese and Asian Canadian writers, activists and filmmakers was Asianadian: An Asian Canadian Magazine — Such well-known authors as Sky Lee and Paul Yee published their first writings in that magazine, which was co-founded by Tony Chan in Toronto.

My Youth in China: Growing Up in the Cultural Revolution

Chinese schools in Canada date from the s. At their peak in the s, there were 26 across the country. In British Columbia, they gained particular importance when attempts were made to segregate Chinese Canadian children. Even when professional fields were closed to them after graduation, Chinese Canadians were never legally prohibited from attending universities. With a rise in affluence and professional character among certain Chinese communities in the s, much larger numbers of Chinese Canadians sought higher education.

In , more than one quarter had earned a university degree. English language education plays a major role in Chinese Canadian families, particularly for recent immigrants. The result has been an influx of Chinese Canadians in many professions, including engineering, the sciences, research, medicine, pharmacy, law, and higher education. Emphasis on education is a long-standing feature of Chinese life and the result of the Confucian tradition of learning and scholarship.

Marks on Later Chinese Porcelain

The Chinese language is still considered a significant part of education, especially with the growing economic prominence of China. Chinese communities in Canada have always been politically active. During the 19th century, they fought discrimination and exclusion. One of the first civil rights organizations to support Chinese Canadians was the Victoria Workingmen's Protection Association, established in Perhaps Xinran could be faulted for trying too hard to pin the case on political and social chaos under the Communist Party; still, the stories she relates — including her own — are timeless and depressingly universal.

Over the course of 12 short stories, Jonathan Tel conjures a vibrant, complex Beijing of multitudes, of idealists and thieves, migrant workers and musicians, of surreal twists and fantastical elements nevertheless grounded in the possible. This is the Beijing I imagine telling people about when I talk to those who have never been here. I believe that sentiment, in the same way people believe in great fiction. The s witnessed a publishing boom in English-language or translated China memoirs that focused on individual experiences of political campaigns from the s through the Cultural Revolution.

Overnight, she became an accused British spy and enemy of socialism. Condemned to six and a half years in prison, she endured physical and psychological torture and deprivation. Her beloved daughter, meanwhile, committed suicide. Cheng is a sharp observer and a gifted storyteller; her fierce intelligence, wit, and courage are evident on every page. McMahon also addresses ghost cities, state monopolies, and a manufacturing boom that has simultaneously generated huge prosperity and created what he sees as economic time bombs.

China winter : workers, mandarins, and the purge of the Gang of Four

Lin could perhaps be called one of the first anti-Orientalists, but also a debunker of the Yellow Peril. His words speak to those of us who try to square the reality of our intellectually dynamic, generous, and open-minded Chinese friends with their monolithic state, and remind us that there is indeed a difference. The premise is straightforward, if somewhat provocative: The dominant narrative of footbinding as a painful patriarchal practice imposed upon women for the pleasure of men is an ahistorical oversimplification — and one that serves to obscure the voices and experiences of the women at the heart of the story.

While Ko, who teaches history at Barnard College, is careful to never fully condone or condemn footbinding, and does not shy from the unpleasant — and, as many would persuasively argue, brutal — realities of the practice, she does emphasize that for many Chinese women, bound feet were integral to their perceptions of dignity and self-worth. In this vein, Ko explores how different styles of footbinding emerged and flourished at different periods and locations, locating the various methods of breaking, bending, and binding the female foot within the more conventional history of Chinese fashion.

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