Friday, March 05, 2004

If you're overseas Chinese and you know it clap yer hands...

It's one of those things which come upon you when you get to a certain age, I suppose - the desire to know more about one's cultural roots (along with an increasing interest in opera and jazz as opposed to boozing and bars).

Whilst browsing around in the university library the other day I found a book about the history of Chinese in the United States. I promptly put a request on it of course, and eagerly await the e-mail telling me when it's mine to borrow. I already have a copy of a really interesting book on photographs of San Francisco's Chinatown by a German guy called Genthe. The photos date from 1895 till around 1927, showing not only changes in appearance of the Chinese but also in the streets and buildings that made up Chinatown. Umm.. it's actually a helluva lot more fascinating than it sounds...

So while I've been able to read a bit about the experiences of Chinese in New Zealand, from the gold-mining days to the present - now I can look around for information on what Chinese immigrants got up to all over the world. From what little I've found so far, they definitely had similar prejudices to deal with.

I actually found a blog for, and by, Irish-born Chinese. I wasn't particularly excited about most of it, but I was particularly excited to discover that there are Chinese in Ireland. Do they have green eyes and drink Guinness and sing sad songs?

There's also a site on Chinese in Britain, which was packed with interesting news and titbits. Nice title too.

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