How Did The Chinese Southern Diaspora Emerge, What Was Its Uniqueness Compared With Other Diasporas, And In What Ways Is It Changing Nowadays?

3180 words - 13 pages

Introduction.In the attempt to answer the above question, the body of this essay will be separated under three main headings covering the three parts of the question at hand.In the first section regarding how the Chinese Southern Diaspora emerged, the definition of a diaspora will first be tackled. Following that will be the background and the history of the Chinese community in China and its trading relations and activities with Southeast Asia (SEA). The arrival of the European colonial powers in SEA (the British especially) played an undoubtedly important role in the large scale of Chinese labour migration from South China to SEA in the nineteenth century, and will also be covered under the first heading.The next part of the essay will go into in-depth analysis of the Chinese Southern Diaspora, its particular qualities and cultural attributes. The political and cultural significance of terms like huashang, huagong, and huaqiao will be explored. Other diasporas, such as the Indian Diaspora and the Italian Diaspora to name a few, will also be looked at in an attempt for an effective comparative analysis between diasporas.The last portion concerning the ways in which the Chinese Southern Diaspora is changing, will cover the present situation and the future outlook for these Chinese communities. Current dilemmas and issues of political sensitivity within and outside of host countries will be looked into in greater detail. Issues such as cultural and political identities and loyalties, the notion of "Chineseness", perceptions towards the relationship with China, and the future role of the People's Republic of China, are some of the main concerns at present.How did the Chinese Southern Diaspora emerge?What is the Chinese Southern Diaspora?Firstly, what is a diaspora? The word itself is derived from the combination of the Greek verb speiro (to sow) and the preposition dia (over), but when applied to humans, the ancient Greeks were said to have thought of diaspora as migration and colonisation. "Diaspora" is more commonly defined as dispersion and initially referred to the Jewish Diaspora, where the Jews in 597 BCE Jerusalem experienced the Babylonian Captivity under Nebuchadnezzar and suffered exile, and in 70 CE encountered the Roman Occupation where they were dispersed after being denied of statehood. There is no ambiguity in the use of 'diaspora' in relation to the Jewish phenomenon but the difficulty in distinguishing between migration and diaspora becomes apparent once the term is applied to other religions or ethnic groups. Nevertheless, the general rule of thumb is that there has to be a "collective forced dispersion of a religious and/or ethnic group" or a "constituent dramatic or traumatic event" before a trend of mass migration and dispersion can be referred to as a diaspora.In the case of the Chinese Southern Diaspora, the name is associated with the mass migration patterns of Chinese emigrants from China in the past (mainly from Southern...

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