Global Chinese

Since 1788, migrants from China have come to what is now known as Canada. For most of Chinese Canadian history, the migrants came from a small group of counties in Guangdong province. However, since the 1960s, not only has there been a myriad of migrants who have come from all over China, but there are also ethnic Chinese, who descended from migrants, who went centuries before to places such as Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and India. There are many communities who speak vastly different dialects and languages, and each community has unique histories and stories. Hakka Chinese who spent four generations in India before coming to Canada; Sino-Vietnamese refugees who came in the 1980s from Vietnam; Taiwanese descended from Hokkien migrants who left Fujian over 500 years ago; Chinese Peruvians and Chinese Mexicans who spoke Spanish; Tsinoys from the Philippines; Peranakan from Malaysia and Indonesia; Chinese Jamaicans and Chinese Trinidadians from the Caribbean; Chinese from South Africa, Mauritius, Guyana, El Salvador, New Zealand, Australia, etc. There is no definition of “Chinese” that can capture the complex histories of all of these newer migrants or reflect properly on the unique identities that are being formed.