Title

Taishanese Diaspora in America: History, Contributions, and Legacy

Lead Author Major

Psychology

Lead Author Status

Senior

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Jie Lu

Faculty Mentor Department

Modern Language and Literature

Abstract/Artist Statement

This paper studies Taishanese diaspora and their contributions to Amerca in the context of its early history, culture, establishments, and status. In a broad sense, Taishanese life and contributions to America not only epitomize those of Chinese Americans, but also allow us to better understand their past and present.

Taishan is a city of Guangdong province in China that contains villages of Daoist traditions with its own dialect called Hoisan-wa, which falls under Yue Chinese. Taishanese people are better recognized in America because of their early immigration history, such as contributing to the Gold Rush and the First Transcontinental Railroad. However, despite their immense contributions, they faced extreme discrimination and mistreatment. Anti-Chinese hate and fear ultimately caused lawmakers to create laws that fined them over small acts, such as men having long, braided hair. On an international level, the most notable is the Chinese Exclusion Act, which restricted immigration from China. Given the present-day rise in anti-Asian hate crime, it is crucial to note that discrimination towards the Chinese (and other Asian) communities has always existed. From the early immigrants feeling unwelcome, they created safe havens, which are now known as Chinatowns.

Present-day Chinatowns in large cities, such as San Francisco, CA, and New York, NY, are predominantly Hoisan-wa-speaking. Despite this, Hoisan-wa today is “going extinct” in America. Culture and language are closely intertwined: to preserve Taishanese culture, Hoisan-wa must be preserved, and vice versa. Because of this, it is important to raise awareness and inform people of the uniqueness and contributions of Taishanese people.

Location

University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA 95211

Start Date

24-4-2021 10:00 AM

End Date

24-4-2021 10:15 AM

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Apr 24th, 10:00 AM Apr 24th, 10:15 AM

Taishanese Diaspora in America: History, Contributions, and Legacy

University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA 95211

This paper studies Taishanese diaspora and their contributions to Amerca in the context of its early history, culture, establishments, and status. In a broad sense, Taishanese life and contributions to America not only epitomize those of Chinese Americans, but also allow us to better understand their past and present.

Taishan is a city of Guangdong province in China that contains villages of Daoist traditions with its own dialect called Hoisan-wa, which falls under Yue Chinese. Taishanese people are better recognized in America because of their early immigration history, such as contributing to the Gold Rush and the First Transcontinental Railroad. However, despite their immense contributions, they faced extreme discrimination and mistreatment. Anti-Chinese hate and fear ultimately caused lawmakers to create laws that fined them over small acts, such as men having long, braided hair. On an international level, the most notable is the Chinese Exclusion Act, which restricted immigration from China. Given the present-day rise in anti-Asian hate crime, it is crucial to note that discrimination towards the Chinese (and other Asian) communities has always existed. From the early immigrants feeling unwelcome, they created safe havens, which are now known as Chinatowns.

Present-day Chinatowns in large cities, such as San Francisco, CA, and New York, NY, are predominantly Hoisan-wa-speaking. Despite this, Hoisan-wa today is “going extinct” in America. Culture and language are closely intertwined: to preserve Taishanese culture, Hoisan-wa must be preserved, and vice versa. Because of this, it is important to raise awareness and inform people of the uniqueness and contributions of Taishanese people.