U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Closed Thread Start New Thread
 
Old 10-09-2012, 03:10 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 50,618,393 times
Reputation: 11862

Advertisements

It seems to be that in SE Asia the Chinese are still very much seen as Chinese, even if they've lived in a country for generations. I'm assuming this durability of cultural identity is a combination of them preserving their culture and also being set apart either by the colonial power or the 'natives' of the land. I think in nations from Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam, ethnic Chinese often controlled the economy/owned a lot of the businesses and wealth, and sometimes had great political influence.

At one end of the scale, there's Thailand where Chinese migrants have basically lost their 'cultural identity' as Chinese. A few may speak a Chinese language or be aware of a Chinese ancestor, but they are culturally Thai. In others, Malaysia, for instance, there seem to be elderly Chinese people who seem to identify more with being Chinese than Malaysian or Malayan, not to say it's not possible to be both. I think the British began to see the Chinese has a 'middle ground' between natives and the colonial upper class (although they were always poor labourers), especially in the East Indies where they were favoured. This has led to much resentment against them today.

I find it interesting how even if they've been there so long they haven't completely integrated. They're sort of the Jews of Asia. I think Chinese identity is very strong because of it's old history and the perception that China is a great and powerful Empire. At one time everyone looked up to China. Both the Mongols and Manchu adopted Chinese culture, and the Chinese influence is clearly evident through SE and East Asia.
Rate this post positively

 
Old 02-14-2013, 10:33 PM
 
251 posts, read 608,272 times
Reputation: 109
We Chinese are a very disunited, divisive people. Think about it: the Chinese Civil War nearly ran unstopped even during the Japanese Invasion!

And the Chinese Americans are very disorganized and sadly, fully lack any camaraderie/fraternity whatsoever.

But there ARE exceptions. Such as the money-savy Wenzhounese, or the Malaysian and Singaporean diaspora.

I heard that in Thailand, the king had to FORCE intermarriage upon the Chinese, and Chinese names were banned. In Indonesia, teaching Chinese at school was illegal, and pogroms (just like Kristallnacht for the Jews) were not uncommon.

Yet in Malaysia, laws were not as strict, and many schools taught in Chinese, and many newspapers were in Chinese. But there were racist affirmative action policies intended to maintain Malays as the dominant race, and riots did erupt occasionally. This even forced Singapore out of the Malay federation, as Singapore was ethnically incompatible, being mostly Chinese.

The Southeast Asian Chinese are very gregarious, and being persecuted, like the Jews, this can only become unity. In Singapore, Chinese must be taught to ethnic Chinese in school starting from Kindergarten to 12th grade as a 2nd language.

Intermarriage is prevented, as Malays can only marry fellow Muslims (and Chinese love pork too much).
But really, the Singaporean Chinese are the exception--they are united, and they have formed a green and clean city (what city in China is like that?)
Rate this post positively
 
Old 02-14-2013, 10:52 PM
 
12 posts, read 23,464 times
Reputation: 15
Chinese were invited to Thailand, and the 'king' is of Chinese descent. How did he force intermarriage? The migrants were overwhelmingly male, ... Males of all races and ethnicities have almost no problems marrying a different race / ethnicity if it's the only option.
Rate this post positively
 
Old 02-14-2013, 11:16 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 50,618,393 times
Reputation: 11862
China is a huge and diverse country, but most overseas Chinese come from Guangdong and Fujian. The later wave of Chinese from the PRC is from everywhere though. Many in Singapore resent the wave of Chinese from the PRC, they are in no way culturally Singaporean. Singaporeans of all ethnicities are Singaporeans, don't get them confused or think they are just like Chinese in SE Asia. Also, Mandarin was not their ancestral tongue. The dialects are dying out among the younger generation, that is their roots, not the Mandarin of Beijing, although I do agree learning Mandarin is more useful. It's been a tool for Chinese unity, although English is still a big lingua franca in Singapore of course.

Chinese Malaysians vary from being more Chinese to more Western. In large enclaves like Ipoh, Penang, JB and parts of KL you can find people who seem pretty Chinese culturally. Then there are others who mostly speak English, who emphasise more their Malaysian identity. One can have both, however, they can see themselves as equally Chinese and Malaysians. The government sometimes makes it out like they aren't as Malaysian as the Malays though.
Rate this post positively
 
Old 02-15-2013, 10:30 AM
 
12,069 posts, read 9,788,165 times
Reputation: 6628
When the chinese first left and settled in SE Asia, they did so for economic opportunity, and power, and influence. They did not move because they like the culture, and wanted to change their names to a more foreign sounding one. Before the communist takeover, the overseas chinese most likely kept business contacts on mainland china, and that is how they stayed in touch.
Rate this post positively
 
Old 02-15-2013, 02:23 PM
 
Location: MD suburbs of DC
607 posts, read 1,222,206 times
Reputation: 451
Well, Singapore obviously has a very 'integrated' overseas Chinese population. Chinese have also assimilated in Thailand and Vietnam. At one point, there was a huge gap between the ethnic Indonesians and the Chinese Indonesians, but this has completely changed in the past 10 years, and they're quite assimilated as well, particularly the younger generation Chinese, or under the age of 18 (to a degree similar to Asian Americans, I suppose), and not so much the older Chinese (aged 50+). In Malaysia, in contrast to Singapore and to a lesser extent Indonesia, Chinese are still very much separated from the others.
Rate this post positively
 
Old 02-15-2013, 10:31 PM
 
251 posts, read 608,272 times
Reputation: 109
The Singaporeans actually seem to be very Chinese in their philosophy and other cultural aspects. If I am not mistaken, they observe the Chinese festivals with great gusto, and they honor tradition--much more so than the very westernized American born Chinese, most of whom cannot write a word of Chinese; some can't speak or even understand it.

In Singapore, all schools use English as the language of instruction starting from kindergarten, but there is Chinese class for all grades, and most households--and get this--most youth seem to speak Chinese. Not to mention the clan associations. So virtually every Chinese these days is fluent in both Chinese and English.
Rate this post positively
 
Old 02-15-2013, 10:56 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 50,618,393 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haowen Wong View Post
The Singaporeans actually seem to be very Chinese in their philosophy and other cultural aspects. If I am not mistaken, they observe the Chinese festivals with great gusto, and they honor tradition--much more so than the very westernized American born Chinese, most of whom cannot write a word of Chinese; some can't speak or even understand it.

In Singapore, all schools use English as the language of instruction starting from kindergarten, but there is Chinese class for all grades, and most households--and get this--most youth seem to speak Chinese. Not to mention the clan associations. So virtually every Chinese these days is fluent in both Chinese and English.
Languages of Singapore - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The trend is more English speaking. Already 40% of Singaporeans speak English as their first/main language, and among school-children today the figure is above 60%. But yes, most Chinese are still required to learn Mandarin as a 'mother tongue'. Indians have a similar rate of English speaking, with Malays the least.

But yes, Chinese culture is still there, obviously Singapore is far more connected to the rest of Asia than America is. I sometimes find it odd to be called 'Overseas Chinese', since I'm not really Chinese culturally. Not that I'm ashamed of it, but I consider myself Australian then Singaporean and then Chinese/Malaysian. Many Singaporeans or children of Singaporeans here can't understand or speak Mandarin at all.
Rate this post positively
 
Old 02-18-2013, 08:18 AM
kyh
 
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
383 posts, read 1,160,881 times
Reputation: 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haowen Wong View Post
The Singaporeans actually seem to be very Chinese in their philosophy and other cultural aspects. If I am not mistaken, they observe the Chinese festivals with great gusto, and they honor tradition--much more so than the very westernized American born Chinese, most of whom cannot write a word of Chinese; some can't speak or even understand it.

In Singapore, all schools use English as the language of instruction starting from kindergarten, but there is Chinese class for all grades, and most households--and get this--most youth seem to speak Chinese. Not to mention the clan associations. So virtually every Chinese these days is fluent in both Chinese and English.
Chinese Singaporeans tend to emphasise their nationality rather than their religion/race. They usually just identify themselves as Singaporeans instead of Chinese Singaporeans, unlike Chinese Malaysians, who tend to emphasize their race, probably out of the fear of losing their culture and racial unity in a Malay/Muslim-dominated country.

Indonesia has long lifted the ban on Chinese culture and languages since the fall of Suharto in the late 90s. Chinese New Year is now an official public holiday in the country. Heck, even the native Indonesian politicians employ Chinese characters on their election campaign banners!
Rate this post positively
 
Old 02-18-2013, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Charlotte North Carolina
1,527 posts, read 2,595,615 times
Reputation: 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyh View Post
Chinese Singaporeans tend to emphasise their nationality rather than their religion/race. They usually just identify themselves as Singaporeans instead of Chinese Singaporeans, unlike Chinese Malaysians, who tend to emphasize their race, probably out of the fear of losing their culture and racial unity in a Malay/Muslim-dominated country.

Indonesia has long lifted the ban on Chinese culture and languages since the fall of Suharto in the late 90s. Chinese New Year is now an official public holiday in the country. Heck, even the native Indonesian politicians employ Chinese characters on their election campaign banners!
could it be due to the fact that chinese culture is the dominant culture in singapore

do chinese malaysians fear they might become like thai-chinese??

i dont think that is the case with malaysia...its more like Malays want chinese and indians to know that they are in charge of the country....the "we dont care that you keep your culture...just remember who was here 1st" approach
Rate this post positively
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Closed Thread


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top