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Meeting PlaceEncounters across Cultures in Hong Kong, 1841-1984$
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Elizabeth Sinn and Christopher Munn

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390847

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390847.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2021. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

The Parallel Worlds of Seafarers

The Parallel Worlds of Seafarers

Connections and Disconnections on the Hong Kong Waterfront (1841–1970)

(p.131) 7 The Parallel Worlds of Seafarers
Meeting Place

Stephen Davies

Hong Kong University Press

In the godowns, shipping offices, chandleries and dockyards a medley of voice did business in a multiplicity of languages and dialects. The goods they handled, shipped in from all over the world, represented as many ways of seeing and being, eating and dressing, living and dying. Yet there were disconnections as well as connections in this interface of interfaces. This chapter describes how the colonial government set apart seamen of different ethnic backgrounds by issuing different sets of regulations for seamen’s boarding houses according to whether they were lascars (Indians, Malays and others from South and Southeast Asia), Chinese or Westerners. Deepening the divides was the strong native-place and dialect-basis principle under which Chinese boarding houses were organized, indicating a certain degree of segregation among the Chinese themselves. The separateness is also shown in the different church missions, which ministered to seamen according to their ethnic origins.

Keywords:   Hong Kong, Seamen, Boarding houses, Missions, Lascars, Dockyard

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