Diaspora Charity in the Cantonese Pacific, 1850–1949
Charity is a common feature of diaspora communities the world over. Chinese overseas are no exception.1 Wherever they landed, emigrants from China maintained close family, native-place, and social connections with their communities of origin long after their departure from China, entailing obligations to meet the basic requirements of communities back home while supporting one another in times of need abroad. The monetary value of charitable giving on the part of Chinese communities overseas is difficult to quantify, particularly for the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and yet the prominence of charity in the life of the Chinese diaspora and the value placed on charitable initiatives by communities themselves are widely recognized in the historical literature. With this volume we add to that body of work a selection of studies on the place of charity among Cantonese settlers in Australasia and North America over the century leading to the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949....
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