This study focused on Hakka merchants in Batavia (now Jakarta) in the Dutch East Indies, with the aim of examining their position within Chinese society, which has been overlooked in previous studies of Indonesian Chinese history. In addition, this study explored the characteristics of their economic activities across colonial territories and East Asia, including China and Japan. At the beginning of the 20th century, several Hakka merchants who were appointed Chinese officers by the colonial government played a major role in the Chinese nationalist movement. Their social status was based on the success of the trading business since the mid-19th century, and with the development of liberal economics and intra-Asian trade, they became wealthy merchants who established large trading houses in the Chinese quarter. They mainly handled inexpensive daily goods from China and Japan, and formed a distribution network that involved import, wholesaling, and retailing, and incorporated newcomers from their area in China. Their network predated the arrival of Japanese retailers and brought light industrial goods from East Asia to the local market in place of expensive European goods. In terms of political orientation, they were strong supporters of the Republic of China and Kuomintang. These Hakka leaders were clearly key actors in the mobilization of people, goods, money, and information that increasingly circulated throughout Asia. The influence of the Hakka Chinese merchants on Indonesian society was not insignificant, as they were active at a time when the Dutch East Indies were being integrated into the international economy.
Chinatowns, exotic tourism resources as they are, receive increasing global popularity these days and their events attract millions of tourists every year. Based on the fieldwork of Kobe Chinatown’s 150th Anniversary from January 2017 to June 2019, this paper discusses how and why non-Chinese diversity can be presented publicly in Chinatowns, where are originally regarded as ethnically “Chinese-ness.” Firstly, this paper finds out that the preparatory committee of Kobe Chinatown’s 150th Anniversary is composed of diverse groups, such as Kobe Chinatown Development Association, Kobe Tourism Bureau, and other associations of tourist attractions. Such groups bring tourist resources with multi-cultural backgrounds to Kobe Chinatown. These tourist resources reflect the local characteristics of Kobe as an international city. Secondly, this paper identifies the local characteristics presented publicly in the jazz events and the main festival of Kobe Chinatown’s 150th Anniversary. According to the informants working in Kobe Chinatown, the appropriation of non-Chinese diversity conveys their Kobe-ness. In this paper, investigating from the participation of diverse participants, the occurrence of non-Chinese diversity in Kobe Chinatown’s 150th Anniversary is analyzed. For non-Chinese participants, their non-Chinese diversity could promote local tourism. For local Chinese participants, the acceptance of non-Chinese diversity results from their place-making of Kobe Chinatown where they can express their experience, feelings, and collective memories in Kobe.
This article examines the economic activities of Chinese immigrants in Iceland’s tourism industry in the context of China’s increasing economic influence on Iceland. In the past ten years, tourism has become one of Iceland’s major industries and contributed into Iceland’s economic growth. Chinese tourists rapidly increased in Iceland and occupied the third place among inbound tourists. The service industry for Chinese tourists has generated new demand for workers, proficient in the Chinese language, which eventually triggered the employment of Chinese immigrants in this economic sector. As a consequence, Chinese immigrants have become increasingly engaged in various economic activities by providing services to Chinese tourists. For that purpose, Chinese residents set up travel agencies and got employed as tour guides. At the same time, many local travel agencies began hiring Chinese immigrants. Through various economic activities in the tourism industry, Chinese immigrants have obtained opportunities for upward social mobility. Chinese immigrants have contributed into tourism development in Iceland by actively participating in various economic activities and created new job opportunities in the local labor market which were better than ones of the other tour operators, because they well understand the cultural practices of both China and Iceland. In the context of the tourism development between China and Iceland, the role of Chinese immigrants will be increasing. Therefore, Icelandic society should pay more attention to Chinese immigrants and their potential contribution.
Under the multiple cultural backgrounds of growth, children from Chinese-Japanese transnational families need to learn various languages as daily communicative tools. When they communicate with non-multilinguistic speakers, there exists a varying degree of “errors” of performance. These “errors” of performance do not entirely reflect in the sense of the linguistic constitution, such as grammar and spelling. In other words, albeit multilinguistic speakers sophisticatedly master the linguistic structure, they sometimes “misuse” the language in individual situations anyhow. These “errors” of performance are often seen as inadequate competence and often be corrected by the surrounding circumstances. This paper will focus on the multilinguistic speakers’ “errors” of performance from the anthropological perspective. I will not search for the error from the grammatical structure point of view but shed some light on the questions below: for what kind of emotional purpose, and in what kind of context, multilinguistic speakers use the language in that way? Simultaneously, I will combine speakers’ explanations to discuss the rationality of the “errors” of performance.
In this article, I try to consider how the foodways of Chinese overseas can be described. Chinese restaurant in Lagos, Nigeria, offers “ordinary” Chinese dishes, almost the same as we usually eat in mainland China. Though they are authentic Chinese dishes, it is difficult to regard them as foodways of Chinese overseas. Bak kut teh in Malaysia, which is closely related with the historical story of Chinese overseas, are still consumed in local’s daily life as well as eagerly commercialized as local specialty. Nanyang Zongcan is unique category of cuisine which especially features the food of Chinese overseas. The restaurant offers popular “creole” Chinese foods dishes which were invented and localized in Southeast Asia or North America. Customers consume them as icon of Overseas Chinese foods, which withdrew with original context. The foodways of Overseas Chinese are never able to be grasped as they are intrinsically but described as spectrum from ordinary Chinese dishes consumed abroad to reflexive icon. In this regard, the foodways of Overseas Chinese as research object correspond to Overseas Chinese itself.
In the literature on overseas Chinese, the socio-cultural characteristics of overseas Chinese people have been discussed from various perspectives. However, their food culture has not been discussed in general terms as “overseas Chinese food,” although the diversity and history of the food have been explored individually. This paper examines the food culture of the Chinese people in the Malay Peninsula (Singapore and Malaysia) and highlights that it is characterized by high-calorie “convenience eating” [Mintz 1985], as well as community dining and culinary practices in a multicultural urban context that allow people to eat what they want individually. Notably, customers of hawker centres (popular food courts in the Malay Peninsula) order and eat the food they want whenever they want. This is not a dining style that involves sharing food from the same plate; rather, by being at the same place at the same time while eating what they want individually, people are able to loosely connect and check on each other. This type of dining, in which people eat what they want whenever they want, is very common in the Malay Peninsula where people from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds live together. Dining in public spaces with a wide variety of choices is particularly significant and actually constitutes an urban way of eating and drinking, which is considered as a major overseas Chinese food culture characteristic.
Food culture researchers have collected a wide range of ethnographic data on what and how people eat in every corner of the world. One of the problems that has not yet been solved is how we can discuss two quite different food experiences in a ritual setting and a daily setting as integral parts of single food culture. This is especially true in the contact zone, which is characterized by reflexivity. In this essay, the author ethnographically describes the “everyday food” of the diasporic or in-between Chinese, who migrated from Fujian to the Philippines based on a survey conducted in Manila in 2020, and discusses what and how they experience their “minor food,” which could be discovered not in the unique attributes, but in the middle of majority’s food habits and the absence. In the diasporic Chinese food experiences, we can find two major food clusters: congee and noodles. Both are characterized by thick and sticky texture that comes from various starches. These foods are taken as “nothing” rather than foods without any ritual metaphors and meanings. It is through these foods before named that the diasporic Chinese nullified and neutralized the political powers either to bind them to their hometown, or to exclude them from the destination. For the diasporic Chinese, casual foods should neither be too traditional nor too modern, neither too Chinese nor too Filipino, neither too local nor too universal. The everyday foods of the diasporic Chinese are invented by neutralizing excessive symbolic meanings on both sides of the contact zone.