The Chinese diaspora

As a child of immigrants, and as a Canadian, I’ve always been fascinated by the wide Chinese diaspora. I’m 100% Chinese, but I have one grandmother who grew up in Dutch Guiana (now called Suriname), a grandfather who grew up in Indonesia, and another set of grandparents from Malaysia. My parents are from Malaysia and Hong Kong, and I’ve got relatives living as far away as Australia, the Netherlands and Jamaica.

As I write this, I am watching a TV documentary series on the OMNI channel called “Chinese Restaurants.” It’s a fascinating study of Chinese immigrants in diverse places such as Isreal, Madagascar, Cuba and India, all tied together by the restaurants they started in their new home. My only issue is that the show is broadcast in Cantonese, and my Cantonese basically sucks. At one point during one episode, I actually understood the French being spoken by one of the interviewees better than the Cantonese narration. Languages other than English are definitely not my strong point.

Luckily, there’s a DVD available. And it comes with English subtitles and narration. There’s discounts if you order three or more copies, so if you’re interested in one let me know before I start ordering. 🙂

If you’d like to learn more about the series, there’s a very interesting interview on the Chinese Restaurant website.