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Opportunity in America: the Chinese-American experience - Essay Example

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A popular saying, ‘all that glitters is not gold’ at times may be taken for granted by many people. This however is true to some extend depending on the situation that one faces in this lifetime. According to history, many people have passed through difficult time in trying to have a better life…
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Opportunity in America: the Chinese-American experience
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As an overview, I will first start by explaining the means the Chinese people ended up staying or working in America. There are many people who have narrated their ordeals which are mostly shocking and unbelievable. According to the Chinese believes, all people of their origin are destined to remain as one forever, they should follow the paths of their ancestors. (Nelson, p. 70) During, growth, the young generation (the children), follow their parents steps and examples, the parents also comply by following the rules set by the fore fathers. All these are customs that are very well respected in this culture. Avery good example is the wish of being buried beside your parent’s grave or even forefathers’ grave.
To illustrate this, a precedent is set by Hoy Chon Gar who was a famous Chinese doctor and a resident in America. He was a much respected man amongst the Chinese immigrants and the American citizens. During his lifetime, he wished to be buried back home after death. This was going to be the first attempt ever because for several years no body remains had been taken back to the ancestral home. Even after burial, most wishes of the deceased are usually not met. This only prompts for fresh burial ceremonies to be conducted at the ancestral homeland- china. The journey to America is in different ways. In the Chinese culture, the girls have a low value of importance in the community compared to boys. As a result, most of them are sold off at a very young age to merchants. This was mainly witnessed in the poor families whereby the only means of getting money was by selling off the girls to merchants. Fate was to take its course because some were ‘lucky’ to find themselves working in wealthy families. While here, they attended to the daughters of the rich families. Some of the chores included washing their feet, fanning them and even singing for them. Being taken to a mid-level family was nightmare because there were many things being subjected to them. These included heavy work like doing laundry, feeding the children , cleaning the house, cooking and others to mention just but a few. Age was also a factor in determining the type of work the slave girls would do. On reaching puberty, some of the girls were made prostitutes, concubines or even wives to the male children of wealthy families. Under this stage, we see a change in the lifestyle of the grown up girls. They were no longer subjected to slave work but also taken into the community. In so doing, their lives improved. Employment in America was one of the aims for the Chinese population. Most of them opted for odd jobs such as laundry, farming, peddling rail construction, gardening and domestic service. In most of their minds, “the gold mountain” was the place to be in search of a good life. This referred to America. The 1800’s lead to a massive movement of the Chinese into America in search for the good life they dreamt of. That is why in the start of this work, I quoted the saying ‘all that glitters is not gold’. This is to be discovered in the subsequent paragraphs. As the population of the Chinese increased, it was apparent that there were many towns springing up and in them was embedded the die-hard culture of the Chinese which is cultivated from a tender age. It is true to say that culture erosion is very hard. That is why amongst many visions, the Chinese believed in returning home even after their death. Much of the work done by the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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