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Chinatowns in Oceania

This article discusses Chinatowns in Oceania.

Contents

Australia

Paifang at Sydney's Chinatown.
Bilingualism in suburban Fortitude Valley in Brisbane, Australia. Chinatown is located above ground.

Given its proximity to the Asian continent, Australia has had, and continues to witness, a massive immigration of Chinese and other Asians. As with Canada, the majority of ethnic Chinese immigrants to Australia are from Hong Kong. Chinese from various places of mainland China, Macau, Taiwan, Korea, Southeast Asia—especially Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, and Indonesia—and Latin America also settled Australia.

Many early Chinese from the Guangdong and Fujian provinces of China immigrated to Australia during the gold rush era. They were mainly Chinese of Taishan, Cantonese, Zhongshan, Hokkien, and Hakka origin. As in North America, the Chinese faced massive institutionalized discrimination, and Asian immigration was restricted by the White Australia Policy in the late 1880s. It was repealed by the 1970s under multiculturalist policies, which in turn ushered in a new wave of Asian immigration, particularly from Hong Kong and the People's Republic of China, and giving rise to several Australian Chinatown communities.

Australia has numerous historic frontier and rural Chinatowns, such as in Atherton, Queensland and Brocks Creek, Northern Territory. These early Chinatowns are now preserved heritage sites.

Contemporary Chinatowns are found in the Australian cities of Sydney, New South Wales, Melbourne, Victoria, Perth, Western Australia, Brisbane, Queensland, and Adelaide, South Australia. There is a Chinatown in Broome, Western Australia, nearly 2,000 kilometres north from Perth. Like their Chinese North American counterparts, Chinese Australians tend to live in many different suburbs.

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Adelaide

Adelaide's China Town is located in the Adelaide Central Markets precinct, on Moonta Street, between Grote and Gouger streets. Two impressive Paifang mark the entrances at either end. Adelaide China Town consists mainly of oriental restaurants, grocery stores and markets.

Brisbane

The Chinatown of Brisbane is located in the suburb of Fortitude Valley, complete with its own Chinese gateway. Located near the Story Bridge, Chinatown is very popular for Australians too.

Darwin

A new synthetic Chinatown of Darwin, Northern Territory is in development and it is to be finished in 2010 at a cost of AU $90 million.[1]

Melbourne

Melbourne's Chinatown is around Lonsdale Street, Little Bourke Street, Bourke Street and Russell Street. It is notable as the oldest Chinatown in Australia,[2] the oldest continuous Chinese settlement in Australia, and the longest continuously running Chinatown outside of Asia. A suburban Chinese community lives in Doncaster, with a large Hong Kong and Taiwanese expatriate population, and in Box Hill with a large Chinese and Vietnamese communities. The Vietnamese community resides in Footscray, Richmond, Springvale and St Albans. Melbourne's Chinatown boasts some world famous cuisine, Flower Drum for example was voted as one of the best Chinese restaurants in the world by the New York Times. Gift shops and souvernir shops also make up a large proportion of businesses. This started when Chinatown Duty Free opened, a popular store selling Australian produce to overseas Chinese. It is said that Melbourne Chinatown also houses the world's longest dragon in the Melbourne Chinatown Museum.

Perth

Perth has a Chinatown on Roe Street in the inner-city suburb of Northbridge. There are many more Asian businesses found on William St, Northbridge than at the official Chinatown. Historically many Chinese (usually of Malaysian, Singaporean or Indonesian background) settled in Northbridge alongside other immigrant groups. The city's low density population and comparatively cheap property encourages migrants to move to the expanding suburbs. Asian students often chose to live in suburbs near universities, such as Bentley, Murdoch and Nedlands.

Sydney

Sydney's Chinatown is the third area to bear that name. Originally in The Rocks area of Sydney, it later moved to the area near Market Street at Darling Harbour and finally to its current location in Haymarket, around Dixon Street. In the Sydney area, working-class Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants have settled in the suburban Chinatown of Cabramatta. Other suburban Chinatowns have cropped up over the years in the suburbs of Ashfield, Burwood, Chatswood, Eastwood, Parramatta, and Hurstville.

French Polynesia

The Chinatown, called Quartier Chinois, in French Polynesia is located in Papeete on Tahiti island. Its overseas Chinese also migrated to France. Starting in 1865, early Chinese migrants of the Hakka variety arrived in French Polynesia to work on the island cotton plantations. Many of these migrants were exploited. The ethnic Chinese population has been declining in French Polynesia.[3]

Guam

Hagåtña (Agaña) has a unique Chinatown in Guam, a United States territory. The first Chinese immigrated during the Spanish territorial period, and their first descendants can speak Spanish. The Japanese, Koreans, Thais, Vietnamese, Filipinos, Chamorros, and other Pacific Islanders also settled the place, making it a multi-Asian district. These Asians also migrated to Hawaii or mainland United States.

Nauru

The only Nauruan Chinatown is located at the Aiue Boulevard in the Aiwo District.

New Caledonia

Noumea has the only Chinatown, or Quartier Chinois, in New Caledonia. It has been settled by ethnic Vietnamese, Chinese Vietnamese, and Chinese Indonesian refugees. These Chinese also settled in France.

New Zealand

Dancers celebrate the start of the Year of the Rooster in Dunedin, New Zealand, February 2005

There has been less Chinese immigration to New Zealand than in Australia, although there is an overall strong Southeast Asian presence in many of the country's urban areas. Many Taiwanese and Cantonese settlers from Hong Kong also live permanently in New Zealand, and in recent years New Zealand universities have been attractive to overseas students from Southeast Asia. Chinatowns existed on Greys Avenue in Auckland and Haining Street in Wellington up until the 1970s, and there is a growing community in both Christchurch and Dunedin.

The first early Chinese immigrants to New Zealand are Cantonese from Guangdong Province, and they went here for the Central Otago goldrush of 1861. The former Chinese gold-mining settlement near the present town of Lawrence is being restored as an open-air museum. Because of this influx of Cantonese during the 1860s, there is a strong Chinese presence in Dunedin, whose mayor as of 2008, Peter Chin, is of Chinese descent. During the late 19th century and early 20th century, the area between Rattray Street and Stafford Street at the southern end of the city's CBD had the highest concentration of Chinese businesses in the country, notably Choie (Charles) Sew Hoy's importing company. A traditional Chinese garden is now a feature of the central city.

Though Dunedin has no focussed Chinatown area per se, a large proportion of the businesses in northern George Street cater specifically for the large Eastern and Southeast Asian community centred around this part of the city.

Many Taiwanese and Cantonese settlers from Hong Kong also live permanently in New Zealand, and in recent years New Zealand universities have been attractive to overseas students from Southeast Asia. Other groups of Chinese travelled from South Korea, South Africa, Australia, Latin America, and other Pacific Islands. Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, and Filipino culture are also prevalent in New Zealand's Chinatowns, making them multi-Asian places.

In 2002, the New Zealand Government recently made a public apology to the Chinese for the poll tax that had been levied on their forefathers a century ago.[4]

Northern Mariana Islands

Saipan, in the Northern Mariana Islands has a residential district known as "Chinatown". However, very few Chinese actually live there and most of the small groceries in the area are actually run by Koreans.

Papua New Guinea

Several old Chinatowns dot the landscape of Papua New Guinea. The Chinatown of Rabaul is among the oldest in the nation. There is also a Chinatown in the capital city of Port Moresby. Many ethnic Chinese have migrated to Australia.

Solomon Islands

There is an active Chinatown in the city of Honiara on the Solomon Islands. It was badly damaged in rioting in April 2006, following the election of Snyder Rini as Prime Minister.

Vanuatu

Vanuatu has a small Chinatown (Quartier Chinois) on Rue Carnot in Port Vila. Its population includes ethnic Vietnamese and ethnic Chinese residents.

References

External links


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