Why that African China town is not Cantonese/ Why our Hokkiens are not real Hokkiens

In Uncategorized on 11/09/2017 at 10:52 am

A recent FT article about the changing face of London’s “Chinatown” reminded me of all the “China” towns in cities I’ve lived in for longish spells: the ones in Sydney and “Melbourne”. They were all “Hongkie” towns.

But it seems the China towns in South Africa must be different different.

From another FT article

Known for its entrepreneurial culture and history of emigration, hundreds of thousands have moved from China’s Fujian province to southern Africa since the early 2000s, and are thought to make up the majority of South Africa’s Chinese population of more than 350,000.

As a result, visitors to remote coastal villages in Fujian can find their request for directions answered in English, tinged with a South African accent. Migration has transformed the villages, with tall houses built with remittances from overseas workers, many with crosses painted above their doors, a reflection of the province’s large Christian population.

But South Africa’s growth slowed after 2007 and several returned traders blamed the falling value of the rand against China’s renminbi for biting into margins.

Another reason for returning from SA is the rising crime rate.

Whatever, while the Hokkiens here are happy to stay here (and I’m sure bitch about the PAP), Chinese Hokkiens still have the spirit of adventure.


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