March 25th, 2008

Now this seems like an intriguing topic. Manying Ip has decided to investigate the Maori-Chinese, a little-known group that resulted from relationships between Chinese market-gardeners in New Zealand, far from their wives and children and regular families in China, and Maori women who did not necessarily expect much out of the relationships.

To be honest, I’d never heard of such a group before, but apparently there’s more of them than one might expect, and Prof Ip gives us a very short explanation in this article:

Today, the younger Maori-Chinese may be confident with their multiple roots and the cultural advantages they possess, but it was a very different story in the past, she said.

“Trying to establish a positive Maori-Chinese identity when both Maori and Chinese were considered undesirable was an ongoing struggle for each one of them,” said Professor Ip, who described Maori and Chinese as marginalised communities in New Zealand.

That, and there, erm, irregular family backgrounds… Understood.

This could be an interesting book to look out for.

6 Responses to “Maori-Chinese”

  1. nick Says:

    I might be wrong but i believe Bic Runga is Polynesian Chinese.

  2. wangbo Says:

    I’ve heard something similar before, but we’d have to ask Bic herself. Anyway, I took it from the reference to market-gardeners whose wives and kids were back in China that the Maori-Chinese the book is about are of a much older variety, born back in the days of poll-taxes and other devious legal means to limit the number of Chinese immigrants.

  3. nick Says:

    i was thinking more along the lines of..Bics hot, maybe there’s some hot Maori Chinese too
    :-P (sorry, too long in front of a computer today)

  4. wangbo Says:

    I’m sure there are…

  5. christine Says:

    The book is based on interviews with members of 7 existing families about their history and contemporary experience – not a historical literature survey. Cheers.

  6. wangbo Says:

    Thanks for the clarification, Christine. It sounds like a really interesting book. I wonder if it’ll be available in Beijing?