我的故事 ~ 一个有创建性的研究课题


flag-china-aus一个有创建性的研究课题

对于移民来说,身份的认同是一种深层的文化心理,一种心理归宿的诉求,也是移民特定的人性的一部分。澳大利亚是华人重要的移民地,对移民的创业史、个人奋斗历程、自我与社会相互的文化冲突与交融,以及人生成就感的研究,有助于对移民的特定价值及身份的肯定,有助于华人移民对澳洲的发展与社会和谐进一歩做出贡献,也有助于对澳大利亚的著名的国策一一多元文化政策积极的探讨。

口述史是二十世纪以来盛行的学朮方法,从人类学、社会学,到文化学、遗产学与文学,广法应用。口述史做为一种以人为本的活态的历史记录,一种以个人记忆为研究对象的人文科学,有着不可替代的史料价值与学术价值。

为此,西澳大学孔子学院采用口述史方式,通过澳洲华人移民身份的文化认同这一深入的角度,从个人记忆的口述记录到集体记忆的整体研究,是一个十分有眼光、有创建性的课题。我相信,它必将渐渐显露学术意义,也是一个很好的开端,我们将期待着分享这一学术成果。

 

冯骥才

中国文联执行副主席

中华人民共和国国务院参事

2014年10月19日

 

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My Story ~ Foreword


chinaustIn 1997 Stephen Fitzgerald, Australia’s first Ambassador to China, published a book titled “Is Australia an Asian Country?” It is an intellectual book, alert to the strengths and weaknesses of both Australia and China, but its populist, questioning title was deliberately provocative. The book includes discussion of “the history of our own society in relation to China” (p16) and China is “something of a touchstone” to Fitzgerald’s consideration of his own country. Australia’s knowledge of and attitudes towards China become a way for Stephen Fitzgerald to chart developments in Australians’ sense of their own identity. He is decidedly of the view that the “Asian challenge for Australia is not economic or commercial” but “intellectual, and the issues are political and cultural” (p4).

These comments are worth remembering: they have just as much relevance today, and if the question in Fitzgerald’s title does not seem as startling as in 1997 it is because Australians have heard the question many times, have become more Asia and China aware and more knowledgeable about our neighbouring region. Not the least of the reasons for this progress is the extent of Asian, including Chinese, migration. Europeans who visit Australia nowadays are often struck by the extent of an Asian presence – of Asian faces in the street, in schools and universities, of Asian shops and restaurants, and of Asian participation in Australian industry. The dominant group in this presence is ethnically Chinese, although it must be stressed often from South-east Asia as well as mainland China.

Chinese migration to Australia actually has a long (by white Australian standards) history. There have been claims of Chinese explorers coming to Australia centuries ago but these remain controversial. What is sure is that in the last fifty years of the nineteenth century more than 100,000 Chinese migrated to Australia, mainly from Guangdong and Fujian provinces. They were driven from China by the Taiping Rebellion and other political upheavals and by natural disasters, and were drawn to Australia by the prospect of work (often as contract labourers with poor conditions) and by gold. Many suffered enormous hardship and racial vilification, many died and many left, but after gold petered out some set up small businesses and market gardens in both towns and cities. At the time of founding Australia as a nation in 1901 there were more ethnically Chinese people in the country than of any other non-European group. However, the first legal activity of the new Parliament was to enact the White Australia policy, so that the number of Chinese diminished from 30,000 in 1901 to 12,000 in 1947. The number in Western Australia, never very large, was less than 400. Read more

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我的故事 ~ 序


chinaust1997年,澳大利亚首位驻华大使斯蒂芬•菲茨杰拉德出版了一本书,题为《澳大利亚是一个亚洲国家吗?》。这本书很有见解,对澳大利亚和中国各自的优势与劣势非常清醒,但是它的民粹主义,以及质疑性的标题构成了一种有意的挑衅。这本书讨论了“我们社会的历史与中国”(P16),并从自己国家的角度,认为中国对澳大利亚来说是“某种试金石”。根植于澳大利亚人自己的认同感,斯蒂芬将澳大利亚关于中国的知识,及其对中国的态度,作为其跟踪澳大利亚发展的方式。他显然认为,“亚洲对澳大利亚的挑战不是经济上的,也不是商业上的”,而是“知识上的,产生的问题都是政治和文化上的”(p4)。

这些评论值得我们记住:它们在今天也有很大的借鉴意义,如果说菲茨杰拉德在书名里的疑问看起来没有1997年时那么惊人,原因就在于澳大利亚人已经很多次听到过这个问题,已经更多地意识到亚洲和中国,并且更多地了解了他们的邻近地区。这种变化很重要的原因是亚洲人(包括中国人和其他移民)范围的扩大。现在欧洲人访问澳大利p平时,常常会被无处不在的亚洲人面孔吓住——大街上、中小学里、大学里、亚洲商店和餐馆里,甚至澳大利亚的产业中都有亚洲人。这些人中,主要的群体是华人,尽管除了中国大陆,也不能忽视东南亚人的存在。

根据白色澳大利亚人标准,中国人迁移到澳大利亚的历史其实很悠久。一直有种观点认为,几百年前就有中国的探险家来到澳大利亚,虽然这些观点仍有争议,但是可以肯定的是,19世纪50年代,主要来自广东、福建的100,000多中国人迁移到了澳大利亚。他们为太平天国起义和其他政治动荡及自然灾害所逼,逃离中国,又被工作的希望(通常是做合同条件较差的工人)和黄金吸引到澳大利亚。他们很多人遭受了巨大的苦难和种族诽谤,很多人死去,很多人离开,但是在黄金热逐渐消失后,有些人在城镇建起了小型企业和蔬菜农场。1901年正值澳大利亚建国的时候,当时华人的人数比来自欧洲以外的其他任何群体都多。然而,新议会的第一个法律行动就是要颁布白澳政策,这样华人的的数量就从1901年的30,000人锐减到1947年的12,000人。而在华人人数历来都不多的澳大利亚西部,只剩下不到400人。

然而这一切在近年来全都改变了。据人口统计学家詹姆斯贾普报道,“…1986年和1991年之间生于中国的移民人口增加了一倍,到1996年又进一步增加了40%,达到111,000人。”(p219)现在这个过程仍在继续,又有很多中国人来到了澳大利亚来临时工作或学习。然而,这些统计数据只给了我们一个笼统的面貌,至于数字背后的生命,或出于主动选择或出于被迫接受,却很少被提及。每个客观统计数据的背后都是一个活生生的人,都有一张脸,一双手和一个跳动的心脏,他们都有自己的故事要讲。 Read more

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My Story ~ Foreword ~ Chinese in Australia, 1980 –


chinaustr2There are many features in this book that offer a distinctive contribution to our knowledge and understanding of Chinese in Australia from the 1980s, a time coinciding with the opening up of China to increased business and personal travel experiences. Historically there have been different waves of Chinese, from the early period of indentured labour and gold-seekers, to the contemporary period where there is a more varied mix of commerce, small businesses, investment, educational, and travel.

This book focuses on the period from 1980. There are many pivotal and distinctive features in this study, which focuses on the personal stories of selected Chinese people, predominantly in Western Australia.

The interviews of men and women reveal poignant details of their personal feelings and experiences. They have varied backgrounds, some entered on 457 visas, most have, or sought education, professional employment or business opportunities.

Importantly, many reveal a glimpse into their personal life in China, or other countries, prior to arriving in Australia. These details provide the backdrop to exposed mixed feelings of cultural loss in Australia. We learn about the difficulties of language, of unfamiliarity of employment and the workplace, not only on their arrival, but as a continuing theme.

Cultural differences and the difficulty of adaptation are revealed sensitively. There is courage in the openness to talk with feeling, and often humour, of Australian habits, and although they appreciate the orderliness and opportunities in Australia, most expressed a preference to continue Chinese eating, family and cultural habits. Central to this sensitive discussion is the discussion of ‘home’ of loyalty; of sense of place; of country. The strength of this book is the honesty and sensitive approach to these difficult questions of identity, culture, family and ‘home’.

Dr Jan Ryan

Honorary Professor
Edith Cowan University

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我的故事 ~ 序 ~ 二十世纪八十年代的澳洲华人


chinaustr2二十世纪八十年代,伴随着中国的对外开放,商业活动和个人游历活动日益频繁。历史上,从早期契约式劳工和淘金者到当代形式多样的商业贸易、小生意、投资、教育和旅游等,一波又一波的华人赴澳。本书的许多故事为我们了解这个时代背景下来澳的华人作出了独特贡献。

本书聚焦于二十世纪八十年代。书中有很多重要而独特的描述,讲述了华人,尤其是西澳华人的个人奋斗历程。

对人物进行的访谈,生动、细致地再现了他们辛酸的个人情感和奋斗经历。他们有着不同的背景,一些人持457签证入境,大多数人拥有或者寻求教育、专业工作或者经商的机遇。

尤为重要的是书中很多故事对这些华人来澳之前在中国或其他国家的生活经历做了简要回顾。这些细节为主人公由于文化缺失而显现的悲喜杂糅的复杂的心情提供了背景。我们由此能够体会他们语言学习的困境,对求职和工作环境的疏离感和陌生感。这种感受不仅产生在他们来澳之初,而且一直困扰着他们。

本书敏锐地反映了文化差异和文化顺应困难。经常带着一种澳式的幽默,主人公勇敢而坦诚地谈起自己的情感经历。虽然他们欣赏澳大利亚的秩序和机遇,大多数人还是表达了对中国饮食、家庭和文化习惯的偏好。书中探讨的核心是对“家园”的忠诚,地域和国家意识。诚实、细致入微地探讨认同、文化、家庭和“家园”等敏感的话题是本书的一个亮点和难能可贵之处。

简·瑞安博士

伊迪斯科文大学教授

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My Story ~ 1. Sometimes, Flowers Bloom Even More Beautifully In A Foreign Soil


Flag of the People's Republic of China
“I am not a professional builder, but it was like a mouse under the Buddhist scripture which became an elf by listening to holy words all the time…”

I came to this new and unknown land. During the past decades, my world has been enriched, my English has improved, my hard work turned into money in my pocket. My initial uneasiness gradually gave way to a kind of heartfelt appreciation of this place. That I quit my job in China and came here, starting from scratch was really a very difficult process, a mixture of joy and sadness, excitement and difficulties.
I was born in 1963. My hometown is Gantao, a town administered by Fuqing city, a county-level city of Fujian province. I did not live in the city. I was a rural child from a rural household. The countryside I am talking about is the place where people relied wholly on their land to support them. Some say:”those living on a mountain live off the mountain, those living near the sea live off the sea.” Unfortunately, we were not near the mountain nor the sea, so we have nothing to rely on but a few acres of poor land. Common crops in my hometown were sweet potato, rice, peanuts and vegetables that were all we could grow on our land. I have five very clever brothers. My eldest brother, second brother and third brother attended elementary school, but only my eldest brother graduated, my second and third brothers did not even finish elementary school due to my father’s death. My fourth and fifth brother did not receive any education at all. However, my brothers supported me in college, which made me the only college-educated member of our family. I passed the entrance examination in 1984 and was enrolled at the Fujian College of Business. In my hometown, only one out of a hundred applicants was admitted. I graduated from college in 1987; we were the first class from the Business College who majored in management of commercial enterprises. At our school, we were a group of ambitious youngsters who came from all over the country.

I was assigned to a government organization after graduation, the General Office of Fujian Province. My position was highly related to economy. I was a young man walking out from a rural area and was very clear about my own position. I couldn’t make any mistakes in the financial situation of my life, even if I was tempted to do so. At that time a lot of people from Fuqing went abroad. They were earning 400 Australian dollars a week – more than 2,000RMB. The exchange rate of the Australian dollar compared to the RMB was 6.5 yuan, so people in Australia could earn more than 2,000 RMB a week.
At that time my salary was only 125 yuan a month, that is, 500 yuan a year. The money they earned in one week was equal to two years’ salary. Because of this, my wife and I planned to go abroad. First, we could learn some English; second, we could enrich our experience; and third, we could make a fortune there and come back to China for a better job.
At that time, many people chose Japan over Australia, because it was easier to make more money in Japan than in Australia; however later we found that Australia was much better. You had to work very hard in Japan. Some people even had two or three part-time jobs a day. My original plan was that I would work in Japan after graduation, so I could help my mother to live a better life and to pay back my brothers for their years of support. But my decision met with strong disagreement from my family. They were worried that I might lose my job in China, which in their opinion way too high a price to pay.
Later, when I was walking past my junior high school on my way to my mother’s house I accidentally came across my former schoolmate who was a teacher at a local school. I told him about my dilemma. He was totally against my decision to go to Japan. I said;”Why?” He said that we fought for so long just to get this hard-won iron rice bowl, how could you give it away. Japan was for the rebels, the illiterate, people who are not able to finish their education, people with no future promise. Their families had no choice but to send them to Japan. We should not “dance with the wolves”, and you should not hang out with these people. I thought his words made sense, so I gave up my plan to go to Japan. Read more

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