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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我的故事 ~ 1. 有时候换一片土壤,也许可以开出不一样的花


Flag of the People's Republic of China“我本不是做建筑业的,但是就好像佛典底下的老鼠,听着听着就成精了…

我们来到这片全新的,非常陌生的土地,一路上走过来,从最初的长一点知识,学一点喜欢的东西,学一点英语,再赚一点钱;从当时的不入乡随俗,不喜欢,然后变成了喜欢。喜欢上了以后,国内很好的工作也辞去了。在这里从零开始,一路上走过来,确实是一个非常艰辛的过程。有悲伤,有欢乐,有艰难,有困苦,有兴奋。

我是1963年出生的。老家是福建福清市,县级市。感陶,市底下的一个镇。我家不在城里,所以我是百分之百的农村户口,百分之百的乡下孩子。我所说的乡下,就是以种田为生。有人说:“靠山吃山,靠海吃海”。我们是没山也没海,所以我们就不靠山不靠海,不吃山不吃海,就是贫贫的几亩地。最普遍的是地瓜,然后种一点水稻、花生、蔬菜,仅此而已。

家里面我兄弟都很聪明。我五个兄弟当中,大哥、二哥、三哥都念过小学。我大哥念到小学毕业。二哥三哥因为父亲去世了都没念到毕业,然后老四和老五一天学校都没念过。我几个兄弟死活要培养我念大学,所以我是书念得最多的一个。我原来是福建省商业专科学校的。84年考上去的,那时候竞争是非常激烈。像我们那边,是100个选一个。我87年大专毕业,是第一届商业专科学校,念的是商业企业管理。在学校里面,我们都是来自全国各地的孩子啊,有志气。毕业后分配的单位是一个非常好的单位,福建省办公厅。我所在的岗位又是跟经济有关系的。我是个农村孩子,我对自己定位很清楚,我这辈子绝对不能在经济上犯错误,再大的诱惑我都不要。当时因为我们福清那边有很多人出国。他们一个礼拜赚比如说400澳币,就2000多人民币,那时候澳币兑人民币6块半,所以一个礼拜就可以赚两千多。我那时候一个月工资才125,一年才1500块钱。他做一个礼拜,我要做两年。所以我当时就想,两全其美,跟我老婆一起来。我们出去,第一学一点英语;第二长一点见识;第三我们赚一点钱回来,然后好好工作。

那时候去日本比来澳大利亚热。因为日本赚钱快,但是我们后来才发现,澳大利亚是好很多的。日本劳动强度太大了,有的人一天要打两三份工。当时想,87年一毕业,我就去日本那边,因为家里比较穷嘛,我也想孝敬一下我的老母亲。同时也想能够在经济上有点起色,因为那个时候兄弟毕竟年纪也大了,又没有读书。所以我是想去日本奋斗几年,对兄弟也算是报答了。我就想去,家里却一直不同意,说我不能去,辛辛苦苦培养你,你去了,怕工作丢了,代价太大了。

后来,我回老家的时候,经过我念初中的那个中学,我一个同学在那里当老师。我就跟他谈起这件事,他跟我说绝对不能去。我说为什么?我们奋斗了这么长时间就为了这来之不易的铁饭碗,你要把它扔掉。日本是什么人去的?都是那些流氓加文盲去的。那些没毕业的,在家里没出息的,家里才送他们到日本去拼的。我们不能与狼共舞,你不要跟这些人为伍。我一想也有道理,就不去了。

到了89年,我就申请了,家里也是觉得挺困惑,觉得拿不住。我兄弟一直不肯,还是我母亲,她说,整个人生是他的。我母亲虽然没文化,但是人很开通。她说我相信儿子有志气,他不会出问题,他会有成就。最后我答应她,我说我去两年就回来,最多三年。这样,家里面才同意,我就来了澳大利亚。 Read more

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My Story ~ 2. The Country Behind The Forests


yinyang-web-at-100mm

“As time passed by, I gradually got to know Australia. It was different from what I saw at first glance from the plane–a land covered by the forests. I slowly started to see the friendliness and openness of Australian people.”

Actually, my memory is not so good, but there is one day I will never forget. That day was August 22, 1988, when Perth, Western Australia came into my sight. As the plane was landing, I could see no houses, only forests. Hence, the first thing that had occurred to me after I came to Australia was that I would have to cut down trees for a living Otherwise, what could I do in this place? Where could I find a job? This place was so underdeveloped, even worse than China. Could I earn money here? I doubted my brother’s recommendation to come to Australia.

In my hometown, my brother was a very successful entrepreneur with a wide range of social contacts and aware of all the latest information. Originally, I didn’t plan to come to Australia. My brother helped to arrange me to go to Japan. Lots of Japanese classes and English classes were set up for those going abroad. The reason why so many people wanted to go to Japan was that they said it’s easy to earn money in Japan, and the social type and skin color are similar. I studied Japanese in the evening. Afterwards, my brother heard Australia was a better place to go if you wanted to establish a new life. His friend’s sister happened to be married to the principal of a language school in Perth, Western Australia, so I registered with this school. I could not speak any English when I first came to Australia, let alone knew much about the country.

When I was at middle school, I only knew that Australia was a developed capitalist country with agriculture as the main industry. “Australia rides on sheep;s back”, I heard that milk was from a tap and someone also said that the tap water was drinkable. Thinking of this today, they had their reasons for saying this. In fact, the milk here is very cheap; a large can of milk only costs two Australian Dollars. You can’t say they were fooling us, or exaggerating.

After coming to Australia, I had to spend a lot of money renting a house. In China I lived in my own house. I found the price of daily necessities here were far higher than in China, however the wages were very high, so I wanted to find a job. Soon after we arrived, we had nothing to do. We just wandered about with friends who had come to Australia before us. On Sunday, we went to a weekend market in Fremantle, which we Chinese call a “flea market”. It was fun to stroll around the market. There was lots of staff for sale and you could buy some very good second-hand goods for fifty cents or one Australian dollar. I met a couple also strolling around the market. The husband was Australian and his wife Chinese. Because there were not so many Chinese there, I felt happy to meet them. We greeted each other and kept each other’s phone numner. Later on, I found out that her husband was Australian and had studied traditional Chinese medicine in China. After coming back, he opened a clinic of traditional Chinese medicine on London Street located in the center of Perth. He specialized in acupuncture and tuina and treating sport injuries for his clients. They were very friendly, so we sometimes went to chat with them at their clinic. Due to the language barrier and unfamiliarity with this new place, it was hard for us to find a job, so I hoped that my local friend could help us. At last, thanks to his introduction, I found my first job. Read more

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