Story of the Month - January 2017

Story of the Month - Janurary 2017 

每月故事 - 二零一七年一月

Do you know that Hong Kong has as many as 300,000 "returned overseas Chinese" rooted in Southeast Asia?

你知道香港有多達30萬東南亞「歸僑」嗎?

 

Centre Fellow Dr. Ong Kok-chung, himself a Chinese Malaysian, is interested in the life histories of "returned overseas Chinese". Born mostly in Indonesia or Malaysia, these overseas Chinese had moved to China in the 1950s and 60s to work or study. Some were inspired by the Communist revolution to "contribute to the motherland", while others were expelled by the local regimes due to their connection with communism. In China, however, they were not trusted by the Chinese government because of their "foreign connections" and suffered great hardship during the Cultural Revolution. When policies relaxed in the 1970s, they were allowed to leave China, but they were still blacklisted by their home country, so many of them settled in Hong Kong.

本中心成員王國璋博士是馬來西亞華人,對歸僑的歷史很感興趣。歸僑多生於印尼或馬來西亞,於二十世纪五、六十年代移居中國大陸學習和工作。當中有人被共產主義革命理念感召而「貢獻祖國」,有些則因與共產主義有牽連而被當地政府驅逐出境。在中國,這些歸僑卻因有「海外關係」而不受信任,在文革期間吃盡苦頭。七十年代政策開始放鬆,他們被允許離開中國,但卻被原居國列入黑名單而無法入境,最後多留在香港定居。

 

In Hong Kong, these returnees kept a low profile on their Southeast Asian origin, and were seen as new immigrants from mainland China by the locals. Many of them are elderly people, now in their seventies and eighties, who still identify themselves as culturally Chinese and use Mandarin as their most fluent language. This neglected group of migrants is part of what makes Hong Kong a diverse, international city.

在香港,這些歸僑對他們的東南亞背景保持低調,而本地人則以為他們是中國內地的「新移民」。這些老人現多已屆70或80歲高齡,文化上依然自認為中國人,講普通話最為流利。這群被忽略的移民,構成了香港這多元國際城市的一部分。

 

Kok chung ONG

 

Performance of the song "I Love You, China" in the 25th anniversary of the Hong Kong Surabaya Alumni Association, a reminiscence of the complex patriotism shared by many returned overseas Chinese. Photo by Kok-Chung ONG

泗水同學會廿五週年文藝匯演:一曲《我愛你中國》展現了不少歸僑心中複雜的愛國情懷。攝影:王國璋

 

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