Personal Reflections

Chinese Johannesburg: Field Work Day 3

Today I found myself going through a range of emotions at the wonder of the stories my second source shared with me.

She was a delightful lady of sixty, who was quite keen to share the story of her life with me without holding back on the parts that were really hard.

I received insight into her life and the life of her brother as the children of a chinese father and an indian mother living in South Africa.

I quickly got to a point where I realised that her experience of prejudice, based on her skin colour, within her chinese family was intense.

The way they were treated was completely different from the way her other cousins were treated, she has some very specific bad memories and recalls that even as a mixed child there were expectations of her from her father when it came to marriage.

This definitely spoke a bit to my topic on the cultural expectations in terms of marrying outside the chinese community.

This was of course many years ago but so far I’m starting to feel that it would still be a thorn in the side of the elderly if the younger generation were to bring home someone outside of the preferred circle today.

The treatment of course wouldn’t be as bad as it was in the past because we live in modern times and older generations are realising that they are slowly losing control over these things especially living in our rainbow nation.

Overall I’d day say the day was a success I spent the better part of the afternoon regaled by her tales and I found myself amazed at how much of her chinese culture she’s managed to retain through it all.


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