Where are the languages ​​of the first New Zealand Chinese in "Chinese Language Week"?

Where are the languages ​​of the first New Zealand Chinese in “Chinese Language Week”?

The Tung Jung Society was founded by Chinese immigrants from Tung Gwoon (Donguan) and Jungsen (Zengcheng) in 1926, with its first address on Frederick Street in Wellington.

Juan Zarama/Employees

The Tung Jung Society was based by Chinese language immigrants from Tung Gwoon (Donguan) and Jungsen (Zengcheng) in 1926, with its first deal with on Frederick Avenue in Wellington.

Justin Wong is a Dominion Submit reporter. He was born in Aotearoa New Zealand however grew up in Hong Kong and his first language is Cantonese.

Opinion: I nonetheless bear in mind the second I spotted how necessary Cantonese was to New Zealand’s historical past.

It was the mid-semester break of my first yr at college in Auckland – barely six months since I left Hong Kong. I took the chance to get out of city for Te Whanganui-a-Tara to go to a childhood pal and do some exploration of a rustic that’s technically my “house”.

V T Papa Exhibition “Passports/Uruhinoa”an indication caught my eye – an image of a map relationship again to 1888, titled 鳥 施 崙 金山 南島 圖: Map of gold fields in New Zealand’s South Island.

It was finished by the Presbyterian priest, Rev. Alexander Donwho knew Cantonese since his time in Canton (Guangzhou) and opened a church in Dunedin in 1897 for Chinese language gold miners – principally from the Panyu district of northern Canton.

Learn extra:
* ‘That is going to be embarrassing’: Chinese language language week is completely dropping floor for Chinese language kiwis
* Please cease saying “Ni Hao” if you wish to be an ally of the Chinese language folks

English metropolis names have been translated. They solely meant one thing when you pronounce it Cantonese; They had been gibberish in Mandarin. Queenstown turned 均 (“Nice Port of Dunedin”) was the primary Chinese language identify for the town; And Graymouth was named 企 .

5 years later, I moved to Wellington for my present job and located extra Cantonese historical past customs scattered all through the capital, thanks Wellington Chinese History website. The earliest Chinese language settlements in Wellington had been established within the 1860s and centered round Frederick and Haining Streets within the metropolis middle.

Cantonese diaspora associations started showing there within the nineteenth to early twentieth century, such because the Tong Jong Affiliation based in 1926 at 2 Frederick Avenue.

Chi Kung Tong Chinese Freemasons were established in 1907. It was originally located at 81 Vivian Street but moved to 23 Frederick Street in 1926.

Juan Zarama/Employees

Chi Kung Tong Chinese language Freemasons had been established in 1907. It was initially situated at 81 Vivian Avenue however moved to 23 Frederick Avenue in 1926.

An Night Submit story a few Chinese language Christian marriage ceremony on the Chinese language Evangelical Church (additionally on Frederick Avenue) February 7, 1929Word that the service was carried out “partly in Cantonese and partly in English”.

By some means, regardless of well-documented proof that Cantonese was the dominant language spoken by early Chinese language settlers within the 1860s, it was omitted by Chinese language Language Week (NZCLW) for years together with different languages ​​resembling Hokkien, Hakka or Teochew or Shanghainese.

It wasn’t till Richard Leung, instantly former president of the New Zealand Chinese language Affiliation, pressed that An essay on the history of the Chinese language It was commissioned and uploaded to the NZCLW web site this yr.

However there’s not a lot. As a substitute, Mandarin nonetheless will get all the eye: profile after profile for “Mandarin Superstars” and “Youth Ambassadors”; A sea of ​​assets for studying Mandarin. It’s as if different languages ​​which might be principally spoken by some Chinese language communities have disappeared from existence.


Sam Low’s mother and father don’t converse English fluently, neither is he fluent in Cantonese. However in relation to meals and cooking, the language flows freely.

My colleague Ida Tang and I requested the organizers of NZCLW why they prioritized Mandarin over different Chinese language languages, as different Chinese language Kiwis noticed the week as a “confusion” moderately than a mirrored image of society.

Joe Coughlan, president of the New Zealand Chinese language Language Week Belief, insisted that NZCLW solely wished to encourage non-Chinese language New Zealanders to be taught Chinese language within the New Zealand training system.

“The Chinese language taught on this system is Mandarin, so that is the language that confidence encourages,” she stated. “It really works to coach non-Chinese language youth about the advantages and alternatives of figuring out that language.”

“It is not meant to inform the Chinese language what to do or take into consideration their tradition or whakapapa.”

Justin Wong argues that New Zealand Chinese Language Week reduces the linguistic diversity of the New Zealand Chinese community and ignores their history.

Juan Zarama/Employees

Justin Wong argues that New Zealand Chinese language Language Week reduces the linguistic range of the New Zealand Chinese language neighborhood and ignores their historical past.

However Coughlan failed to comprehend that holding Chinese language Language Week to advertise Mandarin yr after yr didn’t assist non-Chinese language Kiwis understand the linguistic range amongst Chinese language communities.

As a substitute, it reinforces the misperception that Mandarin is the one “Chinese language” language, sweeping the presence of different Chinese language languages ​​underneath the rug and ignoring their historic significance in Aotearoa’s historical past.

The harm has already been finished: Simply final week, in a tweet selling Chinese language Language Week occasions, Wellington metropolis libraries known as Mandarin their “official language” and none of their actions over the week acknowledged the Cantonese capital’s previous.

Even again house, Cantonese is underneath risk. Extra Hong Kong faculties are selecting to make use of Mandarin to show college students to jot down, and a few college students declare that They were punished for speaking Cantonese. Because the Eighties, Chinese language authorities have been eradicating Cantonese from day by day life in Guangdong in favor of Mandarin, shutting down Cantonese radio and tv applications and banning faculties from instructing it.

Justin Wong, a Wellington reporter, is grateful to have had the opportunity to learn Cantonese that originated in Hong Kong, but thinks more should be done in Aotearoa to promote Chinese languages ​​other than Mandarin.

Monique Ford / Stuff

Justin Wong, a Wellington reporter, is grateful to have had the chance to be taught Cantonese that originated in Hong Kong, however thinks extra ought to be finished in Aotearoa to advertise Chinese language languages ​​apart from Mandarin.

I believe it’s a disgrace that NZCLW has been complicit on this train of rewriting historical past.

I’m grateful that I grew up in Hong Kong and nonetheless have contact with my mom tongue, particularly when others in New Zealand shouldn’t have the posh of studying or imparting it.

#languages #Zealand #Chinese language #Chinese language #Language #Week

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.