Chinese Immigrants in Flushing, Queens
I would like to research Chinese immigrants living in my home-town of Flushing, New York. The reason why I’ve chosen to research this particular culture is because I have been a part of it for as long as I can remember, and I wish to gain further knowledge from my studies. Some concepts that I would like to discuss are, acculturation of Chinese immigrants in to American culture, reasons for immigrating, how Chinese immigrants choose to identify themselves, and how Chinese immigrants have economically adapted through the use of personal resources.
Since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 a significant amount of Chinese Americans have immigrated in to the United States. This act has reversed the effects of decades of Chinese exclusion. The result is the reunification of many Chinese immigrants with their families in the United States. Favorable locations for these immigrants have been in New York City, and California. (Le, 2007) I will be focusing on the town of Flushing, Queens as the Chinese make up a large percentage of the population.
The reasons for Chinese immigration in to the United States vary depending on the province. The immigrants of the late 20th century mostly came from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The reasons for immigration were social, economic, and political. Economic reasons were not a great deciding factor for immigrants coming from Hong Kong or Taiwan, as their economy have thrived since the shift of manufacturing factories from developed nations to Asia. The reason for immigration from Hong Kong and Taiwan were based upon better education opportunities in the United States. However, economic and political factors were the reasons for immigrants coming from mainland China. Although mainland China has achieved considerable growth in recent years, many mainland Chinese have yet to see this growth in the rural parts. These mainland Chinese have lost hope in communism and socialism that they have to look toward the United States for political freedom. (Chua, 2002)
Ms. Lam immigrated to Flushing with her parents from Hong Kong in 2001. I had asked her, “What were the reasons for immigrating to the United States?”, and she replied “My parents often reminded me that I was their only hope. They said they left Hong Kong so that I could have a better future. The quality of education is better in the U.S., and that I would be able to make a better living here”. Ms. Lam also stated that on many occasions she would feel burdened by the amount of pressure her parents place upon her. “My parents would always scold me if I brought home poor grades from school, and they often reminded me that a major part of their decision on emigrating from Hong Kong was so that I could succeed out in the U.S. and make their lives more comfortable”.
I conducted my research in my neighborhood of Flushing, Queens. I decided that it was a great location to study because nearly a quarter of Flushing’s population is Chinese (Queens Economic Development). I have enlisted the help of many local Chinese owned businesses and conducted interviews with these people that owned these businesses as well as the workers.
Mr. Jiang is a middle aged man from Fujian province in Mainland China who recently immigrated to Flushing, Queens in 2005. The reason for immigration was in fact based on better economic opportunities. Mr. Jiang stated that he was earning more money running the small candy shop he had opened in Flushing than working in a garment factory in China. Mr. Yung on the contrary who emigrated from Hong Kong in 2001 stated that education was a big factor in immigrating to the United States. Mr. Yung moved here with his wife and at the time, his three-year old son. Mr. Yung believed the education system in the United States was far superior to the Hong Kong education system, and in 2001 sacrificed his job as a carpenter, and became a line chef at a Chinese restaurant...
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