A day spent stuck in pages and pages of literature and history, reading through sentences upon sentences of ancient stories and a data from the first Chinese people in South Africa. Tracking the progress of Chinese throughout the decades was the story of my day.
The knowledge I gained from reading the history of how the Chinese people came to South Africa was so useful with regard to my topic, which is history and the future of the Chinese in Johannesburg.
A lesson in history
I actually think that it would help #teamvuvu a lot in their individual topics knowing the history of how it all came about and why Chinese in Johannesburg is so prevalent but also help us to understand why they can sometimes seem as withdrawn as they are. It all comes from years of oppression and separation in South Africa under apartheid laws.
The history I feel is sometimes assumed by many as straight forward. For example: people assume that the Chinese we have now living in South Africa are the decedents of the of the indentured miners who came to South Africa in the 1800’s, however that is not so. It is worthwhile reading up on and if not you can wait to read it in my full in-depth presentation coming soon.
I have learned from all my reading and 13 pages of notes that the Chinese people are very hard working. They are willing to work their hardest to make money. educate their children and look after their families. I think that that is a very admirable quality the Chinese have ingrained in them from the time they are born. And now you wonder they are so intelligent and at the peak of technological advancements.
History helped me put everything into perspective and assisted in my understanding of the Chinese presence throughout the decades. Initially, up until today, I was frantic about how I should put all this history into perspective and what I would ask Mr Pon and his family to explain to me. But now I have a better idea of what I want to discuss with Mr Pon and what I need to ask them in order to make my project personal.
Today I visited the China Mall on Jan Smuts. It was huge as most China Malls are. What I noticed is that the Chinese people there are more friendly, more willing to speak and they are not afraid of us taking photographs, as compared to Cyrildene. This is an indication of how different the Chinese diaspora is in Johannesburg. They came to the country at very different times and have experienced very different lives in South Africa.
The richer China Mall
The mall was not as busy as you will see in my gallery slideshow, it was well-built and looked relatively new. I noticed that in every Chinese shop, especially the the shops which sold clothes, toys and bags, they are packed to capacity and there is no shelf left empty. Their shelves are always fully stocked and they have their extra stock in the shop in the shop as well. To me, it feels like they are prepared for anything and they don’t want to lose any business but it is also an indication that they get stock all at once which should last till the next container comes.
This China Mall however, was a bit more expensive than the mall I went to yesterday. A ring here was R35-00. A ring at SASA jewelry yesterday was between R6-00 -R10-00.
I had a very academic day with a little bit of fun.