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Book Review: China and the Overseas Chinese

Book Review: China and the Overseas Chinese

In every country and every city, there will always be a China town. These streets are not only famous for its Chinese people and food (which is obvious, needless to say) but also of its loud atmosphere and tradition and culture which makes them familiar both in developing and already developed nations. If you would want to go to Asia, just go to the nearest China town near you and you can already experience the vividness of Asian vibe.

           In cases like these, questions and complaints rise as to how Chinese people have migrated into other countries and multiply that fast. Almost all countries have their own race of Chinese people. Since they are the most populous nationality in the world, it is not that surprising to have a widespread of their people and culture in every town.

           Glen Peterson, a writer and professor at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada wrote one of the books that depict the migration of Chinese culture and people to other countries and building their own persona there. Chinese people do not adapt just like other migrants do when they are in a different country. They merely build their own foundation and make their identity known.

           China and Overseas China is a book which, as the title suggest, introduce a group of people from the People’s Republic who are known formally and collectively as “domestic overseas Chinese”. The "domestic overseas Chinese" are made up of family members of emigrants, emigrants and their descendants who "returned" to China after 1949, and students who went to China after 1949 in order to pursue higher education. The book examines the construction of state policies toward domestic overseas Chinese and looks at their varied and often tumultuous, sometimes tragic experiences during the 1950s and 1960s, up to and including the Cultural Revolution.

           Glen Peterson with his group of fellow researchers has spent months in deep study of the culture and the factors affecting the migration of Chinese people. The hard work has been worth it when the author was given a medal of recognition from the Indonesian Studies Society in Hong Kong held at Jakarta, Indonesia in April, 2014.

           As a historian and professor, so many reviews has also been shown pertaining Mr. Peterson’s technique in incorporating history, culture and studies to classes. His students have pointed Peterson as popular among old and new students alike in the University of British Columbia where he has been teaching social and cultural history and studies.