Chinese customs on dating

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Mak and Helen Chan Chinese settlement in Australia has a long history, beginning soon after the discovery of gold in Australia in 1851.

Large numbers of men from China came to work in the goldfields in Victoria, hoping to return to their homeland when they had made enough money (Wang 1988).

This chapter discusses Chinese family values in general but with some emphasis on more recently arrived Hong Kong Chinese families.

Patterns of Chinese family structure in Australia are diverse, and are often in contrast to the traditional ideal of extended, multigenerational families with large numbers of children.

Many Chinese who arrived as refugees, and others who arrived under the family reunion program, tended to have considerable English language difficulties and experienced a high rate of unemployment.

In stark contrast, a substantial number of Chinese came as professional and business migrants, bringing with them great skills and wealth.

Preserving the family as a unit also means the continuation of the family throughout the generations.

In 1901 the Immigration Restriction Act was passed in the newly set up Federal Parliament, effectively closing Australia's doors to immigrants from non-European backgrounds (Yuan 1988). Malaysia, with its sizeable proportion of ethnic Chinese, became one of the ten top source countries for immigration to Australia in the 1970s.

It was not until the formal adoption of a non-discriminatory immigration policy in 1973 by the Whitlam Labour Government that significant numbers of Chinese, from various parts of Asia, migrated to Australia (Chan, H. Vietnam, again with a substantial proportion of ethnic Chinese, joined the top ten in the early 1980s.

These are families where one or both parents, usually only the father, continues to work in Hong Kong or Taiwan, where thriving economies have generated attractive business opportunities and employment prospects.

The absent parents are referred to as 'astronauts' who spend much time travelling between their family home in Australia and their business or employment overseas (Mak 1991; Tsang 1990).

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