After the longest delay in between CHP episodes ever, we resume our Chinese history voyage. This time we look at a topic that isn’t particularly well-known but offers a glimpse of one sliver of the Chinese diaspora that began once the Qing Dynasty began to fall on hard times. The story of the Chinese Mexicans is typical in some respects. They came to Mexico either because they wanted to and saw it as a land of opportunity or they came because it was the next best thing to emigrating to the United States. Many stayed in Mexico despite great hardships and the usual racism directed against them. But most either moved on to try their luck in the US or they were forced out by racist and nationalistic anti-Chinese immigration policies. I suggest three books if you are interested to read more about this subject:
The Chinese In Mexico 1882-1940 by Robert Chao Romero published by the University of Arizona Press
Making the Chinese Mexican – Global Migration, Localism and Exclusion in the US-Mexico Borderlands by Grace Peña Delgado, published by Stanford University Press and Chinese Mexicans
Transpacific Migration and the Search for a Homeland 1910-1960 by Julia María Schiavone Camacho published by University of North Carolina Press.
Any amigos Mexicanos who want to consider producing a Mexican History Podcast should get moving. Yours is a great history and culture that a lot of English speakers in the history podcast listening community would love to know about. My apologies to all for my Gringo accented Spanish in this episode.
TERMS FROM THIS EPISODE
Estados Unidos Mexicanos – Official name of Mexico, the United States of Mexico
Sonora – Northern State in Mexico
Baja – Refers to Baja California, the northern of the two states that make up the Baja Peninsula. Baja California Sur is the southern state.
Hermosillo – Capital of Sonora State
Nogales – Major city in Sonora located on the border with Arizona
Magdalena – City in Sonora
Obregon – City on Sonora
Guaymas – coastal city in Sonora
La Chinesca – The Chinatown of Mexicali
El Barrio Chino – The Chinatown of Mexico City
Zhonghua Huiguan 中华会馆 The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association
Da Lusong 大吕宋 Big Lusong, what the Chinese called Mexico
Xiao Lusong 小吕宋 Small Lusong, what the Chinese called the Philippines
Porfirio Díaz Long serving 29th president of Mexico, ushered in a period of modernization and economic growth.
Benito Juarez 26th president of Mexico
Compañia de Colonización Asiatica The company given the exclusive right to import Chinese labor
Matias Romero Mexican politician and government official, lobbied hard for the passing of the Treaty of Amity & Commerce.
Tlaxcala Very small state in Mexico located in the east-central part of the country.
Chihuahua Northern Mexican state. Borders New Mexico and West Texas
La Migra The slang word used to call the US Immigration and Customs Service
Chin Pinoy Six Companies agent in Cuba
guanxi 关系 Personal relationships and a whole lot more
Revolución Mexicana The Mexican Revolution
fronterizos The Mexican Chinese who toughed it out in the northern states.
Partido Revolucionario Institucional The PRI, Mexico’s dominant political party for over 70 years.
José Mária Arana The champion for the cause of expelling all Chinese from Mexico. A leader of the anti-Chinese movement
Comité Directivo de Antichinismo Nacional One of many organizations dedicated to expelling the Chinese from Mexico.
La Liga Nacional Obrera Antichina Another organization dedicated to expelling the Chinese from Mexico.
Movimento Anti-Chino The Anti-Chinese Movement (in Mexico)
Coahuila Northern Mexican state that borders Texas
Durango Northwest Mexican state.
Torreón Located in the western part of Coahuila State
Francisco Madero Mexican statesman and revolutionary, assassinated in 1913.
El Presidente The president
Alvaro Obregon 39th president of Mexico
Francisco S. Elias Governor of Sonora 1929-193
Rodolfo Elias Calles Governor of Sonora 1931-1935
Lázaro Cárdenas 44th president of Mexico 1934-1940