Migration out of China increased substantially during the 19th century to destinations all over the world, with most migrants arriving in Southeast Asia or in North America. As local governments did not provide adequate support and welfare, Chinese migrants started their own organisations in order to survive in foreign lands. These organisations, known as mutual aid organisations, were important pillars of the Chinese migrant community, providing political, economic, socio-cultural and religious support for their members. Members of these mutual aid organisations usually share a common surname, hometown, language, or regarded each other as sworn brothers.
A collaboration with the C.V. Starr East Asian Library, University of California, Berkeley, this exhibition showcases the early Chinese mutual aid organisations in Singapore and San Francisco, and traces the ebb and flow of these organisations throughout the 19th and 20th centuries
Check out the following as part of Connections Across Oceans: Early Chinese Mutual Aid Organisations: