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Migration Patterns and Occupational Specialisations of Kolkata Chinese: An Insider’s History

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

Jennifer Liang

Liang, Jennifer~ An Insiders History
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This article examines the history and experiences of the Chinese Indian community in Kolkata based on extensive interviews of the members of the community. The migration of the Chinese to the Indian city, it suggests, took place in three distinct phases: the nineteenth century, when skilled workers from China came to the city seeking better employment opportunities; the early twentieth century, when social unrest and Japanese invasion brought Chinese refugees to Kolkata; and, the post-1945 period, when civil war between the Guomindang and the Communists triggered the flow of a third wave of Chinese immigrants. The article also outlines some of the main economic specialisations of the Chinese immigrants as they became residents of Kolkata, including carpentry, shoemaking, tannery and hairdressing.

Source: Wu Family Albums, Kolkatta

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