Chinese immigrants helped give reggae its start in Kingston, Jamaica. They brought chowmein to Calcutta, India, “became black” in South Africa, and are remaking fast fashion in Prato, Italy.
Today 40 million people of Chinese descent live outside China. Collectively, they represent the largest diaspora in the world.
Stories by Country
Subscribe to the ChinatownStories blog
"Our school was burned down. All of it. Every time I tell the story, my heart beats so fast. People were running everywhere..."
Every time we rode over a speed bump, I worried I'd lose my balance and crack my head open on the asphalt. "Yes, I'm a little bit scared!" I shouted back to Kiki over the drone of the engine.
Taman Mini, Indonesia's cultural park, now features a Chinese village. But have old wounds healed yet? Maybe not just yet.
Candy Jorian, a producer, tells me that when she was hired to start the program, her Indonesian bosses couldn't even tell if her Mandarin was good enough for her to be an anchor (it was).
Almost everyone who lives in the apartment complex where I'm staying in Jakarta is Chinese Indonesian, which means they're probably not Muslim. But that doesn't mean they wear bikinis to the pool.
My first bit of culture shock comes at the ATM, where I find myself withdrawing 1,000,000 Indonesian rupiah. Finally, I’m a millionaire!