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The strength of traditions

The strength of traditions

The people in this scene are enjoying traditional Chinese pastimes, including watching a folk opera, and playing Chinese chess

These people are involved in traditional Chinese pastimes, including watching a folk opera (upper right), and playing Chinese chess (centre).

Strong loyalties

Many Chinese immigrants had strong loyalties to their Chinese counties. People from the same counties often formed social clubs or hui-kuans. These clubs offered friendship, helped the sick and aged and offered mutual protection. Many raised money to send the remains of the deceased back to China for burial and to assist those affected by natural disasters in China.

Despite intermarriage and the adoption by some of Christianity, strong cultural elements survived and were very evident at Chinese festival times. Chinese communities worked hard to maintain Chinese culture and traditions. Many wealthier families sent their sons back to China for their primary education, thus ensuring fluency in both oral and written Chinese language skills and an understanding of Chinese religious practices and culture.