Being Eurasian: Memories across Racial Divides by Vicky Lee [Book Review]

Being Eurasian: Memories across Racial Divides by Vicky Lee [Book Review]

The Asian Review of Books

John Walsh, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Communications
School of Management, Shinawatra International University, Bangkok

The creation of Empires inevitably entails contact between coloniser and colonised at many different levels. Owing to the prominence of men in empire creation, it is inevitable that at least some of those connections involve establishing one or more relationships with local women, in the absence of women from the home country. A reasonable amount of attention has been placed on these relationships. Rather less attention has been focused on the results of those unions. The children that resulted from the relationships between British and Chinese in Hong Kong are one subset of the whole range of intercultural births and they share some distinctive characteristics. Unlike the Portuguese, who tended enthusiastically to children into the fold as a means of expanding their overseas holdings, the British of course have always rather looked down on those who cavort with the locals and, since we rather dislike even our own children, certainly have little truck with any others who have a reason to be looked down upon.

Being Eurasian: Memories across Racial Divides by Vicky Lee explores some of the experiences and feelings of a small section of the British-Chinese Hong Kong people, especially during the first part of the 20th century. Her book, which has been developed from a PhD thesis, is in the main clearly and appropriately written, although it does suffer a little from the problems of the multidisciplinary approach, which tends to lack the rigor imposed by any single discipline. However, the one or two false notes may be forgiven for the sake of the histories told, which are of great interest…

Read the entire review here.

Tags: , , ,