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Archival description
Chinatown (Victoria, B.C.) Chinese Canadian women
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Chinese women and work in B.C. collection

  • PR-1754
  • Collection
  • 1984

The collection consists of oral history interviews with Chinese women about their experiences working in British Columbia from the 1920s to the 1950s. The interviews, with nine first-, second- or third-generation Chinese-Canadian women, were recorded in Vancouver, Victoria and New Westminster during the first half of 1984. The project focused on "women's work" (whether paid or unpaid), including work in the home and in family businesses. The interviews discuss the kind of work these women did; what they experienced; how they perceived their roles in the family and the Chinese community; and the legislative policies which affected their work and their lives. The interviewees are to remain anonymous, and should be referred to only by the assigned pseudonyms. In addition, two of the interviews are closed to public access.

Adilman, Tamara

Nancy [pseudonym] interview

RECORDED: Vancouver (B.C.), 1984-03-13 SUMMARY: Born 1921. Family history, from China to Canada. Work in home as a child. Mother's work in home. Growing up in Victoria's Chinatown on Fisgard and Cormorant Streets. Shopping for food daily in Chinatown. Kindergarten at Oriental [?] Home. Education at Chinese school and public school. Chinese women working in stores as clerks; their chores and responsibilities. Farm work in Saanich. Tea room women in restaurants. Nancy as an adult. Foot binding -- mother. Kitchen technology. Nancy's experience as a domestic. The discrimination she experiences as a Chinese woman.

Ruth [pseudonym] interview

RECORDED: Victoria (B.C.), 1984-02-28 SUMMARY: Born 1913. Genealogy of family and early childhood in Vancouver. Growing up near Chinatown. Family participation in tailor business. Work in home and school. Poverty of family life. Marriage and life after. Work in in-laws' home and family responsibilities. Children and child care. Church activities. Shopping in Chinatown. Cooking, cleaning and washing clothes experience. Technological change in the kitchen.