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Memories of origins / origins of memories : the collective memory of the Chinese community in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico Lau, Rebeca

Abstract

The purposes of this study are to: 1) assert the presence and existence of two generations of Chinese living in the southern border city of Tapachula, 2) explore the intergenerational changes of collective memories of a minority group, 3) contradict the racial ideology of Mexican nationalism. The study uses a qualitative approach and consists of interviews often members of the Chinese community belonging to two generations: parent and child. The interviews were individual and semi-structured. The participants were asked questions about their lives and the Chinese community. In spite of their long-standing presence from the late 1800's, the Chinese have remained an invisible group in Mexico. They are not present in Mexico's history and quite often are considered as outsiders in their own homeland. Since their arrival in Tapachula, they gained strength and support through the creation and association as a community. However, their presence has remained undocumented, unstudied, and unknown.

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