Chinese Immigrants' Adjustment in Hawaii in the Mid-1990s

Wong, Wai-Kwan
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Five years ago, I experienced the greatest turning point o f my life: immigrated from Hong Kong to Hawaii, a place I knew nothing about except for the famous palm trees and hula dancing. Similar to many other Hong Kong people who migrated during the 1990s, my family migrated to escape the ruling Communist Government. I personally migrated however to seek a better education. In Hawaii, I gained a different perspective on the Chinese culture. Although I was brought up and nurtured by traditional Chinese values, I never realized their impacts on me. After I moved to Hawaii, I learned for the first time, how China and Chinese people are viewed by people in other racial groups. Then, I found that I, and many other Chinese people in this era do not fit the frame of the so called "traditional Chinese." I wondered if the Chinese traditional values are diminishing today or whether Chinese immigrants were quickly adjusting to the host culture in Hawaii. Also, as a new immigrant, I encountered many adjustment difficulties, such as a language barrier and culture shock. I understand and have experienced the stress of migration. I hope I can use my knowledge and experience to help other new Chinese immigrants. One purpose of this study is to get a better understanding of the Chinese immigrants in Hawaii. To get a complete understanding of Chinese immigrants, this study examines three areas: the history of the coming of early Chinese immigrants, the history of the United States Immigration laws and their effects on Chinese immigration, and the current adjustments of Chinese immigrants in Hawaii.
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