Chinese Hispanics and West Indians

The Miami Herald has an interesting article on ethnic Chinese who grew up in Hispanic areas and the West Indies.

[quote]In a region often defined by hyphenated cultures – Cuban-American, Haitian-American, Jamaican-American – some South Florida residents have lived quietly with a trifecta of titles: Chinese-Cuban-American, Chinese-Venezuelan-American and Chinese-Jamaican-American.

They and others share a genetic thread with their Chinese ancestors but grew up in Latin America and the Caribbean, where some of their families may have settled as indentured laborers in the 19th century, once the slave trade had been abolished, and later as immigrants to open their own businesses. Thousands now call South Florida home.

Now, they rarely speak the language of their Chinese heritage, conversing most often in a dialect or language that defies their facial features.

‘‘I would open my mouth and start speaking patois and they would look at me in shock,’’ said Steve Chin, of the Jamaican dialect he grew up speaking on the island.

‘‘They didn’t realize that Jamaica had Chinese people,’’ said Chin, who owns a martial arts studio in Miami-Dade. "They think everyone there is black.’’[/quote]

Read the rest here: China medley: Hispanics and West Indians who trace their roots to Asia are part of South Florida’s multiethnic mix.