Title: Historical Study of Chinese Clan Associations in Singapore
Stream: South-East Asian Studies (including Thailand/Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos)
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Yuki Yokohama, Kanto Gakuin University, Japan
Singapore joined the ranks of developed countries in the 21st century, and is a multi-ethnic nation with attention in many ways, including its national policies and educational activities. In Singapore, people of Chinese descent account for a large part of the population, attracting attention for their cultural activities as well as for their economic activities. This study applied literature review on the history, activities, and future issues of Chinese clan associations, which are the center of cultural activities of the Chinese community in Singapore. The results revealed the following. Most of Chinese clan associations have formed communities for each hometown since the middle of the 19th century, and have provided many mutual aid activities including local cultural events, religious, social welfare, and educational activities. Chinese clan associations have continued to provide livelihood assistance to many Chinese immigrants and have developed into various networks with China. In one example, the Fujian Clan Association founded a school famous in Singapore and influenced political activities as well as educational activities. However, many of the youth of Chinese descent are becoming less interested in activities of Chinese clan associations as the result of the government's promotion of the Speak Mandarin Campaign. This study discusses how people of Chinese descent, accounting for a large part of population in Singapore, can maintain the activities of the Chinese clan associations and find the significance of its existence as one of the social resources.
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