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New book on Chinese migration unveiled for celebration of Spring Festival in Cuba

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-16 20:17

HAVANA - A revealing description of the Chinese migration to the Americas is written in the book "Traces of the Chinese on this side of the Atlantic", which was presented here Sunday as part of the activities celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year.

At the Min Chih Tang society of Havana's Chinatown, dozens of people gathered to hear from the voices of the different authors of the new book, exploring peculiarities, characteristics and varied facets of the Chinese migration on this side of the world.

Composed of 13 articles or essays, the book seeks to bring the reader closer to the influence of Chinese migration in Cuba and other countries. In particular, the text highlights the influence of the Chinese community in Mexico, as well as the contributions of Chinese migration in Cuba, introducing the Chinese culture, culinary and music to readers.

"The most important thing about this book is that it offers a rich information of the Chinese presence in Cuba and other countries in the region," and "the support and contributions made by Chinese migration in our continent," said Sergio Valdes, one of the authors in the book.

Not only writers from Cuba, but also prestigious scholars from universities in the United States contributed to the new book.

"This is a very important book because it's a text that addresses an area of studies which was little written about," said Paul De Castro, another author and researcher at the University of California.

"The Chinese presence in Cuba, although it is well known, has hardly been studied in depth so I think it is the beginning of a series of studies about the Chinese influence in Cuba," he said.

Mercedes Crespo, another author, emphasized the different topics the book addresses, which allow readers to learn about the Chinese influence in the economic, social and even political development of the Cuba before the revolutionary triumph of 1959.

The authors agreed that this publication will help Cuban people to understand the outstanding contributions of the Chinese immigrants to the island and could help start new studies on similar topics.

"The importance of this book is to lighten up the interests of Cubans and Chinese descendants for new studies on the influence of Chinese migration to the island and other parts of Latin America," said Valdes.

"Traces of China on this side of the Atlantic" was compiled by Cuban researcher Mitzi Espinosa who had the support of the Min Chih Tang Society of Havana's Chinatown.

Cuba's Jose Marti publishing house edited the book. The book will be available to Cuban readers at the upcoming International Book Fair Cuba 2017.

Also on Sunday, as part of the Spring Festival activities, a Chinese language children's contest was held, with kids demonstrating their language skills.

Since Jan 13, the Chinese community in Cuba launched activities to celebrate the Spring Festival of the Rooster Year which falls on Jan 28. Many cultural functions will be organized throughout whole one month in Havana's Chinatown, such as art exhibitions, concerts and traditional Chinese dance shows.

The year 2017 marks the 170th anniversary of the arrival of the first Chinese to Cuba, therefore their descendants, grouped in societies, have prepared multiple activities which will be extended throughout the year.

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