You may have wondered “Are there Chinese in Trinidad and Tobago?
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Yes, there are Chinese in Trinidad and Tobago. The Chinese people immigrated to Trinidad and Tobago in 4 time periods.
They first arrived in 1806 as a government experiment to set up peasant farmers and laborers before the abolition of slavery. The first ship was the Fortitude and it arrived on October 12, 1806. Only 23 of the 192 passengers stayed because of the inhumane conditions.
The second wave occurred between 1853 and 1866– post abolition. They came from Macao, Hong Kong, and Canton. These Chinese immigrants were both indentured and free.
According to the National Library and Information System Authority:
The indentured labourers were assigned to work on the estates, and their terms and conditions of employment were the same as those given to the Indian indentured labourers. The Chinese indentureship programme came to an end in 1866 because the Chinese government insisted on a free return passage for the labourers. The British government, which had organised the indentureship programme, felt that this was too costly, and ended the programme.
The third set arrived because of the Chinese Revolution around 1911. The immigrants did not work on Trinidad’s estates, but were merchants and shopkeepers.
Some Chinese also came to Trinidad from other Caribbean countries after their indentureship ended, including Guyana.
The fourth migration resumed in the 1970s when China opened for travel, and continues in a small scale to today.
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This article was about a brief history of the Chinese in Trinidad and Tobago.
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