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SOCIAL STUDIES - MINING IN ARROWTOWN NEW ZEALAND

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SOCIAL STUDIES - MINING IN ARROWTOWN NEW ZEALAND

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SOCIAL STUDIES - MINING IN ARROWTOWN NEW ZEALAND

  1. 1. The Arrowtown Chinese Settlement is a historic village located in Arrowtown, New Zealand and set up by Chinese people during the Otago Gold Rush of the 1860s. The settlement is sometimes referred to as a village and has been restored and is now a common tourist attraction. It is close to Arrowtown on the banks of Bush Creek which is a tributary of the Arrow River. Ah Lum is a well known example of the Chinese miners who lived in the area.
  2. 2. One golden village, two tales. The picturesque preservation of two very different goldrush communities: Chinese and European, in a town that still thrives. A visit to this thriving picture-postcard tourist town enables visitors to view both sides of the gold-rush coin: the preserved avenue where wealthy banks and merchants traded in the mid-1800s, and the restored huts on the edge of town that reveal the more modest lifestyles of the Chinese miners.
  3. 3. In 1998 George Griffiths and Anthony Ritchie saluted 150 years of organised European settlement in Otago with their musical pageant, From the southern marches. Just before the curtain came down they had the ghost of goldfields balladeer Frederick Thatcher musing about modern Otago. ‘We don't eat proper porridge/Or haggises for tea’, this imitated ‘Inimitable’ sang, ‘it’s dimsims and chapatti/Our New Identity’ – a reference to the term that the Scots Presbyterians used against others, especially English latecomers.
  4. 4. A hundred years ago many would have taken a dim view of the dim sims or anything Chinese. The first ‘Celestials’ reached the goldfields in the mid-1860s, initially recruited by provincial authorities. By 1876 4000 were picking over ground European miners had abandoned (not that that stopped the latter from howling about race contagion). Almost entirely male (only nine of the 5004 Chinese here in 1881 were women), these hardy, mainly Cantonese migrants built their own isolated little communities. Few made enough money to return home triumphantly and most died here old and persecuted.
  5. 5. ‘There is about as much distinction between a European and a Chinaman as that between a Chinaman and a monkey’, Premier Richard Seddon once said. A discriminatory poll-tax was not abolished until 1944. It took until 2002 for the New Zealand government to formally apologise to the Chinese community. Richard Seddon and his Cabinet
  6. 6. VIDEO ARROWTOWN SETTLEMENT Double click on the You Tube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-VAg8jeZW8

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