From Cantonese religious procession to Australian cultural heritage: the changing Chinese face of Bendigo's Easter parade

Tsan-Huang Tsai

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Chinese processional and musical performances in Australia are the subject of several key studies; however, the origin of the performances or their continuation during the 'White Australia' policy era and their transformations over time are neglected. This article investigates the Chinese processional performances that have featured at the Bendigo Easter Fair since the late nineteenth century, and outlines three stages in the transformation of the procession from a Chinese religious procession to a performance of Bendigo's cultural heritage. The case shows a dynamic, bi-directional relationship between the Anglo-Celtic and Chinese communities that predates the 'White Australia' policy and continued throughout the era. It offers reconsiderations of several issues in the study of Chinese transnational communities, namely the importance of culture in establishing transnational networks, the role of music in maintaining and recreating cultural identities, and the importance of the Chinese processional performance in multicultural Australian history.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)86-106
    JournalEthnomusicology Forum
    Volume25
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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