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Paper Topic:

Summary of The World of Our Grandmothers by Connie Young Yu



In The World of our Grandmothers , the author Connie Young Yu expresses the main idea that the background of Chinese American history is two-fold - written history recorded in books , and oral history related by family and friends and that the task of finding viable research opportunities is a demanding and difficult one , for women in this group have mostly not been acknowledged . She states that the immigration of the Chinese was discussed politically and socially and was a source of news

. The author 's research commenced with the earliest proof that there were Chinese occupants of America - articles in the Alta California . According to the author , survival in hostile California was a daily battle , and there was no time for recording events so the reports of white journalists had to be depended on

She goes on to back this up with a variety of facts , including : The only Chinese women whose existence was acknowledged by society were the prostitutes , and the presence of Chinese American females was only confirmed when , in spite of laws to the contrary , Chinese women arrived to endure hostility for the benefit of future generations . Young Yu also states that Chinese working men were not included in much of American society , and record of their lives was not made . She says that signs of their presence came with rail roads , burgeoning industry , etc and states that their record may be their greatest legacy , and perhaps tracing this record would be a way in which to uncover their history Young Yu then tells us that our grandmothers link us to the past ' and goes on to relate stories that she heard from her grandparents which gives us an indication of the history that she absorbed as a child including one that her paternal grandmother liked to tell , how she arrived in America after she was sent for by her husband (it took him 16 years to obtain the status of Merchant - only then was he allowed to bring her to America ) Apparently some of her stories related the tyranny of tradition - she could not return to her village to see her mother - once married , you lived in your husband 's world only

In 1875 , Young Yu 's great-grandmother Chin Shee joined her husband , Lee Wong Sang . She arrived with two brides who had not seen their husbands - their marriages were arranged . The voyage was rough and she lost hair , much to the amusement of the others who laughingly questioned her bridal suitability . But they were to get their come-uppance - one man looking at his wife 's normal-sized feet , pointed out that HIS bride was to have had bound feet . In 1890 there were only 3 ,868 Chinese women among 103 ,620 Chinese males in America . Some men , including Young Yu 's grandfather , went to China to marry . He married but his first wife died soon after giving birth . His father advised him to get another wife...

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