Item consists of a short video clip that was displayed within a photograph frame on the wall within Burnaby Village Museum's "Across the Pacific" exhibit. The video portrait came to life as vistors entered the exhibit space. In this short video, museum interpreter, Elwin Xie greets visitors to the …
Item consists of a short video clip that was displayed within a photograph frame on the wall within Burnaby Village Museum's "Across the Pacific" exhibit. The video portrait came to life as vistors entered the exhibit space. In this short video, museum interpreter, Elwin Xie greets visitors to the exhibit. Elwin Xie personifies a Chinese Canadian immigrant by the name of Der Hoy (birth name Fong Wah On). Der Hoy conveys his story of growing up in a small farming village in Yinping (Enping) in the southern part of Guandong and immigrating to Canada with his Uncle Der to be reunited with his father who had immgrated to Canada years earlier. He explains how he travelled on the Empress of Japan steamship with his Uncle Der and how he learned later in life that his father had purchased immigration documents for him so that he would be identified as his uncle's son.
The wall where the video portrait was displayed within the "Across the Pacific" exhibit, included other photographs and portraits of Chinese Canadian immigrants. Text on the wall next to the video portrait reads: "Home: Canada / Chinese migrants who came to Canada maintained strong social networks based on family and village relationships, and supported each other during periods of need. Many Chinese men arrived alone and lived as bachelors".
Der Hoy is a fictional character. The story he tells is based on actual experiences.
From 1923 to 1947, the Chinese Immigration Act limited the entry of most Chinese with the exception of merchants, diplomats, students and Canadian-born Chinese. Paper sons or daughters were migrants who entered into Canada by illegally purchasing identity documents that allowed them entry into Canada. After the Act was repealed, limited entry was extended to spouses and children of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. In 1960, the Chinese Adjustment Statement Program offered amnesty to all paper sons and daughters.