Rice Bowls, Donated by the City of Taishan, Peoples Republic of China. Photograph by Jary Nemo.Contributors
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Copyright in photograph with Jary Nemo.
Intercultural transfer between China and Australia via the goldrush is still felt today.
The Chinese gold rush of the 1850s to 1870s brought people and cultures together from around the world.
Whether Chinese diggers returned to China or settled in Victoria, the intercultural exchanges between people continued for generations, and continue to this day.
These transnational networks extend beyond Victoria and Southern China: Chinese goldrush travellers moved between countries and places in an unprecedented way. Many Chinese-born had come via Singapore, Borneo or California before they reached Victoria. Some travelled onwards to other parts of Australia, and some left to sail around the world to places like New Zealand, where they would again make new connections.
An example of intercultural transfer is a set of gifts donated by the Taishan Museum, China, to the Gum San Museum of Ararat. A large proportion, perhaps the largest, of the Chinese voyagers to Victoria came from Taishan, in Guangdong Province, Southern China. These 19th century domestic objects are thought to have been brought back to Taishan by diggers returning from the gold fields of Victoria. The Taishan Museum had preserved the objects and donated them to the Gum San Museum in Ararat.