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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:En route to 'Dignity Day': the South African Chinese and historical commemorations
Author:Harris, Karen L.
Periodical:Historia: amptelike orgaan (ISSN 0018-229X)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:minority groups
Abstract:Not unlike most marginalized minorities within South Africa and throughout the world, the South African Chinese community has remained insular and on the periphery of mainstream national South African commemoration. However, unlike other marginalized South Africans, this situation has been perpetuated beyond the old South African dispensation into the new. The fractured nature not only of South African society, but also of the community itself, along with the changing relations with the Republic of China (or Taiwan) and the People's Republic of China partly accounts for this hiatus. While historical milestones of their presence in South Africa have gone uncelebrated, it was the recognition of their status as 'black' which heralded a significant celebratory commemoration. In June 2009, the Pretoria Chinese Association celebrated 'Dignity Day' to commemorate the first anniversary of the Chinese victory in the Pretoria High Court. After over a century of discrimination since the arrival of their ancestors, the South African Chinese embarked on a successful legal battle against four ministerial departments to contest their exclusion from the Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 and the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act No. 35 of 2003. The present article focuses on this event, while at the same time tracing the milestones within the history of the Chinese in South Africa that have, to date, remained uncelebrated. Notes, ref., sum. in English and Afrikaans [Journal abstract]