|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2008)|
|600.000 - 1.300.000
2-3% of the Peruvian population
|Regions with significant populations|
|Lima, Huacho, Ica, Piura, Huancayo, Cusco, Moyobamba, Tarapoto, Iquitos.|
|Spanish, Mandarin, Hakka, Cantonese, Hokkien, others|
|Roman Catholicism, Buddhism, Chinese folk religion|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Asian Latin American, Asian Peruvian|
Chinese Peruvians, also known as tusán (a loanword from Chinese 土生 pinyin: tǔ shēng, jyutping: tou2 saang1 "local born", but potentially from 台山 Cantonese: Toisan, pinyin: Táishān, jyutping: toi4 saan1, referring to the Cantonese town of Taishan in the Guangdong province of China, where much of the Chinese immigration to north and South America originated), are people of Overseas Chinese ancestry born in Peru, or who have made Peru their adopted homeland.
Most Chinese Peruvians are multilingual. In addition to Spanish or Quechua, many of them speak one or more Chinese dialects that may include Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, and Minnan (Hokkien). Since the first Chinese immigrants came from Macau, some of them also speak Portuguese. In Peru, Asian Peruvians are estimated to be at least 5% of the population. One source places the number of citizens with some Chinese ancestry at 1.300.000, which equates to 2% of the country's total population.
Asian slaves who were shipped from the Spanish Philippines in the Manila-Acapulco galleons to Acapulco were all called "Chino" which meant Chinese, although in reality they were of diverse origins, including Japan, Malaysia, The Phillipines, Java, Timor, and people from Bengal, India, Ceylon, Makassar, Tidore, Terenate, and China. Filipinos made up most of their population. The people in this community of diverse Asians in Mexico was called "los indios chinos" by the Spanish. Most of these slaves were male and were obtained from Portuguese slave traders who obtained them from Portuguese colonial possessions and outposts of the Estado da India, which included parts of India, Bengal, Malacca, Indonesia, Nagasaki in Japan, and Macau. Spain received some of these Chino slaves from Mexico,where owning a Chino slave showed high status. Records of three Japanese slaves dating from the 16th century, named Gaspar Fernandes, Miguel and Ventura who ended up in Mexico showed that they were purchased by Portuguese slave traders in Japan, brought to Manila from where they were shipped to Mexico by their owner Perez. Some of these Asian slaves were also brought to Lima in Peru, where it was recorded that in 1613 there was a small community of Asians made out of Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, Malays, Cambodians and others.
One hundred thousand Chinese contract laborers, 95% of which were Cantonese and almost all of which were male, were sent mostly to the sugar plantations from 1849 to 1874 during the termination of slavery. They were to provide continuous labor for the coastal guano mines and especially for the coastal plantations where they became a major labor force (contributing greatly to the Peruvian Guano Boom) until the end of the century. While the coolies were believed to be reduced to virtual slaves, they also represented a historical transition from slave to free labor.
In 1957 Cantonese speakers constituted 85 per cent of the total Chinese immigrant population, the rest of whom were Hakka speakers.
Recent Chinese immigrants settled in Peru from Hong Kong and, again, Macau because of fear of their return to Communist rule in 1997 and 1999, while others have come from other places in mainland China, Taiwan, and Southeast Asian Chinese communities, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines. Many Chinese Indonesians came to Peru after anti-Chinese riots and massacres in those countries in the 1960s, 1970s, and late 1990s. These recent Chinese immigrants make Peru the home of the largest ethnic Chinese community in Latin America.
Many Chinese Peruvians left Peru in the 1960s and 1970s. Most of them headed to the United States, where they were called Chinese Americans or Peruvian Americans of Chinese descent, while others went to Canada, Spain, mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, or New Zealand.
Role in the economy
After their contracts ended, many of them adopted the last name of their patrons (one of the reasons that many Chinese Peruvians carry Spanish last names). Some freed coolies (and later immigrants) established many small businesses. These included chifas (Chinese-Peruvian restaurants - the word is derived from Cantonese 饎飯 (Jyutping:ci3 faan6) which means "to eat rice or to have a meal." Calle Capón, Lima's Chinatown, also known as Barrio Chino de Lima, became one of the Western Hemisphere's earliest Chinatowns. The Chinese coolies married Peruvian women, and many Chinese Peruvians today are of mixed Chinese, Spanish, and African or Native American descent. Chinese Peruvians also assisted in the building of railroad and development of the Amazon Rainforest, where they tapped rubber trees, washed gold, cultivated rice, and traded with the natives. They even became the largest foreign colony in the Amazon capital of Iquitos by the end of the century.
Prominent Chinese Peruvians
- Pedro Zulen (1889–1925), philosopher, university professor (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos), poet, writer
- Edwin Vasquez Cam, Olympic gold medal Free Pistol (1948)
- Siu Kam Wen (1951-), Novelist
- Eugenio Chang Rodríguez, writer, linguist, university professor (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos/City University of New York)
- Rosa Fung Pineda, archaeologist
- Víctor Joy Way, former Prime Minister of Peru
- José Antonio Chang, former Prime Minister of Peru
- Erasmo Wong, founder and former owner of the Wong supermarket chain
- Alfredo Raul Chang Ruiz, Current director of the oldest and still active magazine of Peru called "Revista Oriental", a magazine with the theme of links of Peruvian and Asian communities
- Patty Wong, TV host
- Iván Miranda Chang, former professional tennis player
- Efraín Wong, Operations Manager of the Corporación Wong and founder of Las Falcas distillery.
- Walter Wong Gutiérrez, anthropologist, Ayacucho Regional Director of the Instituto Nacional de Cultura (1980-1982)
- Annie Yep TV Host, Journalist
- Isabel Wong-Vargas, businesswoman, owner of La Caleta restaurant in Lima, received various gastronomic awards including the Best Seafood restaurant in Lima
- Teodoro Wuchi, former professional footballer
- Humberto Lay, Congress man
- Javier Wong, Chef
- Alan Wong, Karate Sensei, Aerobics, Trainer, Gym owner
- Jimmy Wong, Karate Sensei, 1st place Greece 2009 X Shotokan World Karate Championship, 2nd place World Championship Los Angeles 1989
- Asian Latin American
- Chinatown, Lima
- Chinatowns in Latin America
- History of Peru
- Japanese Peruvian
- Overseas Chinese
- (10/08) U.S. Department of State
- Peru (10/08), U.S. Department of State
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- Chinese in Bridge, Volume 3
- Estirpeperuana.com, Las Falcas distillery homepage
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