Thursday, May 10, 2012

CHINESE WHITE WIVES. MOSTLY AUSTRALIAN WOMEN,

PITIABLE CASES IN CANTON, "You can't put it too strong. Some of the cases I have seen would make your heart bleed." Mr P. R. F. Carter,who has been living in Canton for six years, and i« passing through Sydney on his way to the Old Country, made these remarks in referring in a recent interview with a 'Sydney Morning Herald" reporter, to the increasing number of marriages of Chinese with European women. "And this," he added, "is a matter of special interest to you, because most of those women are Australians." White women, he said, were no doubt treated well enough by their Chinese husbands so long as they remained in Australasia or in any other ccuntry occupied by Europeans, but to go to live in China with their husbands was a vary different thing. "Far better for them to commit suicide than to undergo the awful sufferings that await them there, if they are not absolutely dead to all the finer feelings." This was how he put it. Not only are they ostracised by all Europeans, but they are looked down upon even by the Chinese themselves, are made the subject of the coarsest sorts of jests by the meanest of the coolies. These European women are not allowed to live in the foreign settlement —and the average Chinese house is dirty, ill-ventilated, full of vermin, and without any sanitary or p.ny sort of conveniences. A living hell is the most fitting expression I can think of, though it is not a very elegant one, to describe the lot of these poor creatures. "I'm not a soft-hearted man, but I have seen young Australian women up there la the Chinese quarters amid such conditions as would mike yQ _fc cry Jf you saw tnem A nd taey are'not all the lower class of women, either. There is one woman—an Australian well connected, well educate 1, and very good looking, too—who was living for a long time in the Chinese quarters in Canton under such conditions that I wonder she didn't go crazy. A German doctor found her through her seeking his help to save her little baby. She told him that sho had married her husband in Sydney and he had taken her to Canton, and she had to live in the midst of +he Chinese quarters ever since. She seemed to have a fondness for herband though, and wouldn't be separated from him. Some of the ladies in the European settlement interested themselves in her case, and special permission has been given to her to live in the foreign settlement with her husband, and there she is eking out an existence —an outcast as far as Europeans are concerned, and! regarded with contempt by the Chinese. It is a very pitiable case indeed, for this woman, I have been informed, was very well brought up and she has certainly all the manner; of a lady, and is well educated; and why she made this marriage is a puzzle to me. "There is another Australian woman there, who married her Chinese husband in South Africa. She has got hardened to liei lot now, and wears Chinese clothes. She is also a young woman, a little over 30, but her case is rather different from that of the other, who is a superior type of girl. There are others there, too, but those happen to have come under my own notice. "There ought to be a law prohibiting marriages between white women and Chinese. The woman who marries a Chinese loses her nationality,

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  1. Northern Advocate , 14 February 1912, Page 3

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