History Main / ChineseLaborer

5th Jul '16 3:35:12 AM AgProv
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* A British variant on this trope: Chinese immigrants here are best known for working in catering and the food takeaway trade. In controversial sitcom ''Series/LoveThyNeighbour'', the put-upon owner of the local takeaway is the butt of casual racism by both Bill (black) and Eddie (white). Eddie, predictably, calls him FuManchu. Bill displays a racist streak - against Chinese - by calling him Mao Tse Tung. Neighbours normally locked in everyday black-versus-white prejudice [[NotSoDifferent bond]] against yellow.
3rd Jun '16 11:55:01 PM Doug86
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In the fiction of the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century, the ChineseLaborer is often a sinister figure who fills the ranks of a [[NebulousEvilOrganization Secret Society]] and lusts for the pure white women that the hero must protect. About the time of UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo, when China became the United States' ally, the depiction [[FairForItsDay shifted]], and the Chinese laborer tended to be shown as the victim of prejudice and needing the help of a [[WhiteMansBurden white hero]] to save him from bigots. Modern depictions tend to be a bit more nuanced... we hope.

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In the fiction of the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century, the ChineseLaborer is often a sinister figure who fills the ranks of a [[NebulousEvilOrganization Secret Society]] and lusts for the pure white women that the hero must protect. About the time of UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo, UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, when China became the United States' ally, the depiction [[FairForItsDay shifted]], and the Chinese laborer tended to be shown as the victim of prejudice and needing the help of a [[WhiteMansBurden white hero]] to save him from bigots. Modern depictions tend to be a bit more nuanced... we hope.



* During UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne the British government recruited the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Labour_Corps Chinese Labour Corps]]. Though the men served under British officers, were subject to military discipline, and took casualties from enemy fire, they were not dignified with the status of soldiers, in the same way as normal military engineers. The French government hired Chinese laborers in a similar manner. In total, something like ''140,000'' Chinese citizens served on the Western front, and are now almost totally forgotten.

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* During UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne UsefulNotes/WorldWarI the British government recruited the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Labour_Corps Chinese Labour Corps]]. Though the men served under British officers, were subject to military discipline, and took casualties from enemy fire, they were not dignified with the status of soldiers, in the same way as normal military engineers. The French government hired Chinese laborers in a similar manner. In total, something like ''140,000'' Chinese citizens served on the Western front, and are now almost totally forgotten.
3rd Jun '16 3:34:52 AM Quanyails
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--->'''James H. Strobridge''', Central Pacific Railroad foreman, testifying before the US Congress in 1876

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--->'''James -->'''James H. Strobridge''', Central Pacific Railroad foreman, testifying before the US Congress in 1876
6th Jan '16 7:28:35 AM Morgenthaler
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Added DiffLines:

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/chinese_gold_miners_b.png]]
27th Oct '15 9:01:21 AM Morgenthaler
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* Miniature Chinese laborer figures come to life and attack Ben Stiller's character in a wild west diorama in ''NightAtTheMuseum''.

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* Miniature Chinese laborer figures come to life and attack Ben Stiller's character in a wild west diorama in ''NightAtTheMuseum''.''Film/NightAtTheMuseum''.



* There's a scene in the RobertAltman film ''McCabeAndMrsMiller'' where a mining company operative details an elaborate mineral extraction scheme involving Chinese laborers and lots of explosives. As you might imagine, the laborers weren't expected to survive.
* ''DeathToSmoochy'' has Edward Norton's pacifist character explain, "When my brothers played CowboysAndIndians, I was always the Chinese railroad worker."

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* There's a scene in the RobertAltman film ''McCabeAndMrsMiller'' ''Film/McCabeAndMrsMiller'' where a mining company operative details an elaborate mineral extraction scheme involving Chinese laborers and lots of explosives. As you might imagine, the laborers weren't expected to survive.
* ''DeathToSmoochy'' ''Film/DeathToSmoochy'' has Edward Norton's pacifist character explain, "When my brothers played CowboysAndIndians, I was always the Chinese railroad worker."
26th Sep '15 6:46:58 AM Morgenthaler
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* In the last 2 books of the WhatKatyDid series, Clover and In the High Valley, Clarence Page, Geoff Templestowe, and their wives hire a Chinese cook, Choo Loo. While the Christian protagonists don't quite agree with his use of joss sticks, and "the ways and means of his mysteriously conducted kitchen", he is a "capital cook", and the ladies appreciate the way he likes to decorate the food he serves. In fact, Lionel Young, when setting up his own residence, tells his sister, Imogen, that, "I wish we could have the luck to happen on his brother or nephew for ourselves."
* In Literature/{{Portlandtown}}, many of the boatmen who offer transportation through Portland's flooded winter streets are Chinese immigrants.

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* In the last 2 books of the WhatKatyDid ''Literature/WhatKatyDid'' series, Clover and In the High Valley, Clarence Page, Geoff Templestowe, and their wives hire a Chinese cook, Choo Loo. While the Christian protagonists don't quite agree with his use of joss sticks, and "the ways and means of his mysteriously conducted kitchen", he is a "capital cook", and the ladies appreciate the way he likes to decorate the food he serves. In fact, Lionel Young, when setting up his own residence, tells his sister, Imogen, that, "I wish we could have the luck to happen on his brother or nephew for ourselves."
* In Literature/{{Portlandtown}}, ''Literature/{{Portlandtown}}'', many of the boatmen who offer transportation through Portland's flooded winter streets are Chinese immigrants.



* Kwai Chang Caine tended to run into a lot of these while WalkingTheEarth in ''KungFu''; not surprising given his ethnicity.

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* Kwai Chang Caine tended to run into a lot of these while WalkingTheEarth in ''KungFu''; ''Series/KungFu''; not surprising given his ethnicity.



* ''HaveGunWillTravel'' features hotel porter Hey Boy (and for one season his sister Hey Girl) as a major recurring character.

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* ''HaveGunWillTravel'' ''Series/HaveGunWillTravel'' features hotel porter Hey Boy (and for one season his sister Hey Girl) as a major recurring character.



* An episode of the RadioDrama ''HaveGunWillTravel'' had Paladin attempting to keep his friend/servant "Hey Boy" from taking bloody vengeance on a white railroad construction supervisor who'd killed one of his relatives (as there were laws preventing Chinese from testifying against whites in criminal cases, it was nearly impossible to prosecute white-on-Chinese violence in the courts).

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* An episode of the RadioDrama ''HaveGunWillTravel'' ''Radio/HaveGunWillTravel'' had Paladin attempting to keep his friend/servant "Hey Boy" from taking bloody vengeance on a white railroad construction supervisor who'd killed one of his relatives (as there were laws preventing Chinese from testifying against whites in criminal cases, it was nearly impossible to prosecute white-on-Chinese violence in the courts).



* The video game ''ShadowWarrior'' features undead coolies as a type of enemy. They try to blow you up with dynamite, and sometimes come back as ghosts when they die.

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* The video game ''ShadowWarrior'' ''VideoGame/ShadowWarrior'' features undead coolies as a type of enemy. They try to blow you up with dynamite, and sometimes come back as ghosts when they die.
3rd Jun '15 1:58:17 AM johnnye
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* Due to a lack of white "[[UsefulNotes/BritishEnglish labour]]", Chinese laborers work the Central Pacific railroad in ''Film/TheIronHorse''.

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* Due to a lack of white "[[UsefulNotes/BritishEnglish labour]]", labour, Chinese laborers labourers work the Central Pacific railroad in ''Film/TheIronHorse''.
15th Apr '15 3:50:14 PM MarkLungo
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* There's a LaurenceYep series called ''Literature/GoldenMountainChronicles'', after the Chinese nickname for California. It's a series that follows a Chinese-American family over a number of generations, and the protagonists of some of the earlier books were Chinese laborers working on the railroads.

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* There's a LaurenceYep Creator/LaurenceYep series called ''Literature/GoldenMountainChronicles'', after the Chinese nickname for California. It's a series that follows a Chinese-American family over a number of generations, and the protagonists of some of the earlier books were Chinese laborers working on the railroads.



* ''EastOfEden'' has Lee, a Chinese cook and valet (also a stereotype at one time in California), who has a horrible backstory about how his mother disguised herself as a man so she could live and work alongside his father on the railroad, hiding her pregnancy when it came about, until the day she gave birth. Her husband wasn't nearby to help her, and when the other workers realized there was a woman in their midst they basically gang-raped her to death.

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* ''EastOfEden'' ''Literature/EastOfEden'' has Lee, a Chinese cook and valet (also a stereotype at one time in California), who has a horrible backstory about how his mother disguised herself as a man so she could live and work alongside his father on the railroad, hiding her pregnancy when it came about, until the day she gave birth. Her husband wasn't nearby to help her, and when the other workers realized there was a woman in their midst they basically gang-raped her to death.
13th Mar '15 12:15:52 PM Quanyails
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* ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' example: the Iron Dragon Railroad is staffed almost completely with these, plus some [[EverybodyWasKungFuFighting kung-fuists]] and the [[YellowPeril Fu Manchu]] ripoff, Warlord Kang.

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* ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' example: In ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'', the Iron Dragon Railroad is staffed almost completely with these, plus some [[EverybodyWasKungFuFighting kung-fuists]] and the [[YellowPeril Fu Manchu]] ripoff, Warlord Kang.
7th Feb '15 2:22:59 AM Morgenthaler
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* A bunch of them feature in ''ShanghaiNoon''.
* Chinese laborers also appear in the remake of ''[[ThreeTenToYuma 3:10 to Yuma]]'' on a railroad construction site.

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* A bunch of them feature in ''ShanghaiNoon''.
''Film/ShanghaiNoon''.
* Chinese laborers also appear in the remake of ''[[ThreeTenToYuma 3:10 to Yuma]]'' ''Film/ThreeTenToYuma'' on a railroad construction site.
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