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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Remembering the Samsui Women

Migration and Social Memory in Singapore and China

Remembering the Samsui Women tells the story of women from the Samsui area of Guangdong, China, who migrated to Singapore during a period of economic and natural calamity, leaving their families behind. In their new country, many found work in the construction industry, while others worked in households or factories where they were called hong tou jin, translated literally as “red-head-scarf,” after the headgear that protected them from the sun. Contributing to current debates in the fields of social memory and migration studies, this is the first book to examine how the Samsui women remember their own migratory experiences and how they, in turn, are remembered as pioneering figures in both Singapore and China.

Table of Contents


1 Chinese Migration and Entangled Histories

2 Politics of Memory Making

3 Local and Transnational Entanglements

4 From China to Singapore

5 Beyond Working Lives

6 Samsui Women, Ma Cheh, and Other Foreign Workers

Conclusion: Social Constructions of the Past

Glossary; Notes; References; Index

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