Indian Chinese in India

Migration Patterns and Occupational Specialisations of Kolkata Chinese
An Insider’s History by Jennifer Liang

“This article examines the history and experiences of the Chinese Indian community in Kolkata based on extensive interviews of the members of the community. The migration of the Chinese to the Indian city, it suggests, took place in three distinct phases: the nineteenth century, when skilled workers from China came to the city seeking better employment opportunities; the early twentieth century, when social unrest and Japanese invasion brought Chinese refugees to Kolkata; and, the post-1945 period, when civil war between the Guomindang and the Communists triggered the flow of a third wave of Chinese immigrants. The article also outlines some of the main economic specialisations of the Chinese immigrants as they became residents of Kolkata, including carpentry, shoemaking, tannery and hairdressing.”

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Jennifer Liang is a c/o The Ant, Ward 10, BOC gate, Bongaigaon, Assam 783380, India.

Email: [email protected]

this article is found in Saga Journals


  1. Bill says:

    This is an excellent article recounting the history of the Chinese community in Calcutta.

  2. tomlai says:

    Thanks to Jennifer for a peek into our history … certainly brings back all memories of the stories we used to hear from our grand parents and their friends …

  3. Howard says:

    Sure there are lots of stories from every family that lived there before or now.

  4. ycl1688 says:

    What a great research work ! Some of the person names mentioned I know them ! Keep up the good work !

  5. Walter says:

    To: Leon & Thien

    The preview of video clippings below will definitely be of great interests to readers and viewers here. They are footages of documentary made in Taiwan Hakka TV Channel on the lives of Indian Chinese from Dhapa and old Chinatown in Kolkata.

    Would appreciate if the “full version” of these documentaries can be linked here for those who do not have access to them.


    Thien, last time you were able to put up the Legend of Fat Mama documentary here. Can you upload this one ?

    Many thanks. Cheers.

  6. Benjamin says:

    Hi can anyone tell me where to get this article? I am interested to know since i am working on a similar project currently.