Beechworth Cemetery and Chinese burning towers

The discovery of gold at Ballarat in 1851 sparked Victoria’s famous gold rush of the 1850s. This led to the probably most significant event in the evolution of the state of Victoria, Australia: the mass migration of people from across the globe to the region hoping to become rich. It’s believed that at the peak of the gold rush, 6,000 miners arrived in the region each week, including many Chinese nationals who converged on Beechworth seeking fortune around the late 1850s. As the population in Beechworth (then surveyed as Mayday…

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Hong Kong and the sad echoes of the 1894 plague epidemic

While COVID-19 are stopping the world on current days, a 19th-century pandemic still haunts Hong Kong’s Sheung Wan district. Nearly 130 years ago, the neighborhood was an epicenter of one of the deadliest pandemics on record, and like many former zone in which plague spread, the area still carries with it the weight of that tragedy. At the time the waterfront city was a British colony and vital port of trade. As such, it experienced a mass influx of mainland Chinese laborers, from tradespeople to servants, who came to the…

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