Cantonese people can be found in all the major Western cities around the world. New York, London, San Francisco and Sydney are all home to large populations of southern Chinese people. The Cantonese were early pioneers in the great gold rushes in the US and Australia during the nineteenth century. The city of Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, is the capital of the province of Guangdong; and is the third largest city in China. This large trading port on the Pearl River is an important birthplace of the ancient maritime Silk Road, connecting China to the Middle East.
Cantonese People Around the World
It is this fact that has played a big part in the spread of Cantonese people around the globe. Ships from all over the world docking at Canton/Guangzhou bringing trade in and taking trade out of China. Being one of the great trading centres, it is a portal for the distribution of goods and people. Chinese people are well-known for their hard working characteristics and commitment to family. These family networks have spread all over the globe, establishing links in all the major cities in every country. Wherever there has been money to be made from trade, gold mining and all the associated infrastructure that goes with these material opportunities the Chinese have flourished.
Chinese food, and in particular Cantonese cuisine, has been another major export to the West. Cities like London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Melbourne all have Chinese restaurants, which have been plying their trade for many decades. Cantonese restaurants were, in some towns and cities, the very first restaurants to be established in these places. Chinese cooks and waiters are now famous as archetypal, or stereotypical, characters in books and movies. Think of the Pink Panther films with Peter Sellers and his Chinese man servant sparring partner. The Cantonese are a big part of the whole hospitality movement, helping to found it as a populous and successful industry. Family restaurants have established Cantonese dynasties in these New World cities.
Cantonese people around the world have been involved in many other types of business, with new migrants happy to work in the adult industry. Sex is another form of hospitality, of course, and the commercial sex industry feeds another of our more basic appetites. Cantonese migrants, who were often single men, were serviced by Cantonese prostitutes run by Cantonese brothel owners. The tight Chinese network, like many other racial networks, kept their expenditure in-house wherever possible. Ghettoes were formed, which became Chinatowns, as we know them today, places full of fine restaurants and even the odd brothel or two.