Chinese emigration (also known as the Chinese Diaspora) first occurred thousands of years ago. The mass emigration that occurred from the 19th century to 1949 was caused mainly by wars and starvation in mainland China, as well as political corruption. Most immigrants were illiterate or poorly educated peasants and coolies (Chinese: 苦力, literally "hard labor"), who immigrated to developing countries in need of labor, such as the Americas, Australia, South Africa, Southeast Asia, Malaya and other places.
The largest Asian diaspora outside of Southeast Asia is the Indian diaspora. The overseas Indian community, estimated at over 25 million, is spread across many regions in the world, on every continent. It constitutes a diverse, heterogeneous and eclectic global community representing different regions, languages, cultures, and faiths (see Desi).
The Romani are widely dispersed, with their largest concentrated populations in Europe. Linguistic and genetic evidence indicates the Romanies originated on the Indian subcontinent, emigrating from India towards the northwest no earlier than the 11th century.
At least three waves of Nepalese diaspora can be identified. The earliest wave dates back to hundreds of years as early marriage and high birthrates propelled Hindu settlement eastward across Nepal, then into Sikkim and Bhutan. A backlash developed in the 1980s as Bhutan's political elites realized that Bhutanese Buddhists were at risk of becoming a minority in their own country. At present, the United States is working towards resettling more than 60,000 ethnic Nepalese from Bhutan in the US as a third-country settlement programme. A second wave was driven by British recruitment of mercenary soldiers beginning around 1815 and resettlement after retirement in the British Isles and southeast Asia. The third wave began in the 1970s as land shortages intensified and the pool of educated labor greatly exceeded job openings in Nepal. Job-related emigration created Nepalese enclaves in India, the wealthier countries of the Middle East, Europe and North America. Current estimates of the number of Nepalese living outside Nepal range well up into the millions.
In Siam, regional power struggles among several kingdoms in the region led to a large diaspora of ethnic Lao between the 1700s-1800s by Siamese rulers to settle large areas of the Siamese kingdom's northeast region, where Lao ethnicity is still a major factor in 2012. During this period, Siam decimated the Lao capital, capturing, torturing and killing the Lao king Anuwongse.
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“Morals are in all countries the result of legislation and government; they are not African or Asian or European: they are good or bad.”
—Denis Diderot (17131784)