Isabelle Lausent-Herrera: Between Catholicism and Evangelism. The Peruvian Chinese Community
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This article as a study covers the issue of a person’s religious affiliation as a way of establishing a position in society, by which is described the historical developing of the Chinese immigrants as a commune in Peru. Isabelle Lausent-Garcia describes and explains the appearance of the first Chinese people starting to position themselves as a representative of the seemingly native European religious beliefs, mentioning that the original examples were not stated as peoples’ personal decisions. As it’s said in the article, the process of Chinese and Chinese descendants being converted and baptized through the whole historical experience in its beginning had genuine, sincere reasoning and the desire for being able to integrate into the society both. The Peruvian Chinese community did not immediately get the opportunity for taking the same position in the society as the indigenous Peruvians had. It’s worth mentioning that both sides of the citizens, the state and the immigrants, were interested in resolving the mentioned aspect.
Representatives of the Chinese nations in Peru were also interested in creating their own whole community at the international level. It’s an interesting paradox how the people were at the same time interested in blending into the foreign society but also were trying to keep the distance in order not to succumb to the influence of territorial location and the place of residence by that meaning forgetting their own specific traditions and culture.In addition, the author also talks about some new educational institutions created by the Chinese Peruvian population on their own or with help from the Peruvian indigenous.
The question about religion implied the aspect of education in the Peruvian society, Laurent-Garcia describes in detail the various schools in which the Catholic Chinese were able to be accepted in. It is worth saying that the religious issue was not limited to the adoption of Catholicism as the only possible religion.Just the opposite, the article itself is supposed to intensify the contrast between Catholicism and evangelism as two ways of establishing the community.
Although the title of this work suggests the following discussion of Chinese people searching their religious affiliation and specific position in society, specifically for me this article can be identified as a historical source of some information about the development of the Chinese representatives and following Chinese descendants as a simultaneously small and individual commune, but also belonging to the greater part of society.