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移民历史展览展现美国移民的面貌和经历

(2012-06-28 14:53:25)
标签:

杂谈

分类: 文化和教育
结婚照 (National Archives, San Francisco)

(黄兰芳(Wong Lan Fong,音译)和余许宁(Yee Shew Ning,音译)摄于1926年的结婚照。这样的照片曾帮助中国人在排斥亚裔法案实施期间移民到美国。)

美国国务院国际信息局(IIP)《美国参考》Lea Terhune从华盛顿报道,一代又一代的移民经过入境口岸来到美国,在那里留下他们生活的详尽资料,现在由美国国家档案馆(U.S. National Archives)收藏。档案馆正在华盛顿举办一个新展览,题为“附件:留在美国移民口岸的面孔与故事”(Attachments: Faces and Stories from America’s Gates),以分享其中一些照片和档案记录及其蕴含的动人故事。

策展人布鲁斯•巴斯塔德(Bruce Bustard)在最近的一次记者会上说,在展览中出现的人物中,“你会看到一名逃离俄国革命的难民,他是牛仔戏中的哥萨克特技骑手。”牛仔戏是用法文演出的,而这名在1927年来到美国的人最终成为美国公民。

其他很多人则在主要入境口岸——东海岸的埃利斯岛(Ellis Island)和西海岸的天使岛(Angel Island)——被拒绝入境或遭遣返出境。该展览亦讲述了他们的故事——由于犯罪或者官僚制度作梗,导致他们被驱逐出境。满怀希望的移民在历经艰辛远渡重洋之后,最不想听到的话就是“此人有可能成为接受政府救济者”。无论是真是假,移民官员的宣判便意味着遣返的命运。

身为中国移民后代的明尼苏达大学历史学家艾丽卡•李(Ericka Lee),在学术生涯初期便对20世纪排斥亚裔法案时期的移民历程产生了兴趣。那个时期始于19世纪末,当时美国移民法律禁止大部分华人入境,后来随着《1924年移民法》的颁布扩及到所有亚洲人。这些法律使亚洲人很难移民到美国,但并非毫无可能。

艾丽卡•李在加利福尼亚州圣布鲁诺(San Bruno)的国家档案馆研究自家的历史时,发现了家人都不知道的一样东西。那是一张李的祖父母黄兰芳(Wong Lan Fong,音译)和余许宁(Yee Shew Ning,音译)在1926年的结婚照,这是他们在天使岛(Angel Island)为了证明自己符合进入美国的条件而提交的一份重要材料。

艾丽卡•李说:“老一辈的美国华人大都不愿意谈论这一段历史。它留下了很多疮疤,拆散了很多家庭,并迫使很多人通过回避法律和假造身份文件进入美国。”这些记录帮助她了解了自己和其他很多人的家庭。

她说,这些故事讲述了“艰辛和胜利、伪造文件和身份证明,以及移民的坚忍和决心”。从来自许多国家的数百万移民中,“附件”展览重点介绍了其中33人,她的祖父母也在其中。她说,“我的祖父母在美国公然实施‘排华’政策期间来到这里”,在别人的偏见中养育七名子女长大成人并对社区做出贡献,“他们若看到自己的照片竟与我国最珍贵的文件一同在这栋建筑中展出一定会非常吃惊。这着实是一条漫漫长路。”

 

申请成为公民的人参加一堂关于美国的课程 (National Archives, Immigration and Naturalization Service)

(1921年,申请成为公民的人参加一堂关于美国的课程。)

在展览中出现的人物中,唯一还在世的是麦克尔•普巴(Michael Pupa)。1942年当纳粹杀害他的父母和姐妹时,年仅四岁的他和一名叔叔在森林中躲了两年,直到第二次世界大战结束。后来他来到美国,与表兄弟一起被俄亥俄州克里夫兰的一个家庭收养。在国家档案馆开始筹备该项展览之前,他的妻儿对他的过去所知甚少。

普巴说:“我一获得许可便申请成为这个伟大熔炉的公民。”他上了大学,创办了成功的生意,并且娶妻生子。他说:“只有美国才会为所有人提供如此多的机会,不论种族、教义、肤色或民族血统。我真的很感激,也很骄傲成为美国公民。”

国家档案馆的地区分馆和在线工具提供丰富资源,供有兴趣追踪族谱的美国人和非美国人使用。

艾丽卡•李说:“情况正在改变。全球迁移的模式总是变动不居。很多我这个年纪或比我年轻的人因为经济情势的变化或者为了寻根,回到他们祖父母的故乡。”

她表示:“美国仍是移民的一个首选之地,也仍然有很多申请被积压的人想要来到这个国家。”她认为该展览对于可能移民的人或者对美国历史感兴趣的人都会“极有吸引力,让他们知道自己可能面临的一些同样的问题和关切以及官僚作风造成的困难……早就存在了。”

这个展览定于2012年9月3日结束。

如需了解更多信息,请参阅“附件:留在美国移民口岸的面孔与故事”(英文,PDF, 2MB) 及美国国家档案馆网站 (英文)。.



Read more: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/chinese/article/2012/06/201206278217.html#ixzz1z4JE2I96

Exhibition Illuminates Faces, Stories of American Immigrants

Washington — Generations of immigrants passing through entry points to the United States left details of their lives there that now reside in the U.S. National Archives. Its new exhibition in Washington, Attachments: Faces and Stories from America’s Gates, shares some of those photographic and documentary records and the often poignant stories they contain.

Among the personalities in the exhibition, “You meet a refugee from the Russian Revolution who was a Cossack trick horse rider with a Wild West show,” curator Bruce Bustard told a recent press conference. The Wild West show was French, and the gentleman who came to the United States in 1927 ultimately became an American citizen.

Many others were turned away or deported from the chief entry points, Ellis Island on the East Coast and Angel Island on the West Coast. Their stories are told here, too — tales of crimes or bureaucratic tangles that resulted in expulsion from the country. The worst phrase a hopeful immigrant could hear, having crossed the seas at great expense, was “likely to become a public charge.” Whether it was true or not, that judgment by an immigration panel spelled deportation.

Early in her academic career, University of Minnesota historian Ericka Lee, a descendant of Chinese immigrants, became interested in 20th-century immigration during the Asian exclusion era. This began in the late 19th century, when U.S. immigration laws barred entry for most Chinese, and later extended to Asians generally with the Immigration Act of 1924. Such laws made it very difficult, but not impossible, for Asians to immigrate to the United States.

While researching her family at the National Archives in San Bruno, California, Lee found something that no one in her family knew existed. It was a 1927 wedding photo of Lee’s grandparents Wong Lan Fong and Yee Shew Ning, part of the essential documentation they submitted at Angel Island to prove their suitability to enter the United States.

“Most elderly Chinese Americans are reluctant to talk about this period of history. It left a lot of scars, broke up a lot of families and forced a lot of people to come in circumventing the laws and falsifying identity documents,” Lee says. The records helped Lee learn about her own family and many others.

These are stories of “hardships and triumphs, false documents and fake IDs, immigrant perseverance and determination,” Lee says. Of the millions of immigrants from many countries, 33 are highlighted in the Attachments exhibition, her grandparents among them. After living through prejudice, raising seven children and contributing to their community, “my grandparents, who arrived in this country when the United States explicitly enforced a ‘no Chinese allowed’ policy, would be astounded to see their photographs here in this building along with our nation’s most sacred documents. It’s a long way to come.”

The only living person whose story is in the exhibition, Michael Pupa, was 4 years old when the Nazis killed his parents and sister in Poland in 1942. He survived with an uncle, hiding in forests for two years, until World War II ended. He came to the United States, where he and his cousin were adopted by an American family in Cleveland, Ohio. Until the National Archives began compiling this exhibition, his wife and children knew little of his story.

“As soon as I was allowed to, I applied to become a citizen of this great melting pot,” Pupa says. He attended college, started a successful business, raised a family. “Only in America are so many opportunities available to all, regardless of race, creed, color, religion or national origin. I am truly grateful and proud to be a citizen of the United States,” he says.

The National Archives’ regional branches and online tools are rich resources for Americans and non-Americans interested in tracing their ancestors.

“Things are changing,” says Lee. “Patterns of global migration are constantly fluid now. We see many people my age and younger going back to the homelands that their grandparents left because of changes in the economy or to find their roots.”

According to Lee, “The United States is still an iconic place for immigrants, and there is still a backlog of people who want to come to this country.” She thinks the exhibition would be “fascinating” for prospective immigrants or those interested in U.S. history, “to know that some of the same questions and concerns and struggles with bureaucracy that they may be facing … have been with us for some time.”

The exhibition will run through September 3, 2012.

Learn more at Attachments:Faces and Stories from America’s Gates (PDF, 2MB) and at the U.S. National Archives website.



Read more: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/article/2012/06/201206227964.html#ixzz1z4JknJ8M

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