Chinese customs on dating
There are relatively few single-parent and blended families in both contemporary overseas Chinese communities and Australian-Chinese communities.
However, a recent phenomenon in Australia is an increasing number of 'split' Chinese families from Hong Kong and Taiwan, coinciding with Australia's economic recession in the early 1990s (Wong 1993; Kee and Skeldon, in press).
Recent settlers from China are now freed from the one-child policy in place in their homeland since 1979, and some have chosen to have more than one child, or more children until the arrival of a son.
Traditionally, divorce and having children outside wedlock are frowned on.
The structure and size of Chinese families in Australia tend to be more in line with the trend in contemporary urban Chinese societies, for example Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Taiwan, which favour small nuclear families (Da 1993; Tanphanich 1988; Duan-Mu 1994; Wong 1975).
Some Chinese families in Australia may have elderly grandparents living under the same roof, but it is relatively uncommon for adult siblings with offspring to share the same dwelling.
Mak and Helen Chan Chinese settlement in Australia has a long history, beginning soon after the discovery of gold in Australia in 1851.
Large numbers of men from China came to work in the goldfields in Victoria, hoping to return to their homeland when they had made enough money (Wang 1988).
In stark contrast, a substantial number of Chinese came as professional and business migrants, bringing with them great skills and wealth.
Cantonese-the dialect spoken by Hong Kong Chinese and those from the Guandong Province in China-was the third most commonly spoken community language in Australia, while Mandarin, the official Chinese language, was the twelfth most commonly spoken (BIPR 1993b).