Golden Threads - Exhibition - Leisure

    Work | Leaving & staying | Leisure | Beliefs | Dress | Food



In the nineteenth century the vast majority of Chinese in Australia were male. This, along with their isolation from the social life of other Australians, helped to shape their leisure activities.

The most common relaxation was to meet and chat with each other over a meal or a pot of tea. The cookshops in the Chinese camps of the goldfields and the Chinese quarters of towns were very busy, noisy and aromatic places.

Some Chinese relaxed by smoking opium and gambling. Europeans saw these as vices even though opium was legal until the early twentieth century and many Europeans also smoked opium and gambled.

As small numbers of Chinese made Australia their home and their communities included more women and children, other leisure pursuits became common.

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gambling | opium smoking | picnics | music | sport | social visits