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Catholic Conversion And Marriage Practices Among Chinese Merchants

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines some of the adaptive and flexible survival strategies of Chinese merchants. In particular, it describes the intimate, personal, and familial connections that these precursors of modern Chinese transnationalism formed with women, whether in China or in the Philippines. Such connections, while not essential to the commercial success of the Chinese merchant, nevertheless were parlayed into more economic opportunities and possibilities. Marriage or intimate relations with a local woman, whether one had another wife or was betrothed to one back in China, can be described as one of the flexible or adaptive strategies of Chinese merchants. Summing up the main points we see that many Chinese merchants, in order to further their economic interests, converted to Catholicism and married or cohabited with local Catholic women, even if they had another wife in China.

Keywords: catholic conversion; Chinese Merchants; marriage practices; modern Chinese transnationalism



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