Bridging Cultural Identities through Cantonese Opera in Canada


  • Jack Hang-tat Leong York University


"This article discusses cultural performances, mainly Cantonese opera, in a Canadian context from an intercultural studies perspective. Drawing on cultural activities primarily organized by and for Chinese Canadian communities, this article illustrates the struggles and dynamics of Chinese Canadians bridging their cultural identities between their hometowns and Canada in the cases of immigrants, between generations among Chinese Canadians, and between cultural subgroups of Chinese diasporas. I argue that these opera performances and their related activities, such as demonstrations and seminars, illustrate and consolidate the manifestation of transcultural identity and acculturation of Chinese Canadians. The introduction and adaptation of these cultural activities in Canada, enabled by transcultural identities of Chinese Canadian communities, symbolize the transcendence of borders, linguistic boundaries, and geographic remoteness."