Chinese in Cuba Archive

Due to historical circumstances, significant waves of emigration occurred among Chinese in recent history. Surprisingly, among the popular destinations during this period, Cuba emerged as a noteworthy choice, despite not being a prominent topic today in discussions about emigrants and overseas Chinese. This raises the question of what attracted Chinese individuals to crowd into Cuba, which is now considered an ordinary developing country. How did they manage to survive and thrive in this new environment?

Our project aims to explore the unique characteristics and shared experiences of Chinese emigrants to Cuba. By delving into real-life records of family letters and interview scripts, we seek to vividly depict the Chinese community’s life in Cuba from 1955 to 1967 through our LDA model and various visualizations. By allowing their own voices to narrate their stories, we endeavor to showcase the remarkable wave of emigration that flowed from Eastern Asia to the other side of the ocean.

Based on the Oral History of Overseas Chinese in Cuba from The Hong Kong University (written records of some Cuban Chinese’ interviews and a great proportion of the project training dataset) and Chinese in Cuba: Luis Peng Fan papers from The Chinese University of Hong Kong Library (family letters from Mr. Luis Peng Fan and the main focus of the project), we use the LDA model for the topic classification and generate the visualization to be displayed in the “Result-topic and timeline visualization” section as well as the Other Visualization section.

Our team members include Songyu LIU (QFRM/2), Heqiong ZHANG (CDAS/2) and Han ZHU (FTEC/2). Our team coach is Dr. Miriam SEEGER.