This week I’ll be profiling one of the female Indemnity Scholars: Miss Yat-Kwan Liang (pinyin Liáng Yìqún, Cantonese Jyutping Loeng4 Jat6kwan4). Beginning in 1914, the Boxer Indemnity Scholarship exams were opened to female students every other year. The number was limited; in 1914 only 10 scholarships were awarded to women. 1916 was the second year that female students were sent to the US to study, and Y. C. Liang was one of 10 women that earned a scholarship that year (Shen Bao, 1 Sept 1916, pg. 10).
Lately, I’ve been tinkering around with my data for a possible paper on the Indemnity Scholars who chose to go to schools in the US South. There are comparatively few of them, so I’m able to really get into each student’s story like I do here in the blog. So I thought I’d profile one such southern student: Leo Chee (劉伯枝, pinyin Liú Bóqí).
Sometimes I choose a student to profile simply because I run across some really interesting information about them while I am elbow-deep in a box of old records. This is the case for C. H. Chu, whose alumni card I found a few weeks ago in the Columbia University Archives. He’s not connected to any other student I’ve profiled to this date, but he sure has a heck of a story.
徐振 (pinyin Xú Zhèn) was born on 27 February 1891 in Macau, although his parents, Wing Pao and Soo Pan, were originally from Guangdong Province. At that time in Chinese history, many port cities were under significant or even total foreign control. The Chinese treaty port system ceded control of specific zones in coastal cities to foreign powers – as in the American/British and French concessions of Shanghai – or in the cases of Hong Kong and Macau, complete colonial administration. These areas functioned somewhere on the spectrum from Vatican City to the former Panama Canal Zone in their laws and regulations on movement to and from the area. Since Macau was under Portuguese colonial administration, 徐振 was born a Portuguese citizen, although he was ethnically Chinese.