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Betta, Chiara, “From Orientals to Imagined Britons: Baghdadi Jews in Shanghai” (2003)

Title : “From Orientals to Imagined Britons: Baghdadi Jews in Shanghai”

Author(s) : Betta, Chiara

Year : 2003

Type : Journal article

Subject : History

Keywords : foreigners;social;jews;

Journal : Modern Asian Studies,

Volume : 37

Number : 4

Start page : 999

End page : 1023

Language:Name : English

Support : Print

Abstract : Explores the experiences of Baghdadi Jews in Shanghai in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Baghdadi diaspora was a result of the Ottoman Empire's persecution of Jews. In 1845, Elias David Sassoon founded the Shanghai branch of his family's business, David Sassoon, Sons & Co., in the International Settlement. Many employees through the 1880's were Baghdadi Jews from India, and some eventually started their own companies. These upper-class traders pursued close ties with the British in Shanghai. The Sassoons dealt in real estate, opium (until made illegal in 1917), brokerage, and import and export activities. Most of these affluent Baghdadi Jews became highly Anglicized. Although their first language was Judaeo-Arabic, they had strong English-language skills and adopted British dress and customs early on.

 

 

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