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Kwai Yung Chan, Sheffield

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Ref No:arc01564
Title:Kwai Yung Chan, Sheffield
Date Period:2000-2019
Photographer:Gemma Thorpe
Copyright:Gemma Thorpe/SCC

Da Yan Mei, as she is known by her friends, came to Sheffield in 1973 to live with her husband, who she has known since she was 15.  She was born in Guangdong, and moved to Hong Kong at the age of eight.

Kwai Yung and her husband first worked in a Chinese restaurant near Pond's Forge, and then opened their own takeaway, The New Diamond in Fulwood in the 1980s.  They lived above the takeaway with their family of four children, until they retired six years ago and moved into a new home.  Kwai Yung couldn't speak English when she first arrived and would listen to customers talking English, watch television to learn, and took some English lessons in the Chinese school.

'I was really happy when I came to England.  My husband was scared I would go back to Hong Kong, but I like England.  Here there aren't too many buildings, and they aren't too high.  When I went back to Hong Kong I couldn't see anything, I didn't feel as comfortable.  There are so many people, the weather is too hot, I didn't sleep very well.  Here the weather is good, it's comfortable.  Now I'm retired, I don't like to sit down all the time.  I exercise everyday, I like looking after my plants.  I go out a lot to see my friends and have a family day every Sunday.'

Photographed by Gemma Thorpe as part of the Arts Council England/Sheffield Libraries project 'The City as Bricolage' (2014-2015). This photograph forms part of a series called 'Chinese Life in Sheffield'.  Sheffield City Archives reference: X690.