My name is Yeeva. When I was young, I found out that my father had lived in a concentration camp for three years when he was young. He had grown up in India during the height of the 1962 border war between China and India, and was born to Hakka-Chinese shoemakers. Though he had been born and raised in India and was only six years old, he was arrested and interned in the camp with the rest of his family, under the accusation that they were spies on behalf of the Chinese government. Though he survived living in the camp, the struggles and anti-Chinese treatment he faced afterward could never be forgotten.
Beginning in 2011, I started interviewing and recording stories from other former internees who survived the camp and resettled in Toronto. This was originally a personal project, inspired by the very few writers such as Kwai-yun Li and Ming-Tung Hsieh in our community who were beginning to bring these stories to light. After hearing so many stories of loss, it was hard to settle with just recording stories. I later became a member and volunteer for the Association of India Deoli Camp Internees 1962, a Canadian-based organization consisting of former internees who are devoted to creating a support network for survivors, raising awareness about the 1962 internment and advocating for social justice.
This blog is intended as a hub for ex-internees to safely share their stories. All of these narratives are based on the lived experiences as told by former internees. They were published with the permission of the storytellers.