The Role of Leisure for Chinese Immigrants at the First Chinese Senior Association of Vaughan
There is a gap in our field regarding leisure research on specific ethnic groups. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to understand the experience of leisure and of involvement in the First Chinese Senior Association of Vaughan (FCSAV) for Chinese adults aged 50 to 65 years who have been living in Canada for at least five years. As this is a phenomenological study, the main focus is on the meanings and experiences of these participants. Purposeful sampling methods were used to find participants who fit the study criteria of being a Chinese immigrant from Mainland China and/or Hong Kong, living in Canada for at least five years, between the ages of 50 to 65, a member of the First Chinese Senior Association of Vaughan, and participating in at least one activity at the Centre at the time of interview. Altogether, 13 face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted over two weeks in July 2010. Five main essences were developed from the analysis of the interview data: changing leisure with changing culture; achieving and maintaining health; experiencing freedom and choice; cultural expression and cultural learning; and feeling a sense of community. Interestingly, there was also an overarching theme of leisure as an essential component to life. These findings exemplify the great value Chinese immigrants place upon leisure as they experienced it at the FCSAV as well as its connection to holistic health. Also, leisure at the club was described as a site for cultural expression and the development of community. Overall, implications of this study will be of most value to recreation practitioners and researchers by allowing for greater cultural sensitivity in developing and enhancing programs for this specific group.
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