Chennois children playing tug-of-war
|Regions with significant populations|
|Predominantly Gaullican, also veRwizi, Sisulu|
|Predominantly Solarian Catholic|
|Related ethnic groups|
Chennois (pronounced /'ʃɛnwɑ:/), also known as Chenwa in veRwizi, is a term that refers to the white population of Garambura descended from Gaullican settlers during the country's colonial era, settling primarily in the city of Sainte-Germaine in the 18th and 19th centuries. Historically, Chennois have been a more influential white demographic compared to their counterparts in other Bahian countries, mainly due to their large number in relation to Garambura's population, making up 18.4% of the country's population in 2014. Gaullican is the main language of Chennois, although veRwizi is learnt by some as a second language.
With the establishment of the Gaullican Lower Gonda Company in the 17th century and its subsequent expansion across the Gonda Delta and into central Garambura, the city of Sainte-Germaine was selected and promoted back in Gaullica as a "new Gaullican city" in Bahia, and migration to the city from mainland Gaullica and its already-established overseas colonies massively increased throughout the 1700s. By the time the colony of Baséland was established, Sainte-Germaine's population was around 65% Chennois, the largest white majority in any Bahian city by a considerable margin. Governors in Baséland prioritised white and Chennois interests over that of the native populace, leading to considerable political divide between both demographics. The Chennois-majority Sainte-Germaine developed rapidly compared to the rest of the country, forming the basis of ethnic economic divide in Garambura, still a large problem to date.
Gaullica's expansion in Euclea also led to increased emigration from countries such as Aimilia and Hennehouwe, diversifying the white demographic in Garambura, however still leaving the Chennois as the dominant ethnic group. Around 25,000 Chennois from Sainte-Germaine fought for the Gaullican Empire during the Great War, but the Entente's loss and subsequent breakup of the Gaullican Empire saw Baséland absorbed into the Riziland colony and subsequently transformed into the district of East Riziland. Chennois disapproved of membership of the United Bahian Republic, and supported Takakunda Kuda Kani's platform in severance from the UBR and his subsequent declaration of independence. Chennois and natives had the same rights in the new Garamburan constitution and were treated the same with regards to voting and other societal activities. Chennois nationalism continues to be a talking point for far-right ethnic nationalists in the country, particularly the Party for White Interests, who support transition to white minority rule.
The name Chennois is thought to derive from the veRwizi word chena, meaning "white", used by natives, particularly in Sainte-Germaine to refer to the colonial settlers. The name became more widespread throughout the 18th century, with its first mention in the 1734 census of the Basse Gond, conducted by the Gaullican Lower Gonda Company to record settler populace in Sainte-Germaine. The term Chennois specifically refers to white Garamburans who are of Gaullican descent, however historically it has been conflated with Garambura's smaller white demographics, such as Estmerish, Hennish and Weranic. Presently and officially in Garambura, Chennois only refers to white people of Gaullican ancestry.
Historically the Chennois population has been concentrated mainly in the city of Sainte-Germaine, which remains true in modern-day, with over 90% of the Chennois demographic residing in or around Mambiza. Chennois are almost entirely based around the Garamburan coast, with the cities of Makumba and Mutimukuru also housing sizable communities. However, Chennois are gradually populating northern cities, particularly upon the completion of New Mina in the 1960s, and have established communities in Mbiza, Kugura and Tawira.
The population demographic of Chennois in Garambura as fluctuated largely over history. During Toubacterie Chennois held a considerable amount of wealth within Garambura, and their interests formed the main base for governor policy in the region until Charles Dumont came to power in 1906. Many censuses of Basse Gond and subsequently the Baséland colony show the Chennois demographic as the majority population within the colony, however historians theorise these censuses are inaccurate, due to the Company only conducting their census of the Garamburan coast and a similar policy being adopted by Gaullica itself when it came in direct control of the colony in 1813. In 1850, a Chennois population of 500,000 was recorded, considerably the largest white demographic in Coius at the time. This population was stagnant throughout the remainder of the 1800s but increased rapidly with the colonial Coian cultural boom of the early 20th century, where cities such as Adunis and Sainte-Germaine were heavily invested in, mainly due to the completion of the Adunis to Mambiza Railway shortly prior.
During the Great War the Chennois population grew mainly as a result of Gaullicans escaping the war at home and emigrating to Sainte-Germaine, left relatively untouched by the war. Évadées as they are called, from Gaullican for "escapees", made up the bulk of immigration into Garambura through the early 1930s, and kept the regional economy stable whilst many Chennois were fighting in the war. At the end of the war, the breakup of Gaullica's empire saw many Chennois emigrate back to Gaullica or abroad to other Gaullophone nations such as Satucin or white-majority Asterian nations such as Halland and Nuvania, with the former seeing a considerable Chennois community forming in the city of Ealaghleann. Throughout Garambura's time as East Riziland in the United Bahian Republic, increasing amounts of Chennois emigrated from the country to the Asterias or back to Euclea, with some choosing to remain in Coius in countries such as Tsabara and Tabora when it issued its declaration of independence from the UBR in January 1965.
Post-independence, the Chennois population has remained relatively stable, with consistent population growth. In 2014 the Chennois population of Garambura was 1,589,002, with around 1.5 million of those in Mambiza alone. Chennois repatriation has been steadily increasing as Garambura stabilises, and are becoming an increasingly influential conservative voting bloc in Garambura. Chennois emigration into the country exceeded immigration out of the country in 2003 for the first time since the 1930s, and has been a steady trend since.
The first Chennois migrated to the region upon the formation of the city of Sainte-Germaine by Michel Masson, then head of the Gaullican Lower Gonda Company, in 1656. The Company encouraged Gaullican migration to the reason to expand its economic influence, often marketing it with the promise of a new life due to the region's fertile and arable land being ideal for farming. The first waves of Gaullican migrants arrived through the 1650s and by 1660 the city had an estimated population of around 2,000, most of whom worked either on farms or in the city's administration, and all of whom were of Gaullican descent. The settlement of the Lower Gonda became a well-documented success within Gaullica, and migration increased exponentially as travel to Sainte-Germaine from Gaullica became more frequent.