Clan Associations.

May 24, 2009

And for those of you wondering what a “clan association” is?

Got this off a Singapore website and it talks a little about the functions of such associations:-

“Clan associations and ethnic-related clubs have always had a special place in Singapore society – providing an additional source of community support for their clansmen. 

The Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations

Established in 1986, this umbrella group brought together over 190 Chinese Clan Associations in Singapore under one roof. Once, they were protectors and looked after the welfare of new immigrants to Singapore. Today, they are the guardians of Singapore’s Chinese heritage. Towards that end, they have established kindergartens and developed outreach programmes to allow the young to better appreciate Chinese language and culture.” 

During my time in the 60s and 70s, clan associations were the places for my grandfather, dad and uncles to hang out with other Fuzhous…tea sessions, mahjong, Fuzhou operas and Kung Fu …. Of course! 

Every time some new Fuzhou high hands arrive, a demonstration would be held and “touching hands” always ensued.

You got to prove your skills; not just with forms but with fights.

And that’s how we ended up with so many teachers in the association. Proven exponents are offered teaching jobs and Singapore those days, you really need Kung Fu; not to boast but to keep families and clan communities safe.

Fuzhous, by virtue of the fact that they were mainly affluent businessmen on the mainland and a minority dialect group in Singapore, were prime targets and these circumstances compelled them to become very closely-knitted to look after each others’ safety and well-being when they resettled in Singapore.

Fighting skills ranks high within this dialect clan. 

Even here in present Sarawak, Fuzhous are famous for being “introvert” when it comes to business and other relationships. 

Every time I meet a Fuzhou here, I only get proper acceptance after I introduce myself as one.

“Ling” could be Fuzhou or Henghua so …….

Anyway, took a picture today of the “Hockien Assocation” building here in downtown Kuching.

Hockien = Fukien = Fujian depending on which dialect you are speaking.

Fujian is in Mandarin.

And when I find the time, I’ll be visiting some of these “Gong Hui” …; especially their archived records…….     🙂

fukien association

Anti-Qing sentiment (Chinese:反清, pingyin:fǎn qing) refers to a sentiment principally held in China against the Manchu ruling during Qing Dynasty, which was often resented[who?] for being foreign and barbaric.[1] The Qing was decried as having destroyed traditional Chinese culture by banning traditional Chinese clothes (Hanfu) and forcing Chinese to wear pigtails in the Manchu tradition. It was also blamed for suppressing Chinese science and causing China to transform from the world’s premiere power to a poor, backwards nation.The slogan used by Dr.Sun Yetsen “Fan qing fu ming” (Chinese:反清复明 pingyin:fǎn qing fù míng) during the Xinhai revolution to overthrow the Qing dynasty.

In the broadest sense, an anti-Manchu (Qing) activist is anyone who disagrees with the Qing or engages in anti-Manchu (Qing) direct action. This includes many mainstream political movements and uprisings, such as Taiping RebellionXinhai revolutionRevive China SocietyTongmenghuiPanthay RebellionDungan revolt etc ….from wikipedia…

 

Ahem, first entry using photos taken by my brand new digital camera – turned out pretty slick, if I may say so myself…

 

Today, being the 1st  day of the Lunar month, I thought it might be a good idea to visit one the temples here in Kuching.

1st and 15th day are the 2 key occasions in the devotees monthly calendar. The biggest are the birthdays of the various deities of course. That’s when you got to grapple with the crowd to even get in. 

Well as anticipated, the crowd was there, young, old, male and female all preoccupied with their private prayers and rituals. No one was paying attention to me snapping away.

The temple, Siew San Teng Tua Pek Kong, is the oldest Tua Pek Kong temple in Sarawak. It has been in existence since 1770.

The host deity in this temple is “Hock Teck Cheng Sin” or more commonly “Tua Pek Kong” and his carrier, the master tiger, is placed under his altar. 

Well, the temple is “old school” in every facet, even after 2 renovations, meticulous efforts were applied to preserve the original craft works.

If you are ever in these parts, you really got to go see for yourself.

Anyway, like I said in forums before, to look for CKF you got to study clan associations and temples. These are the 2 places that migrant Chinese “congregate” during the pioneer days in these parts. 

Back then, anti-qing, was a unifying theme and this is still apparent in temple paraphernalia.

Sometimes, it’s right there in the open (like in the pics attached) and other times, you got to look a little harder.

“Fan qing fu ming” or “Resist the Manchurian to restore the Ming” is nothing like what some are saying in forums these days – a romantic wuxia fiction. 

Here in Kuching, starting from 1770, the Chinese memorize this sentiment…. even till today. It’s as much a element in their lives as eating rice every day.

Perhaps folks who slam this were fed on a diet of Kung Fu movies from Hong Kong and Hollywood and that is the only “reality” they got? 

Reading some  forums suggests to me that all they really know are nothing more than CKF fantasies churned out by movies and TV and just imagine, they are going on to expound “Chinese Kung Fu”. 

In the first pic, the two engraved Chinese characters on the weapons are “sun” and “moon” and together they make up “bright” or “clear”.

Now that is “Ming”. 

A thing that you absolutely got to be if you want to talk about CKF.

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