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

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