The Teochew Store Blog / culture
The Forest of Miss Tang (陳小姐的森林) is a 40-minute Teochew language animation film produced in France. It tells the story of a Teochew family over six generations in Swatow, China, asking the question, to leave or to stay? The Forest of Miss Tang is the first Teochew language film to be produced in the West. It was broadcast on ARTE channel in Europe on 10 June 2023 and it has since been screened in a number of film festivals around the world.
The Teochew Store managed to speak with the film's director Denis Do, a Paris-born Teochew, to find out more about his feelings towards the Teochew identity and the creation of his film.
The Teochew Store spoke with Jennifer to find out about her story and this wonderful project:
The Teochew Store and Maha Yu Yi jointly hold "Fun with Teochew" interactive introductory language class
On 7 October 2023, The Teochew Store had the wonderful privilege of conducting "Fun with Teochew" interactive introductory language class at Singapore's leading Chinese language bookstore Maha Yu Yi.
Minying, who is the Teochew language reader for our Wa Si Teochew Kia—My First 120 Teochew Expressions multimedia flashcards, led a group of children to learn through games family address terms and emotion expressions in Teochew, as well as knowledge about Teochew and its culture.
A Teochew language short film about a Teochew who left for Siam, returning home after many years.
"Well-built and tall, of white complexion, cheerful and good-looking". These were the descriptions of the physical appearance of the Teochew people given by Adriano de las Cortes, a Spanish Jesuit Father who was shipwrecked in Teochew in 1625.
However, what Cortes wrote about their character is a far less pleasant read: “They are extremely subtle, cunning and deceitful, and they show neither friendship, fidelity, nor compassion to foreigners and, moreover, show very little of it among themselves”. Was he being bias, vindictive or simply giving his true opinions?
Wild Teochew, the first ever nature-documentary on wildlife in the Teochew region was officially released in the Teochew language recently. Deng Cueng (丁銓), who hails from Teochew, China, is the documentary’s director, as well as the editor of the photographic collection Historical Photos of Teochew. The Teochew Store had the pleasure of interviewing Deng Cueng to learn about his enthusiasm in promoting the nature and culture of his homeplace and the gains he has received from it.
A thousand years ago our ancestors in Teochew lived together with giants. Giants that weighed four tons, neared three metres in height, had two floppy ears, a trunk and a mammoth appetite.
An entry in the History of Song (宋史), dated 1171, reported that farmers in the Teochew prefecture had to set up pit traps in their fields after hundreds of wild elephants ate their crops. The cause of the conflict was quite imaginably the expansion of human settlements and agricultural activities into the animals’ habitats and stomping grounds. However, the elephants did not withdraw into the forests as a result. Instead, they organised themselves into herds and waited on the roads to ambush any passing cart or horse, which they encircled until the humans collected grain to feed them. To live with nature rather than conquer it was a wisdom our forefathers understood well.
Did your Ah-ma wear a hair bun like the grandmother character in our Wa Si Teochew Kia—My First 120 Teochew Expressions flashcards?
Until about a couple of generations ago, all married Teochew women did so as a sign of their marital status. Learn more about this tradition that is at least 800 years old!
Today is the 15th and last day of the Chinese New Year. Also called Tsap Ngou Meh 十五暝 or Nguang Siao Zoih 元宵節.
Teochews mark this day with prayers for the family, more feasting, riddle guessing games and open lantern parades. Because this day provided a rare opportunity for single young men and women to meet publicly in the past, it has also been compared as the "Chinese Valentine's Day".
On this beautiful note, we leave you with this wonderful Teochew language remix of Zhou Xuan's famous 1940 classic "Full Moon Blooming Flower" (月圓花好).
An animation film telling the history of the Teochew people, directed by a Teochew and dubbed entirely in Teochew language by 3 generations of Teochews living in France. How can you not be EXCITED?!
“The Forest of Miss Tang" (陳小姐的森林) is in an advanced stage of production and it needs funding support to be complete. The project has so far raised over €20,000 through crowd funding, but more support is still needed for it to be better.
The Teochew Store is lending our voice to this fund raising campaign as we believe this is a much worthy cause.
Watch the introduction video of the film by director Denis Do below (in French with English subtitles). To back the production of "The Forest of Miss Tang", click here for the project fundraising page.
Have you ever watched a Teochew musical movie? Check out this rare classic that showcases a variety of Teochew art forms, including cross talk (相聲), bamboo clapper singing (竹板歌), Teochew classical music (潮州音樂), Teochew opera (潮劇), Teochew narrative songbooks (潮州歌冊), ballads (歌謠), etc.
How about kicking off the first week of the New Year with 5 Teochew songs to start your day?
The Teochew Store recommends: An Introduction to the History and Culture of the Teochews in Singapore
An Introduction to the History and Culture of the Teochews in Singapore - a rare English language book on Teochew culture. Available for purchase on Amazon.
"Penned in three sections covering a wide range of topics from history and architecture to customs and the performing arts, the 164-page book published by World Scientific is one of the few of its kind in English." - The Straits Times
A review of the book can be read here.
The first made-in-Teochew movie to be screened soon nationwide in China in recent times. Video uploaded for entertainment purpose.
In a month's time The Teochew Store will turn three. We remain a humble set-up, but at the same time just as committed as in the beginning to our mission in Restoring Community to Our People, Bridging Teochew Culture to the World.
In line with our conviction that every Teochew should be given fullest opportunity and encouragement to be connected with the language, values and culture of our forefathers, we have decided to make available for FREE our store's hottest selling product "Conversational Teochew In A Month", as well as its Chinese versions "潮州话一月通 (简体字版)" and "潮州話一月通 (繁體字版)".
Spoken Teochew is both ancient and at the same time evolving, just like any other "live" languages. The Teochews settled in the Malay-speaking world covering Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have absorbed not a small number of native expressions into their daily vocabulary. Here we present a list of over 50 expressions.
Teochew Festival in Singapore, 9 to 18 December 2016. An event to experience and learn about Gaginang culture. For more information please visit the official event website www.teochewfestival.com.