The Teochew Store Blog / people
Teochew Gasig (潮州教室) is an Instagram and Facebook platform that teaches and explains daily Teochew words and phrases in English, Indonesian and Mandarin. Since its inception in 2021, it has built a strong following among young Teochews from many countries.
The founder of Teochew Gasig is Vivian Lee, who lives on Batam Island. What made this member of Generation Z want to promote our ageless and charming Teochew language to other youngsters on social media? Recently The Teochew Store has had the privilege to chat with Vivian to find out about her journey in running Teochew GaSig.
潮州教室（Teochew GaSig ）是一个用英语、印尼语及华语来教授及解释日常潮州词语及短语的Instagram、Facebook账号。自2021年创办至今，深受各国年轻潮州人的欢迎。
居住在印尼巴淡岛的李佳纹小姐是潮州教室的创办人。究竟是什么原因让作为Z世代的她，开始在社交媒体向年轻人推广潮州话这门历史悠久、别具魅力的语言？近日，潮舖The Teochew Store特别连线佳纹，请她与我们分享创办“潮州教室”的心路历程。
Lim Ngian Tiong, Nigel, is a veteran Teochew language radio newscaster and teacher in Singapore. He has been actively spreading Teochew language and culture through the radio, opera stage and classroom for half a century.
Coincidently 2023 marks Lim Ngian Tiong’s 50th anniversary as a Teochew language radio newscaster and his 20th year as a language teacher. Lim Ngian Tiong has also served as language instructor and event host for the annual "Lai Bia Teochew Ue" (來拼潮州話) quiz competition for Teochew language enthusiasts in Singapore since 2020.
The Teochew Store had the pleasure of speaking with Lim Ngian Tiong recently to learn about his journey in promoting Teochew language and culture, and to pick up some tips for young people interested in learning to speak Teochew.
潮舖The Teochew Store 特别连线林仰忠先生，请他与我们分享在推广潮语及潮州文化的心路历程，并为有心学习潮州话的年轻人解疑答惑。
"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?
Three words that strike fear in every Teochew child: pah ka-ceng 拍尻倉!
Did you know that this was once also a punishment meted out to adults in China? A Jesuit Father, Adriano de las Cortes, learned this shuddering fact, and more, when a shipwreck made him an accidental visitor to the Teochew region 400 years ago.
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.
History has a funny old way of repeating itself.
Chen Yaozuo (陳堯佐) was a prime minister and grand tutor of the crown prince of the Song dynasty (960–1279) in the 11th century. Coming from a family of officials, he was a rising star at the start of his career, until he bravely, or some might say foolishly, answered a call of Emperor Zhenzong for open criticisms by submitting a memorial that spelt out the ills of the times, including matters that no one else dared to speak about. As a result, Chen Yaozuo was banished and demoted to become an assistant prefect in the Teochew prefecture. This happened in 998, almost 180 years after Han Yu of the Tang dynasty suffered a similar fate.
Teochew through the eyes of its visitors: Han Yu, the genius who discovered one of life's greatest joys
Have you ever wondered how did our forefathers live 100 years ago, 200 years ago, or even 1,000 years ago?
Our ancestors were a lot of things. Merchants, traders, seafarers, fishermen, agriculturalists, tea connoisseurs, culinary experts, artisans, builders, artists, musicians, poets, etc. But somehow there was not a historian among them. They spent their lives and energies in pursuit of happiness in many ways that today endow us with a rich cultural heritage and identity. Yet, it did not occur to them to document themselves or the world they lived in.
Fortunately, the Teochew region had over the centuries its fair share of visitors, of whom a few were both keen observers and skilled writers.
We begin a new series of articles telling the history and people of Teochew through the eyes of these men and women, with Han Yu (韓愈), a literary genius from the Tang dynasty, who came to Teochew more than 1000 years ago and not only escaped death here, but also discovered here one of the life's greatest joys.
Watch 《百年善纪——纪念潮汕八二风灾100周年》， a four-part documentary produced by Shantou Television to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1922 Swatow Typhoon.
Commentary in Mandarin, with interviews in Teochew and Chinese subtitles.
Today's Teochew presence in the United States was largely established after a wave of migration in the 1970s and 1980s. However, do you know that historical shipping records show that about 40,000 coolies were shipped from Swatow to the country between 1852 to 1858, and some of them might have formed their own fishing settlements on the West Coast? Learn about this and various stories of success achieved by the Teochews in America in this documentary produced by Shantou Television 22 years ago.
Escaping Cambodia with five children in the 1970s, a Teochew couple were cruelly separated on the Thailand border. Yet they were miraculously reunited in Canada five years later and after much hard work, eventually came to own a supermarket. Notwithstanding its great distance from Asia, Canada is a gathering point for Teochews who resettled from Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong and China. Let’s watch this video where several of them share their stories and aspirations.
For over 200 years till the mid-20th century, Southeast Asia was the primary migration destination for the Teochew people. However, as the result of various wars and upheavals in the 1970s, tens of thousands of Teochew families in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos were forced to resettle again in France. Watch this documentary produced by Shantou Television in 1997 to hear the stories of how these Teochews who arrived in a foreign land as refugees courageously re-established their lives in Europe.
Watch how the Teochews living in Cambodia in the 1990s, after surviving the devastations of the brutal Pol Pot regime and years of war, devoted their scarce resources towards the education of the next generation.
Thailand has the largest Teochew diaspora in the world, with the size of the community estimated at 5 million in the mid-1990s. This documentary from 1997 by Shantou Television gives a glimpse of the lives of the Teochews in Thailand. (Audio in Mandarin, with some interviews in Teochew).
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.
Where do the Teochew people come from? The Teochew region in southern China is the obvious answer.
Yet if one is to run a search on the Internet, he or she would find a string of references stating that our ancestors came hundreds of years ago from the Central Plains in the Yellow River reaches, thousands of miles away.
Click "Read more" to begin our journey of discovery
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.
“Yeo Bhue Eng"《杨梅英》is a film about the life of a former Teochew opera adolescent actress who performed by the same name (real name Ang Hui Eng 洪惠英). Sold to an opera troupe at the age of 7, she became famous by 15 and was married to a man she loved five years later. However when she was 37, her husband became a victim of the Cultural Revolution and she was left to bring up their five children alone.
The Teochew Store潮舖一岁啦！
为了庆祝我们的第一周年与答谢各位读者的支持，我们希望邀请您和大家分享您对主题 “My Teochew Family 潮州一家人”的故事.