The Teochew Store Blog / religion
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.
Old Book on the Shelf: Elementary Lessons in the Swatow Dialect with a Vocabulary referring to Dr Douglas' Dictionary of the Amoy Vernacular
This book is a rare find, and a very useful one too.
Elementary Lessons in the Swatow Dialect [i.e. Teochew] is an unpublished reprint of Herbert Allen Giles’ Handbook of the Swatow Dialect, done by “J.C.G.” for private use in Swatow in 1881.
The book mainly teaches English speakers how to speak essential Teochew simple phrases and sentences.
A Documentary on Teochews in Thailand from 1997
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).
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.
This is Life in Shantou - Struggling to Rebuild Taoist Charity
76-year-old Deng Dechang has been trying to carry out a wish for nearly three decades. He wanted to rebuild a Taoist charity in Shantou.
Deng used to be a businessman running a paper factory. He quit his career when he was 57 years old, determined to reconstruct Yanshou Charity, a prominent Taoist temple that was burnt into ruins during the Cultural Revolution.