The Teochew Store Blog / roots-finding

The First Teochews in Singapore: Part 3 - The First Captain China & Oldest Temple in Singapore

In this concluding part of  "The First Teochews in Singapore" series, we find out about the leader of Singapore's pioneer Chinese settlers, whom the Singapore government later appointed as the settlement's first Captain China, as well as the historical links of Wak Hai Cheng Bio (粵海清廟, a.k.a. Yueh Hai Ching Temple) - the oldest Teochew (possibly Chinese) temple here - to two temples in Riau (Bintan) and Bangkok's Chinatown. 

Read more →

The First Teochews in Singapore: Part 2 - Proof of Teochew Settlement in Singapore Before Raffles

2019 is officially the bicentennial year of Singapore. In part two of "The First Teochews in Singapore", we look into the evidences proving a Teochew oral tradition identifying a group of Chinese settled in Singapore before British establishment, as Teochew sojourners from Siam (Thailand), and how an old map of Singapore rediscovered in Scotland pinpoints where they lived by the Singapore River.

Read more →

The First Teochews in Singapore: Part 1 - An Old Teochew Account on the 1819 Founding of Singapore

2019 is officially the bicentennial year of Singapore, a former British colony and today one of Asia's wealthiest cities.

The island-state is also home to the second largest Teochew overseas diaspora, after Thailand, and up till the mid-20th century a critical node on a trading and migratory network that connected the principal Teochew port of Swatow with key trading centres such as Hong Kong, Saigon and Bangkok. Teochews from Singapore were responsible for the early economic development of Johor, Malaysia's southernmost state whose capital Johor Bahru was once known as "Little Swatow". 

What has long been forgotten is that more than half a century ago, the Teochews in Singapore held to an oral tradition claiming that their forerunners were settled in Singapore before Sir Stamford Raffles, the Englishman hailed as Singapore's modern founder, even arrived. If true, this assertion will demand a change in the written history of Singapore.

Starting from this week, The Teochew Store will publish in three parts an in-depth research that sheds light into what this oral tradition says and seeks to verify its authenticity and accuracy.

 

Read more →

Origins of the Teochew People - Archaeological Evidences (Part 4): The Question of Where From?

The fourth and last instalment of our "Origins of the Teochew People - Archaeological Evidences" explores the question of where did the prehistoric people in Teochew came from? And we turn to geography to help us find an answer.

Read more →

Origins of the Teochew People - Archaeological Evidences (Part 3): The Early Teochew Culture Trilogy

Circumstances compelled a break in our Origins of the Teochew People series. But we return this week to share on more exciting discoveries on two Late Neolithic Cultures, and what they tell us!
Read more →

Teochew Documentary: Teo-yor Flute Music《潮阳笛套》

A documentary introducing our beautiful ancient Teo-yor/Chaoyang Flute Music《潮阳笛套》. Commentary in Mandarin with interviews in Teochew (Teo-yor dialect) and English subtitles.

Read more →

Teochew Nursery Rhymes Non-stop - 潮州童謠唱不停

This video, produced by a popular radio show of Shantou Radio & Television (STRTV, 汕頭電視台), strings together nearly 40 Teochew nursery rhymes.

Many of the nursery rhymes were written back in the times of an agricultural society and may be unfamiliar even to daddy or mummy. However, they could well be happy childhood memories of Ah Gong and Ah Ma, so more good reasons for big family-get-togethers.

Videos of individual nursery rhymes can be found on our The Teochew Store YouTube playlist, which can be found here.
Videos of individual nursery rhymes will also be uploaded on our The Teochew Store Facebook page, which can be found here. So look out for them! 
Read more →

Teochew Movie "Proud of Me" Theme Song: "Father Have You Eaten?" 潮州電影《爸,我一定行的》主题曲: 老父您食未

Performer 演唱:黃澤森
Lyrics 作詞:楊育挺
Music 作曲:李奕瀚
Click Read More for Full Lyrics (Teochew/Chinese and English)
Read more →

Origins of the Teochew People - Archaeological Evidences (Part 2): Our Ancient Ties with the Hokkiens

“All these turned on its head, the theory that the Teochew region was an isolated and sparsely populated backwater before supposed mass migrations from the Central Plain towards the end of the Song dynasty (960–1279).

At the same time, it should not be lost that the geographical limits of the Fubin Culture from some 3,000 years ago conforms neatly with the territory of native speakers of Teochew and Hokkien – two closely-related vernaculars, if not two branches of a same.”

Read more →

Top 100 Surnames in Teochew (updated 10 June 2018)

Update:amendments made to reflect the correct pronunciations of the following surnames - 韋, 顏, 史, 藍, 戴, 方, 倪, as well as additions of other surnames 單/单, 區/区, 查 and 費/费. Special thanks to our reader Lee Kheng Nguan for his contributions.

Read more →

Origins of the Teochew People - Archaeological Evidences (Part 1): Traces of Teochew's Oldest Inhabitants

"China has 5,000 years of history" must be a refrain thoroughly familiar to every one of us. However, archaeological discoveries since the 1920s of thousands of Neolithic (New Stone Age) sites in China prove irrefutably that the country was not only peopled as far back as ten thousand years before present, but also across several regions.  Click to read more about the earliest archaeological finds in our Teochew homeland.
Read more →

Where do the Teochew people come from? Teochew, or the Yellow River?

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

Read more →

Teochew Short Film 潮语微电影: Love in Teoswa 《缘来潮汕》

A story about a girl from Singapore who goes Swatow to learn to sing Teochew opera. Dialogues in Teochew and Mandarin language. A students' production by 汕頭職業技術學院 (Shantou Technical Vocational College).
Listen out also for a number of original Teochew songs!
 
Read more →

Full list of Towns & Villages in Hui Lai county (circa 1958) 惠來縣都村列表

Hui Lai (variant: Huilai, Hweilai, Hwelie) (惠來, in Mandarin: Huilai) was one of historical Teochew prefecture's eight counties. It was formed as a county in 1524 after being partitioned from Teo Yor (潮陽). Hui Lai is now administered as a county under Gek Yor (揭陽) prefectural city.

Read more →

Full list of Towns & Villages in Jao Peng county (circa 1958) 饒平縣都村列表

Jao Peng (variant: Jaopeng, Jaopheng, Joepen) (饒平, in Mandarin: Raoping) is the easternmost of the Teochew region's eight historical counties. Partitioned from Hai Yor county in 1476, Jao Peng was an important pottery manufacturing base in the Ming dynasty and had a prosperous port at Tsia Lim (柘林). It is now a district under Chaozhou (潮州) prefectural city.

Read more →

Full list of Towns & Villages in Hong Sung county (circa 1958) 豐順縣都村列表

Hong Sung (variant: Hongsun) (豐順, in Mandarin: Fengshun), was one of historical Teochew prefecture's eight counties. It was formed during the Qing dynasty in 1738 and  is connected to the Teochew prefectural city by an upper branch of the Hang-kang (韓江) river. Hong Sung remained part of the Teochew region, until it was carved out and placed under Meizhou in 1965.  Today close to one-fifth of the population in Hong Sung continue to speak Teochew.

 

Read more →

Full list of Towns & Villages in Pho Leng county (circa 1958) 普寧縣都村列表

Pho Leng (variant: Poleng, Poeleng) (普寧, in Mandarin: Puning), was one of historical Teochew prefecture's eight counties. Although Pho Leng is now administered as a county under Gek Yor prefectural-level city, it was originally carved out from Teo Yor county and large parts of its area fall within the Liēng-kang (練江) river basin.

Read more →

Full list of Towns & Villages in Theng Hai county (circa 1958) 澄海縣都村列表

Theng Hai (variant: Tenghai) (澄海, in Mandarin: Chenghai), was one of historical Teochew prefecture's eight counties. Occupying the Hang-kang  (韓江) river delta, it was formed from areas carved out of Hai Yor (now Teo Ann) and Gek Yor in 1563. Theng Hai is today administered as a district of the Swatow (汕頭, Shantou) prefectural-level city.

Read more →

Full list of Towns & Villages in Gek Yor county (circa 1958) 揭陽縣都村列表

After its conquest by the Han dynasty in 111 BCE, the Teochew region was incorporated into the map of imperial China for the first time as a county named Gek Yor (variant: Kityang, Kityall) (揭陽, in Mandarin: Jieyang). The origin of today's Gek Yor area is traceable to a county of the same name created in 1140, which along with Hai Yor (now Teo Ann) and Teo Yor formed the “Three Yor" (三陽) of the Song dynasty that is the core of the Teochew homeland. 

Read more →

Full list of Towns & Villages in Teo Yor county (circa 1958) 潮陽縣都村列表

Teo Yor (variant: Teoyeo, Tioyio, Teoyall) (潮陽, in Mandarin: Chaoyang), was one of historical Teochew prefecture's eight counties and its most populous. Originally formed in 413 as part of the Ngee Ann Commandery (義安郡), it is now represented by the Teo Yor and Teo Nam (潮南, Chao'nan) districts in the Swatow (汕頭, Shantou) prefectural-level city.  

Read more →

Full list of Towns & Villages in Teo Ann county (circa 1958) 潮安縣都村列表

Teo Ann (variant: Teo-an, Teoann) (潮安, in Mandarin: Chao'an), known as Hai Yor (海陽) before 1914, is the oldest of the Teochew region's eight historical counties. It was formed under the Eastern Jin dynasty in 331. The seat of the newly-created Ngee Ann Commandery (義安郡) - forerunner of Teochew Prefecture, was established here in 413. This urban centre became the Teochew prefectural capital (潮州府城), or better known today as the Teochew (Chaozhou) ancient city (潮州古城).
Map from Qianlong Teochew prefectural gazette (乾隆潮州府志) circa 1762.
Read more →

Roots-Finding: Locating Your Ancestral Village in Teochew (Part 3)

Since The Teochew Store was formed, we have received numerous requests for help from fellow Gaginangs to locate their ancestral village. Depending on the leads provided, we were able to assist many, but for others it is more difficult because some places have been renamed or now fall behind a different boundary line, other communities are unlisted on maps or the internet, or even when a place is found, there remains uncertainty if its residents have the same surname.

Fortunately the Shantou University (STU) Library has built a khieu-phue database (僑批數據庫) allowing keyword search for meta-data of some 70,000 pieces of khieu-phue (or "migrants letters", which were correspondences sent together with money remittances by Teochews living in Southeast Asia to their homes in Teochew), receipts and return letters. The site URL is  http://app.lib.stu.edu.cn/qiaopi/index.aspx.

Read more →

Swatow History: Stories Behind the Old Shops at Little Park 潮汕鄉情:汕頭小公園店鋪個故事

Read more →

Making Sense of what is “Teo-Swa”?

Visiting the Teochew region in China to “re-discover” one’s roots has become increasingly popular in recent years amongst overseas Teochews. Quite reasonably we arrive expecting our ancestral heritage to be perfectly preserved in motherland, only to find that the Teochews here no longer call the place Teochew, but Teo-Swa (潮汕, in Mandarin: Chaoshan) and themselves Teo-Swa Nang (潮汕人, Chaoshan-ren). Baffled, if not also shocked, we question how can this be?

Read more →

Principal Resident Surname(s) in Largest Teochew Villages - a non-exhaustive list

This list is a compilation findings from various internet sources. We are unable to verify all information is correct. Villages listed have populations of at least 10,000, although some communities of similar size are omitted due to lack of information. Villages from the historical counties of Hongsun (Fengshun) 豐順 and Tuapou (Dapu) 大埔, which are no longer administered as part of the Teochew region are also not included.
Read more →

New Direct Flight from Kuala Lumpur to Swatow Announced

Amidst the cheers of the ongoing Chinese New Year celebrations, Malaysian budget airline AirAsia has announced the launch of a four-times weekly direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Swatow. Operations of the route will commence from March 25, 2016 and is expected to boost family visitations between Teochews in Malaysia and China.  

The Chaoshan Jieyang International Airport, which serves the Teochew region, is currently connected internationally to Singapore (Jetstar), Bangkok, Hong Kong and Taipei (China Southern Airlines), and domestically to a host of major cities in mainland China, including Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.

Read more →

Understanding The Teochew Family

The nuclear family – consisting a father, a mother, and their children, is considered the building block in most modern societies. For the Teochew people however the basic family unit is the one headed by the grandfather, and not the father, a structure that is underpinned by the belief that every person shoulders three core responsibilities in life: to honour the ancestors; to practice filial piety by caring for the parents; and to raise and nurture the next generation.
Read more →

我们要听您的故事: “My Teochew Family 潮州一家人”

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.

您的故事可以关于您的家人,在您生活里扮演重要角色的潮籍人士,或者是一个让您领悟的“家”的意义的社群。您可以通过以下两种方式参加...

Read more →

We want to hear your story: “My Teochew Family 潮州一家人”

The Teochew Store is turning ONE!

To celebrate this occasion and to thank all our readers, we would like to open the floor for you to share with all fellow Teochews your story on the theme “My Teochew Family 潮州一家人”.

Your story can be about your own family and relatives, any Teochew person(s) who has influenced your life, or a Teochew community that has helped you understand the meaning of “family”. Entries can be submitted in one of the following two ways...

Read more →

Top 100 Surnames in Teochew (updated 27 March 2016)

A list of the top 100 most common surnames in the Teochew region.

Read more →