The Teochew Store Blog / Southeast Asia

Denis Do: Creating a bridge for all Teochew communities in the world

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.

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专访|导演杜来顺:电影为桥,连接世界各地潮州人

《陳小姐的森林》是一部在法国制作的潮语动画电影,它讲述了从十九世纪至今,一个汕头家庭绵延六代人的故事。它抛出了一个问题:“在社会剧烈变迁的背景下,我们是离开还是继续留在自己的家乡?”这部时长40分钟的动画电影已于2023年6月10日在ARTE(德法公共电视台)首映,这是潮语电影首次登陆欧洲。也在全球多个电影节的银幕上亮相,在各国的潮州社群中收获了不少好评和讨论。

潮舗特别连线本片的导演杜来顺(Denis Do),一位法国巴黎出生并成长的潮州青年,聊聊他对潮州人身份认同的经过,并运用于电影创作的过程。

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Teochew through the eyes of its visitors: The captains of “Ship No. 47”

Xu Xuanguan and Yang Lianguan were the captain and vice-captain of a Chinese junk that sailed from Siam for Japan in June 1693. However, adverse winds at sea forced them to divert to Teochew prefecture, where they spent the winter. They finally reached Nagasaki port a year after their original departure and gave testimony to a secret that even the Emperor of China was kept hidden from.

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Why do Teochew numbers 1-10 sound similar to Cantonese, Japanese and even Thai?

Have you ever noticed that our Teochew numbers 1 to 10 sound different, but yet somewhat similar, to the numbers in Cantonese? 

What's the story behind? Let's find out!

 Number Teochew Cantonese Japanese Thai
1 一 zêg8 (ig4) yat1 ichi หนึ่ง nueng
2 二  no6 (ji6) yi6 ni สอง sawng
3 三 san1  saam1 san สาม saam
4 四 si3  sei3 shi (yon) สี่ see
5 五 ngou6 ng5 go ห้า hah
6 六 lag8  luk6 roku หก hoke
7 七 cig4 cat1 shichi (nana) เจ็ด jed
8 八 boih4 baat3 hachi แปด ppaed
9 九 gao2 gau2 kyuu เก้า gaao
10 十 zab8 sap6 juu สิบ sip

     

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    Teochew Short Film for the Hungry Ghost Festival 潮语中元节微电影: "The Overseas Sojourner"《番客》

    A Teochew language short film about a Teochew who left for Siam, returning home after many years.

    本作品围绕过番习俗,以艺术拍摄手法和原创动画制作形式表达潮州人在盛行出国谋生的“过番”年代,“番客”与家人之间的离别相思之情。

    Click on link below to watch. 请点击观赏:
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    Lim Ngian Tiong: Reviving Teochew language starts at home

    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.

     

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    林仰忠:复兴潮州话,从家里开始

    来自新加坡的林仰忠先生是资深的潮语新闻播音员,也是资深的潮州话老师。半个世纪以来,他一直在广播、戏剧、潮语课等多方面传播潮语及潮州文化。

    2023年,是林仰忠先生从事潮语新闻广播的50周年,也是他开班教授潮州话的20周年。从2020年开始,林仰忠先生担任潮语导师,为新加坡“来拼潮州话”年度竞赛出题并主持,热心带领潮语爱好者们“寻音觅字”。

    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。

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    Teochew through the eyes of its visitors: A Spanish Jesuit shipwrecked in Teochew (Part 2)

     

    "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?

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    Teochew through the eyes of its visitors: A Spanish Jesuit shipwrecked in Teochew (Part 1)

    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.

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    Not Quite As Easy As ABC

    Finding the proper Teochew terms to help 3-year-olds pick up a basic vocabulary in the Teochew language is surely as easy as ABC.

    This was what we told ourselves when we set out to create Wa Si Teochew Kia—My First 120 Teochew Expressions Multimedia Flashcards 精选一百二十潮语词语》- 多媒体早教图卡), a set of educational flashcards with animated videos developed specially for babies and toddlers to learn their mother tongue together with their parents. 

    Then, we came to the word "mother"... Read more about some of the challenging decisions we faced in conceptalising and designing The Teochew Store’s first in-house product, which we realised through the generous funding of more than 100 backers from 14 different countries on Kickstarter last year. 

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    Remembering the 1922 Swatow Typhoon 百年善纪——纪念潮汕八二风灾100周年

    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.

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    Swatow Typhoon of 1922

    “When the tidal wave came, the most vulnerable died tragically: some parents who carried several children were forced to let go the daughters to save themselves from drowning. Some mothers carried the babies with them and floated in the water, but the husbands took away the babies in order to save their wives. Some elderly parents could not swim and their sons did not abandon them, and they were all drowned. Some parents could not hold too many children together and they griped the children’s hair and little arms, but when they reached the high grounds, the younger ones had already died. Some elderly parents did not want to burden their adult children and they drowned themselves in order to save the family line. There were couples tied themselves together with strings but they were drowned. After the disaster, some people could not bear the deaths of their loved ones and they committed suicide.”

    ~ Chen Yuan (陳沅), magistrate of Jaopeng county

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    Wa Si Teochew Kia – My First 120 Teochew Expressions: Kickstarter Campaign Update 6

    Words cannot describe our joy! It has taken nearly four months for our small team to reach this point in this project. From conceptualisation to the research of Teochew words, initial illustrations and videos, preparation of Kickstarter campaign and rewards, to marketing… while still having to juggle with our day jobs.

    此时此刻,我们的喜悦无法用言语形容!从项目策划,到词汇考究,再到绘图、图卡和视频制作,以及Kickstarter众筹页面和礼品的筹备,还有后期宣传……在要兼顾本职工作的情况下,我们这个小团队用了将近四个月的时间走到了今天这一步,实属不易。

     

    ~o0o~
    Wa Si Teochew Kia – My First 120 Teochew Expressions is a set of multimedia flashcards developed by The Teochew Store to help children under 3 learn to speak Teochew together with their parents. To learn about this project or contribute to our crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, please click here.
    《我是潮州囝——精选一百二十潮语词语》由潮舗推出,是一套帮助父母与三岁以下幼儿一起学习潮州话的多媒体早教图卡。点击这里,了解这个项目并资助我们在Kickstarter发起的筹款活动。
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    Wa Si Teochew Kia – My First 120 Teochew Expressions: Kickstarter Campaign Update 4

    We are grateful to Jeunes Teochew de France for helping promote Wa Si Teochew Kia – My First 120 Teochew Expressions in the French language on Instagram, as well as Singapore TeoChew Nang SG and Learn-Teochew for kind their assistance on supporting this project on Facebook. They are all actively promoting our Teochew culture and language, so do “like” and follow their accounts as well.

    潮舗非常感谢Jeunes Teochew de France (法國青年潮州人) 用法语在Instagram宣传我们的项目——《我是潮州囝——精选一百二十潮语词语》。我们也非常感谢 Singapore TeoChew Nang SG 与 Learn-Teochew 在Facebook为我们的项目做宣传。他们一直在热诚地发扬和分享潮州文化及语言,请大家一起”点赞”并订阅他们的页面。

    In recent days, we received our first backings from Thailand, Switzerland and Germany. Because of everyone’s support, we have crossed the 90% mark of our crowdfunding (yeah!).

    近日,我们还收到了来自泰国、瑞士和德国的第一份捐款。因为大家的踊跃支持,我们目前已经达到90%的筹款目标。(开心!)

    Continue to help us bring this project to life. Please click here

    请大家继续支持我们,一起实现这个项目,谢谢!点击这里

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    Teochews in Down Under

    A gold rush in the 1850s and 1860s brought thousands of Chinese from Guangdong to Australia, including a small number of Teochews. The Land Down Under has today a mix of Teochew immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and China and this documentary produced in 2000 documents their stories. Interestingly, the television crew from Swatow also discovered a place where the Teochew language was widely spoken in Sydney's Cabramatta suburb.

    在十九世紀五、六十年代,數千名來自廣東省的華工湧入澳洲採金,其中少數是潮州人。今日的澳洲有分別源於越南、柬埔寨、香港、台灣、新加坡、馬來西亞和中國等地的潮人。這部汕頭電視台2000年攝製的記錄片《騎在羊背上的潮州人》,記錄了他們不同的故事。有趣的是,記錄片的製作團隊竟然在悉尼的卡拉瑪打市郊發現了一個通用潮州話的地方。

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    Canada - An Unlikely Teochew Gathering Point

    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.

    一對潮州夫妻在上世紀七十年代離開柬埔寨逃往泰國,在邊境走散,不知生死。五年後,他們奇蹟地在加拿大團聚。為了生活,他們刻苦耐勞,最終成功經營自己的超市。在離亞洲數千里的加拿大是許多來自越南、柬埔寨、香港和中國潮人移民的集中地。在這片土地上,他們與我們一起分享自己的故事和夢想。

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    Teochews in France

    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.

    直到上世紀中旬,東南亞一直是潮州人主要的移民地。但因二十世紀七十年代的戰亂,數万個原定居在越南、柬埔寨和寮國的潮人家庭被迫二次遷移到法國。請看這部汕頭電視台1997製作的紀錄片,聽聽這群潮州人如何以以難民的身份勇敢地在歐洲找到新生。

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    Learn Teochew - an Online Guide for Heritage Speakers

    "... so I hope that young people today who have difficulty communicating with their elder relatives will recognise that they can actively do something about it..."

    The Teochew Store caught up with Brandon Seah of Learn Teochew (learn-teochew.github.io), an extensive online guide for “heritage speakers”, who have “learned some of the language from their family but who have never studied it formally, and who want to improve their understanding of the language”.

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    The Teochew community in Cambodia's rebirth

    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. 

    看看在上世紀九十年代,經歷過多年紅色高棉暴政和戰亂的柬埔寨潮州人如何把有限的資源投入在下一代的教育上。
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    Teochews in Singapore 25 years ago

    The 20th century produced many successful overseas Teochew businessmen, who always devoted their energy and wealth towards the education and other fields of philanthropy. Watch the late Lien Ying Chow of Overseas Union Bank and other Teochews in Singapore share their stories and the philosophy behind their selfless contributions towards the larger society in this documentary produced by Shantou Television in 1997.
    在二十世紀,誕生了不少成功的潮籍商人。他們熱心貢獻於教育和其他慈善領域。請觀看這部汕頭電視台1997年製作的紀錄片《獅城不只一座塑像》,聽聽已故大華銀行創辦人連瀛洲和其他新加坡潮州人講述他們的故事,以及對貢獻社會的理念。

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    The Teochew Community in Malaysia

    Do you know that the city of Penang in Malaysia has a “Swatow Street”? (It is officially known as Lebuh Kimberley.)Let’s watch this documentary produced by Shantou Television to find out more interesting facts about the lives of Teochews living in Malaysia 25 years ago.

    你知道嗎?馬來西亞檳城有條汕頭街。一起來觀賞汕頭電視台製作的紀錄片《落地生根 》,關注居住在大馬潮州二十五年前的生活。

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    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).

    海外潮州人在泰国居多。根据上世纪90年代的统计,泰国的潮州社群约有五百万人。想了解潮州人在泰国过去的生活情况,请观看汕头电视台1997年制作的纪录片《佛國潮踪》。

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    5 Teochew Sentimental Songs You Will Love 五首動聽潮語情感歌曲

    ❤️[CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW VIDEO]❤️
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    Teochew Home News - A Publication of Our Own

    Goh Yee Siang (吳以湘) was born in 1912 in Nio-ior village, Sou-uang town, Thenghai County (澄海縣蘇灣都蓮陽鄉) (now Nio-zie town, Thenghai district, Swatow city [汕頭市澄海區蓮上鎮]). He was the editor-in-chief of a well-known publication Teochew Home News (潮州鄉訊) that was founded in Singapore in the late 1940s.
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    吳以湘與《潮州鄉訊》

    吳以湘,一九一二年出生於澄海縣蘇灣都蓮陽鄉(今屬汕頭市澄海區蓮上鎮),為上世紀四十年代末創刊於新加坡的一份著名刊物《潮州鄉訊》的主編。

    生長在「五四運動」時期的吳以湘,在「新文化運動」的熏陶下,少年時期就已經喜愛閱讀書報,對文學有濃厚的興趣也奠下深厚的文史根基。他南來新加坡後,曾到中正中學總校當老師教導國文(即華文)和史地等科目。吳以湘秉着一種讓僑胞通過家鄉事物,維繫鄉情的熱忱,用課餘時間辦起《潮州鄉訊》雙週刊。一九四七年八月,由他領導的編委會在新加坡小坡美芝路一七三號成立了「馬來亞潮州鄉訊社」,並交由當年的南洋印刷社承印,以每冊叻幣四角錢的售價,在南洋各埠的書局以及報社出售。
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    Brief Review – Primary Lessons in Swatow Grammar (Colloquial)

     
    Read our brief review on Primary Lessons in Swatow Grammar (Colloquial), a Teochew grammar guide published in Swatow in 1884 by an American Baptist missionary. Rev. William Ashmore. Out of print for many decades, Primary Lessons in Swatow Grammar (Colloquial) is now selling on Lulu.com.
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    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.

     
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    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. 

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    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.

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    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.

     

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