The Teochew Store Blog

Teochew Short Film 潮语微电影: The Golden Age of Clock《钟摆上的旧时光 》

A film about a man discovering the inner secrets in father's heart as his old watch repair shop faces eviction. Language: Teochew, with Chinese and English subtitles

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Were These Two Brothers the First Teochews in America?

We think we might have the answer.
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Spoken Swatow – Teochew Language Textbook for English Speakers Gets Reprint after 49 Years


This week The Teochew Store reviews Spoken Swatow, a Teochew language textbook for English-speakers by Alvin and Barbara Koons that is again on the shelves after its first publication 49 years ago.

"It is our hope, as it is with most linguists, these volumes will inspire younger generations to not only appreciate their language inheritance, but be the impetus for continued upgrading of the language learning process."

- Dr. Alvin D. and Mrs Barbara A. Koons

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Making the Swatow famous Lao Ma Keng Rice-Dumplings 老妈宫粽球做法

The traditional Teochew rice dumpling is called the zanggiu ("dumpling ball"). It is unique as it comes in three types of taste: salty, sweet and sangpeng, that is a combination of both salty and sweet.

In Swatow there is a stall that has been selling its rice dumplings since the 1920s. Known as the Lao Ma Geng Zanggiu, after a nearby old temple, the stall is a household-name in Swatow. This week we bring to you a video showing how its rice-dumplings are made (read more for steps and list of ingredients)

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The Teochews & Our Elixir of Life

Though the Teochew region is less famous as a tea producer, its inhabitants hold the reputation of consuming more tea per capita than anywhere else in China. According to a local news report in 2006, residents in Swatow alone spent 720 million yuan (approximately US$110 million) on tea every year, while a typical household used up more than one kilogram of tea leaves every month. The Teochew perception of tea as a daily staple is reflected in its language, wherein tea leaves are called te-bi (茶米) and tea is not said to be drank, but eaten ziah-te (食茶). Thus the reported amount of tea consumed did not surprise many, though how this feat was achieved by the use of the tinniest of tea-cups does amaze!

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Teochew-Mandarin Music 潮州-华语流行歌曲: 《潮汕姿娘》“The Teochew Girl"

A lively song by popular Teochew female singer Mona Zhang 张梦弘. MV is shot in her hometown Pholeng 普宁.  Click "read more" for full lyrics.

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WhatTCSay Teochew language learning app now available for FREE & the story behind

Some time ago The Teochew Store did a review of What Teochew Say (WhatTCSay). We are delighted to inform that the Android (Android 3.0 and up) and Apple versions of this app can now be downloaded for FREE. The Teochew Store spoke also to Ty Eng Lim to find out the story behind this amazing English-Teochew dictionary and phrasebook mobile app.
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How many ways can you sing the favourite Teochew lullaby?

For some of us, childhood came with the blessing of having grandma singing us to sleep with one or two soothing tunes in Teochew. But even if you were not so fortunate, you'd probably still have come across on social media an all-time favourite Teochew lullaby "Ong ah ong, ong kin kong" (唪啊唪 唪金公).

You have not? Don't worry, there are several versions circulating on YouTube to make sure you don't miss out..

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Teochew-English Music 潮州流行歌曲: Meet You Nice

Click "read more" for full lyrics.

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Through the Eye of a Master Photographer (III) - The Years Before The Cultural Revolution

If we could foresee the dark clouds in life, what would we do differently for the sake of ourselves, or for our children? For those of us who have weathered the worst tempests, we know that this is only a hypothetical question.

When Teochew-born photographer Hang Tsi-kuang (Han Zhiguang 韓志光) capture the stunning picture of a lone man walking by the sea with dark clouds gathering like mountains in the background in 1951, he could not have imagined the turmoil that would ravage the whole of China for the next three decades.

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Through the Eye of a Master Photographer (II) - 1949 the Historical Year of Liberation

"Jubilation" would hardly seem like the correct word to describe the mood of the masses when Mao Zedong's Red Army marched into the Teochew region in 1949. After all the Teochews are a people known above all for their business acumen and the chief port Swatow was China's shining model of capitalistic and modern progress in the 1930s.

Yet beaming jubilation was the very emotion shown on many faces captured by the camera of photographer Hang Tsi-kuang in the historical year of liberation. Gripped by intense fear for their livelihood as the value of the money in their pockets plummeted each day under the Kuomintang government, hope was all the common people looked for. In their eyes the triumphant entry of the communists was not the takeover of a peasant army, but about them becoming part of an army of peasants to change the world order

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Through the Eye of a Master Photographer (I) - 15 Vivid Images of Life around the Teochew Region in 1948

In the first of three presentations of photographs by acclaimed photographer Hang Tsi-kuang 韓志光 (1917-2011), we bring to you 15 vivid images of the Teochew region and its surroundings taken in 1948 - the year when the Kuomintang was in the last moments of power as government of China, and a time when common people were left to their own devices to survive in a society barely-recovered from the ravages of Japanese occupation, and struggling with abject poverty, hyperinflation, and uncertainty for the future.
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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.
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Making Sense of Teochew Opera: From Makeshift Stages to the Silver Screen

The demise of old art forms following the appearance of new technology is now an all familiar story. However when a Hong Kong company made a novel experiment to produce the classical Teochew opera play “Fire at the Riverside Pavilion”《火燒臨江樓》in cinematic form in 1958, the magic of the silver screen instantly ignited the imagination of audiences in Swatow, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok.

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Teochew Short Film 潮语微电影: “Yeo Bhue Eng"《杨梅英》

“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.

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Making Sense of Teochew Opera - the Young Shoulders that bore a 500-year-old Tradition

Teochew opera is said to have over 1200 traditional plays that fall into two broad categories - those adapted from the 12th century nanxi 南戲 from Southeast China as well as chuanqi 傳奇, and others derived popular local lores including romance tales and ghost stories... The most dramatic episodes however were the ones played out behind the scenes that were summed up by this Qing Qianlong era (1736 to 1796) saying:

"父母無修飾,賣仔去做戲。鼓樂聲聲響,目汁垂垂滴。" 
“Parents uneducated in morals, sell their children to act in shows. The sounds of music ring aloud, the tears drip one by one.”
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Making Sense of Teochew Opera - origin, history & performance 160 years ago

Teochew opera, or Teochew-hee 潮州戲 –  an amazing synthesis of drama, music, singing, poetics, acrobatics, colourful costumes and folk art, is the highest expression of the Teochew culture. And rightly so, after all it is a show for the deities. Learn about its origin, history and an eye witness account of its performance 160 years ago.
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Teochew Celebration of the Chinese New Year in Pictures【光影潮州】乡里热闹的春节

 

For the Teochews, the Chinese New Year is the grandest and most important festive period. All across the Teochew region, people mark the occasion with activities strongly rooted in local tradition. Through the camera lens of avid photographer Ling Shyue Miin, we bring you a series of extraordinary images capturing how villages in Teochew welcome the Year of the Monkey.

在潮州传统的节日中,春节是最热闹、最受潮州人重视的节日。作为农历一年中的第一个大节,潮州地区有着许多别具特色的民俗文化活动。2016猴年春节,资深摄影师凌学敏走访了许多潮州村庄,用相机记录下了乡村里热闹的春节。

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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.

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2016 Teochew New Year Song 潮州电视台金猴年新年歌

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Teochew Chinese New Year Song 潮州新年歌曲:擔句好話賀新年

Not a exactly new New Year Song, but trendy and uplifting for all Gaginang. 祝福大家新年快樂,萬事如意

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Three Must-Have Mobile Apps for Learning Teochew Language Part 3: 新概念潮州话

Over the past two weeks we reviewed two Teochew language mobile learning app produced by overseas Teochews, namely 潮語作田人 (TeoAPP) app and WhatTCSay. This week we look at 新概念潮州话 that is a product from mainland China. 
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Three Must-Have Mobile Apps for Learning Teochew Language Part 2: What Teochew Say (WhatTCSay)

Following up on our review of the 潮語作田人 (TeoAPP) app last week, The Teochew Store cast our eyes on something many of us overseas Teochews have long wished for – What Teochew Say (WhatTCSay in short),  a Teochew language learning app for English speakers!
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Three Must-Have Mobile Apps for Learning Teochew Language Part 1: 潮語作田人 (TeoAPP)

The New Year is the time to make resolutions. For many of us as overseas Teochews, picking up or improving our spoken Teochew is surely on top of our list.

The Teochew Store has identified three must-have mobile apps that can help us achieve this goal, and this week we review the 潮語作田人 (TeoAPP) produced by the Teochew Culture Club (潮汕文化協進會) in Hong Kong.

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Teochew Song: "Living in Swatow" 潮州流行歌曲《活在汕头》

Teochew Hip-hop!

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Teochew Short Film 潮语微电影: "Father and Son" 《父仔》

A story centred on the understanding, communications, contradictons and love between the father and son of an ordinary Teochew family. 
公益微电影《父仔》,主要讲述一个普通家庭中父亲与­儿子之间的理解、沟通、矛盾、亲情等一系列问题。影片对白以潮语和普通话为主。

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Teochew Song: "Walking Hand In Hand" 潮州流行歌曲《手牵手行》

Falling in love with Teochew music already...

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Teochew Short Film 潮语微电影: My Little Devil in Chaozhou 《缘来潮州》

When an American lost in Chaozhou meets a feisty local girl. Dialogues in English and Teochew language.
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My Teochew Family Story Sharing: "Always Be Filial 要行孝" by Heng Ui Tong 王炜中

I was born in Teochew (Chaozhou city). My paternal grandfather and grandmother died early. Ever since my first awareness of things around me, my parents never stopped emphasising in my education at home to “always be filial”...

我出生在潮州,爷爷奶奶早逝,从自己初晓世事起,在家里接受教育过程中,父母不断地嘱咐自己“要行孝”,因为“百善孝为先”。

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Teochew Family Story Sharing: "My Special Teochew Family 特别的潮州家人" by Harada Ryotaro 原田燎太郎

"In Teochew I found love and family" - the heart-warming story of a Japanese in Teochew.
"在潮州,我收获了爱情和家庭" - 一名日本人在潮州的感人故事
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