The Teochew Store Blog
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!
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.
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..
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.
"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
Through the Eye of a Master Photographer (I) - 15 Vivid Images of Life around the Teochew Region in 1948
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.
“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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
A story centred on the understanding, communications, contradictons and love between the father and son of an ordinary Teochew family.
Falling in love with Teochew music already...
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”...
This is a story written specially in traditional Teochew text and read in Teochew by Ben Choi from Hong Kong.
An authentic Teochew dish that is rice in collagen – jellied pork skin. It is inexpensive and highly suited for the dry autumn-winter spell.
一道富含胶原质的潮州菜 — 潮州肉皮冻。经济实惠，最适合在干燥的秋冬季节食用。
An article by Elizabeth Koh, a gaginang from Singapore:
From as far back as I can recall, before I could speak or understand the dialect, my childhood was one filled with the sounds and syntax of Teochew. My lullaby was a pentatonic Teochew tune sang by my maternal grandmother...
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