The Teochew Store Blog / history

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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Teochews in America

Today's Teochew presence in the United States was largely established after a wave of migration in the 1970s and 1980s. However, do you know that historical shipping records show that about 40,000 coolies were shipped from Swatow to the country between 1852 to 1858, and some of them might have formed their own fishing settlements on the West Coast? Learn about this and various stories of success achieved by the Teochews in America in this documentary produced by Shantou Television 22 years ago. 

二十世紀七、八十年代的一波移民潮形成了今日的美國潮人社群。其實船運記錄顯示,在一八五二年和一八五八年之間有大概四萬民“豬仔”從汕頭港被運到美國,而且他們有可能在美國西岸形成了自己的漁村。定居美國的潮人如何在這片大陸上成功立足?請看看這部由汕頭電視台在2000年攝製的記錄片,《美國潮人》。

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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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11 Maps of Teochew region dated 1949

The following 11 maps of the Teochew region and its counties are taken from the covers from the Volume Four issues of Teochew Home News (《潮州鄉訊》) magazine that were published between February and August 1949.

Map of all counties in Teochew 潮州各縣圖

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1997 Publicity Video: Affection of Chaozhou 1997 年潮語宣傳片《情系潮州》 - 走向新輝煌

Publicity Video: Affection of Chaozhou - On the Path of Glory. This is a video of Chaozhou (Teochew) City (comprising the old Teo-Ann and Jao-peng counties) from a publicity series produced in the mid-1990s. 

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1997 Teochew Publicity Video: Today's Jieyang 1997年潮語宣傳片: 《今日揭陽》

Gek-yor (or Kityang or Jieyang) was one of the Teochew prefecture's 8 counties and today the area's third largest city. Take a look at how this historical settlement looked like in the mid-1990s. (video dialogue in Teochew with Chinese and English subtitles)
揭陽是古潮州府的八邑之一,今日是潮汕地區的第三大城市。一起來看看上世紀九十代中揭陽的面貌。
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“The Forest of Miss Tang" - An Upcoming Teochew Animation Film Needs Your Help

An animation film telling the history of the Teochew people, directed by a Teochew and dubbed entirely in Teochew language by 3 generations of Teochews living in France. How can you not be EXCITED?!

“The Forest of Miss Tang" (陳小姐的森林) is in an advanced stage of production and it needs funding support to be complete. The project has so far raised over €20,000 through crowd funding, but more support is still needed for it to be better.

The Teochew Store is lending our voice to this fund raising campaign as we believe this is a much worthy cause.

Watch the introduction video of the film by director Denis Do below (in French with English subtitles). To back the production of "The Forest of Miss Tang", click here for the project fundraising page

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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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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.

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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!
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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.

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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! 
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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.”

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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.
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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

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So You Think Teochews Can't Dance?

Several cultures have folk dances that are world-renowned, such as the Maori Haka war dance, the Filipino Tinikling bamboo dance, the Irish stepdance and the Cossack Hopak dance. Famous for our food and business acumen, we Teochews are not immediately recognised for our dance moves? Can we dance?
A resounding yes! And we have more than one...
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Teochew Documentary: Seeing Teochew 看見潮州

A time-lapse video of the historical Teochew prefectural city, a city more than 1,600 years old.

 

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The Teochew Store is turning THREE ... & we are giving away our hottest selling product

In a month's time The Teochew Store will turn three. We remain a humble set-up, but at the same time just as committed as in the beginning to our mission in Restoring Community to Our People, Bridging Teochew Culture to the World.

In line with our conviction that every Teochew  should be given fullest opportunity and encouragement to be connected with the language, values and culture of our forefathers, we have decided to make available for FREE our store's hottest selling product "Conversational Teochew In A Month", as well as its Chinese versions "潮州话一月通 (简体字版)" and "潮州話一月通 (繁體字版)".

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99 Teochew Expressions in Their Actual Chinese Characters - Difference Between Our Language & Mandarin

Teochew, like Cantonese and Hokkien, has a literary form that traces to at least the 10th century during the Tang dynasty, whereas Mandarin evolved in northern China only after the 13th century.

Here is a list of 99 Teochew expressions in their actual Chinese characters, as opposed to Mandarin ones that they are commonly confused with.

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Malay loanwords in Teochew language

Spoken Teochew is both ancient and at the same time evolving, just like any other "live" languages. The Teochews settled in the Malay-speaking world covering Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have absorbed not a small number of native expressions into their daily vocabulary. Here we present a list of over 50 expressions.

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The Teochew Woman - Her Beauty & Strengths

By anecdotal accounts Teochew women are highly desired in China as ideal marriage partners. They are reputed for being gentle in character, imbued with strong family values and capable in managing the household. This is statistically supported by divorce rate of around 2 percent in Swatow in recent years, which is lower than most parts of the country and certainly a mere fraction of figures in Western societies. But what shapes the fine Teochew woman? Insights into letters written over a half a century ago by the Teochew husbands working abroad to home are instructive.

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