The Teochew Store Blog / history
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Origins of the Teochew People - Archaeological Evidences (Part 3): The Early Teochew Culture Trilogy
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.
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.”
Origins of the Teochew People - Archaeological Evidences (Part 1): Traces of Teochew's Oldest Inhabitants
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
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)".
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.
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.
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.