Thursday 1st October 2015,
Singapore Xiamen via HK (Transit)
We lodged at Ibis Railway Station Hotel.
And soon went for dinner.
Dinner was 700 metre away by foot: At 临家 (Lin Jia). Professor Hong, head of museum, fount of knowledge, sits to my left: Next to him is Grand Uncle Roney.
As the three of us were sitting side by side, I created this sketch, modelled after three famous monkeys! I was amused that I produced a mirror image of our positions:
Maybe it is a form of dyslexia?
Great meal, menu as depicted: I like the jellied worms
Friday 2nd October 2015
The next morning we wandered to this place for breakfast: 包 & 粥。
Pottered around the streets and bought a few nick-knacks:
My favourite: Beansprout hair clips!
I kid you not!
This 黄鱼 yellow fish was yummy.
This was foil wrapped skewered prawns
flamed and cooked in front of us.
The restaurant: I like the rustic farmer's straw raincoat.
Our party was now 6: Su Min, Sing Yu, Stella, Roney, Ing Pek, Alice Pek. We were brought to 龙海 LongHai by 3 cars, just over an hour's drive on very nice highway with fantastic long high bridges.
Jackson & Remey would join us at 11 pm.
Sketch of Diamond Hotel, Long Hai
Bible passage Isaiah 55: 10-12 CUV.
Group photo before dinner.
There were three wedding dinners simultaneously, filling the banquet halls.
We had a private dining room at level 2.
Very nice century egg.
Gingered steam prawns
Mushroom chicken soup.
Very nice fish
Group photo and the pomelo we got from nearby shop.
During dinner Roney recalled a ditty from itinerant hawker Singapore, Circa 1950's.
GPS location the ancestral village, 10 minutes by road from LongHai
Saturday 3 October 2015
This is the day!
We were issued with badges that identified us as "family".
Picture on the card is that of the refurbished temple.
This is a sketch of that heart stopping welcome.
30 or more drummers in the Aunty Brigade in red
beating drums in a well practiced rhythm.
Children all with little posies
And the pair of village elders with black hat and long blue tunics,
like something out of a Chinese movie!
There were fire crackers and a lion dance.
And lots and lots of people:
Many many relatives
And many many more neighbours.
Roney ceremonially opened the temple doors.
We got in and the tablet cabinet was opened.
We did our respectful 三鞠躬。
We went to visit Grand Uncle Chen Jun Liang.
He is our main family contact, descended from brother of grandfather of Tan Tock Seng.
This sketch was done from third floor of Grand Uncle Chen Jun Liang's home.
The bible text is Isaiah 55:12-13, Chinese Union Version.
We were brought to this temple
Inner court yard of the regional Tan temple
When I was doing this Chinese brush painting I had about 40 pairs of eyes on me.
No pressure. No pressure.
We were brought to the tomb of the first Tan to migrate to this region.
Tan Kin Hui born 1254, ZhangZhou north area, migrated to this region at age of 20.
Tan Tock Seng is 17 generations below:
I am 7th generation down from TTS, ie 24 generations down from Tan Kin Hui.
Sketching the visit.
In front of the tomb.
An elevated view
Close up: The stones on top of the tombstone are placed to hold coloured paper (long gone) that indicate a descendant has visited.
Pair of elephant guardians
Between the elephants and the warriors is a set of 12 Chinese zodiac animals
About 100 metre below the pair of elephants is another pair of similar elephants.
Stage set for dinner entertainment.
Helium balloons dot the sky.
Guest of honour 王瑜玲 Ms Wang Yu Ling,
chairperson of The Returned Overseas Chinese Federation of Longhai City, Fujian Province.
The Butterfly Lovers is a Chinese legend of a tragic love story of a pair of lovers, Liang Shanbo (梁山伯) and Zhu Yingtai(祝英台), whose names form the title of the story. The title is often abbreviated to Liang Zhu (梁祝). Two youths from the community did this act for us.
There was Bollywood dancing, and a young gorl of about 8 who sang in English, Chinese and played the flute.
The refurbished temple
The ancestral tablets within
Close up view of names written in stone.
Next day Sunday 4th October 2015 we paid a crustiest call to GrandUncle Jun Lian's confectionary shop, then we were returned to Xiamen. Mr Seow (library head) brought us up to the top of the administration block where we had a panoramic view of the area.
Looking down we could see the Lim Boon Keng pavilion .
Me and my great grandfather.
Our exit had a little hiccup due to typhoon Mujigae but finally we got home safely.