meixian

My relative Lu Lianzhen has dinner tonight at the hundred-year old #Hakka house my great-grandfather built in Gaoshang village, Meixian, east Guangdong province, southern China. I’m here again to continue work on my family history project, a chapter of which was published as a small book last month: Roots- A Granddaughter’s Belated Search (http://twentyfifteen.sg/2015/08/31/twentyfifteen-1920-roots-by-sim-chi-yin/). It is here that my great-granddad left China from, for Malaya and where my granddad came back in 1949 – and died here as a cadre of the local Chinese Communist Party guerrilla army unit in July of that year. I’m working on documenting the story of how he was politically active in British Malaya and then was deported to China and died here at age 38. By all accounts a man who spoke up for his community and worked for social justice and equality. #roots #home #family #meixian #iphoneonly @viiphoto

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Finally found an effigy camera to burn for my paternal grandfather, a photographer, chief editor of the Ipoh Daily in 1946 in Perak, and who died here in our ancestral land Meixian, east Guangdong after being deported by the British from Malaya at the start of the Emergency in 1948. 爷爷/ granddad I hope you don’t mind that it’s a compact camera and I could only “send” you two rolls of film!
For almost 60 years granddad was virtually not spoken about in our family and no one came back from where we were in Southeast Asia to visit his grave - and martyr’s monument. The first photo I saw of him intrigued me - he had a twin lens camera slung around his neck. I’ve been working on uncovering his story and my family history. The first chapter of which was published in September as a small book, Roots, http://twentyfifteen.sg/2015/08/31/twentyfifteen-1920-roots-by-sim-chi-yin/. Book available: http://twentyfifteen.myshopify.com . #meixian #iphoneonly #hyperlapse #family #roots @viiphoto

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Reflections.
It’s almost full moon on this 12th day of the 7th month in the lunar calendar. The moon reflected in the Han Jiang river 韩江 near Songkou 松口 jetty where, like my paternal great-grandfather, many Hakkas left this mountainous and impoverished part of eastern Guangdong province to set sail for Nanyang 南洋 at the turn of the last century. They sailed on boats to Shantou 汕头 and then into the South China Sea for Malaya or Indonesia.
My grandfather – in 1948 – came back through this town, having been deported by the British from Malaya. Less than a year later became imprisoned as a Communist cadre in this town by the Kuomintang, and later taken away and executed. #songkou #meixian #松口 #梅县 #roots #下南洋 #family #history #migration #sonyA7 #leicasummicron @viiphoto

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