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Thinking of the Source while Drinking
 

Phua Kok Khoo

The Genealogy Record, Genealogy Chart or Family Tree in the Chinese tradition takes the form of a book, documenting the network and relationships of the extended family, usually consisting of diagrams and write-ups of the prominent members. It is a special kind of document that is most significant to the general public for the past thousands of years in Chinese history, which can be perceived as an illustrated historical text, while keeping records of one’s lineage.

In the many years of acquaintance with Mr Tan Ah Jee(陈业雄), he has been stressing the importance of such Records to me, and has been very enthusiastic in establishing the Genealogy Society. After a series of discussion and planning with me and others including Mr Ng Yew Kang(黄友江) etc, the Society was finally registered in March 2010. I believe this effort will raise the awareness of Singaporeans and encourage more to edit for their own families. There is no doubt that Singapore faces many challenges as a young nation, but there are definitely advantages as well, and the ease of editing the Genealogy Records is one of them. Many Singaporean families consist of only two to three generations, five to six at most, and so the gathering of information of ancestors should not be difficult, and I thus urge every family to start early!

In addition, I propose to link our editions with those in China prior to the migration of our ancestors. Few years ago, I visited Teochew, mainly Teoann, with Former Foreign Minister George Yeo and his family, and Mr Ker SinTze(柯新治) as well. I visited my ancestral home and we took part in Mr Yeo’s ancestor worship at his ancestral village. It was a refreshing experience for me and to be honest, I was much moved. Mr Yeo graced the opening ceremony of the ancestral hall in 2004, and he has been back for the worship every three to four years since then.

Anyone having read the Analects of Confucius would have taken note of the saying “cultivating respect for the dead, and carrying the memory back to the distant past, the moral feeling of the people will waken and grow in depth”(“慎终追远,民德归厚矣”). Filial piety and respect have been undoubtedly very important values to the Chinese, and thus one who “forgets one’s ancestors or heritage” would be seriously condemned. The ancestor worship of Mr Yeo had inspired me in learning more of the Genealogy Records, and more importantly, helped me realize that it is fundamentally teaching us not to forget our roots. This is not exclusive to the Chinese in fact. I happen to know that the Koreans and Japanese bear similar belief strongly as well. Many Koreans have maintained well-kept Family Records, and their Former Presidents Mr Roh Moo-hyun and Mr Roh Tae-woo had even visited Shandong in China while tracing their roots.

Learning more about the editing of Genealogy Records has also enabled me to grasp a deeper understanding of myself, clarifying issues on the recognition of my identity, which can be tricky as a Singaporean. Since independence, “Singaporean Chinese” are no longer Chinese immigrants, and so we must be very mindful during the editing of the Records, especially the part where we connect to our past.

 

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阅读资料
 
新加坡名人谱-陈笃生
族谱学会号召国人修族谱
百家姓-陳氏的起源
福建族谱
中国的年谱与家谱
什么是族谱?
家谱有些什么内容 ?
什么是谱牒?
族谱学会宗旨
家谱书目
族谱----家族奋斗经验的总结
漫论族谱的收藏和研究
家谱的起源
皇族名人百姓家谱
家谱编修实务之二十—如何编写世系表
家谱编修实务之十七—降低印刷成本
家谱编修实务之九—旧谱价值的发掘
家谱编修实务之八—女儿能否入谱
家谱编修实务之七—世系编录
家谱编修实务之六—编辑步骤
家谱编修实务之五—体例和格式
家谱编修实务之四—经费收支
家谱编修实务之三—组织
家谱编修实务之一
族谱的意义
大家谈族谱
族谱,华人的根
按辈分起名还重要吗?
大华大族谱协会
落地生根,开支散叶 – 新加坡华族谱系
 
Thinking of the Source while Drinking
Lam Pin Foo - Family History
Tracing One’s Roots Through the Family Tree
 
 
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