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Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Diaspora in Motion The Gin ( ) Clan in Asia Pacific Paper presented at the Chinese.

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Presentation on theme: "Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Diaspora in Motion The Gin ( ) Clan in Asia Pacific Paper presented at the Chinese."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Diaspora in Motion The Gin ( ) Clan in Asia Pacific Paper presented at the Chinese Studies Association of Australia 9 th Biennial Conference at Bendigo

2 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Focus of this paper Movement of the Chinese people from their original homeland to beyond the shores of China has been ongoing for centuries. Whilst it is interesting to discuss the movement in generality, this paper focuses on the Gin ( ) clan, in an attempt to highlight the specifics which can be extrapolated to add to the general case.

3 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Introducing the Gin Clan Ancestors were Royal Potters from ShanXi Circa 700 years ago, some of the Gin Clan trans- migrated to the Pearl River Delta –movement due to economics & escape from persecution See Reference 1 and also Slide 17 onwards From the Pearl River Delta, diaspora of the Gins included most of the Asia Pacific countries What started as sojourning usually ended as permanent citizens of their chosen country

4 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Journeys of the Gins Mostly the Gins journeyed to –The Americas ( ), Gold Mountain –Australasia ( ), New Gold Mountain –South East Asia ( ) South Pacific –They went as Hua Gong ( ): labourers Hua Shang ( ): traders Hua Giao ( ): sojourners But they and their descendents who stayed, became successful migrants

5 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Gin to Gold Mountain ( ) Discovery of gold in California attracted a huge influx of Chinese. After the Gold Rush, Chinese labourers were involved in infrastructure development (e.g. railway), support services, agriculture, manufacturing The Gins were well represented in the Americas, to the point that they were able to raise money to build Gin Associations in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Vancouver

6 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Gin to The New Gold Mountain ( ) Gold also attracted the Gins to Victoria Count of the Tablets in the South Melbourne Guan Di Temple (sic) reveals at least 53 Gins installed in the Ancestral Memorial Hall Examination of Headstones in the New Ballarat Cemetery and Creswick Cemetery reveals at least 8 Gins buried there –there could be more Gins buried in Ballarat & Creswick; there are only 22 headstones in Creswick which survived the ravage of time

7 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future South East Asia ( ) With the ongoing wealth generated by mining of tin and the introduction of rubber and palm oil plantations in Malaya, just before WW2, there was an influx of Gins to the Philippines, Singapore and Malaya. The Gins went to SE Asia as teachers, merchants, small business people and tradesmen (Reference 3) Size of the Gin population was sufficient to support their own Gin Family Association in Singapore and the Philippines (Reference 2)

8 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Success of the Gins Most families started with humble beginnings. From being unskilled laborers, most graduated to small business Within one generation, great many of the Gins across the Asia Pacific Rim established themselves as professionals, inventors, Capital Venturist, politicians, the judiciary. Why is it so?

9 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Commonalities We assert that regardless of the locations, there are certain expectations on the Gins –Group: Social consciousness, mutual support, problem solving, de facto employment agency –Individual: shaped by family values, group and social value, such as filial piety, values of Taoism, Confucianism –Values: education, work ethics, respect for authorities, respect for elders, an ingrained system of management and social order

10 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Some evidence … See Reference 1 in full. Of note: –P 48: Rules of Engagement of the Gin Family Association sets the rules for Clan Members –P 60: Record of Association Merit Scholars –P 58: Record of contributions to the Association –P 33: Concise history of the Gin Association. From Waverly Place to Clay Street. Focusing on an important example: The Gin Association of San Francisco – see next

11 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Important Roles of the Gin Association in San Francisco Since the 1930s and before, the Association played the role of: –Clearing house for Gin migrants (translation service, letter scribe, dealing with the authorities, temporary accommodation, funeral service, welfare service, employment placement) –Visible support of the ideals of excellence; encourage higher education –Champion of preservation of the Chinese Heritage (e.g. Celebration of important festivals including the Chinese New Year, Ching Ming) –Integral part of the wider Chinese community (The Chinese Six Companies of San Francisco) and in turn the wider community (Reference 1: P33)

12 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Selflessness: An Endearing Quality First and foremost, Gins are expected to help other Gins; form a Gin Association If the critical mass to form its own Gin Association cannot be achieved, then help form the next level of Association, i.e. ( ) Siyi Association –Note: There are at least 8 Gins listed on the South Melbourne See Yup Temple (sic) temple building contribution board. One member ( ) who contributed a sizable sum to the building of the temple, was buried in Creswick If a critical mass to form a Siyi Association cannot be achieved, then help form a Guangdong County Association, e.g. The Kwong Shiu Ui Koon (sic) in Malaysia, References 2,7,8

13 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Recap: So why are the Gins successful? Understanding ones roots and the difficulties the Gin ancestors faced Willingness to help other Gins Support of the family Support of the Clan Association Willingness of the individuals to take risks, given the support infrastructure

14 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Attitude of a successful Gin Falls to the ground; take root Home is anywhere around the four seas Where opportunities present themselves, the Gins will consider – including an ongoing movement of labour and capital. This movement is still occurring. True Diaspora in Motion.

15 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future References & Supporting Material 1.Gin Sun Hall Benevolent Association, (San Francisco, CA) 60 th Anniversary Celebration Publication, Persatuan Kwong Shiu Ui Koon, Kelang 43 rd Year Commemorative issue of the Kwong Shiu Association, Klang Malaysia (1978) 3.Sun Hall News, Issue 20, April http://dictionary.reference.com/ 5.Siyi Genealogy site: 6.Siyi ( ) means Four Counties; they are Xinhui ( ), Taishan ( ), Kaiping ( ), and Enping ( ). Variation in spelling of Siyi ( ): See Yup, Sze Yup 7.Guangdong ( ) is the Province where Siyi is located 8.Centenary of the Sze Yup Temple, Glebe, Sydney (August 2004), Commemorative Issue

16 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Diaspora & Sojourn Studies in the movement of Chinese people will invariably encounter the above two words –Diaspora: A dispersion of a people from their original homeland –Sojourn: a brief period of residence See Reference 4

17 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Introducing the Chin/Gin Clan … Clan Surname is Transliteration of the surname depends on sounding of the surname in the relevant dialect, e.g. –Hoisan (Toisan): Chin, Gin, Jin, Ginn, Chinn, Gene, Ying –Cantonese: Yan, Yen –Pinyin: Zhen, Jen

18 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Origin of the Surname: (Reference 1) Gin Clan originated at Chew Yip county (Shanxi province) Forefather: a potter; conferred position of Gin Tao by government of the day During the Han Dynasty (circa 200BC), the Gin Clan was known to be a powerful and honorable nobility During the Wei Dynasty, a Gin was an empress to Wen Ti (Emperor Wen)

19 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future The Traditional Ancestor of (Reference 1) Gin Sun Hall ( ) is the Southern Pioneer who lived some 700 years ago, is by tradition, the common ancestor of the Gins from the Siyi Region Gin Sun Halls grandfather, Gin Shing Hing settled in Nam Hong county in northern Kwangtung Province, from Northern China Later, the Siyi people in Nam Hong, including the Gin Clan, flee to avoid persecution by the Emperor; some changed their Surname

20 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Transmigration of the Gins (Reference 1) Gin Sun Halls older brother and family moved to Shanxi Province, accompanying the remains of his father for reburial in his fathers native province. Gin Sun Hall moved his family to Southern Kuangtung Province; initially settled in the Pearl River Delta, then to Sun Wai, then to Toisan, Toiping and Yan Ping areas From these settlements, his descendants would migrate to all over the world

21 Chinese Heritage Interest Network Honour the past. Develop the future Gin Sun Hall Benevolent Association Also known as the Gin Family Association Founded by Gins, who migrated to various parts of the World; major ones include: –Sun Cheong City (Toishan County) –San Francisco, CA (Gin Sun Hall Bene. Assn) –Hong Kong –Singapore (Yan Clan Union) –Manila, Philippines –Vancouver, Canada (Yans Fraternal Society) –Los Angeles, CA (Gin Family Assn) (Reference 3, P88)


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