Hakka Roots – part 3

Previous post Hakka Roots – part 2.

September 26th, 2012

Dear Diary,

The main purpose of this trip at this time of year is actually to pay respect to our ancestor.  We’re a bit late but it doesn’t matter as great uncle kindly organise a small one for us.  This was my first time so I didn’t know what to expect except pray and burn paper..

Grandma bought a lot of preparations from Hong Kong for this event.  Poor Eric and mum had to drag her baggage all over China!  So you can say I’m glad we’re getting rid of some weight!

I thought we would be going up a mountain and dreaded it as it was a hot day!  But I was wrong.. we just went next door to my grandmother’s ancestral temple site.  In China, they would have villages of people with the same last name.  This place is where all the Siew’s are.

Hakka Chinese Siew Ancestral Temple Dabu China

Mum posing infront of Family Siew Ancestral Temple.

My first thought of this place was, “Wow heritage!!” haha.  I don’t know why but it’s nice to see old buildings sometimes.  They all have this distinct design and I really like the oriental look.   The tiled roof and open courtyard in the middle.  Love it.  Ok, back to the event!  When you enter, straight ahead is where will be paying respect.  This means there would be food offerings, incense and lots of spirit money!

Hakka Chinese Siew Ancestral Place Dabu China

Here my grandma pays respect to her mother (my great-grandma!)

Here is a couple of photos of when my great grandma was still alive a couple of decades ago!  I still remember her very well.  Although, I could not communicate with her as I don’t speak Hakka I remember my sister and I gave her a hard time when we slept over her place once!  We would always kick the blanket down, and she would mumble and pick up the blanket and place it on us again and we’ll do it again because it was funny! Naughty!

Here is a photo of my mother when she was a teenager, great grandma, grandma and grandpa (left to right).

My great grandma by her grave in the mountains.  I must say, that’s a nice looking grave!

Hakka Chinese Siew Ancestral Place Dabu China Food Offerings

The food offerings to our ancestors.  Plenty to go around!

Hakka Chinese Siew Ancestral Place Dabu China

Not sure what you call them, but they are like name plates of the deceased. RIP

Hakka Chinese Siew Ancestral Place Dabu China Spirit Money

Spirit money. Making sure our ancestors are nice and rich in heaven!

Hakka Chinese Siew Ancestral Place Dabu China Burning Incense

Burning incense.

Hakka Chinese Siew Ancestral Place Dabu China

My great uncle reading a script informing the ancestors who is present and paying respect.

Hakka Chinese Siew Ancestral Place Dabu China

Past donations.

Hakka Chinese Siew Ancestral Place Dabu China

Me doing my bit! Pouring alcohol for the ancestors!

Hakka Chinese Siew Ancestral Place Dabu China

After the ritual we burn spirit gold and money to send to heaven. Mum said last year they burnt a mobile phone for grandpa haha.

Hakka Chinese Siew Ancestral Place Dabu China

This building isn’t just a temple. People still live here today. Except not upstairs.. as you can see it’s not maintained well and is only used for storage. I really wanted to go upstairs to have a look.. 😦

Hakka Chinese Siew Ancestral Place Dabu China Family Tree

Family tree of the Siew Clan.

Hakka Chinese Siew Ancestral Place Dabu China Fire Crackers

Finally we blast some fire crackers for good luck!

After all that, I asked Auntie if I could look around the rooms.  She agreed and showed us where my great grandma used to live before she passed away.  I was excited but was also half scared of creepy crawlies.  But it wasn’t so bad because we were too occupied looking at old photos she kept in her drawers!

Hakka Chinese Dabu China

My Grandmother standing outside her late mother’s room.

Hakka Chinese Dabu China

We had a peak inside the room and found some antique stuff such as this lovely antique mirror jewellery box!

Hakka Chinese Dabu China

Old family photos my great grandma kept framed.

Hakka Chinese Dabu China

Her room was really small and everything’s old. It’s now a storage room.

Hakka Chinese Dabu China

I love the vintage poster haha. Lovely.

Hakka Chinese Dabu China

Outside her room there this little house. Auntie said that’s a pig’s house when they used to raise pigs!

I then wanted to see all of the rooms but I wasn’t allowed as it belongs to other people.  So Auntie tried to show me as much as she could.

Hakka Chinese Dabu China

Common storage room

Hakka Chinese Dabu China

All the way at the back of the house, you’ll find the kitchen and bathroom.

Hakka Chinese Dabu China

Bathroom with some modern installation.

Hakka Chinese Dabu China

After the tour of the old temple/house we bring all the food offerings in with this big basket for lunch!

Although, we didn’t do much today.  I think seeing my great grandma’s room and finding all the old photos was the highlight of my day!   Tomorrow we’re going to visit my grandpa’s side!! oh boy!

To be continued.. here in Hakka Roots part 4..