a picture update…

cuz we all know that’s what people are looking for in blogs…

the street Dad grew up on.  hasn't changed much in over 50 years

the street Dad grew up on. hasn't changed much in over 50 years

It was great to be in Guangzhou – we saw some of the tourist attractions, but mainly the old ones that my Dad remembered.  And we also saw some of the places where he used to play and live.  Dad lived in Guangzhou til he was 6, when they moved down to Hong Kong.  But the best thing about the mini-trip was getting to spend a lot of time with Goo Ma and Goo Jeung (dad’s older sister and her husband).  She told us lots about our family (see last post!).

Chan Family Academy with Goo Ma

Chan Family Academy with Goo Ma

Chans (or Chens if you’re speaking Mandarin) are one of the biggest clans in China – so back in the 1800s a bunch of them got together and built an academy building that also had a place to honor ancestors, etc.

2 mythical lion-dogs and me

2 mythical lion-dogs and me

This is out front from the Chan Clan Academy – our family (immediate) loves to imitate statues, pictures, etc.  Here I am imitating the lion-dogs behind me.  I used to think these were dragons, but was informed by the older and wiser that they are not.

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

Did you know that Sun Yat Sen was Cantonese?  Alas, though I’m Cantonese, I didn’t know.  I blame it on the American school system.  😉  No really – it’s been fun to learn more of the history of China AND my family.  He is revered as a national hero because he led the revolution that ended the rule of emperors.  And he’s from a county near my dad’s county! 🙂

christmas eve dinner with goo jie and fam at church

christmas eve dinner with goo jie and fam at church

For Christmas Eve, went to dinner at the church of Goo Jie (dad’s younger sister) and her family.  It’s St. Stephen’s, the oldest Chinese-founded church in Hong Kong.

me, Andy Lau, and Auntie Stella

me, Andy Lau, and Auntie Stella

Ok, so we didn’t really run into Andy Lau – we went to Victoria Peak and to the wax museum.  If you haven’t seen Infernal Affairs, you need to go rent it right now.  What a great movie – it’s what “The Departed” was based on, but the original is so much better.

In Chinese culture and language, you call relatives by their position, especially older ones.  So Dai Cau Mo is my Auntie Stella – which means she is related to me on my mother’s side, and is my uncle’s wife. The ‘Dai’ part is to distinguish between her and another Cau Mo who is married to another brother (younger).  It’s pretty complicated in some ways because my cousins and I call our older relatives by different names based on the birth order of our parents.  But in other ways it’s awesomely precise.  When someone calls someone else, you know exactly how they’re related.  🙂

My cousin Vanessa, the pirate

My cousin Vanessa, the pirate

Another great one from the wax museum. 🙂

partial family picture of Mom's side

partial family picture of Mom's side

And the grand finale for this blog post – a partial family picture of Mom’s side.  We gathered on the 21st for Vanessa’s birthday.   When we are all together it is quite crazy and hilarious. 🙂  It helps me know what it might have been like to grow up with lots of extended family around for Thanksgiving.  We had our own crazy Thanksgivings with lots of international students and family friends when I was growing up, but it doesn’t seem the same as the consistency of what this is like…

Mm, I’m off to bed soon.  This afternoon I got together with some aunts and looked at old pictures and talked about Mom’s side of the  family.  Then, dinner with a lot of Mom’s side tonight for New Year’s.  Been scanning old family pictures tonight since I have access to so many here.  It’s quite a trip down memory lane…

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