Seeking Roots in Mainland China Uniting Clansmen Communities

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Seeking Roots in Mainland China Uniting Clansmen Communities Powered By Docstoc
					SHU Ping (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology),
“Seeking Roots in Mainland China: Uniting Clansmen Communities in

      In Fujian’s Nanjing, dominant lineages have developed since the Ming
dynasty (1368-1615 A.D.). At the same time, some Nanjing people also
began to move and settle in Taiwan. Based on their prior experience in
Fujian, they developed their lineage organizations and built their ancestral
halls in various places in Taiwan.
      Since the late 1980s, many Taiwanese have organized root-seeking tours
to visit their ancestors’ hometowns in Mainland China. This paper explores
the arrangement of a root-seeking tour organized by the Hsiao Clan
Association in Taiwan. Over the past two decades, the Hsiao people in
various parts of Taiwan have participated in these tours, visiting their ancestral
villages in Nanjing, South Fujian. They make sacrifices to their ancestors at
the ancestral halls and ancestral graves. Although the Fujian government
supported these activities for promoting China and Taiwan’s unification, the
Hsiao Clan’s few visits to Fujian could not really strengthen the relations
between the communities across the Taiwan Strait. I argue that the
Taiwanese people actually aim to strengthen the relations among the Hsiao
communities in Taiwan by arranging these tours. To investigate the meaning
and significance of these root-seeking activities, this paper will look into the
organization and leadership of the Hsiao Clan Association, as well as the social
and cultural contexts of the root-seeking tours.

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