In this episode Laszlo explains a little about the “Gagi Nang”, the 自己人, known the world over as the Teochew (Chiu Chow or Chaozhou) people. Like the Hakka people, the Teochew’s were originally from the Yellow River Valley and migrated to their present location on the Guangdong coast via Fujian province. Their language and culture is unique. Their food and Chaozhou culture is celebrated in more places than Chaozhou and not just by the people from that region. There are Chaozhounese people on every continent except maybe Antarctica. They’re a proud group of people with a collective track record that is admirable by any standards of human achievement. The only mentions in this episode were of the Teochew’s of South East Asia and the US. There are plenty of other lesser known or unknown histories of Teochew’s in Canada, Europe, Mexico, Central and South America and of course Australia and New Zealand. The great 19th century Chinese diaspora is filled with stories, legends and historic events. The Chiu Chow people are a major part of everything that happened. They contributed not only to the society and the economy of their adoptive homelands, they still kept their ties with the eight districts of Chao-Shan.
In this 175th episode Laszlo gives the great Northern Song jack-of-all-literary-trades Su Dongpo the once over. This isn’t meant to be a deep dive into the reasons for all his renown in literature, calligraphy and painting. Instead, this is just a “popular Chinese historical” overview of who he was and the times he lived in. And for those who never heard of him, this is a good intro. In America we have Washington Irving, Mark Twain, Hemingway and so on. In China….Su Shi would be mentioned when rattling off their best of the best. He was definitely a major guy not only in the Song, but in the overall world of Chinese culture as well. Continue reading “CHP-175-Su Dongpo”
In this latest episode Laszlo finally gets around to the oft requested subject of piracy in early 19th century China. Pirates had been a fact of life going back to the most olden days. Mid to late Qing Dynasty the amount of trade being plied on the China coast attracted pirates like never before. Zheng Yi Sao (“Zheng Yi’s Wife”) was a tough woman from the Pearl River Delta who married the most notorious pirate of his day Zheng Yi. Upon Zheng Yi’s death, his widow took control of his massive pirate fleet. With her adopted son, and later husband Cheung Po Tsai, she controlled what as, at the time, the largest pirate fleet that preyed on coastal dwellers and vessels engaged in trade. She later became an inspiration for many characters that appeared in books, movies, video games and other media.
Laszlo offers up the exciting conclusion to the 3-part series introducing the Tong Wars.
In this Part 2 episode the Tong Wars begin in earnest. The first and second Tong Wars are discussed. Continue reading “CHP-172-The Tong Wars of New York Chinatown Part 2”