Please forgive the interruption in posting! Travel and settling back into the bungalow have left me with scarcely any time in front of a computer. Good news is Dexter and Dougal were very happy to see us again and we're all one big happy family after the reunion. Bad news is that I'm sort of jet-lagged, but life is propelling me forward nonetheless.
For now, however, let me tell you about the day I took the Tsuen Wan line to the very last stop, and went to visit my dad's village.
See? Me outside of the village where my dad grew up. This is where he spent his childhood! The building has since then been restored and preserved as a museum so that people may learn about Hakka culture.
Warning. Now that I've gone through the photos from this day I realize that many of the pictures look similar. Here I am at the front door entrance of Sam Tung Uk. There are several entrances and little courtyards before you arrive at the temple in the middle.
Also, at this point in the trip I had become accustomed to Hong Kong's winter and needed to wear pants and buy a coat.
All about the Chan clan.
More passages before the temple.
And here we are at my dad's family's suite. I think this is technically next door to the actual unit he used to live in, because a few of the suites were consolidated for the purposes of the museum's displays.
The rooms are small. Very small. My dad, his three brothers and some cousins would all sleep on straw mats up in a little loft above the main living area (which had my grandparents' bed, the table to eat at, etc).
The design is interesting. The mini courtyard only has a roofline around the edges. The rain collects in the little square basin in the floor, you just walk along the sides to avoid getting wet.
The restoration team took great pains to find the exact sort of roof tiles used in the village's original construction. In the background there you can see the residential high rises where there used to be farmland.
It's a beefy roof.
Here is one of the "dining" sets. Pretty rustic, don't you think?
This is what a kitchen would look like.
And here, the little village temple.
There are lots of things you're not supposed to do at the museum. I find the funny one the one not permitting loud talking, since Hakka men have a reputation for being really LOUD.
It's sort of a maze of passageways and corridors.
After checking out the village (I had been there previously in 2007 but this was Don's first time) we went for a coffee break and then took a mini bus up the hill to visit the newly relocated Chan temple.
I am a big fan of these carved doors.
The door handles are so old school.
Same goes for the lights.
Talk about going back to my roots. Growing up I heard so many stories about my dad's childhood and how it shaped his character. Dad was really quite poor and his family basically grew all their own food. He flew kites and made toys out of found objects. He caught insects and got one new outfit a year at Chinese new year. It really makes me realize how much I take for granted, considering how different my own childhood was!
It was really an honour to visit dad's old home and I am very proud to come from a line of hardworking (although stubborn) people. Hakka women are known to be very capable and productive. Sounds about right:)