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I did not have the intention to visit my ancestor village when Kenny and I planned our trip to visit Kok Peng who is a lecturer in Yang-En University in Quan Zhou City, Fu Jian Province. This was because of the limited days we had for our trip and also I thought the ancestral village was very remote. But when I spoke to my 3rd brother in Singapore about my visit he told me that the village was only about half an hour away from the University! I decided then to made a visit in one afternoon to the my ancestral village with Kenny and Kok Peng. It was a visit I would cherish forever.



Xin Sheng Village 

The village is located about 5km from Ma Jai Town which is about 50km from Quan Zhou City in Fu Jian Province.

Yang-En University is situated just on the outskirts of Ma Jia Town and it would be easy to get access to the village as I was staying in a lecturer’s apartment in the campus. But the village is quite isolated and can only be accessible by motorbikes or village taxis called “3-legged Tiger”.

Kenny, Kok Peng and I went to the village in the afternoon of 28th March 2007. I had earlier contacted my nephew Cheng Yao , an assitant HM of a secondary school in Ma Jia. He picked me up from Yang-En Uni with his bike and Kenny went in Kok Peng’s bike.

The village now has about 500 Tohs and they are all related.

My Ancestral Home

My ancestral home is a long rectangular single-story stone/brick building. Originally it was built by my grand father and was extended to the present size to accommodate his seven children (5 sons and 2 daughters). It was constructed more than a century ago. 

House where my father was born                      House where my parents lived

A small hall with a family altar is located in the front portion of the house. Behind the altar is a courtyard where visitors are welcomed and entertained. In olden days this area was used to rear pigs. On both sides are living quarters for the parents and their children.

A “modern” bed in my parents’ bedroom
<-  A Family Altar


Drinking tea with my cousin (extreme left)

During the tea drinking session I gave “Ang Pows” to my cousin, his sons and their wives and a close relative.

Du Zhen, my only cousin still alive in the village, has 5 sons with the youngest staying with him. The three elder sons have built their own houses in the village while his 4th son, Cheng Yaw lives in his school’s quarters.

Du Zhen came to Malaya when he was in his early teens and returned to the Village in the mid 1950s when he was 26. Surprisingly, he still remembers my family name, the names of all my siblings and many Malay words and phrases. He is now 83 and able to walk with us in the village to visit his children’s homes.

When I asked my cousin why he and his uncles and aunties decided to move to “Nan Yang”, he said the family farm was not big enough to sustain a big family. He also told me that my father was good with his hands and he became a cobbler in the village. My dad also started as cobbler when he first came to Malaya.


The farm infront of the ancestral home

Front view of the ancestral home with a stage on the left

My cousin told us a story about a misadventure of my mother. While doing her washings one day by a pond, she fell into it. It must be a traumatic experience in the village for him to remember it up to today. We all walked to that pond which is close to the ancestral home to take a look.


I ended my visit to the ancestral home by hosting a dinner in a restaurant in Ma Jia Town.

The visit was indeed a very memorable one and I will remember it forever.


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nakedeyeview.com.my 2008