Friday, May 29, 2009

Grandma passed away today

This is the song we sing when we are young for grandma. Today the song is for you...

I have nothing to give grandma, but for the remembrance of grandma, I wrote the following lines of words for her:

Grandma passed away today

Grandma passed away today,
peacefully, without telling us and said goodbye,
Suddenly, she is gone...

Grandma passed away today,
leaving with us the good memory of her,
With grandma, we have endless care and love...

Good Bye grandma,
There is so much to say,
yet no words can able to tell,
how we missed you...

Good Bye grandma,
We will remember the time with you,
the story you tell us,
the laughter we have together...

The memory linger,
your smile still fresh in our mind,
your good words are still with our ears,
what we missed is the familiar loving face of you...

we missed you...
Good Bye,

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dragon Boat Festival or Duanwu (端午节)

 端午 (老舍)





Today is Duanwu((端午节), the fifth day of fifth months of Chinese lunar calendar. Some called it Dragon Boat Festival. This is the day where we eat zongzi or rice dumpling(粽子).Zongzi is a traditional Chinese food, made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings, which included salted duck egg yolks(咸鸭蛋), Chinese black mushrooms(香菇), red beans paste(红豆沙), mug beans(绿豆)dried red dates(jujube),dried prawn shrimps(虾米), scallops, red cooked porks,chestnuts, Chinese sausage(臘腸 lap cheong). The rice is cooked by frying the rice until it is cooked, then the cooked rice are wrapped in bamboo or lotus or reed leaves, fillings are then put inside before the leaves and tightly tied. The tied dumpling are then boiled in the wok with are covered. After several hours of boiling, the dumpling will be ready when it is cooked.The dumplings are either wrapped in triangle(normally south region) or square shape(normally north region).

There are many types of zongzi; they are Jianshui Zong(碱水粽), Bak Zong or Meat Zong, and in Malaya there are Nyonya Zong(娘惹粽). Jianshui Zong is the rice dumpling without any fillings, which is also called alkaline water dumpling, the glutinous rice was treated with with Lye, a type of caustic soda,which give the dumpling its yellow color. The dumpling was eaten as dessert,sometime with the white sugar or black sugar/coconut sugar syrup. Nyonya dumpling used pandan leaves instead of bamboo leaves, and the filling included Samba belachan, a type of dried prawn paste with chilly. There is another type called Lo Mai Kai(糯米鸡), which is popular lotus leaves wrapped dim sum.

The rice dumpling with filling in northern region style, lotus leaves wrapping with square shape. (Photo credited to Allen Timothy Chang, taken on 10-3- 2005)

The rice dumpling without fillings; treated with Lye or caustic soda. It is yellow in color, eat with sugar or coconut or black sugar syrup.(Photo credited to Benjwong, taken on 6-10-2007)

As with other Chinese food which are related to festival, there are always story behind the food. Zongzi or Rice dumpling is the food that Chinese eat during Duanwu to remember the death of patriotic poet and scholar, Qu yuan(屈原 340 BC to 278 BC) from the Kingdom of Chu(楚国), the Warring States Period(战国时代 476 BC to 226 BC). There were 7 kingdoms during the Warring States Period(燕Yuan、赵Chao、魏Wei、韩Han、齐Ji、楚Chu、秦Qin). Qu Yuan was born in Xiling Gorge area(now Hubei Province), the place had now submerged in the new dam constructed. He was the descendant of noble family and the champion of political loyalty and truth to Chu kingdom. He was appointed as the minister and counselor of the king, 楚怀王.He advocated for alliance of all smaller kingdoms of the warring period to against the strong Qin kingdom(秦国). But the King of Chu did not favor the political idea, and was influenced by other corrupted ministers who were against the idea,instead make alliance with Qin. He was sacked by the king and sent to exile in the remote Hanbei(汉北, 今安康一带及汉水上游地区), he was very upset and worried over the home country. His anger and worry was the source of inspiration for his famous and greatest poetry works, which mainly on the love for his country and his worry about his future. This was his first exile; the king called him back when the country was attacked by Qin and the country needed Qu Yuan to liaise with other kingdoms for help. In the year 299 BC, the Qin kingdom attacked Chu kingdom,the king was captured and died in Qin in the year 296 BC.The new king was also worry of Qu Yuan for advocate against Qin, Qu Yuan was sent for his second exile in the remote South(陵阳-据说是今安徽青阳县南)。. It was in his second exile that the country of Chu was defeated and fell. Qu Yuan when heard the news, was so upset , he committed suicide in 278 BC at the Miluo River(汨罗江), now in Hunan Province.

The villagers carried rice dumplings and boats to the river and tried to save him.The dumplings was threw into the river, to try to save him from being attacked by fish and dragon or evil spirit(as they believed at the time). The boats also beat drum, to frighten the fishes and the evil spirits. Today at the anniversary of the death of Qu Yuan, people eat rice dumpling and race dragon boats to remember him.

The festival was even spread to Korea and Japan.

The festival is also used to remember the other 5 people,namely (1)春秋时吴国忠臣伍子胥(Wu Zixu),first ancestor of Wu clan(伍)and founder of Suzhou city (蘇州)during the Spring Autumn period(春秋时期) of China. He was forced suicide by the king in 484 BC. (2)东汉的曹蛾,Cao Er, the 14 years old young girl of Eastern Han Dynasty who jumped into the lake to search for father's body (3)广西的陈临,Chen Lin, Guangxi official who was loved by the locals (4)越王勾践,the king who was the first to train navy by dragon boat race (5)浙江绍兴秋瑾(Qiu Jin 1875-1907),a female writer/poet and anti- Qing revolutionary who was killed by Qing government).

I still remember mum's rice dumpling, when she was young she used to prepare dumplings for us during Duanwu festival. Mum's dumplings was the best dumpling I ever tasted. Today, I remember mum, and her dumplings.....

榕树(Ficus microcarpa)

Ficus microcarpa, also known as Chinese Banyan, Malayan Banyan, Indian Laurel or Curtain fig, is a banyan native in the range from Sri Lanka to India, southern People's Republic of China, the Malay Archipelago, the Ryukyu Islands, Australia, and New Caledonia. This is the trees that I used to hear from song,from books, from my ancestral home(Chaoyang),but is doubtful whether I have seen the tree. I read this article from the blog and found the photo were unique and beautiful. Together with the familiar Chinese song, I posted them into my blog just for childhood remembrance.



昨天与朋友经过一村寨名叫“西岐”,因与《封神榜》中的西岐城同名,所以一直都感到有点神秘。虽说是村寨,但却真有一座古城,到现在那古旧的城墙依旧矗立, 稳固而厚实,城内还供有城隍公,俨然是村中有城。朋友叫我绕城而走,我答应了。来到城东门时,兀见门上长着一株榕树,树叶翠绿茂盛,树根穿透城门直伸进了 地下,石门与榕树相拥相抱,浑然一体。树根汲取大地的养分,枝干粗壮,凌空挥臂,这使本来坚固异常的城门都与门屋都裂开了。树大招风,为保护城门,人们把 榕树的枝干锯了。但这样更焕发了榕树的生命力,你看那新长的树叶可不是一般的绿,它得那么强悍,绿得沉稳。寨门上裸露的树根突兀盘结,充满张力,与古老的 城屋形成了鲜明的对比。腐朽与神奇,脑子里忽然闪现这对词,那高踞城门的鸟榕确实让人震撼,让人不得不佩服榕树的生命力,更叹服这天然的奇观。

榕树,我们一直习惯叫它“神树”。偶然的发现勾起了我对榕树的回忆,童年的一幕幕又在眼前浮现。我家屋后就有一棵大榕树,它有多大岁数我不知道,只知道要有 好几个人手拉手才能抱住它。主干的分叉自成一把把“交椅”,我们总喜欢攀着它粗糙凹凸的主干爬到坐着那天然的交椅,编织童年七彩的梦想。白天,我们在树下 乘凉,听老爷爷讲故事,听大人们谈世情,榕荫下有多少故事启迪我们童稚的心灵;我们呼朋唤友玩游戏,树上掉下的树籽,遍地的小石子,就是现成的玩具,欢声 笑语伴随光斑流泻。要是雨来了,我们就紧紧贴着树干,静静地站着,雨点敲击浓密的树叶,粗壮的树干,即兴来一段《十面埋伏》,那急骤的琴声溅起我们满怀的 好奇;雨停了,风吹来,盛在叶片上的雨珠纷纷坠落,掉下无数水滴,飘洒一地音符,我们也摔落发上臂上的珠翠,亮开嗓子跺脚高呼,哗笑声穿透树梢激越碧 空……晚上我们在树下看月亮,数星星,广袤的太空有我们太多的期待。多少个夜晚,我和小伙伴在树下等啊等,盼着吴刚爷爷砍下桂枝,掉到地上,我们拿回家去 可以变出好多米粮,那么我们就能每天都吃干饭,再不用饿肚子啦;我们用洁白的手巾遮住眼睛看月亮,听说只要心诚就能看到看到嫦娥姐姐在月宫里轻歌曼舞,旁 边还有一只可爱的小白兔;我们还一直期待月华姑娘出现,带给我们好运气……

寻根,寻梦!趁假日有空,我邀上同伴,一起去寻访记忆中的榕树,那棵闻名遐迩的奇树——太洞寨门神。绕过狭窄的泥土路,我们来到了太洞村老寨址,远远地就看 到了几株茂盛的榕树,其中一棵树根自然分叉,中间生成一个圆洞,两边连接寨墙,俨然是寨门一个,而且门楣、门楹、门槛清晰可辨。我们去的时候,门楣上几张 鲜红的“麒麟到此”正迎风飘动呢,这说明村子刚有人家娶媳妇或嫁女儿,因为习俗婚嫁喜庆的事,都得告知寨门爷爷的。我们看到村民就从树门自由进出,一幅人 树相谐的景几象。“寨门生神”早有听闻,只是一直未有亲睹,今日一见,真感奇迹,忙为榕树拍照。过往行人对我们侧目而视,好象我们比树还怪吧!有两个小孩 子主动来搭讪,说他听他爷爷说,原来那是一个石门,后来榕树把门柱挤倒了,自己独木成门。经小朋友这么一介绍,我们看到树的旁边果真有几根石柱,零落地躺 倒着。真感慨榕树的古道热肠!也许就因着这份热心,这份向往自由的生命本源,他才能这样彰显生命的强劲张力,摆脱了石柱的束缚,扎根于大地,站成一片天 地,给村民以清凉,以庇护,村民们也早把他当最亲最敬的长者,要不,村子的名字为何就叫“太洞”呢!

其实无论那个村落,最显眼的路口一定都可以看到榕树的身影,它是村寨的守护神,俗话说:无榕不成寨。今天,我真正领略了这句话的内涵。榕树驱体庞大,生命力 强,长寿的能活百岁千年,榕荫常青,涵盖人间,宽容知慧、泰然自若,所以它是大者、寿者、善者、贤者的象征,一直以来还享有中国菩提树的称誉呢。

在榕树的浓阴下,我们告别童稚的梦想,飞离了家乡……如今,蓦然回首,才明白,我们一直都没有飞离,家乡的一草一木,是那样牵动我们的情怀。就像这榕树,心 目中他一直是宽厚仁慈的老爷爷,他博大的胸怀一直是我心灵的栖息之所。榕树的记忆,是这样亲切祥和。记忆中的榕树,也将常青不老。

(作者[夏之莲] 发表于2009-2-19 9:27:00 Pictures and article from source:http//

Chinese Song: 榕树下

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Angelina Jolie visits refugees in thailand UNHCR

Below is the message from UNHCR for 2008 World Refugee Day, it is on 20th June, next month. Remember the day, remember UNHCR, remember the refugee and IDP(Internally Displaced Persons)...

Who is an Internally Displaced Person?

"Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized state border" (UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement).

About World Refugee Day 2008

On June 20, we celebrate World Refugee Day. This year, events around the world focused on the fundamental need for protection. For some, this means economic security; for others, protection is freedom from violence and persecution. On World Refugee Day, we turn our attention to the millions of refugees who live without material, social and legal protection.

Since its foundation in 1951, UNHCR has protected tens of millions of refugees. For us, protection consists of tangible improvements in the lives of forcibly displaced people – from the provision of food and shelter to support for those lacking legal status or those wishing to return to their home countries. On World Refugee Day, we commemorate this vital engagement.

Protection is also about raising awareness. We cannot protect refugees if their plight remains invisible. On World Refugee Day, we highlight the universal nature of protection. Not only are refugees protected all around the globe, but the responsibility for protection is equally global.

Ultimately, protection is a challenge that knows no borders. Neither can it be left to a single agency to provide. This World Refugee Day, we launched a global call for action. We want to promote engagement at the grassroots level, in local communities, workplaces and online. Only through a global network of supporters can we meet the manifold needs of protection.

How can you help?

Online social utilities provide excellent tools for advocacy. Become a fan on Facebook, support our cause and share our videos, photos and latest news with your friends. You can also find us on MySpace, YouTube and Flickr.

For more details on the work of UNHCR, please visit their official website

Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Story for Ham Chim Peng(咸煎饼)

The three rows on the right are the three types of Ham Chin Pen

Ham Chin Pen with glutinous rice filling

Ham Chin Pen or Ham Chin Peng

Ham Chim Peng(咸煎饼 xián jiān bǐng) is a type of salted pan cake or Chinese deep fried bun like pastry. It is a popular street food. Ham in Cantonese literally means salted, Chim Peng means Pan Cake. So Ham Chim Peng means Salted Pan Cake. It is round shape. The Ham Chim Peng may comes in 3 types, the normal( the salted), the red bean filling(tau sar), and the glutinous rice(chu bee). The best Ham Chim Peng is reported to be located at the junction of Cintra Street and Campbell Street, Penang. It open only at night. The stall has been there since I was a small boy. I preferred the one with glutinous rice.

I suddenly remember Ham Chim Peng, after reading of the political development in Perak state. Yau Char Kwai was the food eaten to remember the traitor of Song Dynasty, Qin Hui(
秦檜/秦桧1090-1155), who was the one that caused the downfall of the Song Kingdom. The Chinese people ate Yau Char Kwai as a culture to remember him as traitor. The statues of Qin Hui and his wife was built in front of tomb stone of General Yue Fei (岳飞 1103-1142) in West Lake(西湖), Hangzhou(杭州), China.

Ham Chim Peng is the street food , normally sold together with Yau Char Kwai. The Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng once called the person who caused the downfall of the Perak state government as Wu Sangui(吳三桂 1612-1678), the ancient Chinese General who allowed the Qing armies(Manchus) to enter China and caused the downfall of Ming Dynasty in 1644. The party hopper that caused the downfall of the state government was like Wu Sangui.

It was like allow the party who has no majority seats that was "voted in by the people" to form the state government; their majority was gained by party hopping. Some did not agree with him, they said it is the the freedom of choice of the elected representatives. Whose choice? representative's choice? or people's choice?. Is the justification for hopping accepted by the people? It is the betray of people's choice, betray of democracy......

But democratic election is freedom of people to vote for their representatives in the assembly, and the party with the majority will form the government. The majority is voted by people. But merely by depending on party hopping to become the majority, the said majority is not true majority, it was not voted by the people.The basis essence of the democracy is people, not political party(which only is a vehicle for people to express their choice),not the elected representative(who represented the people). It is still the people...the people's choice. I think the politician need to be re-educated on the spirit of democracy.

The Perak people should eat more Ham Chim Peng to remember the person. Ham Chin Peng is round in shape, which indicated woman. The Yau Char Kwai is in strips, which indicated man. So the Perak people need to deep fry the Ham Chim Peng in the boiling oil at the big wok,to express their displeasure on the mockery and betray on the democracy . So that person who caused the problem, will no longer be happy for what she has done; it is the silence protest on her choice , without reverting to the source or people who voted for the elected representative . Is it better than wearing black shirt?.

Perhaps an iron statute of the person, can be built in front of democracy tree in Ipoh, kneeling in front of democracy tree. The democracy tree is a rain tree, which will closed the leaves at night. Let the rain tree cry each day to remember the dark day of Perak politic. The more emotional one can spit on the statute, as like what happen to Qin Hui in China.

Ham Chim Peng will be famous in history. The rain tree will be famous in history. It will have new story to tell…… and Ham Chim Peng sellers will be happy, they will have fantastic business opportunity in future. The place will become a tourism attraction for the state. This is the strategy of turning crisis into opportunity, a way to stimulate the state economy?. All sectors will be happy. Malaysia boleh!

Let us eat more Ham Chim Peng… express our displeasure on the failure of the democracy in the state, to remember the day the democracy was betray. It can be indoor, it can be outdoor; it can be in the private party; or it can be under the rain tree; ooooh one day it will be our culture(culture is formed by people) and heritage....... The expression of freedom for food......the freedom to use food to tell a real story to our tell a ugly chapter on our Malaysian political history. It is a public duty as an elder of the nation, to pass the story to the younger generation, to teach them to value and respect the people's choice. Will the food be banned?????. (Note : law is make by people, to protect people).

Related posting:

The posting on 17-5-2009, with the title "Yau Char Kwai (油炸鬼)

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Red -Head Junk (Teochew Song) - 红头船

The Teochew song posted in this blog is the folk song about a boat , the Teochew called it Red Head Boat(红头船)or junk, as the boat was painted with red color in the bow or front of the boat. The boat was used to transport rice from Thailand to China, it was made of teak wood, which was only found in Burma and Thailand. The boats sailed in the sea in a group. Other than transport rice to China, the boat also carry Chinese produces and Teochew people on their return trips from China to other part of South East Asia, called Nanyang(南洋)in olden days. The junks sailed through the South China Sea, to Annam(Vietnam), to Siam(Thailand), to Khmer(Cambodia), to Malacca(Malaysia).......
The song sing about their ancestor who left their home land with the boat , leaving behind the children, wife, and parents; looking for unknown future. Many never return, and died in the foreign land, others remained poor and hopeless in foreign land, and stay lonely in the foreign land. There are few who make the fortune and return as a hero to their native land.

Changlin ancient port


The port of departure was the ancient port of Changlin(樟林古港),which was from Chenghai(澄海) district. The ancient port of Changlin was found in 1556 and continued to use as port until 1858. The ancient port of Changlin was however known as the birth place of Red-Head Junk or boat in history. (note: Chenghai was the birth place of Hai-Hong, the father of King Taksin สมเด็จพระเจ้ากรุงธนบุรี of Siam during the Thonburi Kingdom).

After the 2nd Opium War
(第二次鸦片战争)or Arrow War(1856-1860), a new treaty port of Chau-Chow (Swatow), now Shantou(汕头) was forced to open to foreign countries under the unequal Treaty of Tianjin(天津條約). The main military strategic objective of British was to legalize opium(which was banned at that time in China under the anti-drug law) and to legalize the trafficking of Chinese Coolies (which is similar to trading of slaves). This new port was to replace the ancient port of Changlin as the main port of foreign trade in the Chaoshan region(潮汕), mainly to import opium and export coolies. Shantou was formerly a fishing village, located at the Han River delta, open to South China Sea, the port was opened in 1860. Since then, the Teochew Chinese left their homeland as coolies , using the new port of Shantou. They no longer used the Red Head Boat and left as traders from Changlin , they were carried by the bigger vessels and many left as coolies...... from Shantou.

The Opium War- the attack on the port
( picture by E Duncan, 1843; source from photo posting under

Unlike the Red Head Junk from ancient port of Changlin which was a trading port under free trading spirit without foreign pressure ; Shantou was more a trading port of opium and forced coolies under humiliation of foreign power. The Opium War was also part of the cause of the Taiping Rebellion(1850-1864), Boxer Rebellion(1899-1901), and even the later resulted the overthrown of Qing Dynasty(1912), all due to the humiliating unequal treaties after the two Opium Wars. The Teochew and all other oversea Chinese who left from Shantou were the force behind who support financially the Chinese Revolution to overthrow Qing dynasty.(note: Hong Kong was cessed to Britain during First Opium War under Treaty of Nanjing).

The Chinese population in Thailand jumped from 230,000 in 1825 to 792,000 by 1910. By 1932, approximately 12.2% of the population of Thailand was Chinese.

The Singapore has issued a series of stamps on boats in 1980 ,one of the one cents denomination was a Red head Boat( 红头船), the majority of Singapore Chinese are Teochew. Red color not only painted on the boat, but also in their heart, with a hope to better their life, and the life of their family......




头船最初是以申请运入大米而营运的,但是这项生意,获利甚微,因此,洋船主们就改运那些有利可图的货物:从南洋运回来的有象犀、珠宝等奇珍异物,犀 角、肉桂等贵重药材,暹绸、胡椒香料、番藤等物产,只象征性地运载点大米以备查询。南洋的高级木料,如柚木、桑枝、铁梨木等,也作为压再物而运进来。 由潮州运往南洋的潮产有陶瓷品、潮绣、雕刻、蒜头、麻皮、菜籽等。还有从北方转来的人参、鹿茸、兽皮、丝绸等。这些货物,在南洋各地很受欢迎,获利很厚。 几年间,船业就蓬勃发展起来了。

红头般除了由富商巨贾独资拥有外,也有合 资经营的,由一人牵头,招人合股,集资造船,船首不支薪水。仅在全船贸易收入中抽佣金百分之三十左右。其他人员待遇按职别而定。基本上是资本和劳务的合 营。经营洋船获利很厚。红头船的出航,是结们而行的,这是因当时闽粤沿海常有海盗活动。


1980 45日和26日,新加坡邮政厅发生了一套早期船只历史的普通邮票,其中有一枚面值1分的图案是广东省红头船。泰国澄海樟(林)东(陇)区联谊 会将红头船作为会徽的图案。为了纪念红头船在中泰两国友好关系史上不朽的历史功勋,曼谷王朝拉玛三世制作了1台红砂船模型存放在岩尼瓦。红头船给当地百姓 造福不浅,故有民谣:泮船到,猪母生,鸟仔豆,缠上棚。洋船沉。猪母眩,鸟仔豆,生枯蝇。这首民谣反映了红头船在人们心目中的地位,也道出了樟林先辈 对海运事业的希望。


(来源:潮网) 编辑:方珏

Shan Children- happy kids

Shan children are friendly, despite language barrier, they are able to mix with you. We played football together, we talk (I now wonder how we communicate), without even know how to speak each others languages .

They are happy lots, despite their economic disadvantage compared to kids from the modern world of the city. They walked to school happily, they came back from school with joy, their faces are always with smiles. Their needs are basic, no computer games; just laughter, sport and traditional games ...

They are more happy than the city kids......

They enjoy life.

Young Lahu Mother

She is a very young mother, only 15 years old. Girls who did not attend school will not only missed the opportunity to acquire knowledge, but will marry earlier, and become a mother at young age.

This is one of the social problem affect Lahu hill tribes in the remote hill, far from the school. It is tough life for them as they need to walk a long way from school to their village. The lucky one will have their elders arranged for pick up truck to transport them, otherwise it will be a long distance walk. Many missed school. The education problem not only affect girls, but young boys too.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Lahu Village, Lahu people

The Lahu Village and Lahu People

Lahu people are originated from China. There are in total 711,500 Lahu in the world.They are distributed in China, and South East Asia :-

(i) Lahu are the minority hill tribes in People Republic of China, where 453,705 lived in Yunnan (云南) Province, they are called Lahuzu, Ladhulsi or Kawzhawd(拉祜族). The tribes are mainly distributed in the river basin of Lancangjiang or Lancang River (澜沧江流域), near Pu’er city(formerly思茅, now Pu'er 普洱which is a tea city), Lincang city(临沧).The Lahu are mainly in Lancang Lahu Autonomous County(澜沧拉祜族自治县) under the jurisdiction of Pu'er Prefecture level City (普洱市), and Menglian(孟连傣族拉祜族佤族自治县) located in Pu'er Prefecture level City(普洱市), Shuangjiang Autonomous Counties(双江拉祜族佤族布朗族傣族自治县) located in Lincang Prefecture level city(临沧市), mainly South Western Yunnan; some are also in neighboring Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture(西双版纳傣族自治州), Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture (红河哈尼族彝族自治州) and Yuxi (玉溪市地区)About 80% of Lahu are at the west of Lancangjiang or Lancang River(80%的拉祜族聚居在澜沧江以西地区). (note: Lancangjiang or Lancang River (澜沧江) is the upstream of Mekong River).

(ii) Burma, about 150,000, mainly in Shan State of Northern Burma, and concentrated in Kentung district. But many of the Lahu from Burma ,like other races have migrated to North Thailand to escape hardship under military rule of Burma;

(iii) North Thailand, about 100,000. The Lahu in Thailand are located primarity in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son Province.

(iv) There are also 10,000 in Laos, staying in the 16 villages of northern Laos. They are dispersed in the Long, Viangphouka and Luang Namtha districts of Luang Namtha Province, and the Meung and Tonpheung districts of Bokeo Province,

(v) 1,500 in Lai Chau Province in Vietnam.

The Lahu people are divided into sub groups, mainly:

(i) Lahu Na (Black Lahu)

(ii) Lahu Nyi (Red Lahu)

(iii) Lahu Hpu (White Lahu)

(iv) Lahu Shi (Yellow Lahu) or Kui or Kucong

(v) Lahu Shehleh.

The Lahu subgroups are named after color, which are the color of their traditional dress. These groups do not function as a tribes or clans. There are no kin groups above that of the family unit.

Lahu traced their descent bilaterally or bilineal, the descent of individual is reckoned from both father and mother, unlike unilineal, where the descent is reckoned from either father or mother. The Lahu people are having gender equality in kinship.

The traditional religion was polytheistic. Mahayana Buddhism was introduced to them in late 1600s and became widespread. The Christianity however was established in Burma and North Thailand, and has been spreading since. It was reported that 50% of Burmese Lahu are Christian.

The majority of Lahu in Thailand are red Lahu, who practiced polytheism. There are Black, Yellow and Shehleh who have been Christian for more than 100 years. Black Lahu are the most populated in South East Asia.

Lahu people are very committed to maintain their traditional way of life, and they normally stay in settlement remote from roads and towns. They are primarily subsistence farmer, but also proud of their hunter-warrior heritage. They are strict, serious people governed by principle of right and wrong, each individual is following the common will of the elders. Less important is placed on extended family, but they are strongly committed to unity of the tribe for survival. They are friendly and simple people.

The women -gender equality, some of them are the leaders in the village. The male respect the view of their woman.

The young girls and their colorful traditional dress

Lahu women are skilled in weaving cloth, both on back-strap and foot-treadle looms, producing delicate patchwork trims, and unusual embroidery work. The Black Lahu women wear the most distinctive costumes within this tribe. They wear a black cloak with diagonal cream stripes. The top of the sleeve is decorated in bold colors of red and yellow.

拉祜族: 民族概况

拉祜族是我国云南省西南部的一个山区少数民族,自称拉祜,他称有倮黑哥搓目舍苦聪等。主要分布在澜沧江流域的思茅、临沧 两地区,相邻的西双版纳傣族自治州、红河哈尼族彝族自治州及玉溪地区也有分布。约80%的拉祜族聚居在澜沧江以西地区。根据2000年第五次全国人口普查 统计,拉祜族人口数为453705。使用拉祜语,属汉藏语系藏缅语族彝语支。拉祜族人民长期与汉族、傣族密切交往,多能兼用汉语和傣语。过去部分拉祜族曾 使用过西方传教士创制的拉丁字母形式的文字。1957年,在原有字母的基础上创制了拼音文字。

祜族渊源于甘、青地区的古羌人,历史上,曾有古羌人的部分支系向南迁徙,进入今云南境内,分布在金沙江南岸地带,秦汉时期,活动于洱海地区的彝语支各族体 被泛称为昆明夷,其中便含有拉祜族的先民。自唐代起,拉祜族先民自金沙江南岸地带分东西两路陆续南迁。其中西路一支,经今弥渡、巍山,渡澜沧江,到达 临沧,分布在澜沧江以西地区,是为拉祜纳。东路一支,顺今哀牢山西侧和无量山东侧南下,分布在澜沧江以东地区,是为拉祜西。与拉枯族在历史上有密 切关系的彝族,称拉祜纳为大倮黑,拉祜西为小倮黑,称拉祜族寨子为倮黑加。元、明两代,拉祜族人民多处于傣族土司统治之下,清末在今澜沧县设 镇边厅。

祜族的服饰具有独特的民族风格。男子裹黑色头巾,穿无领大襟衫和裤管宽大的长裤。拉祜纳支系妇女裹一丈多长的头巾,末端从背后垂及腰际。她们穿开岔很高的 长袍,衣领周围和岔子两边都镶有彩色几何纹布块或条纹布条,沿衣领至开襟嵌有银泡。拉祜熙支系妇女则穿短衣褶裙或统裙。同汉族、傣族人民交往较多的地方, 拉祜族男女也爱穿汉式和傣式服装。拉祜族主食大米,辅以玉米、薯类、豆类、养子等。蔬菜有萝卜、青菜、瓜类、豆类,喜吃辣椒。拉祜族男女都喜吸草烟,也吃 煮茶,尤嗜饮酒。拉祜族十分热情好客,逢年过节,都要邀请周围傣、哈尼、布朗等族人民一起饮酒会餐。这时全寨大宰牲畜,各户都要分一节大肠和几勺鲜血,伴 以盐巴、辣椒,剁细生吃。拉祜族认为,剁生肉是待客的最好菜肴。房屋建筑为竹木结构的木桩斜顶干栏建筑——楼房。适应小家庭组织的木桩建筑有方形和椭 圆形两种,另一种是大型竹木建筑,一般由12根至21根木桩架起,内分若干住房。受汉族或彝族影响的村落,通常采用汉式土墙平房,房顶以茅草或木板覆盖。

祜族实行一夫一妻制,一般不与他族通婚。男女青年恋爱自由,父母虽可干预儿女婚姻,但很少包办,一般都尊重儿女的选择。拉祜西支系还较多地保留双系的俄折俄卡制度,男性祖先的男性后代属一俄折俄卡,女性祖先的女性后代一母系俄折俄卡。子女有平等的财产继承权。双系间多仅限于派出姨表婚。多由女方向男方 表示爱意,婚礼在女家举行。男子常住女嫁。或南方入赘3年。拉钴纳支系已实行父系制度,排除姑表婚或禁止父系5代之内通婚。由男方表示爱意,婚礼在男家举 行,入赘3年或在妻方居住3天。



20 世纪50年代前,拉祜族信奉原始宗教,崇拜多神。拉祜族认为万物均有精灵依附,自然界中的日月星辰、风雨雷电等现象均有精灵主宰,因而对这些自然现象和自 然力表示崇拜。拉祜族崇拜多神,诸如天神、地神、雷神、司报神等,都是拉祜族崇拜的重要之神。清初,大乘佛教经大理僧侣杨德洲传入后,拉祜族民间也流行此 教。澜沧和临沧少数村落的拉祜族居民信仰基督教或天主教。

祜族的传统节日有春节、端午节、火把节、尝新节等。春节是拉祜族最盛大的节日,新年前夕,家家户户舂米打粑粑;节日期间,男女老少穿红着绿,换上新装,走 村串寨,相互拜访,或跳各种集体舞蹈,整个村寨一片欢腾。火把节也别有情趣,届时以松木为燎,火把齐燃,蔚为壮观,身着节日盛装的青年男女在篝火旁载歌载 舞,尽情欢歌,气氛热烈。


Their houses are mainly built on high stilts with walls of bamboo or wooden planks, thatched with grass. A ladder leads to the open central living area, with a store room to one side and living quarters to the other.

Their domestic animals like chicken, pigs and buffalos are kept in the basement corral.

The view from the village house

The view from the village

They are good horseman, the remaining trace of hunter background. The Han Chinese called them tiger hunter. The Thai called them Hunter.

The wooden toilet outside the house. It is simple and basic as you can found in rural areas of Asia. The nature fertilizer for their farm are derived from here, organic and environmental friendly.

The youtube video posting may not be the hit, but it shown the Lahu house building , it is a team activities as a closely knitted community. The pictures are taken during the Christmas last December in North Thailand.