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
After the 2nd Opium War (第二次鸦片战争)or Arrow War(1856-1860), a new treaty port of
The Opium War- the attack on the port
( picture by E Duncan, 1843; source from photo posting under www.portcities.org.uk)
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......
红 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 年4月5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。