This title was first published in 2000: This is a discussion of the relationship between one group of Singapore Chinese and their ancestral village in Fujian in China. It explores the various reasons why the Singapore Chinese continue to want to maintain ties with their ancestral village and how they go about reproducing Chinese culture (in the form of ancestor worship and religion) in the village milieu in China. It further explores the reasons why the Singapore Chinese feel morally obliged to assist their ancestral village in village reconstruction (providing financial contributions to infrastructure development such as the buildings of roads, bridges, schools, hospitals) and to help with small scale industrial and retail activities. Related to this is how the village cadres and teenagers, through various strategies, managed to encourage the Singapore Chinese to revisit their ancestral village and help with village reconstruction, thereby creating a moral economy. The main argument here concerns the desire of the Singapore Chinese to maintain a cultural identity and lineage continuity with their ancestral home. Ethnographically, this anthropological study examines two groups of Chinese separated by historical and geographical space, and their coming together to re-establish their cultural identity through various cultural and economic activities. At the theoretical level, it seeks to add a new dimension to the study of Chinese transnationalism and diaspora studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction. 2. Constructing a Singapore Chinese Cultural Identity. 3. The Ancestral Village in Anxi County. 4. Negotiating Collective Memories and Social Experiences. 5. The Moral Economy of Rebuilding the Ancestral Village. 6. The Bond of Ancestor Worship. 7. Religious Revivalism. 8. Rewriting Genealogy and Reclaiming One's Cultural Roots. 9. Chinese Lineage as a Cultural Network. 10. Conclusion: From Lineage to Transnational Chinese Network.