We may have come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.

Before I sat down with the files in the research room at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), I had no idea what my grandfather or great-grandfather looked like or that they had a birth name and a marriage name. I had no clue about the challenges they faced, the obstacles they overcame, andContinue reading “We may have come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 Becoming a Sojourner

Becoming a Chinese American was not my father’s goal, at least not in the beginning of his sojourns to the Gold Mountain. Like his father (Louie Mow) and his grandfather (Louie Fat), he intended to create wealth in the land across the sea and return home a successful Gold Mountain man. They intended to stayContinue reading “Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 Becoming a Sojourner”

Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 Coming Home

  Coming home: I knew today would be miraculous, but I have no idea how exactly it would play out. The trick is to get out of my own way. Today was the first day we hit a road block in the village, Sam Dor, where my father and two uncles were born. Only twoContinue reading “Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 Coming Home”

Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 – First Day

Our first rooting day gave us an opportunity to experience two of Albert Cheng’s adages: 1. Be flexible (which means “we think we’re going to one person’s village, but we might end up at another’s) and 2. Be open to miracles, aka divine intervention from our ancestors. As our bus rolled into the village, weContinue reading “Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 – First Day”

Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 Reflections

Thirty-one years ago, I started out on a similar journey. China re-opened its doors in the 1970s after over two decades. I was determined to learn more about my father’s homeland even though he would not answer my questions about his life in China prior to his immigration to the U.S. I was clueless ofContinue reading “Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 Reflections”

Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 In China at last

The journey begins and already I am confused. What day is it? I know I left San Francisco at 00:58 on October 30th, I know I flew for hours and hours, sleeping when I could, eating dinner at 2:00 A.M. and breakfast shortly before landing. However, here’s what I cannot wrap my mind around crossingContinue reading “Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 In China at last”

Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 About The Red Thread of Fate

Rooting is like the Chinese legend about the red thread of fate 姻缘红线. According to this myth, the gods tie an invisible red cord around the ankles of those that are destined to meet one another in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way. The two people connected by the redContinue reading “Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 About The Red Thread of Fate”

Rooting for Truth寻找真相 An Endless Quest

Sometimes when we search for something, we discover that someone else has had the same mission, the same urge, the same quest. I came across a paragraph in a book that I was drawn to like a moth to a light. It speaks volumes about what my quest has meant to me. “The search forContinue reading “Rooting for Truth寻找真相 An Endless Quest”

Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 My Journey to the West

Like Xuanzang, the 7th Century dynasty monk, who went West in search of knowledge from the homeland of Buddhism. I am heading West in search of the homeland of my Chinese roots. My journey has also been one of discovery about Buddhism, Taoism and even Christianity and the roles they have played in my families’Continue reading “Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 My Journey to the West”

Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 in a Small Village on the Other Side of the Globe

Until my father died, I did not know where he was born. No matter how many times I had asked him when he was alive, he evaded my question. Consequently, the only think I knew about Dad’s life in China was that he was afraid of water because his father threw him into the river.Continue reading “Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 in a Small Village on the Other Side of the Globe”