Rooting for Truth – patience and persistence pays off!

Another day at NARA (National Archives) and digging through more files, I hit pay dirt. The ratio of Chinese women to men in the early days of Chinese Sojourners to the Gold Mountain (U.S.) was very small. So, I cannot help wonder what motivated my grand-uncle to bring his young wife, Toy Shee, to San FranciscoContinue reading “Rooting for Truth – patience and persistence pays off!”

What the hell!

Have you ever wondered what Hell is like? That’s where I journeyed the first time I saw my father’s ghost. Here’s a preview of his hell:   ____Here I go again. A familiar tug at my third eye, a tingling sensation spread from my forehead pressing against my eye sockets and down to my upperContinue reading “What the hell!”

“Ching Ming Time”

It’s that time of the year again. As my father’s ghost would say, ” Ching Ming time.” I did not know what Ching Ming was until my father’s ghost visited me and wanted me to perform the ceremonies. Ugh! Ceremonies! As far as I knew Dad did not do these ceremonies when he was alive,Continue reading ““Ching Ming Time””

Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 Doors of Guangdong

  I had no idea when I started “rooting” that it would be so much more than finding my father’s village and honoring my ancestors in their homeland. It will take me years to fully process the experience. As a student of architecture, I was fascinated with the doors and windows. They became the symbol ofContinue reading “Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 Doors of Guangdong”

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 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 with Friends

I am part of the Chinese American story, but one thing that has made my mission to discover my heritage challenging is that I do not speak, read, or write Chinese. Now, I have friends to help me overcome that hurdle. My group is called Roots Plus. It’s for Rooters over thirty and also forContinue reading “Rooting for Truth 寻找真相 with Friends”

Rooting for Truth 寻找真相

  Pigs are known for their rooting skills, and since I was born in the year of the pig (Chinese calendar), I ‘m sure I have a nose for rooting. I’m not looking for truffles, but I am searching for something precious, at least to me. My ancestors. This year, I joined a Roots group, anContinue reading “Rooting for Truth 寻找真相”

When drinking water, remember the source.

  As I begin my roots journey to my father’s homeland with the Roots Plus group, I am inspired by the  Chinese adage “When you drink water, think of its source.” It means to remember where and how the water came from.  Don’t just be thankful for the water: be thankful for all the elementsContinue reading “When drinking water, remember the source.”