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By Kung Eng Kuah

This booklet illustrates the connection among one staff of Singaporean chinese language and their ancestral village in Fujian, China. It explores the explanations why the Singaporean chinese language proceed to take care of ties with their ancestral village and the way they reproduce chinese language tradition via ancestor worship and faith within the ancestral village.

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Extra resources for Rebuilding the Ancestral Village: Singaporeans in China

Sample text

However, from the 1920s onwards, a changed British colonial policy involving a relaxation of immigration law encouraged more Chinese women to emigrate. Since then women had arrived in greater number. By 1947, the Chinese male-to-female ratio in Singapore had reached a near-balance, with 387,883 males to 342,250 females (Freedman, 1957: 25). This change coincided with an increasing political instability in China that pushed women out of the country, with a substantial number of women immigrating to Singapore to join their husbands or to marry.

Most of the time, in both Singapore and Anxi, I was regarded as an insider, and a high level of trust was lavished on me. This brought me to a major dilemma: with so much trust lavished on the researcher, there was an expectation to write only the good and not the bad. To a large degree, the interpretation and the presentation of the data reflects the intersubjective views of the researcher and her informants. While I have consciously attempted to distance myself from my informants, it is inevitable that such subjectivity can intrude into the analysis.

Indd 25 11/11/2010 11:35 AM 26 Rebuilding the Ancestral Village Anxi. Two sets of questionnaires were also issued to a random sample of 40 Singapore Anxi lineage members, one for first-generation migrants and the other for those with Anxi ancestry only, in order to provide greater quantitative breadth. The questionnaire interview was conducted with the help of a research assistant. This part of the research was conducted from February to March 1995. Fieldwork in Anxi did not follow the conventional village-study pattern.

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