Sarawakiana became a journey.
Where would my journey start? Perhaps my journey began with the birth of my grandfather Tiong Kung Ping, who came to Sibu with Wong Nai Siong.
Grandfather Kung Ping was born in 1886 in Yunzhi, a suburb of Mingqing in Fujian, China.
My big extended family means a lot to me, as it would to any one. Thus when a family reunion was mooted sometime ago I was thrilled.
Then we started bulding a family tree. The idea or ideas originated in just one person. So the poem goes, It only takes a spark......That was as long ago as 1992.
Having a family reunion takes time, commitment, and planning. It sure did . the family tree took a long time to build, as it spans six generations, and the family members are almost all over the world, Canada, Britain, the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and in several towns in Sarawak.
The Third Generation started a Yahoo Group and more than 300 messages later, we formed a committee in 2007 to garner the forces for a REAL Reunion in Sibu perhaps (perhaps?) in 2008 March or December the months which seemed to be very suitable, Ching Ming or Christmas/
The committee had an organising chairperson, a treasurer, a secretary, a member each for food, transport and accommodation. this committee had only one skype discussion, and registration started and a date settled. Done!
When the family came together, there were 108! All meeting at RH Hotel in Sibu for the first time, many started to introduce themselves. Some were tongue tied, some were almost choking. But it was warmth and lots of soul searching and brain work!!
That is what family reunion does to you.
Testimonies of Strengths of our family
Communication with family members helps to generate information and maintain interest over the months of planning for the reunion. Our Yahoo Group was a great means of communications.
2. Facilities & Food
Indeed the RH Hotel was the correctly selected facility, the family reunion is perceived as a time for a vacation and members want a nice place. Very comfortable and near to shopping too. A 10 on the scale.
3. the Informal dinner and lots of old photos on the white screen
Family members do look forward to having fun together, getting to know each other, meeting each after a gap of some 30 years. Photograph taking breaks down a lot of barriers and distances.
It does cost money to come all the way from the ends of the world. But with a few accountants in the family, the planning made the reunion a very affordable one. We value one free breakfast sponsored by an ethereal ever green Aunt.
5. Family History
With the help of the younger computer savvy generation the sharing of the family history as major activity at the family reunion became a piece of cake. Something that was considered an impossibility became a reality.
6. After the Reunion
After the reunion, now it is time for evaluation.
We definitely can call it a success (but we need to admit to our teething problems and shortcomings) - thanks the family....
The Tiong Way!
We tapou back (tiong) back a lot of love, family spirit, telephone numbers, future contacts,medical tips,secret recuoes, pomeloes,new friendship,new respect, promises and smiles......
.......and Ah Goong would have been so proud of us. So much noise, so much laughter!!
Till we meet again.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Sarawakiana became a journey.
Memoir by I Am Sarawakiana at 9:19 PM