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Young overseas Chinese to reconnect with their culture

Updated: 2023-09-23 10:56 ( China Daily )
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A news conference in Beijing on Sept 15 to announce that the 11th International Teochew Youth Convention will be held from Nov 13 to 15 at the China National Convention Center. CHINA DAILY

To help young overseas Chinese reconnect with their culture and participate in the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, the 11th International Teochew Youth Convention will be held at the China National Convention Center in Beijing from Nov 13-15, according to Chen Siyu, chairman of the convention and head of the Chaoshan Chamber of Commerce in Beijing.

Held every two years since 1999, the event is expected to attract about 1,000 overseas Chinese from more than 20 countries and regions this year, Chen said at a news conference in Beijing on Sept 15. This year's theme is "New Era, New Journey, New Overseas Chinese Youth, New Development".

The Teochew are Chinese people native to Chaoshan, a region in eastern Guangdong province, including Chaozhou, Shantou and Jieyang cities, who speak the Teochew dialect, and the conference will be livestreamed in Mandarin, Teochew dialect and English to reach more Chinese overseas, according to Chen. There are more than 15 million Teochew people living in about 100 countries and regions.

Chen Xu, director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, hopes that the convention and the International Teochew Youth Federation can play a bigger role as a bridge between China and the world to promote traditional Chinese culture and pass it down through the generations.

Li Yibiao, president of the federation, says that as the fortunate generation born in a good era, overseas Chinese have witnessed the motherland's rapid economic growth since opening up and development, and they have a close connection with their homeland.

"In the new era, how to achieve new development and win the future is the question that needs us to think and answer. Inheriting the hardworking spirit of the older generation, the young Teochew generation should use the convention as an opportunity for further discussion on how to keep the innovative edge," Li says.

While exploring the future of innovation, the convention will launch a root-seeking journey for young Teochew people, who will reconnect with and learn about their cultural identity and familial roots during their trip to Beijing, Xi'an, Shaanxi province, Shanghai, and the Chaoshan area, because many young Teochew people know little of Chinese culture or language.

To let the young Teochew generation be seen and understood by the public, a report by the China Youth and Children Research Association will be released during the conference.

Chen Siyu says the report will cover two fields: analysis and suggestions for the young Teochew generation's development, and the role that they can play in promoting traditional culture overseas.

"We are glad to see that the older generation of overseas Chinese and the young generation have used our own advantages and resources to actively participate and be involved in communication between China and the world," Li says, adding that there are a large number of companies run by Teochew businessmen, who are one of the main forces driving dynamic growth, established across the world.

After more than 20 years of development, the International Teochew Youth Federation has set up close connections with overseas Teochew people. Since the first conference was held in Hong Kong in 1999 to strengthen the ties between Teochew-speaking businessmen overseas, who are found all over the world in large numbers, the biennial conference has been held in many countries and regions, including Singapore, Thailand and Canada.

As a popular saying goes among Teochew people, "Where there is tide, there are Teochew people." Under the influence of Teochew immigration, characteristic Teochew objects and culture like kung fu tea, Teochew opera, cuisine, embroidery and wood carving have entered the international stage.


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