I recently learned Big Uncle and Second Uncle (my mother’s brothers) are working on the family tree and some documents have been circulating between them. Although I attended a one-night Chinese geneology seminar at the VPL over the summer, I have no idea what Chinese family tree and history documents are like. There was the family tree page, of course, with the names of all my male ancestors dating back six generations. There were also pages and pages of a poem or story that Second Uncle, a retired researcher who can read Chinese, couldn’t make heads or tails of. I hoped it might be our “name poem” containing my mother and her siblings’ names, but it wasn’t. Of course, the pages that caught my attention–although I don’t understand them any more than the others–had diagrams like this. Is it our village? Where different generations have lived? The diagram is so… Chinese in nature.
Even though I am holding a copy of a copy of a copy (etc.), I still felt the weight of importance of holding something really personal and historical with these diagrams. I just don’t know if I’ll ever know what it means.
This is a blog series complementing my regular blog posts with the original idea was to share our parallel lives, NPY’s and mine, while I’m in Toronto and he’s in Vancouver, 3,400 km away. For me, it’s been pretty fun because I’m this long-time blogger and enjoy repackaging parts of my life in “blog bites”. It’s been more difficult for NPY who hasn’t experienced a change in scenery (although I do not think it is necessary) so I’ll be continuing this with just my photos. I might have something every day. I might not.