Hokkien History & Culture
Ah Gong Kong Ko! (My Grandfather’s Story in Hokkien)
In the 19th century, trade winds fanned the flames of diaspora from China’s Fujian province to many parts of South East Asia. One of these promising lands is the free trade heartland of Singapore.
Chinese clan associations
The Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan provided critical assistance in securing accommodations, jobs and burial services for the early immigrants.
While adopting many customs of the foreign land, these new xinke (新客) also brought with them their native traditions and cultures. This heritage legacy is something which we should all be proud of.
Hokkien remains today the most spoken variety of Chinese dialects in Southeast Asia. From its homeland in southern Fujian, its status has transformed from vernacular language in China to lingua franca in Singapore more than a century ago, and to heritage language this century.
Just as fascinating is the presence of Southeast Asian varieties of Hokkien, and the use of Hokkien as a major element in Singlish.
Learn more about our Hokkien roots, language and idioms, customs, profession in the video.