Yesterday went beyond well, the American Owyang family (we mainly used the internet to find each other and then communicate) travelled to our hometown village of DaLing in Southern China where we greeted by distant cousins.
As the group leader, I’ve experience being here before, I was here in 2002, and saw many of the sites. It was great to see a strong formal connection between the American Owyang’s and the native Owyangs, we’ve now bonded and have a deeper global relationship.
There are twice to three times as many Owyang’s living abroad than in the village, most headoff to city centers to work (ZhongShan, HK, Beijing) or even oversees like our family.
This visit of 22 Owyang’s and friends was the largest migration ever back to the DaLian, most visits are 2-6 people on average.
We were able to get some of the email addresses of some of the translators and locals and will keep in touch, forging the relationship. Below are some of the select photos that best summarizes the day.
During the evening a banquet was held outdoors, traditional local food was prepared, this was a joint celebration both in respect of the elders (think Senior Citizen day) as well as giving celebrating the reunion. Shirley and I were forced to dance for everyone…we took one for the team. A dance troupe performed western style dancing and singing with Chinese influence. They added traditional ribbon and fan dancing as well.
Although I already have a set, many of the American Owyangs were able to receive a genealogy book on our family history, it contains a detailed family history that goes back centuries and a second book on the local area. In typical custom, we donated a small amount of money to the village and asked it be used for the seniors, in respect and honor for the event.
Tomorrow I head off to Hong Kong, then a few days after that we head to Japan for a week to visit my cousin who is teaching English there.
Thanks for the positive emails and comments, sorry to deviate from the usual Web Strategy discussions, however part of what makes me whole is getting some personal time, and connecting with family and origins.