Jiatun Village, Wenchang, Hainan 海南省文昌县会文镇家屯村

Jee Say Hai, Penang, June 2018



2018-01 route

My parents migrated from Hainan Island, China and ultimately resided in Penang in the 1950s.  According to our ancestral family records, our ancesters originated from Anhui Province (安徽省)and moved southwards and then to Hainan Island 600 over years ago. 

As time past by I became more interested to know the place beyond Hainan Island where our ancesters came from. In September 2017 I embarked on a journey to trail the route.

Accompanied by a friend we flew from Penang to Hong Kong and proceeded to Shenzhen after landed.  The entire journey (please refer route indicated by arrow) in China was on rail.

2018-02 yu temple 1

This temple is the ancestral worship venue for the Yu clan family (俞氏宗祠). The temple built in 1787, is located in Wangkoucun, Wuyuan, Jiangxi Province, (江西省婺源县汪口村)28 km northeast of Wuyuan town(婺源县城).

2018-03 yu temple 2
This is another Yu clan temple(俞氏宗祠) in Wuyuan(婺源县).  It is located in Xichong Village(西冲村), 18 km northwest of Wuyuan town.


2018-04 parade
A Lunar New Year street parade seen in 2018 in Wuyuan town.  Yu clan rank second biggest surname in Wuyuan, ranking first is Jiang clan and third is Li clan.  There are at least 14 villages where Yu clan community reside.


2018-05 yu

The evolution of Yu Chinese character, extreme left denotes the earliest stage and on the extreme right is the latest version.

2018-06 passport

My mother's passport with 4 children issued on 15 April 1948 by the Republic of China Consulate in Penang for the journey to Hainan, China.  We were in Hainan and witnessed the birth of a new nation, the People's Republic of China on 1 October 1949. We returned to Penang in 1953 and four years later witnessed the birth of yet another nation the Federation of Malaya on 31 August 1957.

2018-07 jsh trio
On 3 March 2018 I interviewed Yu Guoqiu (俞国球, 又名俞自俊)(centre) who uncovered some interesting story about the Jiatun Village(家屯村); on the left is Yu Wu(俞武) whose father Yu Ziqiang(俞自强) was the last Headmaster of Jiatun Village primary school which was closed down in the early 1950s.


2018-08 river

This river passes through a number of villages, Jiatun Village being one of them.

2018-09 buffalo
The river has been tamed after it has been deepen, straighten and both sides of the bank raised.


2018-10 satalite 1

A satellite view of the Village surrounded by farm land on the right and a river on the left that provides water need for the farms. 

2018-11 map river
Location of the Village, the river, the sea and the surroundings.


2018-12 cekancun
My mother's ancestral home (Chikan Village): 2.4 km away from my father's ancestral home (Jiatun Village)


2018=13 bridge
The bridge across the river that passes through Jiatun Village.


2018-14 papaya
This papaya farm is located alongside the river bank near Yintun town; the seeds were from Bidor, Malaysia


2018-15 seed

I bought a variety of vegetable seedings from Thailand for our clan men to grow but was not successful. 


2018-16 hainan saigon
The sea route from Jiatun Village to Pnom Penh, Cambodia in the early 1950s


2018-17 interview writer
On 1 January 2013 I interviewed Headmaster Mr Lin (third from left) related to an article about Baiyan written by him. Baiyan during its booming days was nicknamed "Little Shanghai".  Besides the People Bank of China, there were three other international banks, namely HSBC Bank, Chartered Bank and Citibank.    


2018-18 bank boc
The building in Baiyan where the People Bank of China once occupied.


 2018-19 co-op
This was a co-operative building with its name remains intact, a sign of its glorious past. 


 2018-20 school
My eldest sister studied in this school in the early 1950s. The school building then can not be compared to this one.  It was decently built those day.  She had to walk 3.5km from Jiatun Village to attend class.  Although she wore clog (not shoes) to school some time she preferred bare footed to ensure the clog last longer!  


 2018-21 huiwen

The Weiwen town today.  The Japanese occupied Hainan in February 1939.  As Baiyan was not a strategic site for the Japanese army, they removed the building material and re-build a new township 2.8 km away, known as Weiwen today.


2018-22 dessert
Local dessert called "ta kak lao" in Hainanese dialect, ready for next stage of production: steaming.


2018-23 tea
Finished product: that's your breakfast, a cup of hot tea and the "ta kak lao"


2018-24 maker
The production place.


2018-25 puakia
Another local dessert: "pua kia" in Hainanese dialect.


2018-26 chicken rice
This is my first meal every time I arrived in Hainan.  After check-in the hotel I went straight to my favarite restaurant.  The dish called "chicken rice set" costs RMB45.


2018-27 village junction
This is the junction where the Haikou-Sanya old trunk road and the road leading to Jiatun Village meet. The Village is 1.3 km from this junction.


2018-28 satalite 2
A satellite view of the Village, note the confluence of the rivers, directly pointing towards the Village before it bends. Picture also shows the location of the old clan temple (top), the entrance to the Village (centre) and the village well (bottom)


2018-29 temple door
The main door of the clan temple.  The four Chinese characters "俞氏祖祠"are still legible despite sign of sabotage.


2018-30 temple name
A close look at the four Chinese characters


2018-31 temple wall
The wall surrounding the clan temple apparently remains strong and intact.


2018-32 temple compound
The temple once housed a primary school.  The compound, served as the venue for social gathering and school pupils play ground


2018-33 NY parade elder
One of the grand village events is the lantern parade which is held two or three days before the 15th day of the first month of the Lunar year: old and young, male and female carry colourful lanterns walk round the village to woo the new year with blessing and good luck.  Firework was on display and fire crackers were let off.


2018-34 NY parade man
Handsome man ....


2018-35 NY parade lady
Pretty lady ....


2018-38 NY parade group
Family members group ....


2018-39 NY parade firework
Firework ....


2018-40 NY parade end
See you next year ....


2018-41 ancestry book
An ancestral book, a sad sight when I first encountered it: a lack of an understand of the significance of such record


2018-42 ancestry page
One of the pages states .... Yu surname originated from Yu Fu who was an imperial doctor to the Emperor ....


2018-43 ancestry house
Father built this house in autumn 1936


2018-44 father son
In December 2012 my youngest son and me visited the ancestral house


2018-45 kitchen
Three kitchens belonging to three Yu clan families


2018-46 room 1
The house has four rooms; this is the right front room; father and mother photo is seen here.


2018-47 room 2
These big jars are kept in the right back room; they were meant to store paddy harvested.


2018-48 sisterMy eldest sister who is now residing in Penang met her childhood friend from the Village in December 2007.  She left the Village in 1955 at he age of 20 for Penang after staying in the Village for 7 year.


2018-49 niece

These two sisters, the second generation from Penang visited the Village in December 2007. 

2018-50 children
The author and the children photograph in front of the ancestral house.


2018-51 poem
A Hainanese poem commonly known to most elderly folk


2018-52 jsh sis
The author and his eldest sisters visited the vegetable farm in the Village in December 1997


2018-53 sketch
My parents brought me to Hainan where I spent my childhood for over 5 years.  This is a sketch depicting my memory of the Village and its surrounding.  I reckon the sketch was done during my secondary school days.