Rebuilding the Ancestral Village: Singaporeans in China

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By Khun Eng Kuah-Pearce

Rebuilding the Ancestral Village examines the relationship between one group of Singaporean Chinese and their ancestral village in Fujian, China. The author explores the reasons why the Singaporean Chinese continue to maintain ties with their ancestral village and how they use ancestor worship and religion in the ancestral village to reproduce traditional Chinese culture.

Some Singaporeans report feeling morally obliged to assist in village reconstruction and to support infrastructure developments such as new roads, bridges, schools and hospitals. Others have helped with small scale industrial and retail activities. For their part, officials and villagers in the ancestral home have utilized various strategies to encourage the Singaporeans to revisit their ancestral village, sustain heritage ties, and help enhance the moral economy.

This ethnographic study examines how two geographically distinct groups of Chinese have come together to re-establish their lineage and identity through cultural and economic activities.


"...this book offers fresh insights into the studies of the Chinese lineage and inspires readers to reflect upon how linage institutes remains relevant in the modern-day global village. Kuah-Pearce advances current Chinese overseas studies into a new direction." - Lai Yu-Yu


Khun Eng KUAH-PEARCE is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Honorary Academic Director of the Centre for Anthropological Research at the University of Hong Kong.


Publication Year: 2011
256 pages, 229mm x 153mm
ISBN: 978-9971-69-525-5, Paperback

NUS Press and Hong Kong University Press