In Search of Roots Program to Expand

The Chinese Culture Center (CCC) is in the process of planning an adults version of the In Search of Roots program. Since 1991, In Search of Roots has provided a unique opportunity for young Chinese Americans (aprroximately 18 to 27 years of age) to explore their history and genealogy and to travel their ancestral villages in Guangdong province, China. In Search of Roots has given them a deeper understanding of themselves, their families, and the meaning of being Chinese American.

There has been growing interest among adults older than the typical Rooters for a similar program. Thus, CCC is planning to an In Search of Roots program for this older group. We hope to take the first group to China in mid-April 2009 or early November 2009.

The first group will focus on individuals and families with ancestral roots in the Taishan (Toisan) and Kaiping (Hoiping) areas of Guangdong province. We plan to visit ancestral villages in that area, the Kaiping watchtowers at Zilicun (a world heritage site), and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen (Sun Zhongshan) ancestral home and museum. We will also visit Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province.

Additionally, we will visit the Meiling pass near Nanxiong in northern Guangdong. This is the Tang Dynasty route through which migrants from northern China entered Guangdong more than a thousand years ago. We will also visit Zhujixiang, a small town in the Nanxiong area where the ancestors of Pearl River Delta Cantonese settled. According to legend and history, there was a mass exodus out of Zhujixiang to the Pearl River Delta in the late Song Dynasty. To this day, the Meiling and Zhujixiang stories are features prominently in the clan genealogy books of many Cantonese families.

Approximately ten individuals will be selected for this nin or ten day journey. We anticipate that the cost will be about $1800 per person, plus air travel cost between San Francisco and Hong Kong. Participants will attend lectures and workshops and conduct research in preparation for the trip to China.

If you are interested in this program, please complete the attached application form and ancestral villages form. Applicants are asked to include a short statement or essay (no more than 2 pages) stating why they want to participate in the program. Please return the application material to CCC by January 30, 2009.

We hope you will join us on this journey In Search of Roots