新加坡同安会馆88周年会庆特刊《同根》序文(中英文版)

孔子说:“夏礼,吾能言之,杞不足徵也;殷礼,吾能言之,宋不足徵也。文献不足故也。足,则吾能徵之矣。”(《论语·八佾》)

历史学家钱穆表示,周朝封建制度的精神是兴灭国,继绝世,所以周天子分封夏、商二代的后人于杞、宋两国。但是这两国的典籍和贤人都缺乏,所以到了孔子的时代,就没有足够的文献资料,让他能够去查证这些历史。

2019年是新加坡开埠200周年,当局除了纪念这段历史,也上溯到700年前。可是,除了地下挖出来的一些遗迹,还有一些零星的掌故资料,证明在英国人到来之前的500年间,新加坡并不只是一个小渔村,而曾经是商人云集的重要港口,但由于缺乏系统和具体的文献,所以难以写成完整的历史。

新加坡同安会馆在2019年庆祝成立88周年,配合庆典活动,也筹划了这本特刊的出版。第41届理事会从善如流,接纳了交际股股长黄和汀乡亲的建议,用文献的形式,记录同安人在新加坡白手起家的奋斗故事,作为特刊的内容。

新加坡同安人人才辈出,赫赫有名的先辈如陈嘉庚、陈六使、陈延谦、陈文确等等,有关他们的各类资料和研究汗牛充栋。但是,至今在新加坡生活奋斗的同安人不下百万计,他们默默无闻地在各自岗位上的集体贡献,成就了今天繁荣昌盛的新加坡。关于他们的人生故事,如果没有人为之记载,慢慢地就会消失在历史的洪流里。他们的故事,是新加坡故事的有机体,应当被整理记录下来,作为后人“能徵之”的文献。

编辑的原则,以会馆会员的长辈为主,特别是早年从家乡南来新加坡的一辈。当中也包括了战前在本地出生,见证新加坡从自治到建国历史的同安人,以及1949年后南来的同安人。他们的不同奋斗历程,编织了缤纷多彩的新加坡故事。为避免瓜田李下,我们也决定暂不记录现任理事会成员的个人故事。

在出版文献特刊的同时,我们也计划出版电子版,因为同安人在本地的奋斗史源远流长,一本会庆特刊必然有遗珠之憾。电子版就能弥补这个缺憾,作为开放式的文本,我们会适时补充新的文献资料,把更多新加坡同安人的故事记录下来,让新加坡的故事更充实精彩。

是为序。

(2019年6月)

Preface

The Master said:”Can I talk about Xia ritual? Its inheritor, the country of Qi, has not preserved sufficient evidence. Can I talk about Yin ritual? Its inheritor, the country of Song, has not preserved sufficient evidence. There are not enough records and not enough wise men; otherwise, I could draw evidence from them.” (The Analects of Confucius, Chapter 3.9, Translation and Notes by Simon Leys, W W Norton & Company, 1997)

According to renowned historian Qian Mu(钱穆), the core spirit of the Zhou Dynasty’s (周朝)feudal system was to restore failed states and revive destroyed lineages. Thus, it established the feudal state of Qi(杞) for the descendants of the Xia Dynasty(夏朝)and the feudal state of Song(宋)for the descendants of the Yin Dynasty(殷朝). However, these two states did not keep proper historical records and lacked administrative talents. Thus by Confucius’ time, there was insufficient information for him to study the history of these two preceding dynasties.

Singapore marks 200 years of Raffles’ arrival in 2019. The bicentennial commemoration also traces 700 years of Singapore history. However, except for a few excavation sites as well as historical anecdotes which proved that Singapore was not just a tiny fishing village but an important regional trading port for 500 years before the British, it is difficult to narrate a full history of pre-British Singapore due to the lack of historical records.

As Singapore marks off 700 years of history, Tung Ann District Guild also celebrates its 88th anniversary this year. To commemorate the occasion, this anthology was compiled by the 41st Executive Committee on the recommendation of Committee Member Mr Anthony Ng(黄和汀), who proposed a collection of the stories of early Tung Ann immigrants to Singapore. This anthology showcases how these ordinary folk built Singapore up from scratch and highlights their invaluable contributions to our nation.

There are many talented and successful Tung Ann compatriots in Singapore. Famous among them are Tan Kah Kee(陈嘉庚), Tan Lark Sye(陈六使), Tan Ean Kiam(陈廷谦)and Tan Boon Khah(陈文确). Records and studies about them are numerous. However, there have been more than a million Tung Ann compatriots who have lived in and contributed to Singapore since then. They are the nameless heroes who, through their efforts, made Singapore what it is today. Their life stories, if unrecorded, would have been lost forever. These individual stories are part of the collective Singapore Story and should be recorded for posterity. 

This anthology focuses on the stories of our Guild’s forebears, particularly those who had migrated from Tung Ann to Singapore. They range from the stories of those who had been born in Singapore before the Second World War to those who came to Singapore only after the 1949 Communist takeover of China. Their various struggles are part and parcel of our colourful history. 

In addition to the print issues, we also intend to provide electronic issues which will be updated with more stories as the tapestry of our tales continues to be woven. By delving into the rich history of Tung Ann stories, we in turn enrich the Singapore Story.

Translated by Yap Pheng Hui

About yapphenghui 叶鹏飞

Husband of one, father of two 文字匠,腰肌劳损,梅门甩手功 狷者有守,不失其身
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