Clans are an important local cultural asset, however, does this term ring a bell to the new immigrants? Do they know about the different clans’ common mission and history?
To assist new immigrants in integrating into the society, Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA) organised the “Clan Walkthrough” and a string of activities and events on 30th October 2011, inviting Singapore Tianfu Association, Hua Yuan Association, Chinese Scholars and Students Association in Singapore, Singapore University Alumni Association etc., bringing more than 10 new immigrants to tour around Singapore Lam Ann Association and visit Fengshan Temple, allowing the new immigrants to enter the halls, boosting their understandings of the local clan associations and facilitate better interactions between the new immigrant groups and the local clan associations.
At 2:30pm on the same day, the group arrived at Lam Ann Association and toured the history corridor of the Association which was then explained by the President of Lam Ann Art Culture Society, Dr Mark Lee. Dr Lee introduced to the new immigrants about the tasks and professions that the Lam Ann people are usually engaged in, the immense contribution that the outstanding Lam Ann forefathers had made for Singapore, as well as the history, development and culture of the Lam Ann Association. Afterwards, the Supervisory Council members of Lam Ann Association, Chen Jian Chun, and Fengshan Temple’s Hong Yi Han, proceeded to introduce respectively about the organisation structure and events, and about the temple’s traditional Hokkien construction style and historical stories behind the carvings of the temple. In order to make the tour more engaging, the Lam Ann Association specially prepared a treasure hunt game, letting the participants search for answers while touring the temple with the help of five hints, participants who found the correct answers would then receive a mysterious prize. The hints include the red cloth strip in the temple, a sculpture which was carved based on the story of “Journey to the West” etc. The participants really enjoyed the activities which were specially planned for them and began to enthusiastically searched for the answers in Fengshan temple, those who found the answers were delighted, those who have not found the answers enjoyed the process of searching for them.
Wu Xi Chen from Fuqing county of Fujian province, thought it was a worthwhile trip. She said, “If I were to grade on my overall impression of this place, I would give it 90 points. This trip supplemented my history knowledge and I learnt many new things, not only did I understand about the Associations Historical Culture, but I also feel that the Association is a place for experience and learning.”
Chen Dong Cheng, who was especially interested in historical cultures believed that these traditional customs belong specifically to a certain province or state. This trip allowed him to broaden his knowledge and understand the culture of Lam Ann and about Lam Ann Association. He believes that the Associations operation, history, development, culture and tradition etc. is a precious knowledge to the new immigrants or even to the Singaporeans.
Chairman of Singapore Lam Ann Association, Mr Tan Aik Hock, expressed that new immigrants are welcome to watch the show. He said that this activity is a good start for new immigrants to learn more about the culture and mission of the organisation by understanding the circumstances of past immigrants from China. This will also aid them in their integration into the Singaporean society.