Travelogues

Chaozhou Leng Ou Village 龙湖古寨

Leng Ou Village is over a thousand years old. Because of its location near the old port when the Teochew diaspora happened in the early 20th century, many had returned and built/renovated their ancestral shrines in this ancient village.

这个古寨有近千年历史,由于地理的优势,这里曾经作为潮州人出海的中转站。随着人口膨胀,随着众多姓氏人家的纷纷致富,名宅与祠堂雨后春笋般地出现了。目前整个龙湖古寨1.5平方公里,难得的是旧房子基本都完整的保留了下来。

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导游图 Layout of the villange

The streets of the ancient village were laid out according to Yi-Ching principles. The whole township is bordered by River Han towards the East and multiple ponds on the West side. Three main streets form the East End (the Earth end), while six shorter streets form the West End (the Sky end); thus forming the Tai formation 泰卦 which signifies smooth passage and prosperity.

龙湖古寨的祠堂建筑分布是按照《周易》里的九宫八卦图设计建造。《周易》讲究天人合一,体现人与自然共存的理念,所以整个古寨东面滨临韩江,西面被无数池塘环绕,四周被水包围,矗立在水域中间。古寨里面设置了三街六巷,三条横街紧靠东面、六条横巷紧靠西面,南北直接贯穿。三条横街即三梁主“墙”,西面六断即主“空”,所以墙为天、空为地,天地合成泰卦,这便是泰卦的由来。“三条”(墙)在下面,“六断”(空)在上面,所以地在上、天在下,故“泰卦”的卦象象征着通达、心通的寓意。

Four main roads criss-cross in the town are called streets, the rest are referred to as lanes, and every lane has a name appropriate to the inhabitants (or former inhabitants) of the lane.

四通道叫街,就如大树的主干一般,而树枝便是各种名字的里中巷了,小小的巷子各有名字,别有一番风味。

Ancestral Worship 祠堂文化

Chaozhou is not just about Han WenGong Shrine (located downtown), just in this ancient village, there are Ah Po Shrine built in the Qing dynasty, Teacher Shrine (Ming dynasty); there’s the Koh Family Shrine built during the reign of Ming Emperor Yongle, Lim Family Shrine (Ming Emperor Chongzhen), Duke Gu Shrine (Qing Emperor Kangxi), Duke Ho Shrine (Qing Emperor Daoguang), Duke of Loyalty Shrine (Qing Emperor Guangxu), and many others within these 18 square blocks.

潮州不只有一座韩文公祠,单是一个龙湖古寨里,就有建于清代的阿婆祠,明代的王侗初师祠,建于明永乐年间的许氏宗祠,崇祯年间的林氏宗祠、黄氏宗祠,康熙年间的谷侯公祠,道光六年的荷公祠,光绪年间的忠浩公祠,三街六巷,祠堂密布。

Ah Po Shrine 阿婆祠

China’s First Ancestral Shrine for Female 中国第一个女祠堂

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阿婆祠 门匾书《椒实蕃枝》

A must-see in the ancient town is the Ah Po Shrine. This shrine was built by a retired official (referred to as gentry) Huang Zuoyu in the Qing dynasty to commemorate the passing of her mother. The sign was written by a prominent scholar. Such prominence and elaborate setup was unusual for a woman, lest to say a woman of low birth status. His mother was a slave-servant girl of the family.

进入龙湖古寨,阿婆祠是必看的。这是清代富甲潮汕一方的员外郎黄作雨为其出身“赤脚”(奴婢或丫鬟)生母所建。阿婆祠的牌匾上写了四个字《椒实蕃枝》,由清康熙四十八年进士翁廷资题写。这四字出自《诗经》:椒聊之实,蕃衍盈升,意思是见花椒之果实硕果累累,基业就繁盛,用于比喻子孙众多壮旺的意思,即借植物来比喻人。其实本意是赞美女人体魄好、身体健壮,能生很多孩子、能传宗接代,所以《椒实蕃枝》这四个字用在女祠这里很贴切,彰显了潮州人尊重女权的思想。

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阿婆祠

Because she was a servant girl (who later became the concubine of the Huangs), she was not allowed to be worship in the shrine. Huang fought hard the establishment (and used a considerable amount of his immense wealth) to build this first shrine in China for a woman. The size of this shrine is unique too – it was built next to the Huang Family shrine and twice its size. This was said because Huang was never ashamed of his mother’s low birth status, which was a behaviour way ahead of its time.

清代富商黄作雨的母亲是丫环出身,后来被纳为黄家的妾。潮人称妾为阿婆,或赤脚。这样的女人没有名分、没有地位,所以去世后,按封建礼法死后牌位是不能进祠堂的。而黄作雨是一个大孝子,为了报答母亲的养育之恩,出于对母亲的敬重,他冒着各种压力依旧斥巨资在他的宗族祠堂旁建起了这座更宽大、气派的祠堂,以告慰母亲在天之灵,所以称为阿婆祠。 阿婆祠的面积是一般公祠面积的两倍,见证了黄作雨敢作敢为、敢为人先的精神,也印证了“子不嫌母丑”。这样一句话。从那以后,古寨的阿婆终可入祠,既促进了孝道美德的传承,又推动了社会进步。

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阿婆祠 孝道文化

You can still see evidence of rituals and worships from yesteryears. You can see mosaics on the wall showing examples of filial piety, emphasising the theme of this shrine – a son’s pious and memories towards his departed mother.

如今依稀能够看到在这里曾经祭祀的模样,其中保留至今的古老建筑风格,突出了孝为先的道理,虽然墙面上挂着中国古老的孝道文化,但是在这里现身说法,从阿婆祠本身的建筑,特殊的定位,就不难发现其中孝文化在这里的体现。

Teacher Shrine 先生祠

The Most Unique Ancestral Shrine in China 中国最独一无二的祠堂

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王侗初师祠

Right opposite Ah Po Shrine is a very unique shrine for Wang TongChu, a teacher in this town back in the Ming Emperor Wanli era (1573-1620), hence the nickname Teacher Shrine. Because he passed away without any heir, his students came together to put up this shrine. In 1762, the descendants of the original seven came together to rebuild the shrine and asked the magistrate of that time, Zhou Shuoxun, to write the epitaph.

在阿婆祠的对面,就是王侗初师祠,俗称先生祠。祠堂里有一块清乾隆二十七年潮州知府周硕勋撰写的碑记,说的是明万历年间,龙湖古寨七户子弟为客家人王侗初养老送终,并集资为他筹建祠堂,且世代祭拜。100多年后 ,7位学生的后裔又重修了祠堂,并请知府大人撰文史记。

Chaozhou Snacks 潮州小吃

Almost all of the current inhabitants are involved in some form of home factory production of Teochew snacks. The price here was definitely cheaper than those in the city, and the taste more authentic too. However, because they were hand-made, the quality control can be a problem.

古寨家家都有辆”车”,做做龙湖酥糖等等,就放在在家门口卖卖,价格比潮州市区来的实惠不少。

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祠堂 Ancestral Shrine

There are three Chaoshans – the hometown in Guangdong, the Teochew spread across China, and the Teochew spread around the world. But no matter where they are, Teochew still care about their hometown because of gratitude and filial piety. And that’s why we made this trip to our ancestral hometown.

因为感恩,潮州人父慈子孝,母贤妻惠,无论身处地球的何方,依然心系家乡。懂得感恩,潮州人把和谐相处之道和潮州文化特质带向全国,带给世界。懂得感恩,让新时期的潮州人内强根基,外干事业,在潮汕、在广东、在中国、在世界遍地开花结果,谱写出粤内一个潮汕、粤外一个潮汕、海外一个潮汕的“三个潮汕”华丽篇章。

 

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