Supposing you were given a free flight ticket back home, what’s your plan?
The video solicitation activity, Pull of Guangdong, jointly organized by Nanfang Daily, Nanfang Plus, and GDToday, was launched on July 6.
So far, we have received more than 1.6 million hits globally, and many overseas Chinese from around the world, such as the US, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, have submitted their videos and left hundreds of comments.
We see the involvement of all manner of participants, such as older overseas Chinese who have been living abroad and have not returned to their hometowns for years; newly settled migrants who seek their fortune abroad and still have a strong sense of belonging to and patriotic feelings for the nation, and young generations whose ancestral home is Guangdong and have connected with their hometowns.
From today onwards, we will regularly present selected entries in mashup videos and share stories about overseas Chinese.
We invite Keying, Huang, and Ah Rui to discuss their plans to return to Guangdong. Their ideas are as follows.
I. Keying: hopes to act in Cantonese sitcom Living With the Kangs
29-year-old Keying is a fourth-generation Malaysian Chinese. Originally from Luoding, Guangdong, she currently works as an accountant in Kuala Lumpur and is also a famous YouTuber.
Even though Keying’s family has settled in Malaysia for over a century, they usually speak Mandarin and Cantonese in their daily life. Keying’s mother can also speak Hokkien, Hakka, and Teochew dialects.
Apart from language, other hometown elements can be found in many aspects of their life.
During traditional Chinese festivals, such as the Chinese Lunar New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and the Winter Solstice, her family always visits her grandpa in Negeri Sembilan for reunion and celebration.
White cut chicken is a must-have dish on the family’s big days. Double-stewed soups are also a mainstay of their dinner table. Sometimes, her mother brews herbal tea. “I don’t know whether they are authentic, but they are flavors unique to my family,” she said.
For Keying, Guangdong is a place that she has never set foot in, but she is quite familiar with. If she wins a flight ticket, she would like to visit different places in Guangdong on behalf of her family and try all kinds of food.
The theme song of the Cantonese sitcom Living With the Kangs is one of Keying’s favorite songs. In July, the Guinness World Record announced that Living With the Kangs, which has aired 4,330 episodes as of December 10, 2022, became the longest-running sitcom by episode count.
For her home-returning plan, Keying wants to play a role in this sitcom and film videos with the crew of the local Cantonese talk show, Yue Zhi Yi Er. “It will give me a better understanding of Guangdong and inspire my content creation in a special way,” Keying smiled and said.
II. Huang: “I’m always Chinese”
Huang, who has lived in Curaçao for nearly 30 years, is the “big brother” respected by the local Chinese and overseas Chinese. He is a member of many Cantonese fellows’ chat groups.
Huang is pretty sociable. In chat groups, he sometimes used Taishanese to communicate with Taishan Chinese, but in a second, he changed to speaking Enpingnese or Kaipingnese to push forward the dialogue. As so for a long time, his friends raised a question:
“Huang, where exactly are you from?”
It is no surprise that his fellows doubted that. Huang’s father was of Taishan origin, while his mother came from Kaiping. He grew up in Enping and lived there until he entered a university. Therefore, he believes he is from Enping, as demonstrated by the Enpingnese, his most fluent dialect out of the three.
Actually, Taishan, Kaiping, and Enping, together with Xinhui and Heshan, make up the “Wuyi” (Five Counties). “No matter what, I come from Wuyi of Jiangmen City, and I’m always Chinese,” he said.
Huang used to go back to his hometown twice a year. Now nearly 70 years old, he has increasingly felt the significance of his native place.
Due to various circumstances, he has not returned to his hometown for more than four years. He longs for it. To visit the graves of his family members, to reunite with friends… he has created a long to-do list for his plan.
“I want to go home!” Huang said passionately at the end of his video.
III. Ah Rui: a Madagascan “transport worker”
Ah Rui playfully called himself a “transport worker” as he exports goods made in China to Madagascar. As a native Cantonese man, he has worked and lived in Madagascar for nearly 10 years.
More than 100 years ago, overseas Chinese from Guangdong migrated to this island country in eastern Africa. Today, some parts of the Cantonese lifestyle have been preserved in Madagascar. Authentic Cantonese dishes, such as wonton and char siu, are served there, bringing much comfort to Rui.
This Spring Festival, Ah Rui returned home for the first time over the last three years. Although he had spent some days in his hometown, he still plans to go back again and stay longer for a life-changing event—getting married.
Not long ago, he met his fiancee, who also works in Madagascar, and they soon fell in love. “If everything goes well, we will hold the wedding in my hometown this year,” he said excitingly.
In addition, Ah Rui also wants to see the changes in his hometown and visit famous destinations and landmarks in Guangdong, such as the Guangzhou Zoo and Canton Tower, together with his family.
“The moon in Africa is big and round. Although watching it for so many years, I still think the moon in my hometown is brighter,” Ah Rui said.
We now call for video submissions from overseas Chinese around the world. If your ancestral home is Guangdong or your life is bound up with Guangdong, click the link and share your story about Guangdong or your home-returning plan in a short video. You have a chance to win a free flight ticket to Guangdong!
You can post your video on TikTok or YouTube. Please add the hashtag #PullOfGuangdong and @backtoguangdong.
You can also scan the QR code of GDToday to learn more about the activity and upload your submissions on the official page.
Let’s all create videos now!
Production Executives: Xu Lin, Cao Si, Zhao Yang
Coordinators: Lu Yi, Ji Bei, Qi Lei, Xie Miaofeng, Luo Xiaohua, Olivia
Postwriting: (Nanfang Plus journalist) Chen Rongwei, Gong Chunhui
Execution: (Nanfang Plus journalist) Gong Chunhui, Chen Rongwei, Wang Jiaxin
English editors: Olivia, Monica, Abby, Holly, James