Remembering your roots

Ther informant talks about her family saying that has been passed down from generation to generation of the family-owned lumber mill would tell to their children using very philosophical views to teach.

Informant: In 3rd grade, my grandfather came to stay with me when my parents went to Japan for 2 weeks. I heard my grandfather singing, when I went to compliment his singing, he scolded me saying that it was poetry. And he said my education was a disgrace, and he decided to teach me Tang poetry. He was incredibly well educated and opened his own school. They taught a lot of famous philosophers and martial arts. He began instructing me how to pronounce this poetry, but it was incredibly difficult for a little girl like me to learn.

he told me a story from Zuangzi 莊子, everyone should know their own ancestors and such. Just like the trees that our lumber mill production. We would cut the trees and put it into a river and pick them up downstream. However, when you put the tree in the river, you had to put the tree in the right way, the tip of tree trunk pointing upstream. This is so that it would go down smoothly if you don’t do it properly, then the tree will be confused. Even the trees know where their roots are, so all human beings need to know their roots/ancestry. As a tutor in traditional Chinese, everything with him was didactic, loaded with right vs. wrong, good and better, righteousness and all those Confucius values. This is a story that has been told by our family for the past I think 6 or 7 generations.

Just like trees, us humans need to know our roots and continue the legacy.


This was interesting, learning a little about my one’s ancestry and family teachings that have been passed down for many generations and knowing that using very philosophical views from a very famous philosopher in ancient China to be applied to a family that used to produce lumber in the past 2 centuries is somewhat amazing for me. I feel like the message that was mentioned really is important to not forget one’s ancestry and roots.