|3 Shung Him Tong: The Imagined Community|
|图书名称：Christian Souls and Chinese Spirits:A Hakka Community in Hong Kong|
图书作者：Nicole Constable ISBN：
出版社：Berkeley: University of California Press 出版日期：1994年
In the center of the village, down a narrow pathway that leads between the old church building and the new one, stands a row of modest concrete homes, at the end of which is an impressive courtyard. Voices of the choir rehearsing a new hymn drift inside the courtyard walls while children play there, surrounded by bamboo poles of clean laundry left to dry in the sun every day except Sunday. The walls enclose a wide, single-story house divided in two. On one side of the building women chat, rinse the rice, and prepare the evening meal, while a man sits in the family hall reading a newspaper. The other side of the house is quiet and boarded up. Years ago, the Lings and the Pangs, two of the most important families in the village, built the house. Today, members of both families are still represented in the village, but most of the Lings have moved to Hong Kong Island or overseas and only use the house on those special occasions when they visit. The other side, housing members of the Pang's extended family, still teems with life, especially on Sundays when more children and grandchildren abound.
The village holds many other reminders of the members of these two prominent families. In the cemetery there are numerous graves marked with the name Ling, and at the center of the slope is the grave of Ling Kai Lin, the former pastor for the Basel mission, who is given credit for founding the village. Across the hill on another slope is a large, brightly painted red cross that marks the grave of Pang Lok Sam, another important figure in the village history.
Today, life in Shung Him Tong appears peaceful. So little mention is ever made of conflict that it is difficult to imagine the opposition faced by the settlers who first arrived in 1903. The village, however, did not suddenly appear on that date, nor was it called Shung Him Tong at that time; but within thirty years it grew into an active Hakka Christian community. To make sense of the success that Ling and other Hakka Christians had in settling and establishing themselves in Lung Yeuk Tau when other Hakka before them had failed, it is necessary to understand their connection to the Basel mission; the broader historical, social, and political context of the New Territories; and earlier patterns of Hakka and Punti settlement in the area. As I show in this chapter, there were certain advantages to being a member of the Hakka Christian community.
The Evacuation and Early Hakka Expansion
The first Han Chinese to settle in the region of Baoan district, which later became the New Territories of Hong Kong, were predominantly Yue (Cantonese) speakers who arrived around the tenth century A.D. When they arrived the indigenous non-Chinese inhabitants were assimilated or pushed out by those who became known as the Punti or "native inhabitants" (Balfour  1970; Barnett 1964; see also Hayes 1962, 1977, 1984; Siu 1984; J. Watson 1983). The Teng are believed to be the first of what Baker called the five "great clans" or dominant surname groups to have arrived in the area (Baker 1966). The other four surname groups arrived before the beginning of the Qing dynasty in 1644. Some Hakka also arrived then, but it was not until the middle of the seventeenth century at the end of the period referred to as the "evacuation" (1662–69), and later during the nineteenth century (Luo's fourth and fifth waves of migration), that Hakka began to arrive in large numbers.
The overthrow of the Ming dynasty and the Manchu establishment of the Qing was the turning point for Hakka immigration to the area. Concerned that the coastal populations would collaborate with Ming loyalists who had fled to Taiwan, the Manchus issued a proclamation in 1662 announcing an evacuation of the coastal areas inland fifty li, or approximately seventeen miles, to be accomplished within three days. The reluctant evacuees were not provided with food or shelter and it was reported in a local gazetteer that as many as a fifth of them died (cf. Lo 1965:92). A second more stringent evacuation followed and the boundary was moved even further inland (Balfour 1970:175–79). Eventually the evacuation was called off because of the disruption and major losses in tax revenues it caused, but during that time, many villagers perished and some Punti villages disappeared completely. This helped open up the way for Hakka immigrants.
As the people of Shung Him Tong proudly tell, the governor of Guangdong knew that Hakka could cultivate the most wretched land while the Punti scorned such hard work, so he initiated measures to fill the void with indigent Hakka, and around 1730 Hakka from the poorest regions of the province began to arrive along the coast (Lo 1965:93–94). At first the Hakka lived as clients interspersed among their Punti patrons who "provided them with land, provisions, implements and probably even housing" (Lo 1965:94). The arrangement was mutually profitable. Hakka provided the Punti with much needed labor and increased the productive power of their land, and the Hakka were afforded sustenance. The Punti were not threatened by the Hakka because they had already claimed the best land, they were the overwhelming majority, and they were backed by a strong kinship and territorial organization (ibid.).
Hakka immigration continued uninterrupted throughout the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century. Immigration, paired with a high birthrate, resulted in an increase in the Hakka population. Hakka settlements gradually became less dispersed and Hakka reclaimed more of the "wasteland." According to Lo, the Hakka's lower standard of living enabled them to outbid Punti tenants for land leases from Punti landlords (1965:95). As my Hakka informants concurred, the Hakka placed "less stress than did the Puntis on sumptuous marriages, funerals, showy apparel, elaborate festival celebrations, and the like," which enabled them to accumulate savings and buy land whenever it was available (ibid.). New land holdings created new Hakka settlements, and old Punti settlements declined as antagonism and competition between the two groups increased.
The evacuation was also a turning point for Hakka lineages such as the Liao of Sheung Shui who had been in the New Territories before the evacuation. Because they shared the same economic and political interests as Punti, they began to identify themselves with them, rather than with the later Hakka arrivals (Baker 1968:41). In the case of the Liao, Baker argues that the cultural and linguistic process of "becoming Punti" had started several generations before the evacuation, so by 1819 Sheung Shui was sufficiently Punti not to be listed under the Hakka section of the local census (ibid.).
Lung Yeuk Tau
Shung Him Tong is situated in the northeastern region of the New Territories in Lung Yeuk Tau, less commonly known as Lung Shan Heung (Faure 1986:181n. 3, 220n. 46), an area that has been the ancestral home of one branch of Teng for over five hundred years. The Teng, the largest and most powerful higher order lineage in the New Territories, controlled the greatest number of the largest plots of flat, fertile land in the river valleys. In the northwest corner of the New Territories, the Teng settled in the villages of Kam Tin, Ping Shan, and Ha Tsuen and controlled Yuen Long market (see map 1). By the late fourteenth century, Teng settled in Lung Yeuk Tau and Tai Po Tau in the eastern New Territories, and they collected rent from land in Sha Tin (Baker 1966; Faure 1986:28).
Population figures are unavailable for the nineteenth century, but Hong Kong government records from 1911 indicate that, by the beginning of the twentieth century, Hakka in the New Territories outnumbered the Punti (Balfour 1970; Hong Kong Government 1911: table 12). The population of the northern New Territories, whose "usual language spoken at home" was listed as Hakka, outnumbered those who spoke "Punti": their numbers were 37,053 and 31,595 respectively. Although these figures indicate that the Hakka were greater in number, they were also poorer, they were generally later arrivals in the area, and they settled and farmed the less productive lands of the higher elevations, often as the tenants of the Punti.
The Hakka population was not scattered evenly throughout the New Territories. According to the 1911 report, Hakka speakers in the Sai Kung region, for example, outnumbered Punti almost three to one, and in Sha Tau Kok there were almost twenty-five Hakka for every Punti. Yet in Sheung Shui, the region that included Lung Yeuk Tau, Punti still outnumbered Hakka, who comprised only slightly more than one fifth of the population (Hong Kong Government 1911).
As was noted in Chapter 1, Lung Yeuk Tau comprises five walled villages and six unwalled villages scattered over an area of roughly two square miles (see map 2). Today opinions vary about whether Shung Him Tong should be considered part of Lung Yeuk Tau. In the past, Lung Yeuk Tau referred unambiguously to the geographical area dominated by the Teng and to the social group composed primarily of members of the Teng lineage who held settlement rights in the area (Faure 1986:2). Outsiders who worked for the Teng as servants or tenant farmers, some of whom might have been Hakka, were not members of the lineage and were not considered members of the community.
While the majority of the population of Lung Yeuk Tau in the nineteenth century was Teng, throughout the early part of the twentieth century the Hakka population continued to increase. Today most Teng have either retreated to one of two main villages in Lung Yeuk Tau or have left the area. The other Lung Yeuk Tau villages house a mixture of Hakka, Cantonese, and other non-Christian newcomers. When the first Hakka Christians began to arrive in Shung Him Tong at the turn of this century, few if any of the residents of Lung Yeuk Tau were Hakka or Christian. Today in Lung Yeuk Tau, outside of Shung Him Tong, less than 10 percent of the Hakka population and even less of the Punti population is Christian.
In 1897 the population of what was then called Chong Hom Tong (lit., Pine Cliff Pond; Hong Kong Government 1905), now Shung Him Tong, was fifty-five, of whom most if not all were Teng. By the time of the 1911 census, Shung Him Tong's population was thirty-eight, of whom most if not all were Hakka surrounded by 632 Punti in the other areas of Lung Yeuk Tau. Although the census data may not be entirely accurate, they suffice to show that when a few Hakka immigrants came to Lung Yeuk Tau in 1898, they were clearly in the minority (see table 1).
British Rule and the Teng Decline
The decline of the power and property of some Punti lineages in the New Territories may have begun as long ago as the period of immigration after the evacuation, but the appropriation of the New Territories by the British also contributed to their decline. Before the British, there existed a system of land tenure in which dominant lineages claimed ownership rights to much of the land in the New Territories (see R. Watson 1985, 55–59; J. Watson 1983). Members of the dominant lineages pocketed "taxes" from those who farmed land that was not registered with the Chinese government. When the British began to register land, "taxlords" claimed it was their land and that they had collected "rent," not "taxes." Some land was leased in perpetuity to tenants who owned the right to farm the land and who could in turn lease their rights to other tenants. In a variant of the distinction between surface rights and subsoil rights common in southern and central China, the landlord owned the "bottom soil" of the land, which gave him the right to collect rent. Other arrangements included short-term leasing of land (see R. Watson 1985). By 1905, the Hong Kong government had registered all land that had proper ownership deeds. In cases in which no deed could be produced, "the cultivator was usually proclaimed the owner" (R. Watson 1985:59). The Teng of Ping Shan claim they owned more land in pre-British times, but at the time of the British land survey their tenants fraudulently claimed ownership (Potter 1968:100).
According to Faure, with the arrival of the British, the Lung Yeuk Tau Teng lost their control of bottom-soil rights, which "changed the fundamental political situation of the New Territories" (1986:164).
This revised system of land ownership greatly benefited the Hakka at the expense of the Punti landlords. As explained in a speech by the district commissioner of the New Territories in 1955:
The British land policies served not only to undermine the economic power of the Punti but also to ally the British with the Hakka.
Many volumes of land records were destroyed during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, but enough exist to make some general statements regarding land ownership in the Shung Him Tong area. Beginning in 1903, Hakka Christians, mostly from Baoan district (later called Xinan, now Shen Zhen) and the areas closest to Hong Kong, arrived in Shung Him Tong (see map 3; see also app. 2). Later, Hakka families also came from Hakka regions further inland; from regions of Meixian (then called Jiaying, or Kaying in Hakka), the town and district of Wuhua (then called Changle, or Tschonglok), and the towns and villages of Zhankeng (Tsim Hang), and Meilin (Moilim), where the main Basel mission churches were located. By the 1930s there were people of eight surnames (Ling, Pang, Tsui, Cheung, Chan, Yao, Tsang, Cheuk) living in Shung Him Tong. Little by little, land that once belonged to the Teng was sold to Hakka immigrants, and the Tengs receded to the northeastern most regions of Lung Yeuk Tau.
The Crown Block Lease shows that by 1905 Pastor Ling, recognized as the founder of the village, and his family owned small plots of land that totaled 20 percent of the land in and around Shung Him Tong (approximately ten and a half acres). That land was presumably bought from the Teng. Teng individuals, families, and corporate groups owned approximately 30 percent or fifteen acres of the land in that area, and the rest was listed as Crown Land. Within
North and South Central Guangdong Province. Adapted from Hashimoto (1973) and Loercher (1879).
the next twenty years, the Teng had sold all their land in Shung Him Tong, and church families owned all the land that did not remain Crown Land. Between 1913 and 1918, another important member of the Shung Him Tong community, Pang Lok Sam, had acquired a total of approximately three acres in Shung Him Tong, mostly at public auction.
Although the specific reasons for the decline in power of the Lung Yeuk Tau Teng would only be revealed by a detailed study, the general description of the process of decline of powerful lineages described by Baker is in accord with the explanations I heard from the people of Shung Him Tong:
The people of Shung Him Tong agree, but place the emphasis on what they consider the "moral decline" of the Punti, which they contrast with the moral strength of the Hakka Christians. In the words of one elderly village man:
Another man, a descendant of the village founders, explained that in order to get money for gambling, opium, and concubines, the Teng mortgaged their land to the company that had been started jointly by Pang and Ling. When these Teng could not pay back the mortgages, Pang and others had the opportunity to buy the property. A young woman teacher said that, among other things, the decline of the Teng was tied to the fact that there were not enough Teng men to work the fields since many had left to work in the city or overseas.
Geomantic features or feng-shui (lit, "wind" and "water") are often cited in the legends and history of the New Territories as factors that help explain the rise and fall of lineages (Faure 1986; Sung 1973, 1974). Even though the people of Shung Him Tong know of feng-shui, they do not tell feng-shui legends as though they believe them to be literal truth. The tales they tell about the past are divided into two types, "history"—assumed by those telling it to be true and correct—and "stories" about outsiders who believe in feng-shui or about the power of Christianity over feng-shui. Feng-shui is discussed in further detail in Chapter 5; here I will limit my discussion to a legend of the founding of the village told to me on separate occasions by two different members of the church, one an older missionary and the other a middle-aged schoolteacher from Shung Him Tong:
The schoolteacher ended the legend by saying, "That [experience] tested the Christians' belief in the strength of Christianity." The missionary said, "The Punti then understood that the power of Christianity was stronger than that of feng-shui. " With such a conclusion, we would expect to find Punti flocking to the church and converting to Christianity, but they did not. Instead they seem to have revised their view of the feng-shui and now consider that the land is ideal for burial sites; several wealthy Cantonese families have attempted to build large auspicious family graves in the area.
Construction of the "Ideal Village"
A young woman from Shung Him Tong told me that she praises God for the miracle of the village. Like many other young people whose parents and grandparents helped establish the village, she is aware of the hardships they faced founding the village in the heart of Punti ancestral lands. Awareness of local history is due in part to stories recounted in casual conversations, sermons, church bulletins, and commemorative publications of the church and the Basel mission (cf. Cheung 1984; Luo 1974), which draw freely from a handwritten history of the village compiled by one of the earliest settlers, Pang Lok Sam. Much of the material from Pang's book is also reproduced in Luo Xianglin's famous history of the Hakka in support of his theories of Hakka migrations (1965). Pang's history, like Luo's, has not been read by most members of the community, but both are well known and have informed many people's views about the identity of the community and the Hakka in general.
Pang's manuscript includes a section on "public history," or the history of the village institutions. In it Pang describes the establishment of the church, cemetery, school, roads, and bridges and tells of how the settlers overcame the hardships they encountered along the way. The second section comprises eleven family histories, each written by the male head of household (see app. 2).
The authors of the family histories stress the importance of keeping genealogies and express their belief that it is one's duty to know one's family history. The manuscript was written, according to Pang, with the main purposes of preserving the history of the village for future generations and encouraging them in their duty to their families and the community. In his introduction he writes of his concerns: "Whether or not a society can flourish depends not only on the pioneers who prepare the way but also on the successors who carry forth and develop the endeavor. If no one pioneers, even a good place will not be discovered. If no one keeps it going, a flourishing community will decline. To start a business is difficult, but to keep it going is never easy either" (1934:1). Below, I draw freely from Pang's book, church histories, and material gathered in conversations with villagers, church members, and relatives of people who lived in Shung Him Tong. All of the written and oral versions of Shung Him Tong history attest to the reasons for Hakka migration to Lung Yeuk Tau during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They left Guangdong because of poverty, population pressure, increased Hakka-Punti conflicts, and dissatisfaction with life in their native villages as well as the promise of a better life in the "peaceful" British-governed New Territories.
All of the first immigrants to Shung Him Tong were Hakka, mostly from the Baoan district in Guangdong (see table 2), and most were either already Christian or became Christian soon after moving to Shung Him Tong. Several were retired missionaries who had worked for the Basel mission in Guangdong or Hong Kong, and almost all claim to have been the victims of persecution, violence, or robbery in their native villages. Some violence was a result of Hakka-Punti feuds, but, as many of the life histories of early Chinese Christians in the Basel Mission Archives describe, converts were often blamed for local misfortunes. They were beaten, their houses were burned, and they were evicted from their villages (see app. 1).
A striking number of the household heads and their sons were missionaries who had attended Basel mission schools. As an older man from Shung Him Tong wrote to me in a recent letter, "Tens of thousands of students of my grandfather's generation and downwards received their good and proper education from the Basel mission secondary school in Nyenhang [Yuankeng]."
This included many of the Lings, Pang Lok Sam, and others from the village. Many older settlers chose to retire in Shung Him Tong rather than in their native villages. Religious networks—school and church acquaintances—seem to have been the main system through which people learned of and came to settle in Shung Him Tong, but kinship and native place ties were also factors.
In 1897, the year before the New Territories were leased by the British, a few Hakka immigrants surnamed Kong arrived at Dragon Mountain from Lilang. They remained only a few years, however, because it was difficult to make a living among the hostile local inhabitants. Most people of Shung Him Tong today are not aware of the Kongs and begin their history with Pastor Ling Kai Lin, who is known as the "official" founder of the village; but the Kongs in a sense paved the way for others to come later.
Ling Ban Chung, a distant relative of Pastor Ling, whose native place was also Lilang, heard about Lung Yeuk Tau from the Kongs, and with his nephew he moved to another Lung Yeuk Tau village named Ma Wat, where they rented a house and some farmland from a Teng family. Pastor Chan Lok Chun, also originally from Lilang, had been working in Hong Kong for the Basel mission when he too decided to buy some land and move to Tsz Tong village at the suggestion of the Kongs. Pastor Chan had trouble with his workers and neighbors and within a year lost most of his investments, so he returned to Sham Shui Po to continue his mission work. When he left, two Christian kinsmen named Chan and a man named Hong rented, farmed, and later acquired his land. In 1899, opposition to British rule caused local disturbances so Ling Ban Chung temporarily returned to Lilang and only later returned to settle permanently in Shung Him Tong.
Pastor Ling Kai Lin, born in 1844, was the son of Ling Chun Ko, who had been converted to Christianity by Theodore Hamberg of the Basel mission. Ling Kai Lin's father had moved to Lilang with Hamberg when they were expelled from the nearby village of Buji. Kai Lin's father then helped to establish a chapel, a boarding school for boys, and a theological seminary in Lilang, where he taught the Bible and Kai Lin studied.
Ling Kai Lin dedicated most of his life to the Basel mission and, after thirty-six years of service, decided to retire. As he explained in his letter of resignation, his health was not good; his older relatives were too weak to go to the sermons, and the younger ones too lazy, so he needed to spend more time with them (Basel Mission Archives 1899, 1900). His retirement was granted, and in 1903 he bought land in Shung Him Tong and settled there with his eldest son, Ling Sin Yuen, who was also a preacher. Then the Lings invited friends and relatives to come and work for them as tenant rice farmers. In 1903 there were people of the surnames Chan and Ling in Shung Him Tong, most of whom worked for Pastor Ling. There are three explanations given for the way Pastor Ling learned of Lung Yeuk Tau. The best-known version is that he was in contact with his distant relative Ling Ban Chung (their great-great-grandfathers were brothers; see app. 2, fig. 2), who recommended and then arranged for him to buy land there. As Pastor Ling told his son Sin Yuen, their native place was not a peaceful place to retire, since robbers and bandits were all about, but he had heard of Lung Yeuk Tau in the New Territories, where even chickens and dogs were not disturbed, the population was low, and the land was vast and suitable for cultivation.
Pastor Ling might also have heard of Lung Yeuk Tau from Pastor Chan, who was also from Lilang and worked for the Basel mission. An article written by Pastor Ling's grandson (Sin Yuen's son) Ling Dou Yeung adds more background to the story (Lin[g] 1974). According to him, Pastor Ling's youngest son, Sin Fong, was an engineer involved with the initial surveying of land for the Kowloon Canton Railway. When he finished his work on the section of the railway that reached Shen Zhen, he crossed over the Shen Zhen River to the New Territories in order to confirm Ling Ban Chung's claims and to find a place where people of his native village might come and settle. According to Ling Dou Yeung, Sin Fong picked a very suitable site, one that even modern feng-shui experts would agree is probably the best in the region.
The usual story in the village today is that the first tenant farmers became Christian after they moved to the village, but according to Ling Dou Yeung, those who decided to migrate to Shung Him Tong were already "believers" from the church in Buji. They at once began farming the hillside plots under the supervision of Ling Sin Yuen, who each week traveled back and forth between Buji and Shung Him Tong by horse. They created a small place of worship, which the villagers called Cheung Hing Tong (lit., the Hall of Longlasting Prosperity; Lin[g] 1974; Sagart 1982), and the village also came to be known by that name. Later, Pastor Ling changed the name again because "it seemed to refer too much to our family" (Lin[g] 1974), and when the church was founded it was called Shung Him Tong.
Pastor Ling's sons had all been educated at Basel mission schools in Guangdong, and all are reputed to have attained an unusually high level of education—continuing their education well beyond secondary school. None worked as farmers, and villagers today speculate that they were each able to contribute money to purchase more land in and around the village. Sin Fong's work for the Kowloon Canton Railway, one older villager thinks, allowed the Lings to prosper by investing in land they knew would increase in value because of its proximity to the railroad.
The arrival of the Hakka newcomers to Lung Yeuk Tau was not without incident. The local Punti were opposed to outsiders, particularly Christian ones. When Ling Ban Chung proposed to build his family two small houses in Shung Him Tong, the Teng claimed that it would destroy the feng-shui of their ancestral graves. Pastor Ling took the case to British authorities on Ban Chung's behalf, and the government intervened to allow the houses to be built. For the sake of keeping the peace, Pastor Ling agreed to the local Punti leaders' request for twenty-five Hong Kong dollars with which to pay for a banquet to appease their ancestors. This conflict was the first of several in the history of the village. In each case, rather than let the local Teng elders settle the conflict, the Hakka took the matter directly to the British authorities.
The immigrants envisioned Shung Him Tong as a home that could provide them with all that their previous home had lacked materially, socially, and spiritually. In the preface to Pang Lok Sam's history, Reverend Ho Syu Dak, a leader of the Basel mission in Hong Kong that later became the independent Tsung Tsin mission, wrote the following description of the imagined community of Shung Him Tong:
The church, school, and cemetery are still key features of the village today, with the church as the focal point of the Christian community. The church stands in a prominent location at the front of the village and is the first thing seen on approach. Behind it are nestled several rows of single-story stone houses that were built in the early years of the village.
The Church and the Cemetery
From 1903 to 1905 Pastor Ling and his eldest son, Sin Yuen, had been spreading the gospel among their tenants and other Hakka in the area. By the winter of 1905 there were ten converts, so Pastor Ling requested that the Basel mission send an evangelist to the village to help set up a church. In response, they sent Pang Lok Sam, who was to become an important figure in the village, in the Hakka community, and in the New Territories.
Pang had previously spent two years working as a missionary in the Wuhua district of Guangdong. His home there had been plundered and his family robbed, so he decided to move away. When his younger brother died in 1901, he applied to the mission for a transfer to Baoan so he could be closer to his grieving mother. He then heard of Shung Him Tong, which was within the British leased area where "law and order were maintained and life was peaceful" (Pang 1934). After being transferred to Tai Po and Sham Shui Po in the British Territory and discussing his plans with his family, he used what he had saved over the years to buy some land in Shung Him Tong.
Pang helped Pastor Ling with church work, dividing his time between Shung Him Tong, Tai Po, and Sham Shui Po until 1909, when he was assigned to work primarily in Shung Him Tong. The following year he and Pastor Ling built the large double house that the two families continue to share today. Pang served as head evangelist in Shung Him Tong until 1913, when "he chose to devote himself to the growth of the New Territories" because his "other business" became too demanding (Cheung 1984:1; see also app. 2). He nevertheless continued to play a major role in the growth of the village and the church.
By 1922 the small cottage that had served as a sermon hall was too small, and Pang was instrumental in arranging for the construction of a new church that was completed in 1927. After providing a place for Christians to live and worship, Pang wrote that it was important to find them a place to rest when they died, a place where relatives could come to show respect. In 1931 Pang applied to the government for land for the cemetery (see Hong Kong Government 1931). The request was approved, and the cemetery was established on a hillside in back of the village. The villagers pride themselves on this achievement and claim that Shung Him Tong is the only church in the New Territories with its own cemetery.
Pang also played an important role in facilitating the independent status of the Tsung Tsin mission, the successor to the Basel mission in Hong Kong. In 1934 the Tsung Tsin mission urged Shung Him Tong to become self-supporting. The three veteran pastors Ling, Pang, and Cheung Wo Ban took turns delivering the Sunday sermon and Cheung conducted the family visitations. The church continued to run normally and saved five hundred Hong Kong dollars annually. In 1937, because of the Japanese occupation of China, there was a large influx of refugees into Hong Kong, and the church grew, with Hakka Basel mission converts from areas around Baoan and others from as far as Meixian. On January 1, 1940, the church was officially declared self-supporting and representatives from the other Tsung Tsin mission churches participated in the celebration.
Beginning one of the worst periods in the memory of the people of Hong Kong, the Japanese occupied Hong Kong from December 1941 to August 1945. Shung Him Tong remained open, served by Pastor Man Ji San throughout the occupation. Many residents returned to their native villages in China, however, and as a result, church attendance was cut by as much as two thirds. The Tsung Tsin mission organized a group of two hundred people who walked for up to six days back to their old homes in Baoan, Huizhou, and Wuhua, while some went as far as Meixian (see map 3).
Those who remained in the village were forced to grow their own food and collect shrubs and grass from the hills for fuel, so that by the end of the war the hills were completely denuded of vegetation. The village school was closed down and used as a prison and detention center by the Japanese. Today stories about the ghosts of tortured prisoners wandering the Chung Him School grounds still circulate among the students. After the Japanese surrendered, church members returned en masse from China.
With the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, church membership continued to grow at a rapid pace. Landlords, Christians, and Chinese nationalists fled to Hong Kong, some deciding to settle in Shung Him Tong, in the new adjacent village of On Lok, or in nearby Luen Wo market. In 1951, with gifts, donations, and a grant of five thousand Hong Kong dollars for charitable institutions from the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club, construction began for a new two-story church that would seat three hundred followers. Meanwhile Pastor Man was transferred and was replaced by Man Fuk San, who later retired to the Hakka Christian community in North Borneo. He was replaced by Reverend Chow Tin Wo, who later left to pursue further study in Switzerland and Scotland. The most recent pastor, Tong Siu Ling, was born in Meixian. Two of his brothers are also pastors for the Tsung Tsin mission.
The high value that Chinese traditionally place on education is shared by the people of Shung Him Tong and the Hakka in general, who regard education as the one most important route for upward mobility. As Pang wrote, "Education can improve a man's life, contribute to society and promote greater civilization in the world" (1934:7). According to many Hakka Christians, education was one of the main incentives for their ancestors to convert to Christianity. Even though the Hakka were represented in the Qing government examination quotas, Hakka often felt they were discriminated against or did not have the same advantages in preparing for the examinations.
According to the northern New Territories district officer I spoke to, by 1949 the population of Shung Him Tong was per capita the most educated in all of urban or rural Hong Kong. The sons and daughters of Ling Sin Yuen all had university degrees, mostly from American universities. In Shung Him Tong education continues to be a priority. Church-affiliated schools, as I was told by the church evangelist, are considered an important means of teaching children to be good Christians and of attracting non-Christians to the church.
In theory, education has been readily available to children in the New Territories since the 1920s. But one New Territories temple inscription suggests otherwise, reading, "The descendants of those whose names do not appear on this tablet are not allowed to study in this temple" (Lun Ng 1984:251n. 5). Faure has written that by the "early twentieth century, no male child in the land communities of the eastern New Territories was totally deprived of a chance to attend school" (1986:147). The people of Shung Him Tong, however, felt otherwise. They believed that there were no schools in the area where they could send their children. The courses taught in the nearby Teng ancestral hall were taught in Cantonese, which excluded many monolingual Hakka children. Moreover, classes were taught in the hall where ancestors were worshiped, which also made the school unappealing to Christians.
Shung Him Tong church and village leaders decided that they had to establish their own school for Christian and non-Christian Hakka children. In 1913 Pastor Cheung taught classes in a one-room building that served as a temporary school. A new primary school was built in 1925, founded by Pang Lok Sam and his brother-in-law Tsui Yan Sau, who was also the founder of the famous Wah Yan College in Hong Kong. A year later the primary school was expanded into an upper and lower primary school and dormitories were built to house students who lived a long distance away; the school was again expanded in the 1970s.
In 1923, Pang Lok Sam applied to the government for land to be used for the school. After the government established that the school would be a philanthropic venture rather than a commercial one, they agreed that the land could be used for the sole purpose of a Hakka school (Hong Kong Government 1923). Until at least the 1950s the students were all Hakka with the exception of a few Mandarin speakers. This clause of the agreement was later amended, and today the school is no longer restricted to Hakka students. Today, however, the wealthier youths of Shung Him Tong often attend more prestigious schools in Hong Kong or Kowloon.
Roads and Bridges
Just as the church and school serve as monuments to the growth of the village, roads, bridges, walls, and fences also elicit stories about the history of the community. As Pang wrote, "There was once a dispute concerning the blockage of the road. It is worth recording so as to reveal the malicious ways of the world and how cruel people can be" (1934:13).
The people of Shung Him Tong were actively involved in improving their community. Besides the church and school there were other projects—such as building an embankment along the edge of the river to protect the area from floods during the typhoon season—which were geared toward improving their lives. Roads and bridges were constructed to facilitate the journey to and from market, to bring students to the school, and to bring more worshipers to the church. But such projects were also the grounds for dispute, especially with non-Christian, non-Hakka neighbors in the surrounding communities.
The road connecting Shung Him Tong to the outside world presented several challenges to Hakka Christian leaders. After Chung Him School was established, Pang Lok Sam went to the Tai Po district board to ask that the narrow wooden bridge crossing Phoenix River into Shung Him Tong be replaced. He received no response until a young Teng boy drowned in the river during the typhoon season at the dragon boat festival. The government then approved the request and contributed 900 Hong Kong dollars to the project.
The main route connecting Shung Him Tong with the larger market town of Sheung Shui had always passed through land that later became On Lok village. In the 1920s, across the river from Shung Him Tong, On Lok was developed into a posh residential community of "country homes" for wealthy Chinese businessmen and professionals, most of them Cantonese. By the late 1920s, the conflict between residents of Shung Him Tong and the Cantonese developers of On Lok came to a climax.
Throughout the 1920s there had been trouble all over the New Territories with bandits and thieves, so Pang and the heads of about twenty wealthy families from Shung Him Tong, On Lok, and other nearby villages organized Luen On Tong (United Peace Association) for mutual aid and protection. The organization included both Hakka Christians and non-Christians, some of them relatively recent Cantonese immigrants to Hong Kong, and possibly one or two older Punti families. The members kept gongs in their homes to sound in case of trouble and arranged for guards around their homes and fields. The association also arranged that the villagers be allowed to keep firearms to protect their property. Luen On Tong held four banquets a year for its members. At one banquet in 1928, Fung, a landlord from On Lok village, asked Pang if Shung Him Tong villagers could take a different route to the Fanling train station rather than through On Lok. Pang answered no and sensed that there would be trouble over this issue in the future.
Shortly after, Fung declared that Shung Him Tong villagers should find an alternate route and that the people of On Lok would not allow them to cross their property. They erected a barrier around their village and placed guards at the gates. These entrances were closed at 9:00 P.M. and only reopened again at 9:00 A.M. When Pang first learned of this, he assumed it concerned the safety of the On Lok villagers and made no objection. But the next year on January 1, the path from On Lok to Shung Him Tong was blocked, and Pang reported it to the Tai Po District Office. The district officer assigned a police inspector to investigate. It turned out that the On Lok villagers had bought the land along which the path ran from the government a year earlier. The district office recommended that the Shung Him Tong and On Lok village leaders negotiate. Ling Sin Yuen, Cheung Wo Ban, Pang Lok Sam, and Tsui Yan Sau invited the On Lok village leaders to hold a meeting, but two meetings later, still no agreement had been reached. A few months later a lawyer from On Lok arranged a meeting in the Tai Po District Office and offered the following conditions:
1. Only students and villagers can use the path;
2. An annual one-dollar fee should be paid by each user;
3. Passage is allowed in both directions;
4. The path is open during daylight hours only;
5. People must pass on foot;
6. No cows are allowed;
7. No funeral processions are allowed;
8. The route must be agreed on in a contract.
Shung Him Tong representatives objected to the conditions. A month later Fung decided to block the path. The next evening On Lok guards fired several shots and claimed that Shung Him Tong villagers had tried to clear the obstructed path at night; they discovered them, fired a warning shot, and Shung Him Tong people allegedly returned fire. The following day the police inspector sent someone to bring Pang Lok Sam with his two rifles and pistol to the police station to be examined.
A European Basel missionary from Switzerland who was studying Hakka language in Shung Him Tong at the time of the incident wrote a letter to attest to the fact that Pang Lok Sam did not fire the shots. A week later Pang and Ling again met with the On Lok lawyer but they reached no settlement. The district commissioner recommended that Shung Him Tong hire a lawyer. Pang, concerned that this would mean a great financial burden for the village, decided to take a different tack.
The next day, Pang arranged for a meeting of Shung Him Tong leaders and advocates at Chung Him School. Reverend Ho and Pastor Tsang of the Sai Ying Pun Basel mission church also joined the meeting and helped the Shung Him Tong representatives plan how to lodge their appeal. The following day they went to discuss the case with three members of the Heung Yee Kuk (Rural Consultative Committee), the organization of rural representatives that had been set up to serve the interests of the people of the New Territories. They finally agreed that Pang, who had been influential in founding the Kuk and was then the chairman, would send a letter to the Tai Po District Office and request that it be forwarded to the governor (Pang 1934).
Pang Lok Sam is thought to have been very effective in his way of approaching the government. In the letter to the Tai Po District Office dated April 1930, Pang Lok Sam and Ling Sin Yuen wrote:
Quickly and unexpectedly, the matter was resolved. No doubt Pang's political clout and his relationship with the Kuk was a major factor. By order of the government, the police inspector sent a detective sergeant to On Lok the next day. Fung was instructed to make the path accessible, and Pang Lok Sam was informed that the dispute would be settled by the government in due course. By the end of the year, the government decided to buy back four acres of land in On Lok for public access. The land was bought from the On Lok Investment Company for eighty-seven Hong Kong dollars. As Pang wrote, "With the blessing of God we could finally come to a satisfactory conclusion after a series of twists and turns" (1934:16; see also Hong Kong Government 1930). The construction of the road and the bridge is still a matter of pride for the villagers of Shung Him Tong. The list of donations and the plaque commemorating the new road and the bridge still stand. Since then three additional bridges have been built connecting Shung Him Tong to the main road, the most recent completed in 1987.
Politics and the People of Shung Him Tong
From the beginning of their arrival in the New Territories, the people of Shung Him Tong showed an exceptional ability to protect their interests and establish themselves in their community. The successful establishment of the church, school, and cemetery and the resolution of the conflict over the path through On Lok village are testaments, in the minds of the people of Shung Him Tong, to "God's power." But these same events also demonstrate their ability to deal with the political situation in the New Territories and the material benefits of belonging to the Hakka Christian community.
Luen Wo Tong was another voluntary organization started by Pang Lok Sam. It was less elite in its orientation than Luen On Tong, described above, and had many more members. It served the interests of Hakka Christians from Shung Him Tong and helped to link them with Hakka outside of the village. Membership, restricted to Hakka only, was attracted from throughout the Fanling region, including On Lok and Lung Yeuk Tau. Luen Wo Tong was established in the late 1920s and was, as one of Pang's sons described it, "a Hakka organization to protect them when they were bullied by the Punti." In the words of a retired government official who lived in Shung Him Tong for a few years as a child, it was "designed to resist pressure from the Puntis."
Luen Wo Tong also established certain rules and standards for its members. At weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions, the same man explained,
Another man described how the organization owned a building and bowls, cups, chairs, and other things "so that members could use these things for big banquets rather than have to rent them from big expensive restaurants." In those days, he said, "When you were invited to weddings you were obligated to give sixty cents, which was a hardship for some people. Pang Lok Sam made a stipulation that excused poor people from this obligation." After the war, by the late 1940s, he went on, "This association was not so necessary." As he explained, a government official who was originally from Shung Him Tong "discouraged the association because he said it helped to reinforce the distinction between Hakka and Punti. He said not to make there be differences. By then, anyway, there was little trouble."
Luen Wo Tong was one way for the people of Shung Him Tong to protect their interests. Their mission school education, knowledge of foreigners, wider church contacts, and ability to deal with the British government enabled such prominent community leaders as Ling, Pang, and others to successfully resolve the problems they encountered. By relying on their own leadership or allying themselves with the district office, Hakka Christians were able to circumvent the traditional political authority of the Punti. While in the nineteenth century the Teng might have resisted the establishment and expansion of Shung Him Tong, their power in the twentieth century was seriously undermined by the arrival of the British administration, who, in many respects, considered the Hakka their allies. As illustrated by the incident of the new path through On Lok, Hakka Christians were even able to successfully achieve their goals in competition with wealthy Cantonese developers.
Like several other Hakka Christians, Pang Lok Sam had considerable influence outside the boundaries of Shung Him Tong. He was a leader in the New Territories as a representative and founder of the Heung Yee Kuk and was involved in founding the International Hakka Association. He also organized Luen Wo Tong for the mutual benefit and protection of all Hakka, both Christians and non-Christians, and Luen On Tong, which allied him with wealthy Hakka and non-Hakka families. When the ever-increasing Hakka population of Lung Yeuk Tau and the wider region encountered problems with landlords or even in family matters, Pang was often invited—by both Hakka Christians and non-Christians—to mediate. Pang also served as an important link to the British government and was known to be a close personal friend of the governor, Sir Cecil Clementi. As Smith (1985) has aptly demonstrated, religion was instrumental in the upward mobility of Chinese Christians. Mission-educated Chinese Christians in Hong Kong often attained positions as middlemen in business and politics. Members of the generation after Pang Lok Sam, Ling Sin Yuen, Cheung Wo Ban, and Tsui Yan Sau were just as successful. One of Tsui's sons, Paul Tsui, became a high-ranking official in the Hong Kong government. Cheung's son worked for the Hong Kong Government Lands Office, and one of Ling's sons became the first president of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
In the first three decades of Shung Him Tong, the founders managed to establish a church for communal worship, a school to provide high-quality education for their children, and a cemetery where their ancestors could rest. Homes were built; roads were constructed and expanded. The people of Shung Him Tong became renowned in the New Territories, and the church attracted an increasing number of Hakka followers who shared the vision of this imagined Hakka Christian community.
1. The term "Punti" is sometimes translated to mean "indigenous" or "native" but does not usually refer to the pre-Chinese (pre-Han) inhabitants. "Punti" is used in several different ways depending on the context and the person using the term. The most common uses are as follows. (1) It is used by Cantonese speakers to refer to the descendants of Cantonese-speaking people who lived in the New Territories before the British. This includes those who successfully "passed'' as Cantonese. (2) It is used to refer to the Chinese people who were in the New Territories before the British, regardless of whether they were Hakka speakers or Cantonese speakers. (3) It is used very broadly to refer to people who are not "recent immigrants" to the New Territories. This generally means people who arrived before the late 1940s. Punti can be juxtaposed to Hakka in some cases, and can include Hakka in others. In most cases, however, the term refers to pre-British Yue-speaking inhabitants.
2. As Faure defines it, the Cantonese term heung (xiang) can be used to describe a cluster of villages so close that they appear to merge together, as a larger community including villages and village clusters, or to describe a "cluster in which each village forms a distinct unit," as in Lung Yeuk Tau, also known as Lung Shan Heung (1986:181).
3. Anthropological research has been conducted among several of the higher-order lineages in the New Territories. See R. Watson (1985, 1982) for information on the Teng of Ha Tsuen; Potter on the Teng of Ping Shan (1968); J. Watson on the Man (1975); Baker on the Liao (1968); and Faure (1986) on Eastern New Territories lineages, especially Teng and Pang.
4. It is interesting to note the early censuses used language as the means of distinguishing between Hakka and Punti (Hong Kong Government 1911). Later censuses (1962, 1966) still distinguished between "usual language," but in this case it was between Hakka and Cantonese (the Punti language, strictly speaking is not the same as Cantonese—the language spoken in Canton—is not often understood by Cantonese speakers, and is sometimes mistaken for Hakka). In the 1971 census, language is given as a factor of place of origin. In the 1981 census there is no category of language, only place of origin defined so broadly as to include all of Guangdong in one category; thus, it is impossible to determine the size of the Hakka population as their "place of origin" is the same as that of the Cantonese. Census data for 1971 and 1981 suggest that there are far more Chaozhou than Hakka. This is misleading as most Hakka have been in Hong Kong far longer than the Chaozhou and therefore their "usual language" is often Cantonese. The bulk of the Chaozhou population live in urban areas, while many Hakka remain in the rural New Territories (see Sparks 1976a, 1976b).
5. The official boundary of Shung Him Tong, used for administrative purposes and for population census information, stretches over a far wider area than the "social" boundary of Shung Him Tong. The fact that there are at least two ideas about what is meant by Shung Him Tong becomes clear with the following example: the official population of Shung Him Tong is thirteen hundred, and this number is used to determine the number of village representatives to which Shung Him Tong is entitled. But church members say that "almost everyone in Shung Him Tong village goes to church" and that "95 percent of the people in Shung Him Tong are Christian and all are Hakka." During the year I attended Shung Him Tong Sunday services, less than two hundred people attended church each week, and many were from outside of Shung Him Tong, even with its boundaries most broadly defined. Shung Him Tong, as it is represented in this study, is the Shung Him Tong of Hakka Christians. The question of who is considered to "belong" to the community is addressed in the following chapter.
6. This is an unpublished address presented by K. M. A. Barnett while serving as District Commissioner of the New Territories, now held at the Colonial Secretariat Library, Hong Kong.
7. See Pasternak (1983:12-26) for an example of the unwelcome reception of Hakka in Taiwan.
8. The manuscript was compiled by Pang Lok Sam in 1934. It was later mimeographed. A photocopy of a mimeographed copy is in the Chinese collection of the Hong Kong University Library. It is handwritten and poorly duplicated so not all parts are legible.
9. It is unclear whether the immigrants were accompanied by their families. Women and children are rarely mentioned in the history of the village or in the family genealogies. Daughters may be listed but their names are rarely recorded, nor are those of their husbands and children.
10. It is not clear whether the tenant farmers Ling and Chan who Ling Kai Lin invited to farm his land are the families of Ling Ban Chung, Ling Ban Sum, Chan Yuk Choi, and Chan Kwai Choi.
11. One informant was quick to tell me that the earlier name of Shung Him Tong meaning "Always Prosper" need not refer to material wealth, but could also mean "spiritual wealth," or an increasing number of believers.
12. See Baker (1968:36-37) for an example of the dislike of Christians in Sheung Shui.
13. The Hong Kong property of the Basel mission had been transferred to the Hong Kong church during World War I, but the Tsung Tsin mission, or the "Hakka church," did not gain its independence until 1928. When the Germans lost the war, Tsung Tsin mission became independent largely for economic reasons. The Basel mission churches in China were not affected by the war as were their churches in Africa, India, and Hong Kong, since the German missionaries who belonged to the Basel mission were allowed to remain (see Pang 1934; also Jenkins 1989).
14. According to W. Lo (1965:95-96, 113), in imperial China the Punti often prevented recent Hakka immigrants from registering with the local government so that they would not be eligible "to participate in the local civil service examination, for which each district had a fixed quota." As early as 1789 a separate quota was set up for the Hakka in certain parts of Guangdong in an attempt to reduce the "conflicts between the minority groups and the rest of the population" (Chang 1955:81). See Lun Ng (1984) concerning village education in the New Territories region during the Qing dynasty.
15. In a government memo (Hong Kong Government 1923), the colonial secretary inquired of the north district officer whether the school was to be a commercial or a philanthropic venture. The north district officer responded:
16. It is difficult to generalize about where Hakka non-Christians sided in these disputes. In some cases Hakka non-Christians turned to the powerful Hakka Christian leaders for support in their own disagreements with Punti villagers. In the case of the dispute with On Lok described in this chapter, local Hakka might well have sided with the people of Shung Him Tong because, like the Lung Yeuk Tau Punti, they could also benefit from the new path through On Lok. In other conflicts that were specifically between Hakka Christians and Punti, such as in the conflict over the new church site described in Chapter 5, most local non-Christian Hakka appear to have attempted to remain neutral rather than risk offending their Punti neighbors.
17. According to the European missionary,
|【字体：大 中 小】【打印】【关闭】|