CHINA DAILY Lan Honglin, head of the Lan Family Association in Zhangpu, Fujian Compiling genealogies and building ancestral temples are Chinese traditions. They connect people who have the same family roots and promote their sense of belonging. Genealogies, or family trees, are the best resources for discovering family histories, because they can answer the philosophical question of where we come from. To some extent, genealogies are like identity cards for families. They contain excellent information, including the names and deeds of each generation. One significant practical function of genealogies is to help those who have moved away from their hometowns to trace their roots. Every family establishes a temple where their ancestors are enshrined and worshipped. Traditionally, when a family member dies, a tablet that embodies his or her spirit is made and placed in the temple Most people in Zhangpu village, Nantou, Taiwan, have the Lan surname. Their ancestors were soldiers from Zhangpu, a county in Zhangzhou, Fujian province. During the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), three generals - all members of the Lan family in Zhangpu - were sent by emperors successively to suppress rebellions on Taiwan. Most of the soldiers who accompanied the generals were also members of the Lan family. When the fighting ended, many stayed on the island because the land was fertile but the population was small. About 56,000 people on Taiwan are descendants of the original Lan family. They are proud of their family histories and help each other. In the 1980s, they started returning to Zhangpu and the ancestral temple. They bring their genealogies and ancestral tablets so they understand which generation they are. No matter what job they do, whether they are rich or poor, successful or not, when they visit the temple they all kneel and pray before their ancestors and they recite the family maxims that have been passed down for centuries. Lan Honglin spoke with Zhang Yi. tyvek wristbands uk
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The house is charred after a fire. [Photo/VCG] Police in Jiangsu province said they have arrested an arson suspect after a fire that engulfed a house claimed 22 lives on Sunday morning. The fire broke out about 4:30 am in a two-story residential house in Yushan, a town in Changshu, leaving 22 people dead and three others injured, none of whom had life-threatening wounds. Seventy-one firefighters and 14 firetrucks were dispatched and the blaze was extinguished by 5:30 am. According to the Jiangsu Provincial Public Security Department, traces of gasoline were found at the scene and all the doors of the building were locked from the outside. Police identified a suspect, surnamed Jiang, by analyzing the scene and surveillance cameras around the building. Police said the suspect bad been taken into custody, but they released no further information. Twenty-four teams with psychologists, legal experts and civil administration workers were sent to help relatives of the victims and the injured. The State Administration of Work Safety dispatched a team to Changshu for investigation. The administration ordered the provincial work safety department to cooperate with the Changshu government in aiding the injured and determining the cause of the fire. Jiangsu's Party chief Li Qiang and Wu Zhenglong, acting governor, hurried to Changsu to assist. Li said at a news conference in the city on Sunday that information on the fire will be released to the public as soon as possible. According to local residents, the building served as a dormitory for employees of Siage Private Dishes Restaurant. Twenty-nine employees, including cooks and waiters, had lived in the 200-square-meter building for more than two years. Most of the dead were in their 20s and had left their hometowns to find work in Changshu. Five burn wound specialists have been sent to the local hospital to help treat the injured. An investigation of the fire is under way. cangwei@chinadaily.com.cn
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