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  • Gordon Dumoulin

40,000 Chinese genealogies under one roof...

40,000 ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ 300,000 ๐˜ท๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด, ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ 456 ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง... ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜Š๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ขโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ณs ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด...

While the new massive East branch of the Shanghai Library, opened in Pudong district last autumn, is renowned for its architecture (architect Chris Hardie), size, expositions and services, one of its original, major driving force to build the new library was a new home for arguably the worldโ€™s top collection of Chinese genealogies.

Some scholars argue the practice of genealogy records dates back 3000-3500 years ago, to the Shang dynasty (1600-1046 B.C.), though it didnโ€™t reach its peak until the Wei, Jin, and Southern and Northern dynasties period (roughly A.D. 220-581). In an era dominated by powerful clans, genealogies were a vital means of establishing family ties, blood relationships, marital alliances, even bureaucratic posts.

Did you know that the top 100 Chinese surnames account for about 85% of China's population (from a total of about 4,000 surnames). And the top 5 Chinese surnames (็Ž‹ Wang, ๆŽ Li, ๅผ  Zhang, ๅˆ˜ Liu, ้™ˆ Chen) are also worldโ€™s most common surnames, each with 70-100 million worldwide.

่€็™พๅง“ (LวŽo BวŽi Xรฌng); literally. 'Old Hundred Surnames' is an ancient and traditional term describing the Chinese people. A term originated from the early Song Dynasty (960-1279)

Read more in Sixthtone about the culture, records, lores and tales of Chinese genealogy over millennia during the different dynasties :

#china #china2023 #shanghai #chinesesociety #chineseculture #chinesehistory

Pictures Sixthone, Shanghai Daily

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