Welcome to Toisan Pride

Toisanese (Hoisanese is the REAL pronunciation; and Mandarin speakers call it "Taishan" or Taishanese") were among the first Chinese-Cantonese immigrants to hail to the United States from the Guangdong/Guangzhou Province of Southern China in the Pearl River Delta, west of Hong Kong.

Many Hoisanese immigrants came to the U.S. starting in the 19th century to help build railroads, and eventually stayed to establish laundromats, restaurants, etc. and worked hard to build a better future for their families. Some famous Hoisan folks include: U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Chef Martin Yan (Yan Can Cook); Hawaii Senator Hiram Fong, Hong Kong Martial Artist Donnie Yen (star of IP MAN), Actor James Hong, Former California Treasurer Matt Fong; Actress Anna May Wong. For more Toisan/Taishan background history, click on Wikipedia.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Some day, I plan on updating it but Blogger isn't the greatest with blog templates so I appreciate your patience! I welcome comments, stories, photos, Toisanese/Say-Yip history, anything about our wonderful people to toisangirl@yahoo.com.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What does Toisan Mean? 臺山

I used to think “Toi” was like saying “vegetable” in Toisanese which would mean a literal translation as  Vegetable Mountain. However, my Taiwan-born sister-in-law and colleague Clarence Lau said the Chinese dictionary defines “Toi” 臺 as a: platform, raised mountain.

Clarence, who is a Jong-Sanese well-versed in Chinese, says by adding wood 木 to the Toi character 臺, the word becomes a table檯.  In Toisanese, “table,” it comes out as “hoi,” right? So it’s like a Table-Mountain, I would surmise. Toisan was known for having many cultivatable lands and was mainly a farming community back in the old days.

Back in the turn of the century, many coastline Chinese were lured into slave labor opportunities in America. The majority of Toisanese landed in cities such as New York City and Los Angeles. According to Clarence, Hawaii is the only place in the U.S. where there are more Jongsan-ese than Toisanese.

Chinese Heritage Tour:  I came across this fascinating blog of a Toisanese Heritage Tour in the Pacific Northwest - see some great photos of Toisanese/Cantonese dishes too!~    http://db.wingluke.org/tourblog/?p=321       Aloha, Toisan Girl

1 comment:

  1. I think Toisan can be written as 台山 as well.

    ReplyDelete