Author: SL Lee
Date: 12-31-05 10:04
To many who are new or old, this part of the history may be of interest to you.
In 1993, when the web was not even available, Jonathan Teoh posted a message in a newsgroup calling for response from Hakka folks in the world. I was one of the first few to write back. We formed a maillist to exchange on many things about our hometowns, Hakka dialects, etc. I built the first Hakka Homepage in 1994 when web was first available. Much of the materials on Hakka were taken from the email exchanges and my own research. In 1996, I founded the Asiawind website.
As long as search engines have existed, Asiawind's Hakka website is the first one on all - Yahoo and Google. Google ranks sites by popularity. Thus it is an objective measurement of this site's significance. Google now has 1.2 million entries, and Yahoo 1.5 million. It shows the significance of this site. Britannica names Asiawind's Hakka website as the only web reference besides its own articles. For that Asiawind's Hakka site also received an award for outstanding site of the category.
What has been achieved
* A most gratifying achievement of Asiawind's Hakka website is Hakka folks in Toronto used the forum to communicate and started the International Hakka Conference in Toronto 2000. I had the chance to be a keynote speaker and met some 400 highly enthusiastic friends, including Senator Vivienne Poy, Keith Lowe and many prominent leaders of the community. A second conference was held in 2004.
* CHUNG Yoon-Ngan has posted many useful articles on the Hakka forum and launched a few books well received.
* Gavin Menzies, the author of "1421" uses some of the research I translated from the Annals of Ming History in his book about Zheng He. Through this, we become friends and I have introduced to him some other sources that might help him produce a second edition with more solid data.
* Many Hakka folks from all over the world have exchanged information and use it to visit their hometown.
My intention of doing research on Hakka has changed from the curiosity of learning about this specific group of migrating people to a much wider scope of people migrating all over the world and the cultural consequence. America is the most recent frontier of multicultural conference.
Some of my thoughts given in the preface I wrote for Chung's book is also the impetus for me to start on the "Our World" forum. My goal is to let different peoples of the world communicate and learn from each other how to co-exist in cultural encounters. There are useful lessons in the history of Hakka migrations. There are things to hang on to and things to give up. Unless one opens the fist, nothing can be held. More is so for the mind.
My professional life is on chemistry and biochemistry, but I have been interested in cultural aspects of all peoples since I was a child. The ultimate answer may lie in brain chemistry and physics. Bias, prejudice, discrimination, and hate prevent us as human beings to truly exercise our potentials as the most intelligent species. Much of our civilizations have been destroyed unnecessarily. So, from Hakka culture to Chinese culture to World culture, I hope to provide a platform for discussion to find a better way for all to live. I have expressed more on my philosophy in Our World forum.
To those who consider the forums biased to Hakka, Chinese, or whatever, I will return with a smile. The term Asiawind only indicates a point of reference. The Wind may blow from or towards Asia to neutralize the overheated thin air.
I can think of many quotations what I feel now about the meaning and purpose of the forums. The following may be most appropriate at the moment:
“The ocean is enormous because it accepts all waters.
The mountain stands a thousand feet high because it desires nothing in return.”
---- Lin Zexu.
海納百川， 有容乃大。 壁立千仞， 無欲則剛。