Learn a little more about Gaginang by reading through our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
- What is Teochew?
- What does “Gaginang” mean?
- Who runs Gaginang?
- Where is Gaginang based?
- Where do most Gaginang members come from?
- It seems like Gaginang is aimed towards young people. What about adults?
- How do I become a member of Gaginang? Do I have to be Teochew to join?
- What kind of events does Gaginang do?
- Where does Gaginang’s funding come from?
- I’d like to help Gaginang. What can I do?
- What are Gaginang’s plans for the future?
- How do I contact Gaginang?
Teochew is the name of a place, a language, and people. Teochew people are known for their unique language, rich culinary traditions, regional style of Chinese opera, a complex transnational history, business acumen and more. As a language, Teochew is spoken in the eastern part of Guangdong province in Southern China centering around the city of Teochew (潮州市). The modern region of Teochew-speakers is known today as Diosuan (潮汕). Teochew is not mutually intelligible with either Mandarin or Cantonese. Teochew is linguistically classified in the Minnan branch of Chinese languages, making it closely related to Hokkien. From the late 1700s to the 1940s, many Teochew people immigrated to Southeast Asia seeking business opportunities and to better their lives. In Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, there are large populations of Teochew people descended from these original immigrants. From the 1970s to 1980s, Teochew people in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam escaped war as refugees to live in sponsoring western nations such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, and Switzerland. Though there is no official census, the worldwide population of Teochew speakers is estimated at 30 million.
With such a rich diaspora, it is no wonder that Teochew culture is a rich amalgamation of Chinese traditions as well as more modern borrowings from Southeast Asia and the West. Many Teochew are multilingual in various Chinese dialects, Southeast Asian languages, and other languages. Teochew cuisine has borrowed many Southeast Asian elements. The life ways of modern Teochew people are truly a diverse reflection of the past.
This website uses “Teochew” as the standard spelling (based on Gaginang’s Peng’im). It can also be spelled: Teochiu (various), Teochew (Malaysia/Indonesia/Singapore), Chiuchow (Hong Kong), Chaozhou (China), Trieu Chau (Vietnam), Taejiu (Thailand), Swatow (English – Traditional form), etc.
Gaginang means “Our own people” in the Teochew language.
Gaginang has a staff which handles the day-to-day functions of the organization. We also have a Board of Trustees that guides the development of the organization. Get to know our officers! Visit our STAFF page.
Gaginang is physically based in San Francisco, CA, USA. However, a great majority of its offline activities take place in various regions of the US. There is also a large amount of online activities as well.
A majority of Gaginang’s members come from English-speaking countries like the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. Other members come from countries such as China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, the UK, and France, all countries with significant populations of Teochew people.
Though the majority of Gaginang’s members are young adults, we welcome members of all ages. One of our goals is to bridge the generation gap between young and old.
Registering as a member is absolutely free! Giving accurate information (we will never share your information with others) helps us to meet the needs of our members. Becoming a member entitles you to post on our popular message board, have a member profile, receive information about our upcoming events, and more! Anyone interested in Gaginang is welcome to become a member. Become a member by going to the front page and clicking on "Create an Account".
Gaginang’s Official Events promote our mission of empowering the Teochew community. Past events have included our biennial conference, educational camping retreats, Teochew food demonstrations, and more. They are planned by Gaginang staff and abide by standards set by the organization. For more information on Gaginang’s Official Events, visit the EVENTS page.
As a grass-roots nonprofit organization run entirely by volunteers, our funds come from event registration, grants, merchandise sales, and donations. If you have ideas for how to fundraise, please let us know. If you would like to make a donation to support Gaginang, please visit our DONATE page.
Gaginang is always looking for people who share our desire to promote and enrich our culture, language, and heritage. We always appreciate comments and suggestions on ways we can improve the website, events, and the organization as a whole. At the end of the year, we have an open call for those interested in becoming staff for the following calendar year. At other times, we welcome anyone to inquire about volunteering for events or other Gaginang programs. Look for opportunities on the VOLUNTEER page.
Gaginang hopes to serve as the premier source for all things Teochew. We hope to connect more Teochew people, of all ages, all over the world. To learn more about plans and ideas for the organization, visit our STAFF BLOG page.
We’d love to hear from you! Visit the CONTACT page to direct your questions, comments, or suggestions to us.