This section is a representative list of music, film, literature, and other forms of media that use Diojiu language or promote Diojiu culture.
If you have information about Diojiu multimedia, please CONTACT US
Modern Diojiu music reflects western genres such as rock, hip-hop, pop, folk, and more. Modern music sung in Diojiu is extremely rare. Worldwide, only a handful of albums have been released in Diojiu. Some of these are love-ballads from the 1980s. These tend to be crooning pieces that are influenced by the traditional Diojiu Opera. These pieces were produced mainly in China and Hong Kong. Other modern songs that have been released are mainly from Malaysia and Singapore. The popular Ah Niu 阿牛 (or Ah Ghu, in Diojiu) co-released an album with Ah Hui 阿煇 in the 90s entitled: We are One Family 我們一家都是人. It features 10 songs: 5 in Diojiu, and 5 in Hokkien. Also, from the Diojiu enclave of Bukit Merajit in Malaysia, the BM Boys 山腳下男孩 released “Not Your Usual Diojiu Album 非一般潮州轉韻 Fei Yi Ban Chaozhou Zhuan Yun", also in the 90s. Both albums could be considered to come from a native Malaysian genre called “Kampong Rock". This would best be described as a folky, rocky, down-to-earth, funky ensemble that tackles the topics of everyday life. These albums are also linguistically interesting because Diojiu as spoken in Malaysia and Singapore often borrows words from Malay and Hokkien (See detail album information below). Outside of these two albums, I’ve personally had the pleasure of listening to Diojiu Hip-hop by Michael “Plow” Wong. This Diojiu guy from Hong Kong and Canada has at least 2 songs about being Diojiu. To access these songs yourself, click on the following link: 524 Family: “Still Diojiu". Words fall short when describing the experience of listening to these songs, so listen for yourself.
Left to Right: Sammi, Miriam, Stef, Celeste
In the Chinese language (Mandarin/Cantonese) music world, there are quite a few singers of Diojiu heritage. These include the Sammi Cheng 鄭秀文 and Miriam Yeung 楊千嬅 from Hong Kong, and new stars like Stef Sun 孫燕姿 and Celeste 張玉華 from Singapore. Hopefully stars like these will one day produce a few Diojiu tunes for us to listen to!
In addition to music, there is the ever popular ” Wang Sha & Ye Feng ” (Ong Sua & Ia Hueng), Fatty and Skinny, the dynamic comedy duo from Singapore. They have produced many pieces jibing at the everyday life of two Diojiu guys living in multi-cultural and multi-linguistic Singapore. Most of their CDs are in Diojiu mixed with Cantonese, Mandarin, and Hokkien.
Wang Sha & Ye Feng (Heng Sa, Ia Huang) : Happy New Year 王沙野蜂：賀新年
This spoken word/song CD is about celebrating The New Year in Singapore. The Diojiu language in here is very accessible to everyday speakers, but in the traditional diversity of The Lion City, there are plenty of other languages used in this CD: Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Cantonese, Malay (a little) and even Tamil. Not only is the CD really funny, but it really gives you a sense of colloquial Diojiu in Singapore and how often one needs to switch languages back and forth. One of the best CDs out there! These guys are golden!
Wang Sha & Ye Feng (Heng Sa, Ia Huang) Two Treasures Learn Qi Gong + Happy Years Bodyguard 王沙野蜂:雙寳學氣功+ 樂齡保鏢
These two are at it again, now doing some Qi Gong! This is another extremely funny installment of Singapore multi-dialect humor. Diojiu people be warned, if you don’t know Mandarin, Cantonese, or Hokkien (you can sound out the Hokkien), unfortunately you’ll be missing out on about 1/2 the humor.
Chaozhou String Music 潮州弦絲樂
This Audio CD features the Chaozhou Folk Music Troupe of Shantou and The Linghai String and Woodwind Ensemble of Shantou. Though some of the earlier tracks are reminiscent of Diojiu Opera Melodies, these songs are nevertheless a good sampling of Chaoshan String instruments. The booklet that comes with this CD tells you a lot about traditional Chaoshan music as well as the individual artists involved in making this CD. Be reminded that this CD is entirely instrumental.
Produced by HUGO (HRP 7227-2). ©2001. Hong Kong.
1 CD, 7 tracks, 64mins.
Swatow Opera: Yan Lan Zhen Breaks the Flower Vase 嚴蘭貞打破玉花瓶
The story of Yan Lan Zhen comes to life in this Diojiu Opera CD, that is, if you understand the Diojiu well enough. If not, don’t fret. It’s still a very interesting listen, hearing the men holler and women whine in the best of Diojiu Opera glory.
Shantou Haiyang Yinxiang Chushe Chufan. (No Copyright Date, though looks to be produced in the 80’s). Hong Kong.
2CDS, Very Long.
Fitting Classics of Diojiu No.5 潮州諧趣金曲：精彩妙趣曲曲動聽
Though there is a picture of Diojiu Opera Actors on the cover, this CD not only has some Opera-style pop-tunes, but other cheesy sounding modern (think 80s) pop ditties. The fact that this is number 5 in a series means that there are quite a few cheesy Diojiu songs, and my mission is to find them. The songs grate on you after listening for too long, but it’s fun to read the super-small lyrics when trying to follow along Karaoke style. If your Diojiu is just at the conversational level, don’t expect to understand too much.
BM Boys: Special Diojiu Album 山腳下男孩
Out of the depths of creative limbo, came this erratic blip of a CD from the BMBoys (Stands for Bukit Mertajam, a town in Malaysia). Though normally singing in Mandarin, these four (I think there are more of them today) Chinese lads (some are Diojiu or part Diojiu) decided to create an album in Diojiu. The songs are called “Folk-Rock", which basically means poppy-folky-weirdness. The songs are actually pretty cool with lyrics that span subjects from getting married (Minnan Favorite), to respecting elders and life in Malaysia. The Diojiu they use is also very accessible to those Diojiu whose speech is quite “ao3″. And the excellent lyrics sheet is always available too.
Follow Me Records/Rock Records 1998. Kuala Lampur, Malaysia.
1CD, 10 tracks, 30mins+ (can come with extra Karaoke CD!) Fansite
Ah Niu & Ah Hui: We Are All One People 阿牛/阿煇: 我們一家都是人
Another rare jewel, this is a, get this, Diojiu and Hokkien CD! Each guy sings 4 songs in their native tongue (Ah Hui is Diojiu, Ah Niu is Hokkien), with subject matter ranging from getting married, to life in the kampong. Then there are two songs where both of them sing together (both simultaneous and alternating). Its interesting to hear the similarities between the two Minnan dialects. The music style is kind of kampong pop, with some slower songs. A little on the cheesy side, but still very good listening.
Sa Gian Sai 傻仔婿
The story of a not-so-sharp husband, his beautiful and kind wife and their daily goings-about. Fairly amusing, the story takes place in old Diosuan. Access some clips from our Downloads section.
He Hou Lai 夏雨來
A Diojiu folk hero of sorts, He Hou Lai is the name of a scholar who did good deeds for those in need. Apparently stories of his good deeds have been passed down orally and in written form. The VCD version has many episodes divided up into little stories, each replete with a moral. The stories take place in what looks like the 1700s or earlier somewhere in Diosuan. Very amusing. Access some clips from our Downloads section.
Chao Ju Da Dian: Chai Fang Hui (Dio Jok Dua Diam: Cha Bang Hui) (The Woodshed)
This is one in a series of Diojiu Opera VCDs put out by Universe. The story of “The Woodshed” tells of a high official who travels to a countryside town and happens upon a woodshed that is haunted by a woman-ghost. Consequently, he is scared into confessing the wrongs of his past. Though there are no Chinese subtitles on this VCD (Despite what it says on the back), the actors speak clearly. This was actually a copy by someone sitting in on a live performance. Other collections in this series are copies of VHS Videotapes that were made a while back. Very interesting.
Literature about the lives of Diojiu people is extremely hard to come by. The following list of both fiction and non-fiction is organized by country. Please feel free to suggest a listing/review of any Diojiu-related fiction: novels, short stories, poetry; OR non-fiction: newspaper/magazine articles, books, biographies, etc. For information on Diojiu language learning materials, please see our Language section.
The Bible and the Gun: Christianity in South China, 1860-1900 Author: Joseph Tse-Hei Lee. Routledge, Inc © 2002. ISBN: 0415933838 (Non-fiction)
The Bible and the Gun studies the relationship between Christianity and collective violence in late nineteenth century Diosuan. The book examines the power relations between Christians, non-Christians and between different Christian denominations in villages. There is an incredible amount of detail in the research that Lee has done on a Diosua’ that was going through great social upheaval. This is a seminal work in the understanding of modern history of Diojiu people.
Dr. Joseph Tse-Hei Lee is a professor of Modern Chinese History at Pace University in New York City. To learn more about him, please visit his website: www.joseph-tse-hei-lee.com
This book has been hailed as the most comprehensive literature on the Chinese Diaspora. After taking a look through it, I would have to agree. Not many books out there take as detailed a look at Chinese people living in dozens of countries all over the world. Definitely worth a look!
Letters From Thailand. Botan. Translated by Susan A. Kepner. Silkworm Books. Original Thai text ©1968. English Translation ©2002. ISBN 974-7551-67-5 (Fiction)
Taken from the back cover of “Letters From Thailand":
“The story of Tan Suang U, a young man who leaves China to make his fortune in Thailand at the close of World War II, and ends up marrying, raising a family, and operating a successful business in this strange new culture; his hopes for his family; his resentment at how easily his children embrace Thai urban culture at the expense of Chinese heritage which he holds dear; his inability to understand or adopt Thai ways; and his growing alienation from a society that is changing too fast for him.”
This great, heart-wrenching read is a must for those wanting to learn more about the Diojiu experience in Thailand. The contrast between Diojiu and Thai, Old and New and the past and the future is played through the lives of this family that could very well be mine or yours. There have apparently been several video series made of this book and it’s sequels (in Thai). If you have more information about this please contact by clicking here
“Chinese Music in the Diaspora: The Case of Teochew Music Thailand.” Frederick Lau. Journal of Asian Music Research Institute, 20:109-125. (Non-fiction)
This in-depth academic paper outlines the dynamic tradition of traditional Diojiu music in urban Thailand. (Permission to link is currently being sought)
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers . Loung Ung. Harper Collins Publishers. ©2000. ISBN: 0-060-19332-8. (Non-fiction)
The personal account of Luong Ung’s life as she lived through the Khmer Rouge period. This story created a great amount of controversy in the Cambodian/Cambodian-American community about the accuracy of some of her claims. Despite that, it is a fascinating window into the experience of many Cambodian-Diojiu during the Pol Pot time.
The Chinese Community of Cambodia Sambath Chan. Documentation Center of Cambodia. Special English Edition. April 2003. (Non-fiction)
This article outlines the history of Chinese in Cambodia. Diojiu people have in the last century made up the great majority of Chinese in Cambodia.
Article about the author’s experience in taking Diojiu lessons at the Singapore Poit Ip Association. A very interesting read.
Diojiu Students Revive Dwindling Language, Culture Nick Tang. Penn Asian News. November/December 2003.
An article by our very own Technology Coordinator, Nick Tang. An article about GagiNang! (PDF Reader required, scroll down to page 5)
Repositioned Lives: Language, Ethnicity, and Narrative Identity among Chinese-Vietnamese Community College Students in Los Angeles’ San Gabriel Valley. Russell A. Frank. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of California, Los Angeles. ©2000)
This dissertation examines the importance of language and identity among Chinese-Vietnamese youth living in Southern California. (Permission to link is currently being sought)
Children of the Killing Fields By Edward Wong. The New York Times Company. ©2000. March 26, 2000, Sunday, Late Edition; Final Section 14; Page 1; Column 1; The City Weekly Desk. (Non-fiction)
These are the children of refugees from the war torn landscapes of Cambodia and Vietnam in the 70s and 80s. This article gives a glimpse into the lives of the second generation of South-East Asians living in New York City. Many Diojiu have gone through the same struggle and hardships associated with adjusting to their new lives in The United States.
Lords of The Rim: The Invisible Empire of the Overseas Chinese. Sterling Seagrave. G.P. Putnam’s Sons. ©1995. ISBN 0-399-14011-5. (non-fiction)
This controversial expose of the history of the Overseas Chinese brings to the forefront an underground world of political graft, economic schemes and black market dealings whose reach is both significant and eventually portentous. In particular reference to the Diojiu are several chapters outlining the particular activities of generations of overseas merchants and a shadowy secret society that dealt in drugs, rice, and all manner of products. This is one of the few books that goes into detail explaining the illicit and illustrious world of the recent past and probably what is still going on today. Though Seagrave tends to over-dramatize some elements of the Overseas Chinese experience, he nonetheless brings to light a chapter of an otherwise too often ignored and important part of history. ~Ty Lim
Teochew Rooted (source information not available) (non-fiction)
This is a short article highlighting the life of Buon-Huong, a Cambodian Diojiu refugee who escaped to France to start a new life.
If you have information about Diojiu multimedia, don’t hesitate to contact us about it.