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significance of chinese family generation poem


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#1 Guest_chineseman_*

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 06:48 AM

Dear Readers: I would appreciate it if one of you who is well versed in chinese family generation poem , can illuminate why in certain families , in their fmaily generation, they have a nei shi (inner poem) of twenty characters and wai shi(outer poem) of twenty charcaters , however there are others hwo just have a twenty wording prose, the family generation was composed more than a few hundred years ago, also i heard that even though a person who had taken the charcater as his generation name, if he had migrated to another place , this person or prgenitor can discard his generation name assuming hie was the 16 the generation from so and so and this same person could composed his poem and put himself as the first generation and his children / scions would eb the 2nd 3RD
wonder why woud anyone want to discard hsi generation name in favour of a new generation name those days?

#2 Adwij

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 01:00 PM

Dear Readers: I would appreciate it if one of you who is well versed in chinese family generation poem , can illuminate why in certain families , in their fmaily generation, they have a nei shi (inner poem) of twenty characters and wai shi(outer poem) of twenty charcaters , however there are others hwo just have a twenty wording prose, the family generation was composed more than a few hundred years ago, also i heard that even though a person who had taken the charcater as his generation name, if he had migrated to another place , this person or prgenitor can discard his generation name assuming hie was the 16 the generation from so and so and this same person could composed his poem and put himself as the first generation and his children / scions would eb the 2nd 3RD
wonder why woud anyone want to discard hsi generation name in favour of a new generation name those days?



I am actually confused myself, since I have a new baby boy, and I need to find him a Chinese Name, but don't know how to exactly find the generation name....Can anyone be of help ? Thanks.

#3 sylvester

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 12:34 AM

this is a big topic... have many words to type -_-

1st of all, that kind of generation name is not a must, i means some family may have no generation name. normally, big family or say rich family usually have generation name since they got well educated.
thats a tradition begin at long long time ago, the process are like that, someone (may be with his wife and son), get out from his home town, and moved far far away to a fertile valley(with no inhabitant, or just few inhabitant), he build up house, shirne of his surname, and design the "some-ty or teens wording prose" as generation name.

he will then stand as the 1st ancestors of that branch of family, 一世祖 in chinese. his 1st son then count as the 2nd ancestors, 二世祖, his 1st son's 1st son as 3rd ancestors, 三世祖, his 1st son's 1st son's 1st son will be the 4th ancestors, 四世祖, etc...

let that someone's surname be 張. and the "12 wording prose" he design is "鼠牛虎兔龍蛇 馬羊猴雞狗豬" :blink: then his son will name as 張鼠X (X be whatever he want), his grandson name as 張牛X(X be whatever 張鼠X want. for the case 張someone still alive, as grandfather, 張someone may give advise for X to 張鼠X), and the son of 張牛X should name as 張虎X, etc...
generation name only for male, not female, if two sons were born, than both of two use the same generation name, that means there may be 張鼠X, 張鼠Y and 張鼠Z.

一世祖, 二世祖, 三世祖 is usually called by later generation, but not between son and father. only attach to the big brother's first bron son, in chinese called 嫡長子. that means 張鼠X's 1st bron son wil called 三世祖, but 張鼠Y's first bron son will not.

say after 10 generation, the generation name have roll to the 9th word, 猴.
that "fertile valley" become not fertile enough to feed those 張 surname famliy (may be grow to 50+ population now)
for not enough food supply by limited farm land, 張猴x (usually the youngest boy do) lead his wife leaveing, to find another land to fram and raise.
there are a book in every family, recording every male baby's name, and who give birth to who, called family book 族譜.
let the this 張AB already have a baby boy, after the 張猴x carry that baby boy out, that baby's name MAY BE deleted in "family book of 張's in the fertile valley".
the "family book of 張's in the fertile valley" will than state: "張猴x, move to fertile riverback" and have no record of 張猴x's son, even 張猴x's son actually bron in the fertile valley.

so 張猴x is really a boy belong to the 10th generation of"張's family in fertile valley" , and now he is also the 1st ancestors(一世祖) of "張's family in fertile riverback", and he design the "some-ty or teens wording prose"... story carry on under the same paths...

let 張猴Y is the bigest drother's 1st bron son, 張猴Y would usually stay in "the fertile valley", and will be called 張十世 by later generation.



at ancient china, people mainly rely on farming to feed themself, make a wasteland to be framable is such a hard work that nobaody wants to do.
also, travel is not an esay job at ancient time, on the travel, you may eaten by tiger, killed by thief, illed to die...
the title of 1st ancestors(一世祖) is simply majestic, it encourage the young man getting out from home town, and open up wasteland.



i hope i have answer what you want to know, and i hope my english is understandable :wacko:

Edited by sylvester, 12 August 2008 - 12:54 AM.

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