Shaw-Fen

I was born in 1971,in a small town called Kuala Lipis in Malaysia.A river basic where two rivers meet,the Sungai Lipis and Sungai Jelai.‘Kuala’ means river basic.Many towns in Malaysia bear the name ‘Kuala’,for example Kuala Lumpur.
I am the second generation of Malaysian Chinese.My grandparents migrated from south-eastern part of China,Guangdong in particular to Malaya at the turn of the century.Just like those Germans in Romania.At home in Malaysia,I spoke our dialects at home,went to Chinese kindergartens and Chinese primary schools. However,we have a common system for all secondary schools which Malay as the teaching language.Besides, we have our own newspapers, TV and radio programmes.The Native Malays, Chinese, Indians and Eurasians are some of the major ethnic groups that contributes to the unique multi-racial society of this country. Now I live in Germany since 1999, in Gelsenkirchen.

Joe

was born in 1964,in a town called Timisoara in Romania.Being an ethnic German he speaks German at home, went to German kindergarten and graduated from a German high school.How did his great grandparents ended up in this part of Romania?In the 1700s they took a boat ride down along the famous Danube river,seeking for a new piece of fresh farmland.They came to settled down in this Banat area,which was then belonged to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.There were so many of,in the end many German villages were formed.His father’s family comes from a small village nearby Timisoara, calles Stamora. His mother’s family, the Krischer, come from the mountain village of Dognatschka / Dognecea, nearby Resita / Reschitza.
A
very interesting fact about Romania is it’s multi-cultures and peoples.There were native Romanians, Hungarians, Germans, Serbs, Croats, Bosnian, Russians, Macedonians, Turks, Gypsies and a few more…The Germans as well as the Serbs and the Hungarians have their own schools,newspaper and TV or Radio programmes.Besides Romanian as the national language,everyone else was free to speak and learn their mother tongue.They lived in harmony.Joe and his family migrated to Germany in 1988.

Joe a bit about himself…
Just recently while reading latest National Geographic Magazine I was looking at a photo showing one person in the foreground and a large group of people in the background…after some time looking at the photo I realised that I was not looking at the one person in the foreground-the one the story in the magazine was about – but at all these nameless faces in the background…trying to read in their face,to read their untold story…I can spend hours sitting somewhere just watching people around me…trying to read in their faces…trying to find out who they are,who they might be , or might want to be-and who they will be someday.

How we met and how all this happened…is a longer story.Want to find out more about it…? Check it out…