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Bing Hsiang Hsieh


Bing Hsiang Hsieh was born in China in 1925. He left his family and moved to Taiwan in 1940 to escape war, which is where he met his wife. This digital story is an excerpt from a larger family history project. The whole video can be seen at hsiehfamilyproject.com.




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Alright. Where are we going?

Do you know I used to think you should be like Julie Andrews?

Okay so you start.

You know a lot of our cousins were too young or weren't even born yet when Ah-gong died, right? Yeah. What have you found out about his life that you can share with them?

So I think from the interviews that you and I did with our moms and Uncle Tony and Uncle Peter and then also from reading some books about the history of the time we've sort of put together a little bit about what was going on in China when he was growing up and then at least some of the main big events in his life. So what we do know is that he was born in 1925 and when he was two years old, civil war broke out in China between the KMT and the Communists.

So when he turns 15, he's around 15 and it's 1940, this is when the war really directly affects his life.

(speaking in Chinese) That was during the war. The war was between Japan and the Communists. So during the war they wanted to capture Ah Gong to serve in the military. They knocked on his door. And Ah Gong’s father blocked the doorway. And then Ah Gong’s mother told him to run out the back door. To run away quickly. And that’s how Ah Gong left. After he ran away, Ah Gong’s father.. either it was the Japanese or Communists.. I’m not sure, but he was killed by them after he was killed, Ah Gong wanted to come home but his mother told him he couldn’t.

What we do know though is that in 1949 the Communists really gain a lot of ground in China and essentially the KMT forces sort of escape to Taiwan to regroup and Ah Gong goes with those forces.

(speaking in Chinese) When he came to Taiwan, most people who worked in restaurants were from the Mainland. So he was trained in restaurants as an apprentice. He went and learned everything. So he learned how to roast duck. Then in 1953, he meets Ahma. And so he's about 28 years old at the time when they meet.

And do you know how they met? Well I'll let you tell that story.

Chinese Transcription/Translation:

你知道當阿公過世的時,我們的表兄弟姊妹中有很多還沒有出生? 是的. 你找到任何關於阿公的生平可以跟他們分享嗎? 從我們的媽媽和 Uncle Tony,Uncle Peter的談話中還有從一些書籍中,我找到了一些訊息我們把他在中國成長過程的點點滴滴收集起來。最起碼收集到一些他生平的幾個重大事件所以我知道他是1925年生的當他兩歲的時候大陸的內戰爆發了國民黨和共產黨之間那是1940年,大概是15歲左右的時候戰爭真正的開始影響到他的生命那時候是戰爭的時候.戰爭的時候, 然後日本人跟共產黨..反正就是他們打戰的時候,他們就要去抓阿公去當兵. 他們去敲門. 然後阿公的爸爸就擋在門口. 然後他的媽媽就叫阿公從後門走.就趕快跑. 所以阿公就這麼跑了. 跑了然後,他的爸爸就被..應該是日本人吧..還是共匪..我不清楚..就被他們給打死了他被打死後阿公要回去,他的媽媽叫他不能回去. 我們所知道的,雖然這是在1949年,共產黨確實獲得了很多的地在中國,基本上國民黨部隊逃到台灣重新集結,阿公叄與這些部隊ㄧ起去臺灣。他就到了台灣,因為台灣哪時候都是比較屬於外省人做餐館所以他就在餐館裡面學習做徒弟,去學東西的.然後他就去跟著一個師傅 - 專門烤鴨的師傅. 就去學習烤鴨.1953年,他28歲左右認識阿嬤的.你知道他們怎麼認識的嗎?讓你來告訴我們這個故事吧!