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Home is Where the Heart is - Xiamen to Bandung

Akhyari Hananto
Akhyari Hananto
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Home is Where the Heart is - Xiamen to Bandung

A fading memory I should say, since I can't even remember when and where precisely it happened. I was in a bus somewhere in Fujian province, on the way to visit either Zhangpu or Quanzhou (places where my late grandfathers came from). One thing I remember for sure from that trip was seeing a big board with a sentence written in both Chinese and English. The sentence says: Home is where the heart is.

Southern Fujian is among China's biggest places of origin for around 35 million overseas Chinese in South East Asia. I was never good at giving a firm answer to the question : to which part (referring to Indonesia and China) do you think you belong to more?. As a matter of fact, my decision of coming to Beijing for study 8 years ago was greatly influenced by the desire of finding an answer to that question.

After eight years of vicissitudes (I like better the Chinese expression, literally meaning Sour Sweet Bitter and Spicy) in Beijing, I think I now have a firm answer to that question, a long one as well. The Beijing chapter of enjoyment will end in just few days. I am going home!

I am catching a train going from Beijing to Xiamen on Saturday (5/14). Both my grandfathers went to Indonesia on a ship from somewhere around Xiamen more or less a century ago. In less than a week, one of their grandsons will repeat their steps on a bicycle, from Xiamen to Bandung.

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