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Longgang Hakka Culture Museum: An Enlightening Glimpse to Shenzhen’s Historical Past

Longgang Hakka Culture Museum: An Enlightening Glimpse to Shenzhen’s Historical Past

If there was a historical place in Shenzhen you would ask me to visit again, it would be this one. I happened to know about this museum just a few days before I departed for China. The old looking walls and antique furniture was more than enough for me to allot a half day visit. Just like Chiwan’s Tian Hou temple, this was far from the city center too. About an hour via the subway’s Longgang line.

The museum was actually a well-preserved Hakka house or also called as Hehu Enclosed Residence. The village was built by the Hakka people, who were immigrants from northern China, and was designed for communal living. It is an example of a walled village wherein the building style promotes ease of defense since it has no windows on the ground floor and has only one entrance. These homes were set up this way to prevent attack from pirates or bandits in the early days.

The museum is open between 9:00 and 5:30 PM everyday except Mondays and public holidays. There were not much tourists even at high noon so wandering in the premises were peaceful. There were a handful of guests when I visited but we didn’t cross paths much. The interiors were actually large and if you don’t have a map or ignored the signs, you can easily get ‘lost’ in its narrow rooms and corridors. That was what happened to me. haha. I thought I was lost because it turns out that the village has more than 300 rooms. Around the ancestral temple in the center of the building there are several pavilions, patios, courtyards, halls, chambers and the like as well as connecting passageways and corridors which all look alike.

The museum is a must visit for those wanting to know how the people of Shenzhen, specially the Hakka people, came to be. Inside you can find displays of these people’s everyday way life. Dioramas are on display as well as informative text for such customs like giving respect to the elders and marriage practices. Photos of some accomplished Hakka people are on display too.

There was a documentary being shown in one of the audio-visual rooms. It was about the migration of Hakka people and their descendants. I stayed for a while to watch and I learned that some of the Hakka people migrated to Jamaica where they worked in plantations. The video showed that most Chinese Jamaicans today descended from the Hakka people.

It was a wonder spending time here. I’ve learned a lot about Shenzhen and the lives of their early settlers. I thought of my own grandfather who, according to my aunt, came from Amoy, China (Xiamen) and kind of felt a connection with the people of the Mainland.

I wonder about by Chinese ancestors

How to Get Here

Take Subway Line 3 bound for Nanlian stn. Exit C1.

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