HO Sue Shee Family
The simple silk jacket reminds me of my mother HO Sue Shee [何蕭氏] in her youth in China when she learnt to be a seamstress. She embroidered the traditional buttons and then sewed them onto jackets for a living. When she was in her eighties, I remember her wearing this jacket to keep herself warm in the cooler winter months, in Mangere. The glass jar was used in the 1950s to sell jaffas or pineapple chunks in our greengrocery store Jang Hing Fruit Shop. The sweets have gone but her passport photo remains, symbolic of the start of her new life in New Zealand at the commencement of WW II.
HO Sue Shee Family
In earlier Chinese generations, a woman rarely disclosed her own given name after her marriage. Instead, she used her husband’s surname followed by her maiden name. This was common in a patriarchal society where the woman has become a member of her husband’s family and no longer has an individual identity after her marriage. She is considered a Nobody until she has brought up her own kids. At the senior age, she would regain her individuality and would be respected by her sons, daughters and their families.
HO Sue Shee [何蕭氏] said that she didn’t have a name* and followed the tradition to use her husband’s surname followed by her maiden name for her whole married life. She arrived in Auckland in 1939**. Life was especially hard during the Depression. From 1949, she managed to support her husband and brought up their five children while taking up market-gardening under the name Chong Ho. She later helped run her family’s Jang Hing Fruit Shop [振興蔬果店] in Mangere.
I placed HO Sue Shee’s portrait photo inside a glass jar from the Jang Hing Fruit Shop and draped the bottle with her silk jacket. With the light coming from the ‘bottom of her heart’, HO’s ‘covered up’ self-identity radiates outwards. Like many other Chinese wives, she wasn’t a Nobody. She is respected and remembered by her descendants. In daughter Lily LEE’s (HO Bik Har [何碧霞] aka HO Li Li [何莉莉]) portrait, she is wearing her mum Sue Shee’s Chinese silk jacket, and the opal ring that was given to her in her thirties. The silk jacket not only keeps Lily warm at home in the winter time but spiritually connects her with her mum.
* Refer Lee, P. & Lee, L.. Ho Sue Shee: A woman from Zhong Shan. Retrieved on August 2018 from http://www.zhongshan.nz/en/pioneers-stories/44-a-woman-from-zhong-shan.html#the-story-of-sue-shee.
** Refer Lam, R., Lowe, B., Wong, H., Wong, M., & King, C. (2018). The Fruits of our Labours: Chinese Fruit Shops in New Zealand (p. 644). New Zealand: Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust
King Tong HO
丝棉袄让我忆起母亲少年时，在中国学做裁缝师，她以刺绣传统盘扣、将之缝在衣袄上维生。我记得她八十多岁时，在 Mangere 的家，经常在冬天穿这丝棉袄保暖。五十年代，在我们的振兴蔬果店，用此玻璃瓶盛载橙味糖和菠萝糖。糖果没有了，但母亲的护照相片仍在，象征着她在二战后在纽西兰的新生活。
何萧氏* 说她没有名字，她婚后依随传统，以娘家姓氏「萧氏」作为名字。一九三九年她抵达奥克兰**，正值经济萧条，生活艰苦。至一九四九年，在养育五个子女的同时，她帮助丈夫打理Chong Ho 菜园。之后帮忙照料取名振兴蔬果店的家庭生意。
我把何萧氏的照片放进原为振兴蔬果店所用的玻璃瓶内，并以她的丝棉袄包裹，让光线从［她心底］发出，犹如使她被［隐蔽］的自我身份向外闪耀。像很多华裔妻子，她并非是［无名个体］，得到后裔记念和尊重。女儿何碧霞 [Lily LEE, 又名何莉莉] 的肖像里，她穿着母亲何萧氏的丝棉袄、戴着三十歳时母亲送给她的蛋白石戒指。丝棉袄不仅给她温暖，更是与母亲的精神联系。
* 于二零一八年八月参考自何碧霞丶李彼得刋于 http://www.zhongshan.nz/en/pioneers-stories/44-a-woman-from-zhong-shan.html#the-story-of-sue-shee 的 “Ho Sue Shee: A woman from Zhong Shan”。
** 参考自Lam, R., Lowe, B., Wong, H., Wong, M., & King, C. (2018) 的[努力的成果: 新西兰华人蔬果店]第六百四十四页。
絲棉襖讓我憶起母親少年時，在中國學做裁縫師，她以刺繡傳統盤扣、將之縫在衣襖上維生。我記得她八十多歲時，在 Mangere 的家，經常在冬天穿這絲棉襖保暖。五十年代，在我們的振興蔬果店，用此玻璃瓶盛載橙味糖和菠蘿糖。糖果沒有了，但母親的護照相片仍在，象徵着她在二戰後在紐西蘭的新生活。
我把何蕭氏的照片放進原為振興蔬果店所用的玻璃瓶內，並以她的絲棉襖包裹， 讓光線從［她心底］發出，猶如使她被［隱蔽］的自我身份向外閃耀。像很多華裔妻子，她並非是［無名個體］，得到後裔記念和尊重。女兒何碧霞 [Lily LEE, 又名何莉莉] 的肖像裏，她穿着母親何蕭氏的絲棉襖、戴着三十歳時母親送給她的蛋白石戒指。絲棉襖不僅給她溫暖，更是與母親的精神聯系。
* 於二零一八年八月參考自何碧霞丶李彼得刋於 http://www.zhongshan.nz/en/pioneers-stories/44-a-woman-from-zhong-shan.html#the-story-of-sue-shee 的 “Ho Sue Shee: A woman from Zhong Shan”。
** 參考自 Lam, R., Lowe, B., Wong, H., Wong, M., & King, C. (2018) 的[努力的成果: 新西蘭華人蔬果店]第六百四十四頁。