Saturday, June 11, 2005

Chen Shui-bian is my Relative

Yes, the rumors are true. I am related to the President of Taiwan. My wife's sister just called to explain the story....

My wife's grandfather, her father's father, was a wealthy man once upon a time. He had five children by his first wife, including my wife's father. Then she passed, and he married again.

His second wife gave him five more kids, including my wife's sixth uncle. By that time the family fortunes had taken a turn for the worse, and Sixth Uncle was among the second set of children who were farmed out to other families or sold. Sixth uncle took the surname of his adoptive family, Huang. His daughter married the son of Chen Shui-bian this week. So I am related to Chen Shui-bian, through the half-brother of my wife's father, whose daughter married Chen's son.

I'll be hitting up my new relatives for a job quite soon. And I expect to see some fat red envelopes from all of you!

UPDATED JUNE 17, 2005:

My wife just got a call today from my MIL. Turns out they didn't give away sixth uncle because they were all poor. At that time my wife's grandfather had not yet lost his head to his second wife, who, in family legend, stole all his money. Instead, sixth uncle was given to the sonless sister of the second wife, who had only a 12 year old daughter. In Taiwan it is very common for sisters to rear each other's children.

6 comments:

rmdazwdv said...

Just like the eskimos have lots of different words for snow, the Chinese have lots of words for relatives. So what is the Chinese word for a wife's father's half-brother's daughter's husband's father?

Anonymous said...

The Chinese word for that relationship is "irrelevant." :)

Michael

Le Gourmande said...

I am related to him, too, on my Father's side. It's pretty surreal (and utterly useless =D). The President's house is just 20 minutes from my ancestral home. The highly (re)productive "Chen" Clan is all over Taiwan, though.

Michael Turton said...

isn't something like 10% of taiwan named Chen...??

Le Gourmande said...

Err, good point about the "Chen" Clan. But, we share a common ancestor or two. Not that it helps in any case. It's good for dinner parties that's about all - Europeans love Abian. =D

ANT people said...

I am President Chen's "irrelevant" relative as well. His daughter in law is my cousins' cousin. She used to have piano lessons in our house. Some supporters/ the leadership of the right wing conservative populist DPP told newspapers that Chen has foreign relatives since I and my brother's partners are Japanese and European. Those racists wouldn't proudly announce that if our partners were from mainland China or South east Asian countries.
The daughter in law's grandmother was a nice old lady, always being very kind to people. people in her home town still miss her.