The Generational Poem (bon-pie 班 派) that was passed onto the descendents of Slen War Lee (新 和 里) and Oong War (東 和) is 40 characters long and was composed for the 17th to the 56th generations. However, this particular Generational Poem for assigning generational names is not unique to any specific village. In fact, any Lew family member who uses this particular Generational Poem are descendents from this specific Lew family lineage. Note: poem is read from the right, reading down and going left.
The definition for each Chinese character is depicted in the following chart. We are currently at the beginning of the 24th generation as the baby boomer offsprings are approaching the marriaging age and are giving birth to the newest generation of Lew's. Note: the poem is reordered to read from left to right in standard Western sentence structure.
The following chart presents each Chinese character in the Hoisanese pronunciation.
Considerable thought was given to creating the Generational Poem by the original family elders. Once created, it was past on from generation-to-generation either in writing or memorized by each family member in honor of their ancestors. Unfortunately for the non-Chinese speaking/reading and the complicated nature of the Chinese language, translating the poem from Chinese to English presented a challenge. After much collaboration and several iterations, the following is the current translation of this particular Lew Family Generational Poem.
Having translated the poem, the translation seemed too simplistic. Further research was needed to determine the true nature and meaning of the poem. The poem was sent to distinguished Chinese university scholars for their review and translation. The following is what we think is the most meaningful interpretation of this particular Lew Family Generational Poem.