Lew Generational Poem

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.

Poem Definition

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.

Poem in Hoisonese

The following chart presents each Chinese character in the Hoisanese pronunciation.

Poem Translation

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.

Lew Family Generational Poem Translation

宗 本 漢 朝 篤
Our clan originated in the Han Dynasty with great dignity

萬 禩 仰 先 公
All of us owe our prosperity to our Forefathers

學 維 希 孔 孟
We aspire to learn from Confucius and Mencius

道 德 永 嘉 崇
We extol the virtuous deeds of our ancestors

景 運 中 興 啟
A bright and prosperous future is about to begin

贞 元 際 會 逢
From the very beginning Purity and Moral Integrity/Noble Mind
are already integrated together

明 良 相 定 國
Use wisdom and good fundamental theorem
to govern the country and manage the family

建 業 兆 昌 隆
The great career built up this way
is sure to be successful and prosperous

Poem Interpretation

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.

Lew Family Generational Poem Interpretation

We are descendants of the Han Chinese, and must never forget our roots

Our ancestors are of noble and fine characters, highly respected by many

They follow the examples of great scholars and sages such as Confucius and Mencius, using their teachings as guidelines for proper (moral, gentlemanly) behavior, and to always treat others with respect and humility

Their (our ancestors’) virtuous deeds and ways will be forever respected and admired by all

A bright, beautiful and prosperous future is already set in motion

From the start, purity and moral integrity are already integrated together

Use wisdom and sensible theory and practice to govern the country and manage the family

A career (future) built this way will surely be successful and prosperous

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