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Local chairman welcomes global family

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Ung Hong Meng. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

The Chairman of the Huang Association of Cambodia and Deputy Chairman of the Huang Association of the World, Ung Hong Meng, says more than 1,600 people are coming from around the world to this year’s meeting at Diamond Island in Phnom Penh.

In China, the Huang name, which means “Yellow”, is the 8th most numerous of Chinese surnames. Estimates put the total number of Huang Clan descendants worldwide at up to 100 million people.

Ung Hong Meng, who works as president of the Chinese-language Jian Hua Daily newspaper, said the Huang Clan association in Cambodia had been re-activated in 1961.

This year, the greatest numbers of Huang Clan members will be coming from Malaysia and Thailand, he said.

“There are Huangs in almost every province of Malaysia and Thailand,” he said.

In Cambodia, the Huangs consist of between 300 and 400 families and the Huang Association has a building near the new police department.

Globally, China has by far the greatest number of Huangs, and they are also many clan members in the Philippines, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Brunei, the United States and Canada.

Since the early 1980s, starting from Taiwan, Huang Clan gatherings occur once each year, rotating from country to country.

“People got a feeling of togetherness among the Huangs,” said Ung Hong Meng.

“In the Chinese feeling, when you have the same family name, you are linked by common ancestors.”

Past Huang Clan gathering dates and locations include 1980 in Taipei, 1981 in Manila, 1982 in San Francisco and 1983 back in Taipei. There was no meeting in 1984, but the clan met once again in Taipei in 1985. In 1986, the meeting was in Manila, followed by Taipei again in 1987, and San Francisco in 1988, followed by a 1989 meeting in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The clan met in Korea in 1990, Manila in 1991, Taipei in 1992, the Philippines in 1993, Los Angeles in 1994, Hong Kong in 1995, Penang, Malaysia in 1996, Boston in 1997, Seoul in 1998, Bangkok in 1999, and Jakarta in 2000.

There was no Huang Clan meeting in 2001 because of the 911 attack, but the group met in Oakland, California in 2002. There was no meeting in 2003 because of the SARS virus outbreak, but there was a 2004 meeting in Shenzhen, China.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Thailand Huang Clan chairman Somboon Suriyaburaphakul, right, joins Swang Vongsrirungruang (C) and another member of the Thailand delegation of Huangs, numbering about 150 people yesterday at Koh Pich Theatre. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

The 2005 meeting took place in Sarawak, Malaysia, followed by Surabaya, Indonesia in 2006, Pattaya, Thailand in 2007, Singapore in 2008, Hubei, China in 2009, the Philippines in 2010, and finally in East Malaysia’s city of Kota Kinabalu in 2011, last year.

Now this year, for the first time, the Huang Clan is meeting in Phnom Penh.

Yesterday morning, the group met at the Huang Clan Association headquarters to pray to their ancestors, followed later by a welcome by Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh in the afternoon at 2:30.

There was also a workshop introducing Cambodia’s investment environment and a reception at Diamond Island at 6pm.

“We feel proud and honored to be given a chance to host this convention,” said the Chairman of Huang Association in Cambodia Ung Hong Meng.

“This is very important is because we are the same clan and we are able to gather together and chit chat and pray to our ancestors together. That’s why Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh went to China to seek the tomb of his ancestors. These are our values.”

Ung Hong Meng also said other Huang Clan members came to make new connections with other members and create new businesses, as well as seeing Cambodia for its tourism wonders.

“The Hung Clan members book the tickets themselves and they pay for themselves. We are proud to host here because we can promote Cambodia as a safe tourism destination with beautiful places like Angkor Wat.”

This morning, the Huang Clan festivities start with an opening ceremony and photo session starting at 8am on Diamond Island.

“Representatives from all over the world who come here will have a meeting to discuss about the affairs in general of world Huang organisation and decide on the next destination.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Stuart Alan Becker at stuart.becker@gmail.com

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