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History Essay

2566 words - 11 pages

The registration of Gan Clan Association took place formally only in the 1966 by Gan Yue Cheng, but they already started functioning much earlier. The main reason for the establishment of the association is to take care of the welfare of the immigrants and thus giving them a sense of shared connection and identity with the clan. (Yen Ching Hwang) Since the late 19th century till the 1960s, many immigrants came to Singapore without assistance or protection from the local authorities or the government. Hence the clan was important since its functions were very much in line with what the immigrants required. The closely knitted relationship enjoyed by the Gan stimulated the immigrants, which in ...view middle of the document...

While the British might have brought new infusions of capital and through free trade facilitated Singapore's connections to world markets, British's efforts alone would had been ineffectual without the social and economic contribution of clans such as the Gan Clan. Gan Clan encourages networking and they provide market knowledge, a workforce and social contacts. (Yen Ching Hwang) Clansmen were from all walks of life. As such, businessmen are able to establish networks with fellow merchants, generating more business opportunities, allowing their business to flourish. The clan also became crucial to the development of prominent entrepreneurs among new immigrants. This is because the more successful Gan Chinese merchants will provide the new immigrants with job opportunities and nurture them in becoming potential entrepreneurs. (Yen Ching Hwang) Such opportunities created a conducive environment for business that only fortunate members of the clan can enjoy. Furthermore, when a fellow clansman's faces difficulties, the clan can provide them with funds to tide over the crisis. Clearly, apart from its social contribution, the clan is also an economic institution, thus playing an important role in shaping the history of Chinese business community.During my visit to the Gan Clan Centre, one of the main messages being conveyed is the importance of Confucianism. Confucian beliefs that are being emphasized reflect the Chinese business culture. Clansmen display Confucian values like thriftiness; hard work, economic self- betterment, persistence and they also value education. These qualities are necessary for an entrepreneur to be successful. (Zoltan J. Acs, Leo Paul Dana, 2001) Furthermore, notions such as respect for order, status and authority may also help in the management of a business. (Zoltan J. Acs, Leo Paul Dana, 2001) Many other Confucian Chinese merchants featured in the centre include Tan Kah Kee. Tan undergone Confucian education and even after his father's business folded, he persisted through tough times and even managed to set up another business on his own. Hence, the acts of ethics of these Confucian merchants reflect the spirit of Confucian beliefs. By understanding these Confucian beliefs, this centre allows me to discover one of the many factors that contributed to the success of Chinese business.Another message that the centre is trying to convey is the relevance of the Gan Clan in today's modern, changing world. This is especially crucial for the clan as out of the 700 members, 65% of them are aged 60 and above. (The Straits Times, 2013) This could potentially threaten the sustainability of the clan if it fails to appeal to the younger generation. In an attempt to do so, the centre has tried to show how the clan has managed to evolve over the years by forging stronger overseas relations with the other Gan Clans and educating the young about culture heritage. Establishing the heritage centre in 2013 was one of the initiatives it took....

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