Visiting Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan paid homage to his grandmother's tomb Sunday in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
The Lien family, including Lien Chan, his wife, their two sons, a daughter and son-in-law, arrived at the graveyard on Qingliang Hill in Chang'an County on the city's outskirts at 9:22 AM. More than 20,000 local residents voluntarily gathered there to greet them, some holding banners reading "Hello, Brother Lien."
The family followed the traditional Chinese ritual, featuring classical memorial music, incense burning, bows and offering of liquor and fruits. A master of ceremonies read aloud an elegiac address, which expressed the family's love of the grandmother, nostalgia, and regret for not being able to sweep her tomb in the past six decades.
At the end of the hour-long ceremony, Lien said this first visit of the Lien family to the grandmother's tomb in 60 years is "of great significance" and "forever unforgettable". He also spoke in the dialect of southern Fujian Province to his late grandmother, who spoke only in that dialect.
Before he left, Lien wrote an inscription for the graveyard and led his family to bid the grandmother goodbye.
Lien's grandmother moved to Xi'an from Shanghai in the 1940s and lived close to Qingliang Hill. A friendly and warm-hearted lady, she was a regular visitor to the Qingliang Temple, burning incense and helping the monks to cook. Her tomb is next to the temple and a Mr. Wang in Xiangjisi Village of Chang'an County was entrusted in 1991 to renovate the tomb. It has been taken good care of.
Xi'an is the third leg of the eight-day mainland tour by the KMT delegation. They are leaving for Shanghai later on Sunday.
(Xinhua News Agency May 1, 2005)