Hongwei: a 300-year-old Hakka residence


Built in 1691, Hongwei Ancestral Residence is one of the oldest Hakka round dwellings in Kengzi Subdistrict, Pingshan. Covering 3,000 square meters, the house is a witness of the history of Kengzi.

The house belongs to the Huang’s clan, who moved to Shenzhen from Central China in as early as 1670. The house looks ancient and beautifully simple. The carved patterns on the brightly colored doors remain largely intact despite the 300-year-old history, so do the glazed tiles on the roof. The horn-like eaves are a typical embodiment of the ancient farming culture in the area. At the center of the residence is the ancestral hall, where shrines of ancestors and incense burners are placed. On important festivals, descendents of the Huang’s clan would come from as far as Huizhou, Dongguan and Southeast Asia to pay tributes to their ancestors.

The Huangs remain the largest clan in Kengzi, which is home to 23 clans. The Hongwei residence was built by Huang Juzhong, a second-generation migrant to Kengzi. The Huangs lived a rural life, and therefore, images and symbols of ox can be seen on many Hakka buildings here. The image of ox symbolizes luck and fortune in the Hakka culture.

The Hongwei residence, though listed as a district-level cultural relic, does not have full-time managers and is free for all to enter. Some parts of the residence have been damaged and better protection has been called for.

(Luo Songsong)