Sunday, 10 October 2010


Does today's date hold any special significance for you? Not for me. Anyone who believes this date holds any spiritual significance must be a real dunderhead. It's just a sequential date in the calendar that happens to look nice. Next year, it will be 11.11.11 and people will go gaga again. And the year after, there'll be a fuss with 12.12.12 and people will say such a repetition of numbers will never happen again until the next hundred years.

But there is an historical connection to the 10th of October. On 10 October 1911, a military uprising in Wuchang, Central China, led to the overthrow of the imperial Qing Dynasty.

Dr Sun Yat-Sen, acknowledged on both sides of the Straits of Taiwan as the Father of Modern China, was not even directly connected with the Wuchang Uprising. He was travelling in the United States to work up support from the overseas Chinese there. But when he heard about the uprising, he returned to China immediately whereupon as the compromise candidate between the Chinese revolutionaries and the conservatives, he was elected as China's first president.

There is a mistaken belief that "Double 10" is the national day of the People's Republic of China, but it's not. Mainland China's National Day is celebrated every year on 1 October. If there is even any memorial activity at all, it's only to commemorate the Wuchang Uprising. However, "Double 10" is Taiwan's National Day.

By the way, I hear that at 10 o'clock this morning, there is some sort of activity planned at 120 Armenian Street in George Town, Penang. History buffs will recognise 120 Armenian Street as the southern headquarters of Dr Sun Yat-Sen when he was moving through this region to raise funds from the overseas Chinese who had settled in South-East Asia.

1 comment:

stephen said...

so what did you do on this memorable day?I would have probably gone to 120 armenian street to meet the ghost of sun yat sen and then adjourn for some food around the corner.