21st Generation Grandmaster Sinseh S.B.Seo , born in the year 1880 ( Year of the Dragon ), departed on 28th February 1959 (一月 二十日 一九五九年). Chinese calendar dated on 20th January 1959). Being born in the year of the Dragon, Grandmaster S.B. Seo do exhibit the spirit of a dragon with commitment and desire to fulfill his ambitions. He has dedicated his life towards treating patients using the ancient art of Traditional Chinese Medicine. During his younger days, he spent most of his time in 'Khee Heng' where he underwent apprenticeship from his grandparents and parents. His expertise in the ancient art of healing brought him to many cities around China and countries within South East Asia. Like all experienced sinseh, he is able to relate patient's health problem by concentrating on their pulse beat and by observing their complexion, eyes, tongue etc, and is able to diagnose what they are suffering from internally and proceed to prescribe the treatment. All these knowledge that he professed has been passed on to his son, Master Sinseh Seo whom undertook apprenticeship at an early age. This cycle of teaching the younger generations has been a practice for centuries among Chinese and the passing on of knowledge is held in high esteem and maintaining secrecy only to the trusted bearer. During his middle-age life, he spent a great deal of time in Guangzhao with his family (get a view on clips of family photos, family home and shop when you exit this page). Having gone through 2 World Wars, like most Chinese, especially during the second world war, Grandmaster Sinseh S.B. Seo age 56 had to bear the hardship, torture and sufferings for the many years under the Japanese occupation and despite the difficulty, together with his son, Master Sinseh K.S. Seo, they unselfishly continued to treat many patients with limited resources and at times under secrecy. Money was very hard to come by and to earn 1 cent many locals had to toil for it and this is probably the reason why Grandmaster Sinseh S.B. Seo treated many without charges. During the period of unrest and the looming wars, life was chaotic and like so many Chinese, Grandmaster Sinseh S.B. Seo had to escape from the Japanese and landed in Malaysia (Malaya then). After landing in Malaya for a couple of months the Japanese soon took control and again many Chinese had to endure hardship, torture and atrocities and at one stage, he was severely tortured and left to die but somehow he managed to recover from his wound and after his recovery he took his family back to China. Decision was hard to made and there was practically no where to run during World War 2. Again to escape death, he took the gamble by leaving behind his wife and a son in Canton. It was chaotic then and when they were in Hong Kong he entrusted friend to take care of his second son and brought Master Sinseh Seo and his daughter back to Malaya where they stayed on. Starting life in Malaya then was a struggle having to move from one town to another and finally settled in Malacca in the early 1950's. Reason for parting with his family was the fear that if they travel together they might end up perish together. War is cruel and this was how Master Sinseh Seo's family got separated. Master Sinseh Seo finally managed to be reunited with his brothers after a span of 40 years later.
Working along with General Chiang Kai-shek and Dr. Sun Yat-sen as their Advisor in the early turn of the century, together they build schools spreading their ideology with a mission to stabilize and to form a new Republic of China which was then in a chaotic state. Taking risk and sacrificing safety of his family, Grandmaster S.B. Seo had to transverse between Singapore and Canton (China) with unselfish agenda with the objective to gain independence together with General Chiang and despite all, he continued his objective and profession till his death at the aged of 79 in Malacca ( a state in Malaysia).
His funeral was accorded with full respect from family members, his patients and friends. With regards to death, the Chinese follow Confucious' teachings which emphasizes respect to the ancestors and the pictures below self-explain the commitment and respect shown to the departed ones even after death. Below is an extract taken from photos collected during Grandmaster S.B. Seo's funeral wake in Malacca.
The Seo's family members, like all Chinese does, gathers around the decease coffin for the whole week covering day and night. It is known that some rich family would hold the wake for a period of between 30 to 100 days during the olden days but modern people usually holds it for between 3 to 5 days. During these period, friends and relatives would give condolence money as well as to pray to the decease. The monies collected are then given to charitable organizations.
The generations of the deceased Grandmaster Sinseh Seo S.B pays their respect before the starts of the funeral procession. The act of prayers also informs the decease that his journey to his burial ground is about to begin and they wish him a safe journey.
After the prayers, the journey begins usually before 12 noon. Seen here is a guide (holding white flag) leading and showing the route to the burial ground which is more than 10 miles (approximate 20km) away. The decease family members are seen walking behind the lorry that carries the coffin.
At the site of the burial ground, the coffin is hoisted up by a band of volunteers which also includes family members. As many as up to 20 volunteers are needed to carry the coffin up the hilly slope to the burial ground which can be quite a distance.
The weight of the coffin is rested upon the shoulders of the volunteers and this shows the cooperative, commitment and love that is dedicated to the decease.
Seen here in this photo is 22nd Generation Master Sinseh Seo K.S. paying respect to his father the late Grandmaster S.B. Seo. After the burial has been in order, the rest of the family members kneel
down paying their final respect and farewell prayer to Grandmaster S.B. Seo. Every year without fail since 1959, Master Sinseh Seo and his family members will walk up the steep hill to offer respect and prayer to Grandmaster S.B. Seo which is held during "Cheng Beng" ie. normally in March or The 3rd month of the Chinese Calendar year where all the Chinese throughout the world prays to their departed love ones.
The Chinese are filial and respectful towards their ancestors too. As seen below, Master Sinseh Seo praying to his great grandfather whose tomb is located on a hill slope not far away from 'Khee Heng'.
The photo shown below is the burial ground of GrandMaster S.B. Seo. Seen in this photo is Master Sinseh Seo and his brother Khik Kiong paying respect to their father. The above black and white photo of Master Sinseh Seo paying respect to his father in 1959 and this color photo shows a span of more than 40 years. During each visits on Cheng Beng, the Chinese would burn 'paper money' in the belief that this offerings would be transmuted to the love ones in his other world for him to use.
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