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Chong Huang, Tay (1 of 30) Oral History of Wolff Olins.
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2002-01-25; 2002-03-12; 2002-04-12; 2002-09-12; 2002-09-16; 2002-10-01
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Oral History of Wolff Olins
Wolff Olins offices, London
Chong Huang, Tay, 1952- (speaker, male)
Roberts, Melanie (speaker, female)
Part 1: Tape 1 (F10715) Side A: Born 9th December 1952 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia- Father Tay Koong Wee, born in China early 1900s- Mother Bhching Ching, born in China (six to eight years younger than father)- Paternal Grandfather emigrating to Malaysia with three brothers- From wealthy Chinese merchant family; able to trace family tree over eighty generations- Describes family record book written in old Mandarin- Family made rice wine and herbal remedies- Grandfather opening distillery in KL, other brothers opening distilleries elsewhere- Mentions largeness of family creating distance between members- Explains complex make up of Chinese name- Father staying in family business- Parents wanting independence from family business for children- Describes grandfather's philanthropic role in Malaysia as well as having the foresight to build large house in what was to become the embassy area- TCH youngest of eight children by his mother who was one of two wives- Modern mother wishing, unusually, to move out of family home- Possibility of having as many wives as one was able to support- Talking about culture surrounding arranged marriages for Chinese people- Knowing little of mother's family until recently- Mother's family silk merchants, making silk robes for court- Parents from same region and with similar status- After mother's death, finding nationalist Chinese passports- British culture dominating in Malaya as a British colony, hence substantial loss of own language-