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Ding clan descendants from Taiwan visit Pingtan

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2013-12-26

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A total of about 20 descendants of the Ding clan in Taiwan visited descendants in Pingtan on Dec 22 – marking the first such reunion.

The Ding descendants from both sides of the Straits exchanged gifts at a ceremonial event and vowed to boost relations. They then went to the town of Chenlv in Jinjiang city - where their clan originated - to pay respects to their ancestors.

Ding Ruisheng, chairman of the Taiwan Ding Clan Association, said he hoped there will be more cross-Straits cultural exchanges to enhance ties, and that he also hoped more Taiwan compatriots would come to Pingtan to see its fast development.

There are about 20,000 Ding Clan descendants living in Taiwan, most of whom are in Yun-Lin county.

Among the Chinese Muslims, the surname Ding is thought to originate from the last syllable of the Arabic honorific "ud-Din" or "al-Din", as in, for example, the name of the Bukharan Muslim Sayyid Ajjal Shams ud-Din (1210–1279 also spelled al-Din), who was appointed Governor of Yunnan by the Mongol Yuan dynasty).

In particular, descent from Sayyid Ajjal Shams ud-Din, known in Chinese as Saidianchi Shansiding (赛典赤赡思丁), is attested in the Ding lineage of Chendai, near Quanzhou, Fujian.

Edited by Chen Zhilin and Niva Whyman