Thank you for your emails - I am glad you have made very good connections and breakthroughs! Our cultural aspect is Hakka Chinese - and I wouldn't wish that on any one! Our gongfu is passed on within the Chan (陳) family lineage but young people today have no interest because the world has changed! I have a daughter who lives in Beijing - she mastered one element of our family style - and my two younger daughters are learning another element - but this is the internal aspect passed on between father and child.
As regards my partner - Gee - her family name is 'Yau' (邱 - Qiu) named after Confucius. Her family were servants of Confucius who possessed no surname (most ordinary Chinese people did not have surnames at that time and were not allowed to venerate their ancestors at family graves) - but so grateful was the Kong (孔) family for their loyalty and good behaviour that Confucius gave her family one of his first names - '丘' (Qiu) - to be used as their surname and they rose up in society as a consequence!
The Yongzheng Emperor (1677-1735 CE) during the Qing Dynasty, however, took exception to this and ordered that an 'ear' shape be added to the right-side of the surname - '邱' - to further distinguish her family from the Confucian name! Some people resisted whilst others conformed. My partner's family migrated into the Guangdong area (as Hakkas) and in Cantonese her name 'Qiu' is pronounced 'Yau'. When I spoke to her older relatives - they said that to obey the emperor without question is the essence of Confucian teaching - and not to obey is nothing but a betrayal of the trust Confucius placed in her family in the first place - so the right ear shape was added and has been retained (I believe it is two burial mounds placed on their side). Such is the history that shapes our present!