Hing Fung Teh – Tai Chi Instructor, Kirkintilloch

GMT 18:55 Thursday ,04 February 2016

 Migrant Voice - Hing Fung Teh – Tai Chi Instructor, Kirkintilloch

Photo by Karen Gordon

I was born in Malaysia, of Chinese ancestry. I came to the UK in 1973 as an accountancy student studying for ACCA in Birmingham Polytechnic. I felt a lot of excitement and had many expectations on my arrival to this foreign country, especially of seeing real snow. On one of my many trips around the country I met my future husband, Leong, in Glasgow. We have been married for 37 years now and have two grown up children, Han and Ying. We have lived in Kirkintilloch for the last 28 years.

In the late 1980's Linda, a lady in Kirkintilloch, became my first ‘student’ by chance. She fell in love with this slow, gentle exercise which she saw abroad during her holidays. Soon I had a few more ‘students’ who were friends and who wanted to learn this Chinese exercise too. That is how I started my Tai Chi teaching journey.

I was first introduced to Tai Chi when I was 12 and my Dad had a stroke. A relative came to our home to teach him and the whole family joined in. I was not a very healthy child and not at all sporty. But after I started learning Tai Chi, my health improved tremendously and I still continue my learning from teachers from the East.

For me, Tai Chi is not only very enjoyable and interesting but is also very beneficial to my mind and body. Through my years of teaching I am pleased that the students have benefited physically, improving their health, balance and confidence as well as reducing stress and high blood pressure along the way. There is usually a very relaxed atmosphere in class and we often have a good laugh too. I have taught many different groups of students: from children in primary and secondary schools, middle aged adults, retired people (my oldest student is now 91 years old), a deaf and blind group, nursing home day care clients and other health groups. I feel very privileged and honoured to meet so many interesting and amazing people.

Through teaching Tai Chi and Qigong to Scottish students, I impart to them what I know of Chinese social, cultural and historical stories which relate to the names of the movements we do as well as Tai Chi philosophy. I am very pleased that most of my students are interested in the Chinese way of life, our culture and philosophy. Through exchanging our different stories, we learn of each others' culture. And more than this, over time, as I do not have all of my family here, many of my students have become my friends and part of my Scottish family.

Deep inside us, we are all the same and I am very honoured to be accepted by most Scots I meet. I consider myself an East/West Chinese person and have learned to adopt the Scottish humour and friendliness in my everyday life. Overall, I consider myself lucky to live happily in this beautiful and peaceful country.


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