Boan Lin (Master Lin)

Tai chi master who was born in China shares memories of practicing and teaching his art in Brooklyn

This interview was conducted in Mandarin Chinese with Master Lin by oral historian Yiyi Zhang  on May 6th 2019. This is an edited version of the interview due to the interruptions and length of the original one. Below is the interview’s description, Chinese transcript and English translation.

以上录音是由口述史学家张依伊于2019年5月6日用普通话中文对林老师进行的采访内容。 由于原采访的时长和中断问题,此录音中有删减。以下内容为简介、采访内容中文抄本及 其英文翻译。

Boan Lin aka Master Lin was born in 1932 in Xiamen, Fujian Province in China. In this interview, he takes us from the dreams of his youth to a story of successfully navigating a leaking ship to port, from his love of tai chi to his Christian faith which is an inseparable part of his life. The longtime resident of Southern Brooklyn moved here 30 years ago and started teaching tai chi at senior centers and libraries. He now lives with his family in Queens. The Coney Island History Project first interviewed Master Lin in English in 2010, when he won first prize in the senior division of the 2010 Coney Island Talent Show. In this 2019 interview conducted in Chinese he recalls bicycling to Coney Island to do tai chi on the boardwork, and what he had undergone because of his faith under historical circumstances.

林伯安(林老师)生于一九三二年的福建厦门。此次采访中林老师从他青年时期的梦想, 谈到了他出船时九死一生的经历,从他热爱的太极,谈到了与他生命无可分割的基督徒信 仰。林老师于三十年前移民到布鲁克林南部,并从那时候开始在老年活动中心和图书馆教 授太极。现在林老师和家人生活在皇后区。以林老师摘得2010年康尼岛才艺大赛老年组桂 冠为契机,康尼岛历史工程 (The Coney Island History Project) 于同年对林老师进行了第一 次采访。此次采访中林老师谈及了自己多年前骑单车来康尼岛打太极的记忆,和他的信仰 在历史大环境下的处境。

A word from the interviewer Yiyi, “Master Lin keeps a child-like heart after having gone through so much in his life. The sense of peace and fearless love from this 87-year old grandpa is what I will always remember.”

作为访谈者的我想多补充一句,林老师经历了世事变迁却一直保有一颗赤子之心。87岁 爷爷身上的那份平安和无畏的爱让我至今难忘。