So strong has been their ethnocentrism that, while the Nam Long people have adopted the standard Zhongshan or Shekki (Shiqi) speech (a subdialect of the Yue or Cantonese dialect) in school and business, their ancestral tongue has persisted in their villages along with traditional customs and inbred bloodlines.
The Nam Long area is only a twenty-minute car ride from Shekki, Zhongshan's county seat and commercial center (Ching and Chong 1987: 37).
Bodman (1981) points out that the Shekki dialect, in particular, has had a strong influence on the Nam Long syntax and lexical usages.
There are also similarities and differences between Nam Long and the standard Shekki dialect, as spoken in Zhongshan and Hawai'i.
Nevertheless, most seem to have been conversant, if not fluent, in the Shekki speech.
Moreover, because they had lived with easy access to Shekki City, Nam Long immigrants may have been more proficient in the standard Zhongshan dialect than some Min, Hakka, or even Yue speakers who stemmed from village enclaves more isolated from the county seat.
Chung Shan's Shekki Dialect in the Nam Long District.
Yuen (1983: 235) maintains that the Zhongshan dialects may be divided into four main subgroups: Shekki, Siu Larm (Xiaolan), Dou Moon (Daomen), and Sui Seong (Shuishang).
Percy was born in about 1865 in the village of Wing Ho, Shekki, Chungshan.
By 1915 its manager and major shareholder was Harry Fay, an Australian-born Chinese who had spent a good part of his childhood and adolescence in his ancestral village of Dau Tau, Shekki, Chungshan.