Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The origin of Hakka(客家人的来源)

The Hakka (客家), sometimes Hakka Han,are Han Chinese who speak the Hakka language and have links to the provincial areas of Guangdong, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan and Fujian in China.

The Chinese characters for Hakka (客家) literally means "guest families". The Hakka's ancestors were often said to have arrived from what is today's central China centuries ago. In a series of migrations, the Hakkas moved, settled in their present locations in southern China, and then often migrated overseas to various countries throughout the world. The worldwide population of Hakkas is about 80 million, though the number of Hakka-language speakers is fewer. Hakka people have had a significant influence on the course of Chinese and world history: in particular, they have been a source of many revolutionary, government, and military leaders.

It is commonly held that the Hakka are a subgroup of the Han Chinese that originated in northern China. To trace their origins, three accepted theories so far have been brought forth among anthropologists, linguists, and historians: firstly, the Hakka are Han Chinese originating solely from the Central Plain in China containing today's Shanxi and Henan provinces; secondly, the Hakka are Han Chinese from the Central Plain, with some inflow of those already in the south; or thirdly, the majority of the Hakka are Han Chinese from the south, with portions coming from those in the north. The latter two are the most likely and are together supported by multiple scientific studies. Clyde Kiang stated that the Hakka's origins may also be linked with the Han's ancient neighbors, the Dongyi and Xiongnu people (a.k.a. Huns), who later had a considerable and sometimes dominating presence in parts of northern China from the Han Dynasty (202 BC–AD 220) period to the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420–589 AD),[page needed], and eventually merged and assimilated within the general Han populace.[citation needed] This is disputed, however, by many scholars and Kiang's theories are considered controversial. It is known that the earliest major waves of Hakka migration began due to the attacks of the two afore-mentioned tribes during the Jin Dynasty (265–420).

Since the Qin Dynasty (221–207 BC), the ancestors of the Hakka have migrated southwards several times because of social unrest, upheaval and invasions. Subsequent migrations also occurred at the end of the Tang Dynasty in the 10th century and during the end of the Northern Song Dynasty in 1125, the last of which saw a massive flood of refugees fleeing southward when the Jurchens captured the northern Song capital of Bianliang. A further southward migration may have continued, as the Mongols defeated the Jurchen Jin Dynasty and proceeded to take down the Southern Song, establishing the Yuan Dynasty in 1271. The precise movements of the Hakka people remain unclear during the 14th century when the Ming Dynasty overthrew the Yuan and subsequently fell to the Manchus who formed the Qing Dynasty in 17th century. Hakka have suffered persecution and discrimination ever since they started migrating to southern parts of China.

During the reign of Qing Emperor Kangxi (1654–1722), the coastal regions were evacuated by imperial edict for almost a decade, due to the dangers posed by the remnants of the Ming court who had fled to the island of Taiwan. When the threat was eliminated, the Kangxi Emperor issued an edict to re-populate the coastal regions. To aid the move, each family was given monetary incentives to begin their new lives; newcomers were registered as "Guest Families" (客戶, kèhù).

(source: wikipedia)

Tradition states that the early Hakka ancestors traveling from north China entered Fujian first, then by way of the Tingjiang River they traveled to Guangdong and other parts of China, as well as overseas. Thus the Tingjiang River is also regarded as the Hakka Mother River.

The Hakka ancestors are thus but one group of many who migrated southwards, becoming linguistically marked by differences yet unified through cultural assonances. As of 2010 Hakka people live in the southern Chinese provinces, chiefly in Guangdong, south-western Fujian, southern Jiangxi, southern Hunan, Guangxi, southern Guizhou, south-eastern Sichuan, and on Hainan and Taiwan islands

So when you meet someone from Fujian Province(福建省)in China, or normally known as Hokkien(福建人) they may either be Min-speaking peoples(闽民系)or Hakka speaking people(客家民系). Note: Min is a short form for Fujian Province. Most of Fujian Hakka are from Western Fujian or Min-xi(閩西).

Note: Hokkien or Fujian people is the people who come from Fujian province, in Penang or Taiwan, he may be either a Hakka(客家人) or Southern Min or Minnan(闽南人). Min-nan or Hokkien (福佬話) or Quanzhou–Zhangzhou(泉州-漳州) is a group of mutually intelligible Min Nan Chinese dialects spoken by many overseas Chinese throughout Southeast Asia. Its originated from the same dialect in southern Fujian(闽南) and is mutually intelligible with the Hokkien in Taiwan. It is closely related to Teochew, though mutual comprehension is difficult, and somewhat more distantly related to Hainanese. In Malaysia and Singapore, Hokkien is translated as fu-jian-hua(福建話), which is wrong, it should be min-nan hua(闽南話). We must remember there are Hakka in Fujian Province...

客家,或称客家人、客家民系,在漢族中是一个具有明显特徵的一支族群,也是汉族在世界上分布范围广阔、影响深远的民系之一。不過亦有民族學者和部份客家意識強烈的人,認為客家人應是單一民族。 唐朝末宋朝初,中原漢族居民再次大举南迁,抵达粤、赣、闽三地交界處,與當地土著裡百越族原住民雜處,互通婚姻,經過千年演化最终形成相对穩定的客家人。此后,大量外迁到華南各省乃至世界各地。客家四州为梅州、赣州、汀州、惠州。而福建宁化石壁是客家传说民系形成的中心地域,「石壁」被成稱为“客家祖地”。廣東的梅州市则因其为客家人的最主要聚居区而被称为“世界客都”,而專門研究客家族群之歷史,則可稱為客家史

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