Author: CHUNG Yoon Ngan
Date: 12-25-06 20:18
Dear cousin joe,
Please try to understand us.
Most, if not almost all of us, the Overseas Hakka Chinese, have almost lost all our roots and culture, due to migrations from north China to the south and then Overseas to all over the world. The 96 Hakkas all over the world started a Hakka Global Network (HGN) in 1994 with the purpose of discussing our Hakka culture and value. Then Professor Dr. SL Lee set up this Hakka Forum. He was the man who planted the Hakka tree and I continued to water it and nursing it ever since. Out of these 96, there are only 3 left; namely Professor SL Lee, Dylan Sung and I. We are trying our best not to let this Forum being contaminated by discussing of the contemporary wars and religion fightings. We want to keep this Forum solely for Hakka Culture and for searching our long lost roots. Many of our Hakka People do not even know the names of the villages where their ancestors left behind. In this Forum I would not talk or discuss anything except subjects about Hakka People and their culture.
I am the Hakka Dialect
I am the Hakka Dialect. People call me the Hakka Dialect because I am the
mother tongue of the Hakka People (客家人 Kejiaren). People say that I was
the official language of the Zhou Dynasty (周朝 1134BC to 256BC). There
are also people say that I was formed during the Periods of Spring and Autumn,
and Warring States (春秋與戰國時代 722BC to 221BC). Some people also say
that I could be the deceased language of the Dynasties of Tang (唐朝 618AD
to 907AD) and Song (宋朝 960AD to 1279AD).
Actually, I don't know about myself. I only know that after there were Hakka
People then I became myself, the Hakka Dialect. I know I am inseparable
from Hakka People.
Long, long time ago, when the Hakka People were homeless wandering about
in desperate plight and misery, they not only did not abandon me but considered
me like a pearl in the palm (掌上明珠), taking me to the north and south
of the Yangtze River (長江). Thus my power of influence gradually expanded,
especially during the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (天平天國1851AD to 1864AD)
when the Hakka People were the main principal part of the Kingdom. I became
extremely popular within the domain of this Kingdom.
After the collapse of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, gradually, I began to
decline as the Hakka People were fleeing from persecutions by the Qing Government
(清朝). Many of them even refrained from calling themselves Hakka People
and changed their names. Thousands of them migrated to Nanyang ( 南洋 Southeast
Asia) or inveigled by the boat-load to become indentured labourers on railways
and canals in Southeast Asia, the United States and as far as Panama, Brazil
and Africa. Gradually, the Hakka People began to forget about me. In market
places or in businesses people ignored me. I eventually became a language
only spoken in the homes of the Hakka People. Currently, other than pockets
of places in China, Taiwan and Malaysia are still using me as a means of
communication I am being neglected by people and even the Hakka People.
One day, I might suffer the same fate as the Manchurian Dialect which had
been officially declared extinct recently, by the United Nations. If the
people, especially the Hakka People, are not doing anything to rejuvenate
me and continuing to neglect me I would disappear from the globe. Who will
be the losers? The Hakka People, like the Manchurians, because they will
be the people without a mother tongue. Another ancient language is lost.
It will be a disgrace to the Hakka People who should be ashamed to call
themselves the Hakka People.
CHUNG Yoon-Ngan (鄭永元)
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