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Re: Hakka in Mauritius
On Dec 13, 1996 08:59:47, 'firstname.lastname@example.org' wrote:
>>From Seow=Yoke=Kong%MLEO%ML@singtel.com Wed Dec 11 20:15:55 1996
>From: "seow yoke kong" <Seow=Yoke=Kong%MLEO%ML@singtel.com>
>Subject: Re: Hakkas in Australia & Timor
>[moderator:Please help out your moderator by editing the files you are
> sending. Iknow it is aggravating for individual member to
> take extra 3 minutes to edit file but it is much more to
> moderator when he needs to edit them many times.
> It also help when you are on a new topic, use a new title.
> Shanghai Hua Tong Shih Fan Xue Yen(Shanghai East China Teacher
> college) has just started masters program on Hakkaology.
> There are 8 students, 3 from LongYen Fujian, 2 from Taiwan,
> 1 from GanZhou JiangXi province, &Iforget where the other two
> from. The program started this fall.
>I also came to know of that there were Hakka's in Mauritius. Anyone has
>information about how they go there, their lifestyle, and their culture ?
I can give you some help on their history but will let others talk about
their culture....(why do you want to know about Mauritians?)
Mauritius has a strong Hakka presence and about 90% of the Chinese
population in Mauritius are ethnic Hakka Chinese. The Hakka community is
thriving and becoming more and more prosperous with Chinese businesses
and professionals dominating many areas of the economy.
Most of the Hakka come from Moyen (Mexian) with a significant
number coming after the Taiping revolution from different Hakka communities
in China. Many Hakka used the port of Hong Kong to go to South Africa
which also had a Hakka community, but decided to stop at Mauritius.
It is said that there was once a Cantonese (Punti) presence in Mauritius
left with the arrival of more Hakka.
Interestingly, the Hakka community is a tight-knit group who mostly do NOT
speak Hakka as a first language but 'Creole' - the language of 'real'
Mauritius. Efforts were made to preserve the language and culture by
sending children back to China during the civil war years in order to
be educated or to the local Chinese (Hakka) schools....unfortunately this
severely handicapped them. The ones who went to China or Chinese schools
(often first born sons) were at a great disadvantage compared to the ones
began education in English schools. In addition, the choice of Chinese
often political as there were Communist and Nationalist schools. Today,
children are usually sent to Western universities, mainly in England or
Canada to be educated before going back 'home' to Mauritius.
They call themselves Mauritians and superficially, they may appear to have
integrated into the population but this is incorrect. To the outsider who
not know better, the Hakka have 'gone native' in language and in many ways
culture. But for these 'Mauritians', there exists a subtle social circle
consisting of other Mauritians who just 'happen' to be ethnic Hakka
Chinese. This is not just in Mauritius. The Mauritian association in
which is open to all Mauritians, just 'happens' to be 99% Chinese (Hakka).
Ironically, even though the language is almost gone and the culture no
'Chinese', the Hakka strongly identify with China and their ancestory.
basic Chinese values hold.
Efforts are currently underway to restore the Chinese language and emphasis
Chinese culture. Mandarin (not Hakka) language schools are becoming
among upper middle class families. Unfortunately, they do not identify as
with Hakka culture and language. One reason is that others define a
'Hakka' as someone who speaks the language or has Hakka culture, rather
than by their
common history. By this definition, the ethnic Hakka population of the
is not Hakka.