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Re: Hakka Forum
I agree with all of your points. My goal of setting up the website is to
promote this concept. I wish all Hakkas will utilize this site to promote
businesses and welfare of Hakka people, instead of just having debates
and discussion on trivials. I am posting your mail lto the forum and the
maillist. Hope you don't mind. You can do this by including the Cc
addresses in your mail.
On Sat, 1 Feb 1997, cflau wrote:
> Dear Dr Lee,
> Yesterday I read the messages in Hakka Forum. I did not finish all, but I
> would like to express some of my opinions:
> 1. Language first or culture first
> This has been a major point of dispute among us. However, if we examine this
> closely, this is actually a reaction to the "Existence Crisis" for all Hakka
> We Hakka people used to be poor and lived in the country. In the past
> decades, we moved into Cantonese speaking areas (towns, of course) to seek
> for better chances. Just take the example of Hong Kong. Because of
> struggling for a survival, the first generation learned Cantonese, but they
> faced discriminations because of their lower social status and their
> "inpure" Cantonese. They attitude to Hakka is a dilemma: they love it
> becuase it is their mother tongue, their heritage, their value. They hate it
> because it is a hindrance for their life, including the improvement of
> social and economical status. In the town area, they began to bring up their
> children in Cantonese in the 60s, and the children still know that they are
> Hakka in origin, and some may master Hakka a some extent. However, the
> symbol "Hakka" did not bring them any sense of belonging because they are
> brought up in a Cantonese way. They are even shame of it because the
> Cantonese people viewed Hakka as poorer, of lower education level, ignorant,
> unmodern, reluctant to change, etc. Therefore, most of these
> Cantonese-speaking "Hakka decendents" have negative image on their
> ancestors, and reluctant to speak this dialect. Now the third generation of
> Hakka are reaching the age of 15-20 or so, and they virtually forget their
> ancestral origin. Beacuse of the negative attitude of their parents towards
> Hakka, they usually deny of their Hakka status.
> Now a big question: can the language, or the culture, bring back the sense
> of belonging of their "Hakka decendents"?. My answer is sadly: NEITHER. I
> interviewed some 120 Hakka (including all ages) about their attitude towards
> the Hakka language and culture, and I will be giving a report in the forum.
> I found that most of them do not like to practise the Hakka language or
> culture because they are contended to be a HONGKONGESE. They do not want to
> be identified as someone different from the mainstream culture!
> Therefore, some people are trying to convert the symbol Hakka into a TOTEM,
> a religious figure. However, we are too modern to do this. This could have
> worked with the Jews some 2000 years ago, but I do not see any good chance
> for it in the 21st Century. I discard the idea of Hakka being "pure blood
> Chinese", "the only true decendants of Han", etc not only because it is
> racist but most important of all it does almost nothing to help to improve
> the situation of the declining Hakka language and culture.
> To be honest, the Hakka language and culture will disappear altogether in a
> century's time as the trend continues in Guangdong and most of our
> decendants will only be speaking Cantonese. The only solution to help to
> prevent or delay this happening is, according to my opinion, economical.
> When we Hakkas are rich enough to survive in our homeland (where Hakka are
> spoken now) and when we are no longer using other's language and culture to
> "modernize" ourselves, there is a hope for Hakka. Hakka will exist when
> Hakka people are proud to be Hakka, not spiritually but materialistically!
> Wealth is the most effective way to generate sense of belonging and
> identity. The Hong Kong identity provides one of the best examples. Imagine
> if the best computers are produced in Mexian now and Mexian is the richest
> part of Guangdong. Then all "Hakka decendants" will learn to speak Hakka and
> claim themselves Hakka. I sincerely hope that all Hakkas can unite together
> to help this happen, so that "Hakka" will not be a historical term for our
> children after ten generations.
> I have no time now and I will talk on other topcs later.
> Yours sincerely,
> Liu2 Zin3fad5/Hong Kong