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Hakka is Tangren, not Xiongnu
Dr. Kiang's view is not new to us but as pointed out by other scholars, his
view is not scientifically based. Moreover, he said that "Kechia" has been
used since 780AD is not credible unless he can quote his sources. The so
called Tang census and chronical only mentioned "Ke" or "Kehu" , meaning
guest or new comers, but that were throughout the whole country and seemed
to have nothing to do with "Hakka", which appeared not until the 17th
century. The suffix "ka" is obviously Cantonese, as they also name the other
minorisies in Guangdong with "ka" such as "Tanka" (The fisherman volk).
As the author of "Hakka Pinyin Dictionary" and native speaker of Hakka (I
also speak fluent Cantonese, Mandarin, English and German; and I have a
basic knowledge of Japanese), I just want to challenge his view linguistically.
(1) Hakka (and other southern dialects as well) preserved a significant part
of the vocabulary and pronunciations of ancient Chinese. If Hakka is
non-Chinese, how did these words come from and why did our ancestors try so
hard to keep them?
(2) There are deep-rooted linguistic similaries between Hakka, Cantonese and
Min in many aspects in addition to their similarities to ancient Chinese.
Prof. Jerry Norman (a Linguist for Chinese) even suggested a Proto-southern
Chinese for us. However, most Chinese Linguists reject this notion because
we accept that Southern Chinese is actually the result of migrations from
the Central Plain around the Tang Dynasty. How can Dr. Kiang ignore these facts?
(3) A significant part of our vocabulary also share with Thai, Zhuang etc,
which is also reflected in Cantonese. In a recent paper for publication, I
cited about 100 examples. However, I do not know the part of vocabulary
which we share with Mongolian, Hungary or other Altaic-Tungus languages.
Could Dr. Kiang give me some especially those which are totally different
from other Chinese dialects?
(4) Could Dr. kiang also give me more examples of Hakka usages which are
unique of its own (not shared by other dialect and ancient Chinese) to
support his view?
Biologically, Hakka (Meizhou) shares the same groups of immunoglobins with
populations of Canton, She and Liuzhou, but are distantly related to Minnan
people. Our immunoglobins are totally different from the Northern Chinese
people and the other Mongoloid races. This is well documented in a survey
carried out by Zhao et al., published in 1991 which I think many of us have
Moreover, I also want to point out that Hakka people are using their
language not only because they are suppressed by the government, but also
because most of them do not want their Hakka identity. That means, at first
Hakkas were "murdered", but now most of us commit suicide. Ironically, at
the time of suppression, Hakka lost their blood only at a very slow rate,
say 50 years ago the rate of assimilation of Hakka into other groups is
insignificant. However, the danger which prevails today is the massive
assimilation of Hakka into Cantonese in Hong Kong and Guangdong, into Min in
Taiwan and Fujian. If we keep on using the older methods to stop bleeding,
Hakka will be dead in less than 200 years. Some people may argue that even
if no one practice Hakka, Hakka is still there by geneology. But I have to
warn that before we change Hakka into a religion like Judism, the chance of
survival of the Hakka idendity is almost zero after the language disappears
from the earth totally. Anyway, are there still people identifying as
decendents from the Babylonian culture in Iraq?
The solution may be ironical: unless Hakka people can establish an education
system and job market and use his tongue naturally like those of other
groups, Hakka cannot survive. To use other dialects for education and job
seeking means an end to Hakka. I hope friends in the Hakka forum can help.