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Dr. Lau's paper and origin of Hakka, again
The paper by Dr. Lau was presented in the latest Hakka Conference in Taiwan. He
has given me the permission to post it. I can include other papers if our Hakka
friends send them in.
The origin of Hakka is still controversial. It might take years of research to
find out. I have read the following theories:
Lo Xiang Lin (HK, deceased) - north-south migration
Chen Yun Dong (Taiwan, living) - north-south migration
Fang Xue Jia (Mainland China, living) - southern origin "Yue"
Clyde Kiang (Taiwan, living) - Huns (XiongNu)
For the time being, I still feel that north-south migration has better supports.
Fang XJ's research does include a much more extensive archaeological evidence
and field research. However, compared to the history of Bai Yue (Hundred Yues)
Chu civilization and other research done by mainland Chinese scholars, I would
say the migration of northern Chinese to the south started in Qin dynasty. Hong
Kong has already had a Han tomb discovered many years ago. Showing that the
central China civilization actually covered all the way to HK.
The set up of Nan Yue kindgom (post-Qin era) in Guangzhou is a good evidence of
the "colonization" of southern China by the ZhongYuan Chinese. The north
Guangdong Hakka should be a good link (although I have not personally heard of
their Hakka dialect) reminescent of the Qin people.
The Yue kingdom after GoJian conquered Wu king FuCha included Shanghai "Wu",
Fujian "Min" and Guangdong "Yue". The original hundred Yue in Guangdong, I
believe, were either driven to Vietnam, Guangxi (Zhuang tribe), and Hainan (Li),
or integrated with the ZhongYuan Han. Min Yue remains a unique tribe using the
Min dialects, Shanghaiese ("Wu) retains the Wu Yue dialect, Vietnamese retains
the Vietnamese dialect, which is close to Cantonese dialect. There are at least
50 variations of the Cantonese dialect in the Pearl delta, a relic of the
The typing of DNA to distinguish north/south ignores the dynamic migration of
China's population.. It thus tells only half of the truth. In fact, without the
account of population change over the years, this led to the erroneous
conclusion that Hakka "originated" in the south.
I believe (again, I can only say believe) Hakka is in fact mainly the original
ZhongYuan Han in biological trait, but it picked up many genetic traits during
all the various conficts, integration and migrations in Chinese history. These
traits could include Turkistan, Mongolian from the north and the original Yue
and She in the south. Some Hakkas bear the high nose bridge (convex), double
eyelid fold, wavy hair, reminescent of the XiYu (Turkistan) traits. Other
Hakkas have single eyelid fold, straight hair and resembling the Mongolian
In terms of culture though, Hakka is the most stubborn in retaining the ancient
Han/Tang culture. I totally agree with the statement of the famous historian
Chen2 Yin2 Lo4 :"The difference between Han and Hu is only on culture, not on
blood.". If you recall history, the "Northern Dynasties" in fact were really set
up by "Hu" (e.g. Xian Bei), but their kings have totally "Hanized" and even
forbid the citizens to speak Hu language. I would not like to use the word
"sinicized" because Xian Bei, Jiang, ... like Yue, should be all called
"Chinese" (Sino ethnic) groups.
In Han dynasty, some Xiongnu in fact were empolyed by Han to guard the border.
Hu Han Ye (a Xiongnu king) and his descendents/group were given the surname
"Liu" (as in Liu Bang). There were several hundred thousand of Xiongnu people
living in Shanxi province during Han dynasty. But some Xiongnu later left Han
and went west.
Therefore, to say Hakka could not have any Xiongnu blood is diffciult. But to
say ALL Hakkas were derived from Xiongnu is a bit far fetched.