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The in-betweeners (Hakka)
This is an article about Hakka People published by the
newspaper "THE WEST AUSTRALIAN", Saturday June 12, 1999.
I am not sure whether it is wise for me to post it here
without being sued by the editor for plagirism.
I suppose it is alright to quote just a few paragraphs.
The in-betweeners by Alistair Smith.
In the land between Hong Kong and mainland China live the Hakka people.
Alistair Smith finds relics of their lost way of life amid the bustle
of the modern city.
In what came to be called The Land Between, the migrant Tang clan of the
Hakka people had been established in their new home for some 250 years
before the British signed a deal to start the trading post at Hong Kong
Never satisfied with just the harbour, the British extended their colony -
another opium war later - first to mainland Kowloon and then, by the
Convention of Peking of 1898, to the New Territories
It was then that the farming areas bordering China - rice paddies, duck
farms, fish ponds - became known as the Land Between. So the scattered
Hakka people came to be ruled by the British instead of the Chinese.
Later they came to be known as the "In-betweeners".
But their traditions have survived long enough to see the handover to
China. Under the new Hong Kong regime, you can still find Hakka women in
black costumes, wearing spliced bamboo hats with wide brims and cloth
fringes, puffing on their pipes. And you can still find villages that long
pre-date British rule.