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I think the way it is put, everybody can only be a pre something. There
is no defined identity. Prior to the 29 provinces or whatever the
number, the people did not have any identity as what province they
belong to. So there would be no Guangdong people, no Cantonese. So there
were no Jiangsu people either, no Hebei people. It was Yan and Zhao. If
you really trace back further, they may not be Yan or Zhao either. Many
Hakka were likely Chu people. When Han conquered Chu, we all became Han
people. It really does not make any difference. So, you see the
difficulty in classifying Hakka by a definite timeline as 1700? So we
are Guangdong ren right now, but our ancestors were not Guangdong ren?
How can one tell? May be some were, and some weren't. Do we care about
that? We are only interested in the culture as defined by Hakka, such
as the language, the custom, the personality etc. Whether Hakka or not
is even very trivial, compared to the identity as a Chinese. Why are we
keep circling on this topic?