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Luo's Xianglin's definition for Pre-Hakka
Dear Hakka Friends,
Responding to Dr. SL Lee's Post:
>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?
Hurray, I agree 100%. I think all of us are becoming cleverer and cleverer
in this Millennium. I like SL's opinion, everything is relative.
But unfortunately, when one lives on this earth, you get to be something.
1700, or more exactly, 1669, was the borderline for "Hakka" because Jiaying
people were lured by the Manchurian Regime to fill in the coastal area
evaculated earlier to stop people supporting Zheng Chenggong. This was
quite a long story to tell here but it ended up in "Punti" and "Hakka"
dispute, and finally a war in Taishan around 1850. Therefore, 1669 for
"Punti" and "Hakka" is comparable to 1947 for India and Pakistan. It is a
sad thing for the splitting of the Guangdong people into two rival groups,
but that was history. Now Hakka and Cantonese can coexist better than India
and Pakistan, and what I hope is a eventual coexistence for generations to
come. I do not want to see assimilation of a group into the other because
we are now two equal groups. This is why I suggest the founding of a
As for Mr. Chung, I would say that many traditional Hakkaologists may not
agree with me, including the professors you named. I know many of them
personally too. But I believe that academic issues are open and we can keep
on discussing to find the most rational answer. As you can see in my
messages, I oppose the traditional way of Hakka definition because it is
against historical and linguistic facts, scientific findings and logical
thinking, which I posted X-times on this forum. Although I do not quite
agree with Luo Xianglin's theory on origin of hakka from the Jin "Kehu", he
still has carefully used the term "Kejia Xianmin" (Pre-Hakka) for Hakka
ancestors before the Hakka-Punti war. Only after 1867 did he name the
people as HAKKA! (Qiu Quanzheng, Kejia yu Kejia Chongzhenghui, 1997: 39)
This means, Luo was (correctly) aware of the fact that Hakka was a
relatively new identity. But Hakkaologists after him try to change his
words and include Hakka ancestors as Hakka.
I can accept Hakka descendents as Hakka if they claim themselves to be
Hakka even if they understand no Hakka, as identity is a psychological
state, but if we accept any Hakka ancestors as Hakka before 1669, I get
confused: should Adam or Huangdi be Hakka?? Or should we only name the
famous people we like??
The third millenium is ahead of us and apart from science and technology,
we also need the wisdom to choose between good and bad theories. If all
Cantonese can be defined "Hakka" (which is logical for the existing
theory), even if Cantonese speakers do not oppose, what is the "Hakka
culture" to preserve?