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RE: "Hakka" -birth, climax and decline
Chin Fat sin sang,
Ngi ho ! Your message is rather long, so I am not doing cut-paste of
your original message but to share my thoughts on Hakka along your line of
When I think of the weakening of Hakka culture, I can't help but think
of Jews. How, a small population could be successful in the face of
overwhelming odds? Putting miracle aside, from what I have observed about
Jewish people, the single most standout feature is the strong sense of
identity proclaimed by the individual Jews.
This strong sense of identity is solidified by a common religion, a
common language, a strong family emphasis in keeping the cultural traits and
passing it to next generation, and a strong desire for solidarity among the
Jewish community wherever they go.
It is this revitalization of strong Hakka identity that will ultimately
ensure Hakka survival and well-being.
The language is important. But the language alone can not define Hakka.
Land mass and population mass are also important, but by itself can not
define Hakka. I believe the core definition of Hakka lies within the desire
of individual to consider themselves Hakka. If there is no such desire, by
blood or by tongue is not meaningful.
How then could a person has this desire ? A strong family emphasis
on Hakka culture awareness, and the pride associated with it ; learning and
practice of Hakka language ; solidarity among Hakka community ; and
concentration land mass of Hakka people all interact to foster the Hakka
identity. At the end, a strong Hakka culture is sustained. What is a culture
then ? It is the common pattern of daily living, and a common pattern of
thinking. Once a person cease to exhibit this common pattern AND has no
desire to revive within himself, then his or her culture is loss. A
culture will evolve, but it always has link to the past. If it has no links
to the past, then it is a new culture, and old culture cease to exist.
An e sen, tou chhiah !
Jonathan Teoh, Systems Analyst
Global Business System, IT
Eastman Chemical Company (423) 229-6506