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Hakkas in India
I just wanted to post this email, because we can all learn about the
Chinese in Trinidad, and India at the same time.
I would really like to have a copy of your interesting quarterly newsletter
that you publish in English about your community. I am truly fascinated by
the Hakka culture in all parts of the world.
Here's a brief history of the Trinidadian Chinese:
80 percent are from Chung Shan and the ones that still speak the language,
do so in Cantonese(there's a few Chinese that speak Toy Shan dialect), some
of their kids do speak the language, some don't; roughly 20 percent are
from Fui On, Toong Kwan, Po On in Guangdong, China, and there's still a
small group today and the older generation originally from China speak
Hakka, most of their kids don't. My mom who was born in Trinidad in 1940
learnt Hakka from her grandfather who was a founding member of the Fui
Toong On Association in Trinidad, but she didn't teach us Hakka at home(it
wasn't allowed, but we learnt a few Cantonese terms), English was taught at
home and school.
A lot of influential Trinidadian Chinese had sent their kids to Hong Kong
and China before and after the war so that their kids could receive Chinese
education and culture. My dad was mixed, with Chung Shan Chinese(he spoke
Cantonese and Mandarin fluently, he grew up in Hong Kong and China). Some
Trinidadian Chinese have mixed roots, some are all Hakka or all Cantonese,
some have East Indian or African roots, or/and Spanish and Carib roots,
some Chinese too have Portuguese roots and Spanish and Carib roots.
It was around the 1970s in Trinidad, there was a Black Power movement, and
a lot of racial tension at the time, that encouraged a lot of Chinese to
migrate to North America, England and other parts of the world. Migration
patterns show that many people from the Caribbean including Blacks and East
Indians and Portuguese and all other ethnic groups, have tend to move
northwards to Canada and the U.S. in search of a better life.
Keep in touch. Best of luck with the umbrella organization, I look to the
future for positive things for you and hope the best for your vibrant
community. I have friends from India who speak Punjabi, Hindi and Gujratii.
All the best,
Thank you very much for your information. Through you I have received a
loadful of e-mails from our Tangra Hakkas brethens who had migrated to Canada.
I have a lot of relatives and friends in Canada. But I was not aware that
most of you are doing a great service to the Hakka community by trying to
preserve and enrich our culture by organising such an event. Kudos and
Congrats to all of you!!! I will try to spread the message regarding the
Hakka conference in Toronto.
Hope a lot of dynamic people will participate and a lot of constructive
ideas will emerge.
I am not surprised that Prof. Ellen has aptly chosen the titile of her book
as "Blood, Sweat & Mahjong". I know how most of the Indian chinese had
struggled in life to overcome their poverty. I look forward to reading her
book and will of course be happy to find all the characters as alive and
true as I am seeing them, now this very moment!!!
We have prepared a diary which lists some important chinese festivals and a
brief description of how the Indian chinese celebrates them. For next year
we are planning to prepare a diary about the different chinese communities
scattered all over India. We have also started a quarterly newsletter in
English. Hope to make this newsletter a medium to exchange ideas among the
It is not our intention to eliminate all the other associations. All the
associations and groups are doing a great job in their own little ways and in
their own fields of work. But if we can all unite together for a common cause
like organising and celebrating the New Year together, fighting injustice,
etc. I suppose we all can contribute more effectively to the society.
>p.s. What does Pouchong International Company do and is it your own company?
I am a goldsmith. I had learned the skills from my father who had started this
jewellery business 40 years ago. Most of the Indian chinese buys their gold
jewelleries from our shop "Pou Chong" Business from the local chinese has
dwindled with the population, forcing us to concentrate on the export
Now we are exporting our gold jewelleries to Dubai and gemstones to Hong Kong.
We also manufactures different sauces like chilli sauce, soya sauce, tomato
sauce etc. We also process finished leather in Tangra.
What about you ? Are you a scholar and a researcher like Prof. Ellen ? Do
tell me more about the Trinidad chinese. I am really surprised to learn
that you are from Trinidad. Which type of Hakka do you speak ? We speak
Mei- xien(Moi Yan)Hakka. I do have some relatives in Mauritius.