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How to save Hakka?
Dear Hakka and non-Hakka friends,
I am quite worried to see that Jiaying province is suggested to occupy no
physical space but only cyperspace. Then my prediction of the death of
Hakka will come true: Hakka is no more a language and a group of people
with the same culture. Hakka people assimilate into other cultures like
Tocharians to become part of human history.
Jiaying is a piece of land resting on soil and rock with Hakka speakers
living on it. A province is not a country, no India and Pakistan. The
children of any Chinese province are speaking their mother tongue and
Mandarin. Since the establishmnet of the Hainan province in 1988, Cantonese
and Hakka (and many other) speakers there are not forced to learn
Hainanese, nor should they give up their tongues. No Cantonese and Hakka
(and many other) speakers moved out because Hainan became a province.
Chinese are peaceful people especially when their physical survival are
"Hakka" is sick, very sick. He suffers from cancer, a dangerous disease
that will kill the language and culture in 200 years time. Don't just close
your eyes and say "impossible". If you do not want to see him dead, don't
just consider my words as purely "persimistic". My diagnosis is real and
solid and should be faced with courage and wisdom. Hakka should not be a
"spirit", a ghost, a belief, a topic to discuss; it should exist with
breathe and flesh. Hakka can be saved if we all agree that Hakka is very
sick, and a medicine is urgent and neccessary.
If you the symptoms of Hakka is no big deal, if you find the loss of the
language quite comfortable, if you think Hakka should assimilate to other
groups leaving only a "spirit" to worship, the death of Hakka no pain to
you, then just ignore my words.
I just reiterate my message:
Hakka may have a future, if we can come to a conclusion that Hakka as a
culture is now very sick, and every minute is critical for its rescue. If
we are still thinking Hakka is still healthy and sound, that the loss of
Hakka speaker is no big deal, that "history" is more important than the
reality, that assimilation of Hakka into other groups is a "normal
tendency", that speaking Hakka is not important to the preservation of our
culture, that a Jiaying province is not our goal, that we only talk on how
Hakka lived but not how they will live ... then I would say
Hakka has no future.
Liu Zinfad / Lau Chunfat