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Clarification on the issue of Hakka language
Dear Dr. Chunfat,
Let me clarify my position. I sincerely believe that one should try to
preserve the language of one's own culture. All my friends teach their kids
their mother tongue as well as English.
To preserve the Hakka language is truly important, and we should teach our
kids their ancestral language, mine would be Spanish, Cantonese and Hakka,
and Carib which is probably an extinct language.
But how can you teach kids a language they don't want to learn? Or how can
you make parents teach their kids when the parents don't want to teach
their kids. And why a province in China only? What about Hakka people who
live all over the world, are we to forget about them? There's thousands of
Hakka people in Canada, and their roots are in different countries
I firmly believe in preserving the Hakka language. If you can help me do
so, give me some practical and useful advice. I can speak Spanish and
French. Cantonese classes proliferate throughout Toronto, if there's a
Hakka class you know about, or a teacher, please tell me about it.
At 10:19 AM 06/01/2000 +0800, you wrote:
>Thank you for your message. Just want to clarify one thing: to establish a
>Jiaying province does not mean to prevent Hakka children learning other
>languages, this is totall impracticable and against my intention. Even
>Chinese in Beijing cannot be prevented to learn English or Russian. I do not
>want to prevent anyone to learn anything, but to help someone to keep
>something. These are two totally different concepts. I speak German,
>English, Cantonese, mandarin and some Japanese and Taiwan Minnan dialect,
>but I speak fluent Hakka. I am also hiring English teachers to teach my
>children English, although they are quite fluent in English, and have
>nativce proficiencies of Cantonese and Mandarin. I have no the slightest
>intention to prevent Hakka children learning other languages, what I want is
>to keep Hakka spoken by them.
>Hong kong is an immigrant city as well as an emigrant city, but it does not
>hurt the position of Cantonese. No one try to stop people moving in Hong
>kong or moving out of it. This is normal. In a province, where migration is
>still freer than Hong Kong, no one can stop the population flow.
>If you cannot interpret the meaning of a Jiaying province, just ask people
>about how is life in Hainan. Hainan is the smallest and newest province of
>China, and the people are quite satistified with their life there. I think
>this can help. If you are satisfied that Hakka is only a name of a culture
>to gather together people from all over the world in any language other than
>Hakka, I think you are a step further towards the decline of Hakka as a
>language and life-style.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Kelvin & Henri <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2000 9:12 AM
>Subject: Scholarly Studies on Hakkas in Cyberspace
>> Dear Dr. Lau Chunfat,
>> It's nice to know that I've finally gotten some attention and stirred up
>> some exciting debate.
>> I've been only borrowing ideas and trying to make connections.
>> Let me introduce to you, Professor Eriberto Fuji Lozada, of Butler
>> University, Indianapolis, USA Please see,
>> Professor Lozada, did some research on Hakkas who communicate on the
>> internet, please read his paper, that he posted in his homepage at Butler
>> University, titled, "What it means to be Hakka in Cyberspace: Diasporic
>> Ethnicity and the Internet." This paper that he wrote is so interesting,
>> and he says that we've developed a global community, via internet access.
>> Let's assume there is a Jiaying Province in China, today, year 2000. What
>> will it be like? Of course, there will be Hakka people. What about the
>> effects of computer internet access, migration trends, job opportunities
>> North America, in- and out-migration, how will you prevent Hakka people
>> would want to learn Cantonese or Mandarin? How would you prevent their
>> from migrating to other places? Would Hakka speaking people get better
>> quality service in Jiaying? Whether or not there is a Jiaying Province,
>> there are things that you or I cannot control, people have to decide for
>> themselves, if they want to speak Hakka or if they want to teach their
>> the Hakka language. And as you have taught your kids Hakka, you should be
>> awarded for your efforts, because of all the difficulties you experience
>> just trying to preserve your own kids cultural heritage. You are not
>> I believe in celebrating life and the people that surround me come from
>> over the world. Not only the Hakka culture is important, but all other
>> cultures. Hakka people never existed by themselves. We should all embrace
>> the future, with an optimistic attitude, and look forward to positive