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Re: Focus on the issue Dr. Lau is discussing.
Just a short reply. Thank you for your comments. In the coming weeks I am
very busy and I can only provide short replies.
>Hakka people are proud of their identity and language. The Cantonese
language predominates but it doesn't mean that the Hakka language should
die or disappear.
Sadly speaking, this WAS the picture half a century ago, and this
praise-word is unfortuantely OUT. i.e. Hakka people are NO MORE proud of
their identity and language. As the Cantonese language predominates, IT DOES
mean that the Hakka language should die or disappear. e.g.
The hometown of my grandparents, Danshui, a pure Hakka town for centuries
about 60km NE of Hong Kong, is also losing our tongue. Children are now
talking in Cantonese. In Zengcheng, a city of mixed Cantonese and Hakka
speakers, the latter are no more talking in Hakka with their children
(stand: 1996, when I attended a meeting and talked with the Hakka there).
Hakka towns are changing into Cantonese towns and the speed is very fast.
>I'd be interested to know if other people in the forum, could explain
the differences and similarities of the Hakka and Cantonese people. One
difference, is the Hakka dialects are different from the Cantonese
spoken language. But I'm sure there's tons of similarities when it comes
to comparing the two cultures.
I can say that there is little apart from the language, especially those who
are living in Hong Kong or overseas. Even in their hometowns, Hakka and
Cantonese people behave quite similarly apart from a few adaptations to
their living conditions and way of cooking. No wonder, how can you
distinguish a Norwegian and a Dane in Europe, or a Dutch and German
descendent in Canada? The main difference lies only in the language and the
"belief" of their historical link. As I stressed before, you cannot even
check someone with DNA to differentiate his grouping.
It is odd for someone to claim more than one ethnical group. Everyone only
identifies himself with one group only. If everyone do it like you in the
past 4000 years, then we may get a list of not less than 200 ethnic names,
maybe also including Tocharian and many lost tribes. Unfortunately, this is
not a usual practise and that is why the Hakka identity is always lost in
face of Cantonese, Min, USA, Canadian, etc.