The early Hakka ancestors who traveled from northern China entered Fujian first, then through Tingjiang (Ting river), they traveled to Guangdong and other parts of China and overseas. In this way, the Tingjiang River is also regarded as the Hakka's Mother River. My mother’s ancestors settled in Dingzhou Fu. I was trying to visit for the first time over 1,000 years later. By looking into Dingzhou, which was the capital of the Hakka people, there were towns named after the Guan. Guan/Shangguan is one of the big family names in this area and they were associated with a large family shrine. I realized now that my mother’s side of the family was Hakka (客家人).
The Hakka people were extremely diligent in keeping their clan/family genealogy records, hoping they could one day go back to the Royal Palace in Northern China. No other Chinese groups kept an in-depth clan/family genealogy as complete as the Hakkas. My father’s side never left far from their roots; he had only a seven-generation chart without any other information. My mom's Guans had 4 books fully covering 18 generations, including 9 generations in Fujian and 9 in Sichuan.
The Hakkas came into areas with pre-existing natives and very little agricultural land remaining. As a result, they had to go to the mountains where the land was not fertile. The Hakka mountain songs expressed their struggle to settle where no one had lived before. Hakka folk-art is still popular today, a strong reminder of its folk origin. The Tinzhou Wine Festival (100 Pot Feast 汀州百壶[福]祭) is still held every February to wake up their god by shaking the carriage with the god inside and offering wine to him, thereby ensuring a good harvest in May. By June, there would be another festival to celebrate the harvest and give thanks to the god. The interesting part of this wine celebration was the wine was not poured into a cup first, but shared from usually 100 big wine pots, plus many food plates on a long table on the street. Everyone picked food from the plates with their hands and without personal seats or plates. Everyone was welcome, old and young, friends or passersby … everyone drank out of the 100 pots. I have to say that I am not comfortable sharing drinks from the same wine pots with strangers and picking up food from the same plates by hand.
Shaking the carriage with the god inside and offering wine to him, thereby ensuring a good harvest
Hakka villages aggregated loosely around clanship, maintaining blood-ties to families (often identified through genealogy). Many Hakka men joined the military or public service due to land shortages. The Hakka community had a wide variety of martial arts, such as Hakka Kun, Southern Praying Manti, Bak Mei, and Dragon Kung Fu. Public servants would have to pass the government’s test. Therefore, the Hakka culturally emphasized education.
There were three types of Hakka dwellings. The Phoenix house 五鳳樓, Tulou 土樓 and Flat house depended on different stages of Hakka migration. When the first Hakkas moved down to Fujian, they were imperial court officials and could afford to build the Phoenix houses, which were similar to those of the imperial court. The Hakkas moved down south with the blessings and protection of the emperor. Later on, they came without any blessing of the emperor. The locals often attacked them. For protection, the Tulou houses were built as defensive structures to fend off the locals. Hundreds of years later, the Hakkas were more or less integrated with the locals. There was less need for protection and defense. Flat houses also appeared. Although these also appeared in the early dwellings of lower class workers, such as servants and lower rank officials, they accompanied the nobilities in their southward migration.
|Guan Juting standing in front of Yongding Tulou (永定土楼) built in 1912, one of the World Heritage Sites|
Genetic analyses revealed that Hakka had 80.2% of the genetic makeup of the Northern Han. The Hakkas had a custom of buying the unwanted baby daughters of the Yue Puntis (local Cantonese) in Guangdong, as the Puntis favored sons over daughters. The Punti-mei (native girls) then became brides for Hakka sons when they grew up. Thus, the Yue Punti genes entered Hakka populations. It did not go other way around; the Hakka kept all of their babies. The Hakka people are well known for defending their cultural heritage. Many were willing to take risks and seek new opportunities elsewhere to establish themselves. This migratory tradition resulted in the distribution of the Hakka in the most remote parts of the world. Saving China's abandoned Tulou homes
When Hakkas settled in different parts of China or migrated overseas to various countries throughout the world, they kept their traditions wherever they went and were closely bound to each other. The Hakka people have had a significant influence on the Chinese and world history. Han Suyin (韩素音), (pen name Elizabeth Comber) was a Chinese-born Eurasian. Her father was a Belgian Hakka engineer and her mother was a Flemish Belgian. She graduated with a MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery) with honors from London’s Royal Free Hospital in 1944. She later practiced medicine at the Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong. In addition, she is a well-known writer; her best known work is "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing." It is remembered a popular song by Sammy Fain, lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. The song (1955) won its own “Best Song” academy award. From 1967 to 1973, it was the theme song to a soap opera based on a movie, both made with the same name.
Many leaders such as Sun Yatsen (孙中山) and his wife Soong Ching-ling (宋庆龄)’s family, Taiwan Presidents Lee Teng-hui (李登辉), Chen Shui-bian (陈水扁), Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and China’s Deng Xiaoping (邓小平) were all members of the Hakka people. The Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew (李光耀), Prime Minister of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra (丘达新), and his sister Yingluck Shinawatra (英拉), the Prime Minister of Thailand today were also Hakkas. Their great-grandfather, Seng Sae Khu or Khu Chun Seng (Thai: เส็งแซ่คู; Chinese: 丘春盛), was also the Prime Minister in Thailand. Lanfang Republic (present Western Kalimantan, now part of Indonesia) was established by Luo Fangbo 罗芳伯 (1738-1778) and was also a descendant of the Hakkas. More locally, Patrick Christopher Chung (鍾家庭), an American football safety for the New England Patriots of the National Football League is half-Hakka.
Former NBC Journalist/Executive Paula Madison Finds her Hakka Root.
One Man's View of the World by Lee Kuan Yew (91 years old)
In my hand I wield the Universe and the power to attack and kill,
I slay the evil, preserve the righteous, and relieve the people's suffering.
My eyes see through beyond the west, the north, the rivers, and the mountains,
My voice shakes the east, the south, the Sun, and the Moon.
The glorious sword of authority was given by the Lord,
Taiping [Perfect Peace] unifies the World of Light,
The domineering air will be joyous for myriads of thousand years.
. After losing the Taiping Rebellion, Shi negotiated with the Qing to spare his 4000 men's lives if he turned himself in. He was executed by slow slicing in my hometown of Chengdu. His enemies recorded the entire torturous execution. Shi did not flinch and never once cried out in pain. He was 32 years old. The Qing did not keep their promise and still executed 2000 of Shi's men. He left behind a son and his wife Xiong (熊氏) remarried. Shi's sister adopted his son as her own and changed his last name from Shi to her husband's name Hu. Today Shi's hometown Guangxi (广西) still has many of his descendents.太平天国150周年：天京沦陷女性集体自焚
|Shi was executed by slow slicing in my hometown of Chengdu by the Qing.|
Shi DaKai is remembered in my hometown of Chengdu
The Secret Guan Fortress (神秘的官家围楼).Gushi County Ancestral Home of the People of Fujian and Taiwan Part 1- Founder of Zhangzhou
Gushi County Ancestral Home of the People of Fujian and Taiwan Part 2- Ancestor of people of Fujian
Gushi County Ancestral Home of the People of Fujian and Taiwan Part 3- Crossing the Taiwan Strait
A Tribute to the Hakka People百家讲坛《客家人》
Hakka Chinese Jamaican