Hoklo on Bali, reports from the field

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
niuc
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Re: Hoklo on Bali, reports from the field

Post by niuc » Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:06 am

amhoanna wrote:
Right! They went to TW b/c they couldn't afford the fare to Manila. :mrgreen:
Oh yeah, I read somewhere that 番 there referred particularly to the Philippines.
I guess by the time of this saying, though, people no longer thought of "ke Tai'oan" as a flavor of "ke hoan".
Hmmm, true. I suppose that at the time Hokkiens still thought of Tai'oan as a "foreign" place?

This means having a lot of lawsuits on your back? Something that happens to politicians?
Not directly. Liam5-thi1-thi1 means very sticky. So, it's a very sticky business to get involved with the gahmen officials. When I first heard that saying as a child, it invoked a picture of gahmen officials' robes being very sticky (as an allegory), so better stay away from them. I prefer to think that this is in line with Laozi's philosophy! :mrgreen:

Always interesting to hear what PRC people say in private!
Yup! This reminds me of my conversation with some Mainland Chinese. I told them that although my father went to pro-KMT school, he became a fervent (though passive) supporter of PRC/CCP, as he thought of KMT as corrupt and a puppet of US. They were surprised to hear that, as they didn't like PRC gahmen (CCP). We concluded that quite a number of overseas Chinese were well disposed toward CCP because they didn't know about its ba5/7-u2 (from Malay "bau" -> stink; 臭空) and they didn't live under its rule.
"The ROT" could've been a done deal with no side effects back in the '80s or earlier, but the ROC got in the way.
So PRC wouldn't attack ROT at that time? Please tell me more.
I hear this all the time, but still don't really get it. What's 刣頭生理 exactly?
Literally "business of chopping head", i.e. for money/benefits, some people are willing to be assassins or to harm others.
amhoanna wrote:Just wanted to add: someday we're all just gonna be ASEAN + 9, or ASEAN + whatever! :lol:
Hopefully in a peaceful manner! :mrgreen:
SimL
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Re: Hoklo on Bali, reports from the field

Post by SimL » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:43 am

amhoanna wrote:Re Singapore... What U said, Sim, reminds me of a paper entitled "Formosa: More Like Luzon than Hainan" or something like that. It's online for all to read. There's a very strong case that TW (and its Han settlers) is historically LIKE any other Han-settled place in Nusantara. But Qing bureaucracy and a lack of distance from China made TW an exception!
Hi amhoanna,

Thanks for the tip. The article itself is this, if anyone else is interested. I certainly found it interesting.

http://www.international.ucla.edu/cira/paper/Wills.pdf
SimL
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Re: Hoklo on Bali, reports from the field

Post by SimL » Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:40 am

amhoanna: your name is perfect!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8406506.stm

This shows that we were all originally Malays anyway :mrgreen:.

Apparently, prior to this study, there were two major (and competing) theories about the origin of the Malays: 1) That they came from Yunnan. 2) That they came from Taiwan. This latest study (which, after all, is based on strict biological criteria), implies that it's the other way around.

Good support for the people who like to think that "All Men Are Brothers" (which is not such a bad philosophy, actually).

I stumbled across this from the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_race which says:

"With new scientific evidence presented by HUGO (Human Genome Organization) through genetic studies of the Asian races, the facts points to a single Asian migration from the South East Asian regions (which is predominantly populated by malay races) travelling northwards and slowly populating East Asia (China, Korea and Japan) instead of the other way around as it is usually popularly depicted"
amhoanna
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Re: Hoklo on Bali, reports from the field

Post by amhoanna » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:27 pm

Thanks, guys.

Sim, I read that there's a suku (ethnic group) somewhere in the islands between Bali and Papua that refers to all outsiders as "Malay" in their own language, no matter if they're black or white. :lol: I may've said this here already...

Re the PRC not attacking a new Taiwanese nation if it would've come up earlier... I could be wrong, but once upon a time China's economy was in a shambles and they wouldn't've had the firepower to invade TW. Also the Cold War was in effect and the U.S. was fond of its "friends" on the Asian Pacific Rim. Probably less of a factor after Nixon's visit, etc.
niuc
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Re: Hoklo on Bali, reports from the field

Post by niuc » Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:20 am

Thanks, Sim & Amhoanna, for all the info. :mrgreen:
Great to read these!
SimL wrote: Apparently, prior to this study, there were two major (and competing) theories about the origin of the Malays: 1) That they came from Yunnan. 2) That they came from Taiwan. This latest study (which, after all, is based on strict biological criteria), implies that it's the other way around.
It depends on how the term Malay is defined. Not sure how standard is the usage of the term "Malay race" to refer to Austronesian or even including Thai, Khmer (how about Burmese or Vietnamese or Hmong) etc, for me it sounds strange to refer to Alisan-lang in Taiwan or Maori as Malay race, not to mention non-Austronesians.

The BBC news article itself doesn't mention specially which part of South East Asia. Although I am a layman about this, if I am allowed to have a personal opinion (due to my interest in the topic), I think that it should be mainland SEAsia. However, there was a time when western Nusantara still connected to mainland SEAsia, right? If the migration occured during that time, then may be no need to differentiate between mainland and (western) maritime SEAsia. In a stricter sense, I don't think the population of then mainland SEAsia could be referred to as Malay race, though no doubt Malay race is among its descendants. And in this sense, it is possible for the earlier theories (particularly if it's part of the old tradition of the people) to be reconciled with the new findings, i.e. may be Malay race was formed in a later time in Yunnan or Taiwan or mainland SEAsia, and then migrated to Malay Peninsula and Nusantara. Then later there were intermarriages with Indian and Arab, so I expect that Melayu's genes are different from (though similar to) the population referred to in the article; actually all its descendants (including Chinese) have different genes (though similar) due to intermarriages and mutation, right?

In connection to this great finding, it'd be great if we can know what the experts say about the development of genetic differences among (East) Asians, including physical features e.g. eye shape, skin colour etc.
Ah-bin
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Re: Hoklo on Bali, reports from the field

Post by Ah-bin » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:12 am

Now if I might add my opinion to the debate on Taiwanese being Chinese or otherwise. I think it is good to treat people's beliefs about their ethnicity with as much respect as we do their religious beliefs, even if we happen to think they are nonsense. Individuals have their reasons for believing themselves to be something rather than the other, and it is only when they start organising to exterminate people who disagree or who believe they belong to some other group, that I think we should come out and criticise their choices.

I remember in China I met some people who said they were Nong people not Zhuang as the CCP claimed they were, and when I told someone else, she said "No, they are not Nong, they are Zhuang!" Who did I believe? The people who told me themselves that they were Nong. Why believe what someone else says about people when you can get it from the horse's mouth?

About the Vietnamese worshipping the little guy, it seems they have been worshipping the Han general Ma Yuan for years without even knowing it! For those who are not aware, Ma Yuan was the one who led an army to defeat the Trung sister's in 41AD, and wiped out the native leadership structures in the red River Plain. This is similar to the worship of Tan Oan-kong 陳元光, I think.

http://csds.anu.edu.au/volume_4_2010/18 ... 0_Shiu.pdf

Unfortunately this is all in Chinese.
amhoanna
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Re: Hoklo on Bali, reports from the field

Post by amhoanna » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:08 pm

In Manila or Sugbo (Cebu) I saw a jeepney with this tagline: "PRIDE OF THE MALAY RACE".

It's interesting that no matter which definition of "Malay" we use, Luzon's agta and the orang asli of the "Malay Peninsula" fall beyond it.

Re the TWese/Chinese debate, I think the debate has mostly taken place "in-group", i.e. w/i TWese circles. All sides of the debate are bound together in their identity, although that could change in the future. It's not easy to escape the choices made by other people in the group. This is why people tried/try so hard to sell each other on a certain pt of view.

Treating "ethnicity beliefs" like religious beliefs and respecting them is probably the best strategy for getting along with people, no doubt.
About the Vietnamese worshipping the little guy, it seems they have been worshipping the Han general Ma Yuan for years without even knowing it! For those who are not aware, Ma Yuan was the one who led an army to defeat the Trung sister's in 41AD, and wiped out the native leadership structures in the red River Plain. This is similar to the worship of Tan Oan-kong 陳元光, I think.
Thanks, Ah-bin. I didn't know about this. Looks like the VNese are even more Han and less hoanna than I thought!! OK, no more cheap shots from me. In this thread. :mrgreen:
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Re: Hoklo on Bali, reports from the field

Post by Ah-bin » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:01 pm

I'm not surpirse you didn'nt know about it! It's only been published in the last week! In fact, this years online journal of Chinese Southern Diaspora Studies is devoted to Vietnam. These other articles may also be of interest.

http://csds.anu.edu.au/volume_4_2010/contents.php

John Phan's piece is really interesting, as he presents linguistic evidence that the people living in the Red River Delta in the T'ang were actually speaking some sort of Sinitic language. They then shifted back to using an Austroasiatic language that was creolised in the same way as Penang Baba Hokkien (with Chinese grammatical function words

Then there is John Whitmore's piece about the Hokkien influence in the political and intellectual life of independent Dai Viet.

Li Qingxin has written about the origin of the Mac family in the Lei-chou peninsula, also a Hoklo area. This one is only in Chinese.

Then finally...there is a piece by Michael Churchman (some of you know who he is) about how Chinese and Vietnamese are modern concepts that do not fit into a discussion of the Han-T'ang period. I won't go into detail here, but I think you might enjoy this.
niuc
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Re: Hoklo on Bali, reports from the field

Post by niuc » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:02 am

Thank you, Ah-bin, for this!
amhoanna wrote:In Manila or Sugbo (Cebu) I saw a jeepney with this tagline: "PRIDE OF THE MALAY RACE".
Amhoanna, my Filipino friends indeed think of themselves as part of Malay race. They were taught in schools that their ancestors were from Borneo.
amhoanna wrote:It's interesting that no matter which definition of "Malay" we use, Luzon's agta and the orang asli of the "Malay Peninsula" fall beyond it.
Because they are Negritos? Did they reach SEAsia before the ancestors of other East Asians?
Ah-bin wrote:I think it is good to treat people's beliefs about their ethnicity with as much respect as we do their religious beliefs, even if we happen to think they are nonsense.
amhoanna wrote:Treating "ethnicity beliefs" like religious beliefs and respecting them is probably the best strategy for getting along with people, no doubt.
So true, especially for Ah-bin's example about Nong & Zhuang. No government should force an identity upon any group of people. Regarding some Taiwanese that are anti-Chinese (in cultural sense, not PRC, ROC or any political identity), it is different. Don't they still think of themselves as Hoklo or Hakka? If so, then they cannot deny that they are Chinese, since Hoklo & Hakka are Chinese. If they identify themselves as Alisan-lang that are sinicized, or if the term Hoklo is given a narrower meaning to disconnect it from Hokkien/Minnan and those Hakka Taiwanese who are anti-Chinese (if any) find another term to describe themselves, then I guess nobody could object to their self-identification.

It's interesting that though similar, "ethnicity beliefs" and religious beliefs usually move toward opposite directions, i.e. in claiming separatist identity for the former and established identity for the latter (e.g. Mormons/JWs claim to be Christians while most Christians view them as heretics; Yiguandao in Indonesia claim to be Buddhists, etc).
Ah-bin
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Re: Hoklo on Bali, reports from the field

Post by Ah-bin » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:31 am

it is different. Don't they still think of themselves as Hoklo or Hakka? If so, then they cannot deny that they are Chinese, since Hoklo & Hakka are Chinese.
You're still making a decision for them when you write that, and some people may still not want to be included in any variation of Chineseness, and still have their own reasons for doing it. I don't know any people like that myself, but I'm sure they do exist, and that they do have their reasons for existing. In any case, I'm sure most of the Taiwanese who say they aren't Chinese are merely saying that they are not Tiong-kok-lâng and not denying their Tng-lâng-ness or 華人-ness and that the issue is more of English confusing membership of political and other entities.

There are plenty of people whose ancestors came from what is now China in western countries who want nothing to do with it. I don't see any problem with it. One's culture and interests need not always be determined by our genetic ancestry I think. One day the balance of power might be different and the descendants of English people might not care about learning English. I wouldn't blame them for that either.

As a digression, one of the interesting things I learnt last year was that the Ch'ing government did not consider Chinese who had converted to Christianity as Chinese any more, so they were permitted to stay in Macau overnight, when the other Chinese were not.
It's interesting that though similar, "ethnicity beliefs" and religious beliefs usually move toward opposite directions, i.e. in claiming separatist identity for the former and established identity for the latter (e.g. Mormons/JWs claim to be Christians while most Christians view them as heretics; Yiguandao in Indonesia claim to be Buddhists, etc).
As far as I know I-kuan-tao will sneakily pretend to be just about anything (Taoist, Confucianist, Catholic) to get converts. I had a run in with them in the late 1990's when they were trying to rope people in through language exchanges and nice vegetarian food. I found out what they were called from someone else, and when I asked them "what is your religion called they said "It doesn't have a name , it's just the truth." If they had said "Well, some people call us I-kuan-tao but we think...." then I would have accepted it, but since they chose to lie about it, I decided their moral teachings were a bit weak and it probably wasn't worth having anything to do with them any more. Plus they used to get all fussy about eating sour cream and chives potato chips, try to indoctrinate me in the evils of garlic, and you should have seen the look on the man's face (he usually had a sort of dreamy, smiley look) when he saw that I had brought back from Taiwan one of those electrified badminton racket-type things that kill mosquitoes! I also happened to notice from a schedule hanging on the wall what time they got up in the morning and how many hours a day they spent praying. I decided to make a break for it then! :lol:

(just edited this to apologise for the blunt tone, I think it was the shortness of the sentences that does it. I've been on night shift and had no sleep, and I can see how it has affected my writing by making me unable to string long complex sentences together!)
amhoanna
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Re: Hoklo on Bali, reports from the field

Post by amhoanna » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:58 pm

Thanks for the link, aPin! (capitalizing roots instead of prefixes, Zulu-style). It makes sense that even Vietnamese identity is a "man-made" construct with a new name, fortified through "backstreaming" the hell out of history.
Because they are Negritos? Did they reach SEAsia before the ancestors of other East Asians?
As far as I know, yeah, they're from an earlier wave of human settlement in the region. Then along came the "Austronesians" with their high-tech rice-growing and shipbuilding, etc.

One or two tribes of "Alisan lang" hold ceremonies every yr or every other yr to commemorate the "little people" that they murdered and displaced...

Re ethnicity, I agree with most of what's being said here, but there's one related (to the VNese situation) thing that I see differently...
Don't they still think of themselves as Hoklo or Hakka? If so, then they cannot deny that they are Chinese, since Hoklo & Hakka are Chinese.
From what I know, I tend to believe that "Hoklo as Chinese" and "Hakka as Chinese" are artificial constructs just like a "Vietnamese" identity that reaches back through the ages unscathed.

Both tribes came to be through a long process that involved mixing, conquest, assimilation, re-education, etc. To say that "all Hoklo are Han" or "all Hakka are Han" was and is a POLITICAL statement, whether in 2011 or in 1511, when much of the people that became "Hakka" were still hoanna trying to hold Ming rule at bay. Referring to aPin and his colleagues' papers, we could just as easily say "all VNese are Han"...

Taking another step back, even the terms "Hakka" and esp. "Hoklo" have lots of political content.

Still, I think it's valid to identify as "Hoklo but not Han".

In practice, it would probably be hard to do this w/o "backstreaming" --- picking and choosing among historical facts to build a "Hoklo" identity that reaches back through the ages unscathed.

Personally, I wish the TW nationalists would've paid some attention to Hoklo and Hakka history! It could've served them well, no doubt. It could've solved so many of their inner non sequiturs. But they didn't. Most were anxious to act as if nothing that had ever happened on the Asian mainland had anything to do with them.
In any case, I'm sure most of the Taiwanese who say they aren't Chinese are merely saying that they are not Tiong-kok-lâng and not denying their Tng-lâng-ness or 華人-ness and that the issue is more of English confusing membership of political and other entities.
True, I think. As for the people that denied/deny their Hoajin-ness on some level... I think that was mainly a "Meijian" denial of the concept of ethnicity. It wasn't "We aren't Hoajin." It was more "We've already been baptized in our nationalism. Bloodlines and tribal history don't matter anymore."

I used to take a dim view of this kind of attitude, but now that I think of it, denying the relevance of bloodlines and tribal history is probably just as valid as denying the relevance of national identities and the modern state --- something "me and my friends" do on a daily basis. :mrgreen:
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Re: Hoklo on Bali, reports from the field

Post by Ah-bin » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:16 pm

I think it is good to treat people's beliefs about their ethnicity with as much respect as we do their religious beliefs, even if we happen to think they are nonsense.
Well, I'm not going to edit out what I said, as has been done some time in the past on this forum, but I can see that I haven;t really obeyed my own rule here. :oops: One of my friends had a worse run in with those people than I did, and I think it has made my opinion of them rather negative. Anyway, I'll just let it rest there I think and get back to the topic in hand.

I suppose the "Hoklo aren't Han" would be easier to do if Taiwanese nationalsts weren't so keen on making a distinction between Taiwanese Hoklo and everyone else. But as far as I have read, and I spent about a month back in 2006 searching through the Fu Szu-nien library at Academia Sinica for materials on the Hundred Yueh, confirms what Amhoanna says about the lack of interest and research into the origins of Hoklo speaking people on the East Asian mainland in Taiwan.

As for Hakkas I think there is a bit more interest because of they are in the minority. I collected a few books on Hakka history when I was there, but have yet to read them. One of them I have read a bit of says something about the Hakka being the product of intermarriage between Miao-Yao peoples and migrants from the north. Another thing I read once said that Hakka was more like a social category than a different type of Chinese, as some Hakkas retained their distinctive identity and customs even though they spoke the same sort of Sinitc language as those who surrounded them. I forget where I read this though, sorry.

Prof. Teng Hsiao-hua 鄧曉華 (I think that is how you write his name) at Amoy University has written a bit on the non-Sinitic element in Hakka, words which he traces to the Miao-Yao languages. I was trying to order some books from Chinese Amazon, one of which was a collection of songs in one of the Sinitic languages spoken by the people of 福安 (Hok-oaN) north of Hokchiu, but they declined my order for some reason. It was, as far as I remember (I saw it in a bookshop in Amoy and am now kicking myself for not having got it just then) a Min dialect with lots of those □ symbols indicating words with unknown characters that I love so much, because they usually indicate Hoanna vocabulary.
niuc
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Re: Hoklo on Bali, reports from the field

Post by niuc » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:51 am

Thanks, Ah-bin & Amhoanna, for the well thought responses. I appreciate our different views. As I comment further, I am not trying to be stubborn, so kindly bear with this amateur. :mrgreen:
Ah-bin wrote: You're still making a decision for them when you write that, and some people may still not want to be included in any variation of Chineseness, and still have their own reasons for doing it.
Actually I am not concerned at all about how they view themselves, but rather about consistency of terms (labels). I don't believe that anyone can "suka suka" change the established definitions.
Ah-bin wrote: In any case, I'm sure most of the Taiwanese who say they aren't Chinese are merely saying that they are not Tiong-kok-lâng and not denying their Tng-lâng-ness or 華人-ness and that the issue is more of English confusing membership of political and other entities.
If so, then it's indeed a matter of misunderstanding.
Ah-bin wrote: There are plenty of people whose ancestors came from what is now China in western countries who want nothing to do with it. I don't see any problem with it. One's culture and interests need not always be determined by our genetic ancestry I think. One day the balance of power might be different and the descendants of English people might not care about learning English. I wouldn't blame them for that either.
I concur. Everyone have free will to identify themselves as anything they want, to become whoever they wish. Yet I don't think they are free to redefine common labels that are not used by them only. I am not saying that those Taiwanese are doing that, since I don't know. If what they are denying is not their Tng-lâng-ness, then there is no problem in using the label Hoklo or Hakka.
Ah-bin wrote: As a digression, one of the interesting things I learnt last year was that the Ch'ing government did not consider Chinese who had converted to Christianity as Chinese any more, so they were permitted to stay in Macau overnight, when the other Chinese were not.
In Bagansiapiapi, there was a time (may be 20+ years ago) when Chinese who converted to Christianity were also viewed as less Chinese. Roman Catholicism missed a good chance due to papal initial objection to veneration of ancestors ("Chinese Rite Controversy"). The later decision to permit it was in a sense too late because the edict of toleration had been replaced by a ban.
Ah-bin wrote: As far as I know I-kuan-tao will sneakily pretend to be just about anything (Taoist, Confucianist, Catholic) to get converts.
So true. I had heard many stories from my friends who were brought by some members to their meetings and forced to accept 開光 khui1-kng1 (initiation into the sect) on their first visit! There were two female missionaries, one around 50+ and the other 20+, from Taiwan who went to Jakarta and stayed nearby our place. They came several times trying to get us to attend their meetings. Their members have to achieve certain quota in bringing people in, that's why they are so persistent. One ex-member told me that she was "sternly warned" that eating Yongtaufoo 釀豆腐 (containing fish) would land her in hell for several hundred years, not to mention red meat! Some told me that it was related to White Lotus Sect 白蓮教. Did you meet them in Australia? Glad that you manage to make the break! :mrgreen:
Ah-bin wrote: (just edited this to apologise for the blunt tone, I think it was the shortness of the sentences that does it. I've been on night shift and had no sleep, and I can see how it has affected my writing by making me unable to string long complex sentences together!)
You didn't changed the sentences, right? Personally I don't feel any blunt tone. Sorry if any of my postings sound blunt! :P
amhoanna wrote: One or two tribes of "Alisan lang" hold ceremonies every yr or every other yr to commemorate the "little people" that they murdered and displaced...
To commemorate the people and not the "victory"? Do the "Alisan" tribes feel remorse for that? Or to pacify the souls of those victims?
amhoanna wrote: Both tribes came to be through a long process that involved mixing, conquest, assimilation, re-education, etc. To say that "all Hoklo are Han" or "all Hakka are Han" was and is a POLITICAL statement, whether in 2011 or in 1511, when much of the people that became "Hakka" were still hoanna trying to hold Ming rule at bay.
No doubt. Anyway, I don't think there are any pure Han, or any pure ethnicity for that matter. Regardless how Hoklo (if it is still equivalent to Minnan/Hokkien) or Hakka became Han/Tng-lang/Chinese, it is now an established identity, a traditional identification, for those people themselves. If any Taiwanese (so it seems none or very rare) think that they are not Han/Tng-lang, they indeed are free to do so, yet better in a consistent way.
amhoanna wrote: Still, I think it's valid to identify as "Hoklo but not Han".
IMHO, it'd mean a small number of people changing the definition of a label used by many more others, in a sense a minority forcing their view on majority, and that surely would trigger disagreement. This is what I think shouldn't be done. There is always possibility that in the future most Hoklo may come to think that they are not Han anymore, and that's perfectly fine, as that would become an established tradition. Many may think that everyone is free to have their own definition, free and easy, yet that would render it eventually meaningless.

Sorry if I offend anyone who read these. I am not trying to make anyone agree with me. Thanks for sharing! 8)
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Re: Hoklo on Bali, reports from the field

Post by Ah-bin » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:08 am

You didn't changed the sentences, right? Personally I don't feel any blunt tone. Sorry if any of my postings sound blunt! :P
No, that wasn't a veiled hint about you! I think I was just feeling grumpy from lack of sleep, and I read my own writings as a bit grumpy. I didn't want to come across as if I were blankly stating my opinions as indisputable facts. I'll just outline some of the reasons here about why I became extremely sceptical about identities and ethnicities.
Actually I am not concerned at all about how they view themselves, but rather about consistency of terms (labels). I don't believe that anyone can "suka suka" change the established definitions.
All I would say is that nothing is really consistent over the long term, human lives are short and what people say they are in one generation and what their children say they are the next can be quite different. I haven't met any Prussians, Ottomans, or New South Welshmen recently, but a hundred years ago it was easy to meet them. I suppose you could say that Kà-liáu míh-kiàⁿ sī bô-siông ê or (in a classical style) that 天下無不滅之族 Thian-hā bû put biát chi chók, or even though some might, through their adaptability to change and long traditions, (Jewish and Chinese for example) convince us that they are immortal!

Three hundred years ago there were no Māori (the word at that time simply meant "ordinary"), no Indonesians and no Australians, and now there are people who would fight for the right to call themselves such.

A century ago, the people we now call Chinese in Southeast Asia were far less likely to identify themselves in that way, and would stick to their own groups, maybe more like the Germans, French, and British in Shanghai.

I one way it is actually a bit more difficult to change now since states and organisations have vested interests in convincing people to fit into one definition or another, and they reinforce identities through education systems. Even the identity that the Chinese state tries to construct now, has very little to do with that of the Ch'ing or Ming empires, the morality is completely different. They even let merchants into administrative positions!

Then again culture is increasingly becoming pick-and-mix, Young Chinese spend a lot of time watching barbarian TV shows, (Prison Break and Lost and Friends were particularly popular in China, as I remember, I didn't even really know about the first two!) and then there are even some misguided barbarians who spend years trying to learn Chinese thinking it will civilise them (hehehe)!
Many may think that everyone is free to have their own definition, free and easy, yet that would render it eventually meaningless.
Considering the problems that ethnic identity and nationalism have caused over human history, it might be a good thing if these became meaningless. Then again just because they might become meaningless in some quarters doesn't mean they will constantly stay that way...because Kà-liáu míh-kiàⁿ sī bô-siông ê!

Well, after that I don't know what I can say.....some academics dig themselves a theoretical grave by doubting all identities and labels sampai kóng lâi kóng khì pún sī siâng and they can't say anything about anything. I do prefer to walk around the deep hole rather than fall into it, otherwise I couldn't even say "Hokkien" without having to add some long qualifying clause!
One ex-member told me that she was "sternly warned" that eating Yongtaufoo 釀豆腐 (containing fish) would land her in hell for several hundred years, not to mention red meat! Some told me that it was related to White Lotus Sect 白蓮教. Did you meet them in Australia? Glad that you manage to make the break! :mrgreen:
Actually I met the I-kuan-tao people through a Chinese language school in NZ where I used to work teaching the parents English conversation while the children were doing the ROC curriculum in the afternoon. Eventually the director of the school and the IKT people took it over, and moved it out west. They were making Chinese language teaching materials and wanted me to check them. It wasn't until a bit later that a classmate told me who they were. In Tai-lam they took some of the overseas students along to that ceremony (it was about a week before I arrived there) and tried to force them to do a ceremony, upsetting quite a few of them. Comparing them with the Hoat-Lun-Kong, they are much more eager to get converts. I think they have an uphill battle though. Vegetarianism is one thing, but it doesn't mean the same thing as 吃素/食齋, the thing about not eating onions/garlic/leeks/chives is just ridiculous to most westerners, except for Vegan vampires, perhaps!
amhoanna
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Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:43 pm

Re: Hoklo on Bali, reports from the field

Post by amhoanna » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:35 pm

A new book on Hakka history (inc. the diaspora) came out last yr: 千年客家. The pre-Han coverage is impressive. The author is a Prof. 湯 who's also published books on the history of the Hoklo at sea.
Do the "Alisan" tribes feel remorse for that? Or to pacify the souls of those victims?
Remorse, yes, at least ceremonially. I mean, it's been so long already. 8) Not sure about pacifying the spirits of the orang asli, though.
I suppose the "Hoklo aren't Han" would be easier to do if Taiwanese nationalsts weren't so keen on making a distinction between Taiwanese Hoklo and everyone else.
There was a weak link and a strong link. They went after the strong link, i.e. TW Hoklo vs. other Hoklo. Constant harping on irrelevant Japanese loanwords, barely-there Dutch blood, etc. Yet in most cases, keeping themselves in the dark as to their Formosan blood.
Actually I am not concerned at all about how they view themselves, but rather about consistency of terms (labels). I don't believe that anyone can "suka suka" change the established definitions.
I tend to feel the same way, for better or worse. But I still nod and smile when I'm told that "B. Indonesia" is also spoken in M'sia. :evil:
IMHO, it'd mean a small number of people changing the definition of a label used by many more others, in a sense a minority forcing their view on majority, and that surely would trigger disagreement. This is what I think shouldn't be done.
I kind of agree with you here, Niuc. Ah-bin might see this differently? As I see it, ethnic identity is a group thing. If it's individual, then it's meaningless. Ah-bin says "Good riddance, maybe", and I think he's right.

Back to the labels and majorities and disagreements: pan-Hoklo dialog would definitely be good. It doesn't exist now.

Wait, actually there is no pan-Hoklo identity. Easy to forget here in this forum. :P
Regardless how Hoklo (if it is still equivalent to Minnan/Hokkien) or Hakka became Han/Tng-lang/Chinese, it is now an established identity, a traditional identification, for those people themselves.
But the truth is that "the Hoklo people" (or Hakka, etc.) flow from Han and non-Han roots! OK, so once upon a time the Hoklo ancestors decided to pretend to be "just Han". Now that we (or "you all", since I'm not a "real Hoklo") know better, why not embrace the old non-Han roots together with the Han? If an old tradition clashes with reality, then why NOT actively, constructively replace it with a new one? And if most Hoklos don't like the idea, should the ones that do (or their Shanghainese comrades :mrgreen: ) give up b/c of that?

I have a hard time imagining Hoklos from Moslem Nusantara getting on board any identity that wasn't 100% "Chinese". Every time the "Chinese" were singled out or persecuted in Moslem Nusantara, their (you guys') Chinese identities became more steel-bound. Even w/o the persecution effect, it seems that Nusantara Chinese have the same view of China that the VNese have: clear enough across water (Hokkian, HK/Kuinntang, modern ROC) but murky across land (N China, central China), with many "Tngsoanns past" overlaid across the view of "China present". But in reality old Tngsoann is gone... (Though it lives on in Penang? Macau?) And the North is there and it's relentless. Now don't get me wrong. I like my Northern Chinese "paklou" just fine. I just don't like the idea that someday I'll be forced to be an "aTiong" for the greater good, and if not me, then my kids and their kids.

Let's just look around us. Here's just an example of what I'm trying to get at. The Peranakan Chinese had much contact and synergy with the people that got to Nusantara before them. The sinkhehs had and still have much less of both. Now the aTiongs are here. They're the new sinkheh. They're even more detached from the "ASEAN" environment than the old sinkheh! That's the China effect. That's what China is to me. A land culture, an army culture, a swarm culture, a top-down culture, a self-isolating culture that doesn't want to mix. But I believe (and probably most of you guys too) that "China" was so much more than just that during some Golden Age, during some part of the Tng era. I guess that's why "Aku bukan orang Cina", yet in many ways I'm proud to be a "Tnglang". :lol:
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