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.
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.
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.
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.
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 The later decision to permit it was in a sense too late because the edict of toleration had been replaced by a ban.
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!
(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!
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?
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.
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!