Reading the Hakka website, and following the definition of a Hakka by Luo XiangLin: I would qualify to be a Hakka as I satisfy all 3 criteria. Beyond the criteria I was born in a Hakka homeland.


The Hakka people are quite an interesting group among ethnic Chinese. As a branch of the Han Chinese, the Hakka is believed to be different from the neighbouring people. Most people follow the conclusions of Luo Xianglin, who claimed that the Hakka is the “noble pure blood Han from the Central Plain”, and have been migrating to the South since the third Century in five waves. Because they are late comers, they are named Hakka. Because they retain the most precious culture of the Chinese, they have a sense of superiority and refused to be assimilated. Instead they identify themselves as Hakka and keep their own language and culture even after centuries of migration.

Luo Xianglin had listed three criteria for Hakka:

(1) one’s ancestors lived in the Hakka homeland),
(2) identifies himself to be Hakka,
(3) able to speak the Hakka dialect.




 It is worthy to note that the great majority of Chinese in Mauritius are Hakka. My family whose last dwelling in China was in Mei Xian according to our records had migrated to MeiXian some 600 years ago. We would have formed part of the third wave of migration from central plain China to the South.

I recommend you to read about the Hakka people who have their own customs & characteristics forged by their own history. The story of the Hakka woman is another interesting and telling event in the whole history of China which depicts the determination for survival of the people.

Another Quote from the preface of the book: The origin of Hakka People

I have been asked many times, “Why are you interested in Hakka? It is a dying language, and a disappearing culture.” My answer may be quite surprising to many, including Hakka. My interest started from the curiosity to find out about my own roots. It grew into the exploration of how cultures are preserved and how they interact with others.

The study of Hakka is a study of conservation and survival of an ancient heritage under constant impact of others, which is something all cultures are facing in today’s world. Some paraphrase Hakkas as Jews of Chinese. I think a more appropriate paraphrase may be dandelion. A little flower, tough enough to survive the harshest environment, travels to all corners of the world, plants its roots in the poorest soils and blooms with yellow flowers. It has a lot of useful culinary and medicinal applications yet few people know about them. There are many varieties, tall and short, large and small. They adapt to the surrounding, but still remain well recognizable as dandelion.

 I am proud to be a Hakka.


#1 Philippe Cho Lin Wing on 06.19.07 at 2:30 pm

There is a large Hakka diaspora worldwide. As it is said, Hakka people are very enterprising and hardworking. Within China, Hakka people are considered to be nomadic by nature as they have migrated from Northern to Southern China.
Does this mean that because of my limited knowledge of hakka language, am I to be declassified as a Hakka. This definition is narrow and preposterous in essence. My family still conforms to the hakka tradition by eating hakka food on a daily basis, albeit with some modifications. Hakka cusine has experienced a renaissance globally as, for example, the only 2 chinese restaurants in United Kingdom , with a Michelin star are actually Hakka. One is called Hakkasan and the other Yauatcha.
I’ll agree with the contention that Hakka culture represented as a rare and endangered species as it is in a minority. However, in the New Territories,Hong Kong, you can still see hakka villages, and especially women with traditional hakka dress.
Hakka people are very pragmatic in many ways. At least, the hakka tradition and culture are being perpetuated in Mauritius, but will the young people be willing to embrace the hakka culture in an age of globaliation. Mei Xian where my dad was born, represents the Mauritian Hakka heritage.

#2 Lina K on 01.21.08 at 6:27 pm

I am a Hakka-Mauritian studying in the US and I partly agree with Philippe Cho Lin Wing about whether “young people will be willing to embrace the Hakka culture at an age of globaliosation”. Personally, I did not even consider myself as a Chinese until coming to the US here, where people are very open culturally and enthusiastic about historical diasporas.

Being exposed to a diversity and constantly justifying “our” ways of doing to others, has trigerred my interest into knowing more about the Hakka culture so much that I am actually planning to undertake a cultural research about Hakka in China, Guangdong this summer (July 2008). Hence, I am very open to any suggestions or ideas or comments from the Hakka-Mauritian perspective as most the research (95%) I have done so far are from Chinese (Mainland), Taiwan, Hong Kong or American perspective.

“There is only one race – the human race, but knowing our root is to better understand and respect other people’s roots.” – Professor Dr. Siu-Leung Lee

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