A Separate Cantonese Republic???

Discussions on the Cantonese language.
sfboy

Re: A Separate Cantonese Republic???

Postby sfboy » Fri Sep 13, 2002 8:55 pm

we are not denying our past. as most cantonese know, we recognize that we have a uniqueness to our people that cannot said to be shared with the rest of the Chinese.

it is great that people are making attempts to delve into the baak jyut past(i hate the word aborigine being used for our ancestors) but as ppk pointed out, it is not that we don't want to but the time that has passed since the old culture assimilated has rendered it very difficult to find concrete clues about the culture/language. I would guess we have less to go on than the Sichuanese with the Ba and Shu cultures, at least they have a plethora of undisturbed archaelogical sites.

Also, comparing the Native Americans to the Cantonese is unfair, to say the least. Native Americans have only lost contact(not even completely) with their original culture since the European settlers arrived, roughly 2-300 years. With the Cantonese, you're talking about 2-3000 years. Many of the Native Americans have already assimilated into mainstream society and most of their feeble attempts at retaining their culture has all but failed because of their dwindling numbers and its impracticality in the modern world, in a modern state such as the US.
Knowing this, it would be extremely hard to revive much if any of the 'original' Cantonese culture and I for one am satisfied to know that our culture is one that is Chinese, yet, uniquely Cantonese.

Mark
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Re: A Separate Cantonese Republic???

Postby Mark » Fri Sep 20, 2002 5:42 am

If it's so important to revive cultures, why not import Gaels from the British Isles and Ireland to Iberia, Germanic peoples to France, Indo-Iranians to Turkey and Palestine? Better yet, why not find DNA of a proto-Indo-European person and clone them? That way, we can make a whole population for Lithuania.

Why are you so obsessed? Why do you want to resurrect the world of 5000+ ysa? People have moved, cultures have changed, languages have risen and fallen.

Now, it would be great to find out all we could about these extinct cultures and fill library upon library with them, but reviving them is out of the question, there is no point in that whatsoever. If everybody thought as you did, people would be hijacking nations of their ancient ancestry as did the Israelis to the Palestinians. If you're a Scotsman with Germanic heritage, how would you like it if a bloke from the Outer Hebrides bulldozes your house and puts up his own mansion there because his Celtic ancestors used to live there? It may seem OK when it's other people losing their homes, but when it happens to you it won't be OK...

Alex
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Re: A Separate Cantonese Republic???

Postby Alex » Wed Oct 02, 2002 7:02 am

It's a nice idea having a nation where everyone is of the same stock, but most people (if not all people) are not purely any race. Racial definitions themselves are very vague because:
· They're named after places where a race used to reside but doesn't anymore (often another race they're having an argument of heritage with is in that place now);
· They're given mass names e.g. the Bạch Việt or Bai Yue - with the Vietnamese taking this name as its own but not being the same as the other ones given that name it all becomes more confusing;
· Or another reason which I forgot but I believe is equally important or perhaps more so than the two above.

Besides what's more important when deciding how to mark out country borders is how will the people be happiest in those countries. Culture is really only important in this as far as modern culture goes e.g. Israelis and Palestinians wouldn't be best in the same country even without the automatic prejudice because Israeli law is so closely fitted to the Israeli religion and way of life.

I believe we should try to find out what groups people of areas are from for the causes of science and people who are interested in their racial history but not forget what is most important - happiness. How diferently do North and South Chinese people live. If China ran itself more like a freedom sharing 1st world country I doubt the Cantonese nation issue would be seen as such an important issue.

Which is easier: rebelling to carve your own nation out of the Cantonese lands and ensuring that nation is ruled justly or instigating some intelligent reform in the Chinese government to bring about better living conditions and less conformism?

By the way, I always thought the Vietnamese were originally a MonKhmer group and that the Champa people were further south.

Alex
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Re: A Separate Cantonese Republic???

Postby Alex » Wed Oct 02, 2002 7:03 am

It's a nice idea having a nation where everyone is of the same stock, but most people (if not all people) are not purely any race. Racial definitions themselves are very vague because:
· They're named after places where a race used to reside but doesn't anymore (often another race they're having an argument of heritage with is in that place now);
· They're given mass names e.g. the Bạch Việt or Bai Yue - with the Vietnamese taking this name as its own but not being the same as the other ones given that name it all becomes more confusing;
· Or another reason which I forgot but I believe is equally important or perhaps more so than the two above.

Besides what's more important when deciding how to mark out country borders is how will the people be happiest in those countries. Culture is really only important in this as far as modern culture goes e.g. Israelis and Palestinians wouldn't be best in the same country even without the automatic prejudice because Israeli law is so closely fitted to the Israeli religion and way of life.

I believe we should try to find out what groups people of areas are from for the causes of science and people who are interested in their racial history but not forget what is most important - happiness. How diferently do North and South Chinese people live. If China ran itself more like a freedom sharing 1st world country I doubt the Cantonese nation issue would be seen as such an important issue.

Which is easier: rebelling to carve your own nation out of the Cantonese lands and ensuring that nation is ruled justly or instigating some intelligent reform in the Chinese government to bring about better living conditions and less conformism?

By the way, I always thought the Vietnamese were originally a MonKhmer group and that the Champa people were further south.

PPK

Re: A Separate Cantonese Republic???

Postby PPK » Wed Oct 02, 2002 10:24 am

alex,

personally i wouldnt agree to a nation with purely ppl of the same stock. sounds to me like nazism. :)

anyway this separate cantonese nation thingy is only a proposal of sum and one or two other forumers here.

Sum Won

Re: A Separate Cantonese Republic???

Postby Sum Won » Sat Oct 19, 2002 11:58 pm

You're correct, that ethnic clensing is a bad thing. Did I ever propose it? Look back at every post I've made and slap me in the face with it. The reason for proposing a Seperate Republic was to show the scars, and and do something about them. Such would be, for the world-nation proposal.

Many of you say that you don't deny your heritage, but then none of you want to investigate further, with excuses of "it's too hard and complicated", which is no better than denying your heritage; hence what I meant by all of you wanting to "bury the situation and live out your happy lives".

Many of you also complained that I politicized an issue, and that I'm a being a politician. If any of you would follow closely at American politics, you'd know there were more than two candidates in the 2000 elections. One such candidate, Ralph Nader said, "If you turn your back on politics, politics will surely turn it's back on you."

Politics itself is nothing more than a person-to-person interactivity, where debates are held, for what purposes should be what worries all of you.


I'm limited on my time, so on the subject of "culture reviving", I'll continue that another day...

sfboy

Re: A Separate Cantonese Republic???

Postby sfboy » Sun Oct 20, 2002 11:05 am

I don't understand what needs to be investigated. Us Cantonese are an amalgamation of the native Guangdong proto-yue culture and the Northern Han culture. We cannot single out the proto-yue culture as our original roots because the Cantonese that exist today belong to both the Han and the proto-yue and we maintain our practices through our ancient, colorful Cantonese language. We are not "lazy and enjoying our happy lives" it is just that it is near impossible to distinguish what is the aborgine culture and what is the culture that arose from Han influence. Many of our rituals and practices unique to Guangdong arose after the Han migration. Being Cantonese is being proto-yue and Han... I don't know why it is so hard to understand. Sum won are you cantonese? Only cantonese can understand this.
We also pride ourselves at the antiquity of our language as compared to Mandarin. We also have many 'shamanistic' beliefs that the Northerners don't have, which is a direct influence form the proto-yue culture.


I do not support a Cantonese republic but it would be nice if they moved the capital to Guangzhou or Hong Kong because then we would be the major political force rather than always being the economic force of China.

KP

Re: A Separate Cantonese Republic???

Postby KP » Sun Oct 20, 2002 7:58 pm

I don't know why Cantonese have such a hard time distinguishing their "Ancient" culture from the Han culture.

Findings by many South East Asian countries have shown that there was a culture shared by many groups living in South East Asia pre-Han influence.
But all I hear :
"it is near impossible to distinguish what is the aborgine culture and what is the culture that arose from Han influence"

It is not too difficult. Vietnamese culture is made up of about 60% Han and 40% South East Asian, and they have been able to separate what parts of their culture was from Pre and Post-Han influence. It seems to me that alot of the Cantonese in this thread seem to dismiss findings of SEA Nations, is it because they are not Chinese findings?

Sum Won

Re: A Separate Cantonese Republic???

Postby Sum Won » Sun Oct 20, 2002 10:05 pm

Ah... KP, once again (another rare occassion), you actually come up with a post that I don't have to disagree with. You are correct in the fact that there are many findings on ancient tribal cultures --I guess it's all a matter of who reads what, and from where, or just the fact that these findings aren't published in a wide-media spectrum (i.e. the internet). If there are any links to them, It'd be nice if you provided some. However, this still is not an excuse for Cantonese, above all people, to not even investigate.

_____________________________________________________
Topics I still haven't covered, and the "revival" issue.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

-To some of you, I may be obssessed, and maybe I am. Am I wrong? That's up to the individual to debate... On the revival, it doesn't necessarily mean the entire revival to the way of life, which won't accomodate the standard of living. An example, would be "cannabalism": There was proof that it was done, but will people do it now? Obviously not. There is some evidence on the amount of egalitarianism, and the structure of a matriarchical society (In other words, men might have stayed home during peace time, sewing and taking care of the kids, while the mother went off doing other things). Egalitarianism, is still something that needs working on, in all societies today --something that was destroyed under the Chinese rule, with the acceptance of Confucianism.

-Mark made his point in the "migrating" of ancient people from one spot back to another. True, it would be a hassle, but why can't it be done? Because people refuse to face the truth and correct the wrongs.
"If I had to give away my home, because it turned out to be someone else's, 'tough luck for me', I'll just find another home."
Also, a little tiny note on that: The Gauls, who were a Gaelic tribe, originally settled the region of modern-day France.

-Another comment I have to make, will be posted on the other thread...

sfboy

Re: A Separate Cantonese Republic???

Postby sfboy » Mon Oct 21, 2002 4:57 am

I think that's preposterous about how Vietnamese could separate that 60% are Han influenced and 40% SEA influenced. I mean sure, maybe they could determine that this festival or holiday was from Chinese, this one was from Khmer, etc but what about the more mundane things? For cantonese people things like "Scratching the back of your head because of embarassment or humiliation, spitting after saying something wrong..." how do you distinguish where these things come from? Maybe both the native culture and the Han culture shared similar traits before they came into contact, possible that the native culture practiced these things first and it got spread into the mainstream Han, maybe Han had it first.

Mark
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Re: A Separate Cantonese Republic???

Postby Mark » Mon Oct 21, 2002 7:03 am

-To some of you, I may be obssessed, and maybe I am. Am I wrong? That's up to the individual to debate... On the revival, it doesn't necessarily mean the entire revival to the way of life, which won't accomodate the standard of living. An example, would be "cannabalism": There was proof that it was done, but will people do it now? Obviously not. There is some evidence on the amount of egalitarianism, and the structure of a matriarchical society (In other words, men might have stayed home during peace time, sewing and taking care of the kids, while the mother went off doing other things). Egalitarianism, is still something that needs working on, in all societies today --something that was destroyed under the Chinese rule, with the acceptance of Confucianism.

Of course you are obsessed. How many Cantonese today want a separate republic? 2? 3? lol.

In fact some people do still practice cannibalism and are not punished as criminals. The last one I heard about was some isolated culture in Malaysia that ate a couple tourists. rofl.

-Mark made his point in the "migrating" of ancient people from one spot back to another. True, it would be a hassle, but why can't it be done? Because people refuse to face the truth and correct the wrongs.

No, you IDIOT! It's because the people living there now have lived there their _whole lives_, if they committed wrongs themselves, then yes, go ahead and correct them, but if it was their ancestors from thousands of years ago, then those wanting compensation should go off and defecate (to put my feelings lightly)

"If I had to give away my home, because it turned out to be someone else's, 'tough luck for me', I'll just find another home."
Also, a little tiny note on that: The Gauls, who were a Gaelic tribe, originally settled the region of modern-day France.

lol. You'll find another home? Sure, I'd like to put THAT to the test. roflmao!

As for Gauls-- Gauls were originally a Celtic (not Gaelic, only stupidity makes people think that all Celts are Gaels) tribe, but then the name came to refer to a Germanic tribe who lived in the region after killing/assimilating the Celts from the area, and now Gall = a word root meaning France or of French origin, eg Gallic as in "Escargot may seem gross to foreigners, but they are deeply rooted in Gallic tradition."

-Another comment I have to make, will be posted on the other thread...

Why are you telling me that?

KP

Re: A Separate Cantonese Republic???

Postby KP » Wed Oct 23, 2002 7:11 am

Sum Won:

I have never found a source on the internet regarding the similarites in ancient SEA cultures. Most of what I will tell you comes from the mouth of a college professor. Some examples are the chewing a betel nut, teeth blackening by woman, shamanism/anamism religion, and these huge bronze drums that were found in many different nations of SEA. He also claimed alot of these similarities exist in SE Chinese and Taiwan as well. Of course these are just the words of one man, thats why I am doing my own research as well.

I am currently reading a book called "The Birth of Vietnam". Its a very short book, but gives a fairly good, detailed account of what happened in SE China around Qin and Han Dynasty. You may want to check that out. I believe Amazon.com has a few sample pages on their website.


sfboy:

Scratching your head, spitting? I may not be Chinese, but Vietnamese sure don't base their culture on those things. Most people base their cultures on things like those examples I noted above to Sum Won. Those things can be separated from Han culture. Yea, I agree with what you are saying about Hans and aborigines taking traits and customs from one another, but there are examples that remain only in these regions. It may not be much, but its a start no?

My point is, that most people in here base all knowledge of Asia on what China says. China should be the last place anyone should be looking to learn about ancient aborigine cultures....they were the ones who destroyed it!!! If you insist on looking within China's borders, like someone mentioned earlier, those mountain tribes are probably your best bet.

However, in all honesty, my statement regarding 60% Han, etc. was just a quick unresponsible statement on my part. Those numbers actually come from the Vietnamese Language, which scholars can more accurately state. Fair enough?

sfboy

Re: A Separate Cantonese Republic???

Postby sfboy » Thu Oct 24, 2002 12:48 am

KP:
fair enough on the 60/40 part

Regarding what people base their culture on... chewing a betel nut, blackening of teeth by woman. That is what Vietnamese base their culture on? I really don't see a difference between that and cultural tendencies that I mentioned (scratching back of the head during embarassing situations or spitting as a bodily cleansing function) These are of course, not the defining factors of Cantonese culture, I was just listing some examples off the top of my head. What is your definition of culture? I view culture as an integrated system of socially acquired values, beliefs, and rules of conduct which delimit the range of accepted behaviors in any given society of people. According to my definition(which may not be correct) the examples I gave are valid.
You said that most people base their cultures on things like brass drums and eating of betel nuts? I beg to differ because although those things you mentioned are characteristics of cultures, and many people would define their own culture with such prominent traits... culture is better defined by an outsider who is more objective and can notice the subtle differences and actions that a member of the culture would assume to be natural and not a "significant defining trait" of the culture.
One must not neglect the most subtle things, like actions that a certain people subconsciouly perform in certain situations.

Also, religion does not define a culture although it may instigate change in a culture. In fact, many times it is the religion that is transformed when they enter an alien culture to suit the needs of that alien culture. Look at the transformation Buddhism received when it went to East Asia, Christianity in all parts of the world, etc.

KP

Re: A Separate Cantonese Republic???

Postby KP » Thu Oct 24, 2002 1:26 am

sfboy:

I agree, my examples are not things one would or should define their culture uopn. However, they are much more unique and defining compared to "scratching your head from embarrassment" or "spitting as a cleansing function". Your examples can be found in just about any culture all around the world. But teeth blackening, betel nut, brass drums, etc. are more specific and are definitely not culture traits one would find in Europe or Africa.

Vietnamese culture is probably even more influenced by Chinese culture than its language is. But there are differences, and when you can correlate those differences with other SEA cultures of the region, especially those who have very little Chinese influence, than you got SOMETHING.

Say you choose a certain "custom". Then you notice that most the Chinese do not practice that "custom", then one should realize that is not a traditional Chinese custom. Then upon research, you realize other SEA cultures share this custom as well. From that simple situation, one can assume that custom is more likely to be an aboriginal custom. Of course, in reality, many other variabses play a part in the whole scheme of things. None the less, its still a start. I mean, when I look at it, I think Vietnamese culture is more similar to Cantonese than say Beijing Culture.

sfboy

Re: A Separate Cantonese Republic???

Postby sfboy » Thu Oct 24, 2002 2:26 pm

KP:

-I agree, my examples are not things one would or should define their culture uopn. However, they are much more unique and defining compared to "scratching your head from embarrassment" or "spitting as a cleansing function". Your examples can be found in just about any culture all around the world.

I disagree with this. I would like to see an example of 'scratching your head from embarassment' in just about any culture in the world (outside the East Asian region) I know that Japanese people also do this, (from the Anime characters) possibly because of Chinese influence or it could be just regional similarity.
Chinese, especially rural Cantonese are notorious for spitting in public and this differs from any other people in the situations where it is performed. There is even a common phrase in the language to facilitate its use. leoi1 go3 hau2 seoi2 zoi5 gong2 gwo3 "Spit out the saliva and say it again" As in when somebody says something wrong, they should spit it out and rephrase what they said.

-Say you choose a certain "custom". Then you notice that most the Chinese do not practice that "custom", then one should realize that is not a traditional Chinese custom. Then upon research, you realize other SEA cultures share this custom as well. From that simple situation, one can assume that custom is more likely to be an aboriginal custom. Of course, in reality, many other variabses play a part in the whole scheme of things.

Well said but it could be possible that other Chinese has lost this certain "custom" while the SEA cultures, which were influenced previously by Chinese has retained this practice. Just like language, where Cantonese retains more traits from the Classical Chinese language than do most other Sinitic languages(notably, Mandarin) Look at the Japanese custom of kneeling in front of short tables rather than sitting, is this a native Japanese custom? This is actually the same way people in the Qin-Han era sat, I don't think that you will find any modern Chinese doing this anymore. This is why I argue that it is sometimes difficult to differentiate from what is what.

-I mean, when I look at it, I think Vietnamese culture is more similar to Cantonese than say Beijing Culture.

I agree with this.


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