Hokkien-Only Policy

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien-Only Policy

Post by amhoanna » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:35 pm

Now, if all of us could congregate like that someday, would that not be something... :lol:
Maybe in Amoy! And we'll all pretend to only speak Hoklo. :P

On to my Amoy field report. First, my M.O.:
1) Hoklo as default language.
2) Refused to switch to Mandarin with anybody I knew or believed to be a Hoklophone, with one exception.
3) Sometimes pretended to understand, but not speak, Mandarin.
4) Sometimes pretended to neither speak nor understand Mandarin.
5) Generally switched to Mandarin with people who couldn't speak Hoklo AND could be assumed to be making less than about 2500 a month, unless I'd already decided to pretend to be Mandarin-incapable.
6) Assumed everybody spoke Hoklo even if they didn't look it.
7) Allowed myself to be switched to English as part of my no-Mandarin persona. Few takers.
8) Allowed myself to be switched to Mandarin during certain "crucial interactions", such as getting a haircut. Mostly this was b/c I'm not a complete speaker myself -- there are lots of things I don't know how to say in Hoklo "the way a native speaker would say it", and sometimes I'm just in no position to fight the good fight, 反燕復閩 HAHAHA...

My findings:
1) Small business owners tend to speak Hoklo.
2) People over 50 tend to speak Hoklo. Most in-migrants seem to be younger than 50, or else they came from close-in places like Po·chân or central Hokkian in a day and age when Amoy was "all Hoklo all the time". Don't laugh. According to Lîm Kiànhui, that's how it was right into the early '90s.
3) Much of the Hoklo U here in Amoy is spoken by people from other parts of Banlam. They may even live outside of Amoy, in Ciangciu esp. Much of the Hoklo heard in Amoy is not what scholars call Amoy Hokkien / Amoy Banlamese. We also have to remember that there've been different dialects in Amoy since the 19th cen.
4) People under college age may tend to understand, if not speak, Hoklo. This is my conjecture. Some are migrants' kids, but most are probably from local family. The youngest person to speak Hoklo to me was high school age. This was on the BRT. The bus was packed to the gills. I bulled my way on there airport-bound with two bags and a big suitcase. Kind of selfish, I guess. There was a young family behind me speaking Hoklo with a Ciangciu accent. When they wanted to get off, there was no getting off -- the train was too packed. The man said good-naturedly, "Chuqu yixia ma, chuqu yixia zai shanglai. You ren yao xiache." The kids in the doorway just stood there. I was standing next to them so I yelled, "Āupiah ū lâng beh lo̍hchia--lah! You ren yao xiache la!" No effect, so the family had to just bull their way out. A few stops later, it was my turn. As soon as the doors started to open, I grabbed my suitcase and started bulling my way out, saying, "Ciohkoè, ciohkoè!" And to my surprise the kid who was in my way said, "Hó, hó, hó!"
5) There are young people around 20 or so speaking Hoklo in Amoy. In every case, based on their appearance and the fact that they were speaking Hoklo, my guess was that they came from Ciangciu or Coanciu.
6) Amoyans and Banlamese in general are very sensitive to badly spoken Hoklo. They usually switched me to Mandarin straight away if they caught me stuttering or speaking non-native Hoklo. I could usually switch them back by speaking good Hoklo, but not if they were under 30. This is close kin to my Taiwan experience.
7) Hoklophones in Amoy could understand my Mainstream Taiwanese w/o problems. The first day or so, sometimes I would switch to Amoy Taiwanese pronunciations, but this actually caused problems, I think b/c it slowed me down and wrecked my flow -- by Hoklo standards. Rhythm is a key, or THE key, to cross-dialect Hoklo communication. In Cantonese, U can pause mid-sentence, but in Banlam and Taiwan, thou shalt not pause nor err by a millisecond in the timing of your stops and your vowels, etc. My best bet was to speak the dialect I speak most and speak best.
8) Attitude is everything.
9) Non-Hoklophone in-migrants like to pretend that they can use their "Mandophone ear" to make out things being said in Hoklo. For example, I told the tea thâukeniû, "Mài lām thn̂g, mài pengkak." (The second half may actually be a MY/SG-only usage.) She said, "Shenme? Ni yao binggan?" :roll:
10) White-collar workers tend to be Hoklophobic. I went into a bank -- Ē·mûi gînhâng, no less -- to open an account. The security guard / front desk guy didn't speak Hoklo. I pretended to only partially understand Mandarin, maybe to the extent I'd understand Hakka in real life. At times he communicated with me using hanji. :lol: The tellers both spoke Hoklo. A 45-ish lady teller opened my account -- hō·thâu, not kháucō 8) . She was so hardwired to speak Mandarin that she would say everything to me in Mandarin first, then repeat herself in Hoklo. I would pretend to partly comprehend the Mandarin part. I think maybe she thought the whole thing was either a test or a jest.
11) By assuming that everybody spoke Hoklo unless proven otherwise, I actually "discovered" Hoklophones I would've guessed weren't, from the looks of them or their station in Amoy life.
12) There's a lot of Amoy/Banlamese vocabulary I don't understand. This mystified me, but now that I think of it, Hoklo conversations in TW tend to be full of references to TWese places and faces. W/o that local knowledge, it's easy to underestimate our comprehension of the language.
13) Amoy is a lot like Singapore, in several ways! Amoy also has the benefit of a stunning physical setting. But the whole place seems to've given itself over to a laid-back, materialistic me-tooism, an Amoy version of the New China dream, light years away from the pride and fury of Canton.
14) At the airport, there were connections to places like Jakarta, Singapore, Manila, etc. See a pattern? Int'l flights, but not domestic flights, were announced in Hoklo alongside Mandarin and English.

More later if I think of anything else.
Yeleixingfeng
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Re: Hokkien-Only Policy

Post by Yeleixingfeng » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:45 pm

Mark Yong wrote: BTW, amhoanna - True to my crap phonological standards (which is my way of saying it is no fault of yours!), I had to do a triple-quadruple take in reading your Peh-Oe-Ji.
I thought I was the only one having difficulties in reading POJ! (Though it might be because of my slow interpretation. Retarded? LOL.) Like for in, I need to translate: In -> 亻因 -> 伊人. Though it might also be because Penang never uses this contraction.
That was why I never liked POJ. Wonder how the Vietnamese live... 0_o?? Haha.
You know, I sometimes have little fantasies about a secret society spread across the 南洋 Lam-Ioⁿ, where all the members wore black Mandarin suits at meetings, carried an identification seal (no different from the 19ᵗʰ century 義興公司 Ghee Hin Kongsi secret society's), did no modern electronic correspondences (to avoid detection), wrote only in Literary Chinese (to baffle anyone intercepting their letters), and - here's the puncher - communicated to each other only in Hokkien (廈門 Amoy, 漳州 Ciang-Ciu, 泉州 Coan Ciu... whatever). Now, if all of us could congregate like that someday, would that not be something... :lol:
I have had such fantasies too, though I would rather us to wear Hanhok 漢服. >.<

Mark Yong wrote:Reminds me of the crude term used in Penang - khiong-ke (which I was told is a contraction and tail-weakening of 去與儂姦 khi-hO-lang-kan! :mrgreen: )
We actually say khiongkan. (And I admit I have been searching for the punji of khiong to no avail.. 強? Wrong consonant..) So now I know....
Strange thing about my friends. They seem very delighted to know the punji of many crude words. According to my friend, it is because they never knew crude words can be written in Hanji. And when they realise that it is very possible, especially some times the different combinations of Hanji are capable of meaning the same thing, it makes them feel more intimate(?) to Hanji and to the Chinese culture in general. It makes them RESPECT Hokkien as a language, and not just a script-less dialect.

Unfortunately though, it only attracts their attention when I am explaining the punji of crude words.
niuc
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Re: Hokkien-Only Policy

Post by niuc » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:38 pm

Wow, glad to know about those Hokkien speaking youngsters! 8)
amhoanna wrote: hō·ciàu
OR
hō͘ciàu
I prefer the first one too. About ciàu & ciò, I think of ciò as having the literal meaning (照鏡, 照光) while ciàu for both 讀册音 and allegorical meaning (照做, 照顧, 護照).
Same as lo̍hboé 落尾 or lō·boé 路尾. I'm guessing lō·boé is actually just 落尾, but comes out of a dialect that merges o to o·.
I tend to "visualize" 路尾 as the end of an allegorical road.
The TWese word is huilêngki (飛行機?), a Jap loanword.
I heard of this too. Is it 飛龍機? I only know of 飛船 in this forum, but so far never heard of it in direct conversation or tv programs. In Bâ-gán-uē we say 飛機 pe•-ki... too mandarinized? :lol:
amhoanna wrote: 6) Amoyans and Banlamese in general are very sensitive to badly spoken Hoklo. They usually switched me to Mandarin straight away if they caught me stuttering or speaking non-native Hoklo. I could usually switch them back by speaking good Hoklo, but not if they were under 30. This is close kin to my Taiwan experience.
I used to feel uncomfortable talking to non-Baganese in Hokkien too, especially Medanese, because they always had difficulties in understanding what I was speaking. Many said Bâ-gán-uē sounds too heavy (tāng, referring to lower pitch). Some Bagan-lang know Medan-ua, so they switch to it when talking to Medan-lang. I don't know much (and not good in imitating their tones), so I only switch certain words I know when talking to them. But I have "bad habit" of auto-switch to Indonesian when I meet them. Nowadays I try to be more patient when someone cannot understand my Hokkien, especially motivated by you guys' persistence! :mrgreen:
amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien-Only Policy

Post by amhoanna » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:41 pm

I thought I was the only one having difficulties in reading POJ! (Though it might be because of my slow interpretation. Retarded? LOL.) Like for in, I need to translate: In -> 亻因 -> 伊人. Though it might also be because Penang never uses this contraction.
I don't think POJ could be hard for someone with your IQ and talent for languages.

As for 亻因 -> 伊人, that's just a dialect difference. It would show up in hanji too.
That was why I never liked POJ. Wonder how the Vietnamese live... 0_o?? Haha.
Why not wonder about Thais and Laos too? They spell their monosyllables too.

I don't think POJ is ideal either. The fact remains that it's the only real writing system Hoklo's ever had. U wanna create a better one and spread it around, go ahead. Might wanna work on your Hokkien too, while U're at it. :idea: :P
Mark Yong
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Re: Hokkien-Only Policy

Post by Mark Yong » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:59 pm

niuc wrote:
I used to feel uncomfortable talking to non-Baganese in Hokkien too, especially Medanese, because they always had difficulties in understanding what I was speaking.
I have only had two short encounters with Medan Hokkien, and the longest one was only for ten minutes. It was an elderly couple queuing up ahead of me at the Sydney Airport Customs in October 2008. Initially, I thought they were from Penang, judging from their accent and word usage. But when we got talking, they revealed that they were from Medan. That is how I discovered that Medan Hokkien is very similar to Penang Hokkien, i.e. predominantly of the 漳州 Ciang Ciu strain, and highly ‘musical’.

So, I guess the migratory pattern of the Hokkien's to Sumatra was basically 漳州 Ciang Ciu to Medan and 泉州 Coan Ciu to Bagansiapiapi? Are there other localities with significant Hokkien communities?
niuc
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Re: Hokkien-Only Policy

Post by niuc » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:37 pm

Mark Yong wrote: So, I guess the migratory pattern of the Hokkien's to Sumatra was basically 漳州 Ciang Ciu to Medan and 泉州 Coan Ciu to Bagansiapiapi? Are there other localities with significant Hokkien communities?
I read somewhere (sorry, I often forget the sources) that Penang is also a mixture of Cuanciu & Ciangciu but in the reverse way of Amoy. Not sure how true it is. Anyway, it is true and kind of neat that Hokkien in northern part of Sumatra is basically the same as northern part of Semenanjung Malaysia; while the eastern part of Sumatra (Riau) has the same latitute as southern part of SM and share a more Cuanciu type variants.

From Cuanciu to Ciangciu, I think the differences form a continuum. Bagan Hokkien is basically from Tâng-uaⁿ 同安 that has many Cuanciu vowels but tonal wise much closer to Amoy. So it is between Cuanciu and Amoy, while Amoy is between Cuanciu and Ciangciu, and so on. Pulau Halang near Bagansiapiapi has mainly 晉江 Cìn-kang variant, while Sinaboi 金門 variant. Selat Panjang has 安溪 variant. Chinese in Bintan, Batam and Pontianak mainly speak Teochew; Singkawang and Bangka mainly speak Hakka. Palembang has some "pure" Ciangciu Hokkien, e.g. pronuncing 魚 as hî instead of hû. But in order to foster unity among Chinese in Palembang, they usually speak Mandarin.
amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien-Only Policy

Post by amhoanna » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:33 am

I prefer the first one too. About ciàu & ciò, I think of ciò as having the literal meaning (照鏡, 照光) while ciàu for both 讀册音 and allegorical meaning (照做, 照顧, 護照).
Same here. Ciò is a word that confuses me, though. In TW some people say chiō in some contexts. Not sure if there's an etymological relation. Do any of U guys also use chiō (e.g. goe̍hkng chiō--ji̍plâi)? Is there a distinction vs ciò?
I tend to "visualize" 路尾 as the end of an allegorical road.
Yes!
I heard of this too. Is it 飛龍機? I only know of 飛船 in this forum, but so far never heard of it in direct conversation or tv programs. In Bâ-gán-uē we say 飛機 pe•-ki... too mandarinized? :lol:
Interesting. I think in the Phils it's also 飛機, but huiki, like in Amoy. No, I don't think lêng is 龍. We'll have to wait for one of our Japanese or Korean speakers to weigh in.

pe•-ki... Is that an open e? Or is it the central vowel?

This word is pretty widespread... Even VNese has phicơ, which is an exact cognate, although they have another word they use more often (mâybầy?...not sure about the tones).
Initially, I thought they were from Penang, judging from their accent and word usage.
Amazing. Shows how close the two are.
So, I guess the migratory pattern of the Hokkien's to Sumatra was basically 漳州 Ciang Ciu to Medan and 泉州 Coan Ciu to Bagansiapiapi?
I believe -- and there's plenty of evidence to back this up -- that the much of the equatorial Hoklo dialects -- "Penang Hokkien" most of all -- were formed and forged right on site, down by the equator. If Penang/Medan Hokkien were really just one-offs of Ciangciu Hokkien, they'd be a lot more similar to Gilan and "inner plains" dialects of Taiwan... Now, I'm no true historian, but it seems that Penang used to be the hub of an economic sphere that extended to Taipeng, Medan, and the west coast of southern Siam at least as far north as Phuket and most likely (I'm guessing) up into what is today Myanmar! And this is how languages change and develop: around a center of business and power.

I think Penang's "economic sphere of influence" held strong deep into the 20th century, till it was broken down by nationalist movements in the "post-colonial" era. There's several papers talking about this in a Trang (Siam) context. I mean, until the mid-20th century, Hokkiens ran much of the Trang economy, and they sent their cútē to Penang to get their schooling! Things changed fast in the "national era" and soon the cútē were getting sent to Thàikiaⁿ 泰京 instead.

The Myanmar aspect could potentially be the most fascinating. I'd bet that they're still speaking some kind of archaic Penang Hokkien up in that tail of Myanmar.

In the case of Bagan, I recall Niuc saying that the Hokkiens of Bagan arrived not direct from Tang'oann, but via Singgora (Songkhla)!

All this action took place outside the matrix of "China". And I guess this is why Penang Hokkien and other 过鹹水 dialects, except Formosan ones, hold zero interest for run-of-the-mill China-based "topolectologists", the 俗称 "dialectologists".
Pulau Halang near Bagansiapiapi has mainly 晉江 Cìn-kang variant, while Sinaboi 金門 variant. Selat Panjang has 安溪 variant. Chinese in Bintan, Batam and Pontianak mainly speak Teochew; Singkawang and Bangka mainly speak Hakka. Palembang has some "pure" Ciangciu Hokkien, e.g. pronuncing 魚 as hî instead of hû. But in order to foster unity among Chinese in Palembang, they usually speak Mandarin.
Very interesting to know all this. I've always been fascinated by Palembang, or the idea of it. What do U call it in Sumatran Hokkien? Kūkáng? Kīkáng? Sorry to hear about the Mandarin thing. I guess when I go there I'll just stick with the hoanná crowd, there's probably a lot more of them anyway. :lol:
Ah-bin
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Re: Hokkien-Only Policy

Post by Ah-bin » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:32 am

The Myanmar aspect could potentially be the most fascinating. I'd bet that they're still speaking some kind of archaic Penang Hokkien up in that tail of Myanmar.
I started a thread on this a while ago, as I met a Hokkien speaker from Burma (the Burmese here don't like the name Myanmar), and two weeks ago I got a lead on where she was.....but she had moved to Sydney! I remember she could understand what I was saying in my limited Taiwanese of the time (2005), and I think she said mui for 門. I am getting more curious as time goes on. I remember in an ostensibly Cambodian-run bakery in Auckland that the older people could understand the things I was saying in Taiwanese, I think there must be more of these people around passing as "Burmese", even in Canberra, I just need to dig around for them.
amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien-Only Policy

Post by amhoanna » Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:30 am

Ostensibly Cambodian run? Maybe Teochew, then?

Why don't the Burmese like the name Myanmar? I don't know the history. BTW what do they think about their "frontier minorities"? Do they think of the Shan, Karen, etc. as being intrinsically "Burmese"? Do they care?

I'd like to know a lot more about "Burmese Hoklo". I met a Hokkien lady once who left Burma around the age of 12 or 13. After twenty yrs of living in the U.S., she'd managed to forget all her Hokkien and almost all of her Burmese. I would think this was humanly impossible if I hadn't met such a real live example myself.

Back to the topic of this thread. I've resolved to tiánkhui a "Hokkien Also" policy during the rest of my stay here in Luzon. Outside of Binondo, the Luzon environment kind of triggers my "North American" responses. Also I feel kind of guilty on some level b/c I haven't made any real effort to learn the bumi languages here. I would like to. I meet obvious Chinese about once a day. All of them own things, and all things are owned by them. I can see them looking at me wondering if I'm Tsinoy or Korean. I always talk to them in English, but, hey, why not Hoklo? The chances of any random Tsinoy not having a Hoklophone heritage are slim to none. If I have anything to report, I'll set up a field report thread.
SimL
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Re: Hokkien-Only Policy

Post by SimL » Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:52 am

amhoanna wrote:I'd like to know a lot more about "Burmese Hoklo". I met a Hokkien lady once who left Burma around the age of 12 or 13. After twenty yrs of living in the U.S., she'd managed to forget all her Hokkien and almost all of her Burmese. I would think this was humanly impossible if I hadn't met such a real live example myself.
When I was doing my "Family History Project", I learnt that my grandfather had spent some time in Burma in his youth. He was born in 1900, left China in his mid to late teens, and was probably fully settled in Malay(si)a by 1930. So, we believe that he spent some time between 1915 and 1930 in Burma.

Now speaking Mandarin was not that common among Hokkiens in that period, and he would have been unlikely to have communicated in English with the Chinese in Burma (he spoke English, but only at a very basic level). He most certainly wouldn't have communicated with them in Burmese. So, that leaves the very obvious possibility that many of the Chinese he came into contact with would have been Hokkien speakers, and he would simply have spoken Hokkien to them. Indeed, this might very well have been the reason for him to have gone to Burma (rather than India or Ceylon or Vietnam) - precisely because there was a core community of Hokkien speakers, with whom he could communicate.

He died in the early 1970's, and nobody had thought to ask him about more details regarding his stay in Burma. So we don't know anything more about this part of his life, other than that he did go there.
AndrewAndrew
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Re: Hokkien-Only Policy

Post by AndrewAndrew » Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:01 am

It's perhaps useful to point out the places that have been commemorated in road names in Penang:

Burmah, Mandalay, Rangoon, Moulmein, Tavoy, Irrawaddy, Siam, Patani, Trang, Bangkok

While most of these names reflect Burmese and Siamese communities living in Penang (rather than Hokkiens living in Burma/Siam), it shows how much interaction there was in those days.
Ah-bin
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Re: Hokkien-Only Policy

Post by Ah-bin » Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:52 pm

Why don't the Burmese like the name Myanmar? I don't know the history. BTW what do they think about their "frontier minorities"? Do they think of the Shan, Karen, etc. as being intrinsically "Burmese"? Do they care?
It's because the regime that is responsible for them being refugees here is the same one that promotes the name of the country as "Myanmar". "Kampuchea" was a similar name. Cambodians who weren't so keen on Pol Pot and his cronies refused to use it. Just like most of the Vietnamese who live here never refer to Saigon as Ho Chi Minh City, onlt Saigon. I'll bet Myanmar and Ho Chi Minh will only last as long as their regimes.

The reason why they say Myanmar is because "Burma" supposedly refers just to the Burmese ethnic group and doesn't include non-Burmese (actually it's just a slightly different pronunciation of the same word). The current regime in Burma isn't exactly known for its accommodating stance towards its ethnic minorities, so I always found it amusing that they decided to get all sensitive about names.

Kind of like Chinese isn't it? Tibetans are supposed to be Chinese, but Chinese language means 漢語 and excludes Tibetan. Overseas Chinese are supposed to be 華人 (translated as "Chinese"), and Miao people are supposed to be part of the 中華民族 (also "Chinese"), but Hmong people who have lived over in Laos or Thailand for only 150 years (some moved there more recently than the ancestors of many 華人 in other countries) and speak the same language as the Miao in China are not 華人, 華僑, or 中華民族 "Chinese".

The only way I can think of to escape my confusion on this matter is to ban myself from ever thinking about or discussing it again, and if I do I'll send myself to a labour camp. Ahhhh that's better! I feel harmonious now......
aokh1979
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Re: Hokkien-Only Policy

Post by aokh1979 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:33 pm

The similar issue has sort of bothered a friend of mine in China.

She was born and raised in the Korean Autonomous Region in China, to a Korean-speaking family, of course. They're part of the 56 ethnic groups of People's Republic of China. Her great-great-grandparents moved to China from South Korea about 150 years ago.

So now, she's a Korean-Chinese. And IF, she migrates to US, will she be a Chinese-American or Korean-American ? She has no Han blood, her entire family is of Korean descend. She says she will be, and wants to be called Korean-American.
Ah-bin
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Re: Hokkien-Only Policy

Post by Ah-bin » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:26 pm

I'm sorry your friend has to put up with that Aokh. I'm kind of glad you have an example though, because I feel as if I am mad sometimes.

I've been thinking about it for a long time and reading PRC publications about nationalities, and comparing them with what I see and hear I find that and many many people just don't fit into the categories, or ethnic groups are split across borders.

I start asking questions....

Q: So did the Chinese invade Korea and steal a bit of their land?

A: Impossible, China is peaceful and never attacked anyone!

Q: So did the Koreans come and occupy a part of China?

A:No, those Koreans are part of the 中華民族!

Q: So why do they speak the same language as the people over the border in North Korea? 

A: You ask too many questions.

There are "Jing" (Kinh = Vietnamese) on an island suspiciously close to the Chinese border with Vietnam too. I read in a (Chinese) book that they have ALWAYS been Chinese. Then there was a border stone of the old Vietnamese border I went to with a group of academics (not the border any more) and an explanation in Chinese that the people who took us there forbade us to take photographs of.

I find it so strange to constantly come up against things like this, because no problems of the sort oficially exist and they must be just a figment of my imagination. Sometimes I wish I just didn't know anything about it so I wouldn't wince every time I hear or read about the "56 ethnic groups".
amhoanna
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Re: Hokkien-Only Policy

Post by amhoanna » Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:42 pm

The only way I can think of to escape my confusion on this matter is to ban myself from ever thinking about or discussing it again, and if I do I'll send myself to a labour camp. Ahhhh that's better! I feel harmonious now......
Come on, there's nothing wrong with U. I spent a good part of my late formative years watching sports on TV, including fútbol americano. If someone is wrong -- like the Chinese establishment -- then we, or some other "enemy of my enemy", MUST "take it to the house" on them. Sack their quarterback, force a turnover, steal their women and eat their children. Because they deserve it! And if we can't sack them when they're strong, we'll catch them off guard or sack them when they're weak and sick. And still steal their women and eat their children.
Q: So did the Koreans come and occupy a part of China?

A:No, those Koreans are part of the 中華民族!
MWAHAHAHAHAAA!
Then there was a border stone of the old Vietnamese border I went to with a group of academics (not the border any more) and an explanation in Chinese that the people who took us there forbade us to take photographs of.
Enlightening.

And, U probably know this anyway, but this 中華民族 bullshit didn't start with the PRC. If U talk to a Blue-camp, "5000-year mindset" R.O.C. intellectual -- whose entire upbringing was a waste of Taiwanese rice -- they'll spoonfeed U the exact same bullshit with the same circular reasoning.

What seems to be uniquely PRC is strange silences in the dialog. Once I had lunch near a campus in L.A. with a crew of PRC graduate exchange students who'd just come back from an "anti-Free Tibet" march on campus. I asked them if "China" (read: Han power) was going to use the "roots" argument to justify the occupation of Tibet, then why not invade the Koreas first? Koreans dress like the Han, eat Han-similar food (with chopsticks!), can't open their mouth w/o spitting Han loanwords, worship like the Han, look at least as Han-like as Tibetans do, etc. And Tibet never took a U.S. military base up its ****, but S. Korea has them as we speak. And what did these fiery PRC intellectuals say in response? They just sat around with polite, smug Little Red Book half-smiles and ignored my point.
So now, she's a Korean-Chinese. And IF, she migrates to US, will she be a Chinese-American or Korean-American ? She has no Han blood, her entire family is of Korean descend. She says she will be, and wants to be called Korean-American.
Gotta love it!

Ditto with ethnic Tn̂glâng that move from Malay(si)a to the U.S.

When Koreatown restaurants hire "China" Koreans as waitstaff, they assign them to all the Mandarin-speaking customers that come in the door. The front door staff will ask Asian, non-Korean-speaking customers "what they speak". Guess it feels better than providing service in English. :mrgreen:

My observation is there's only two languages in the East Asian part of China whose native speakers consider their language to be "cooler" than Mandarin: Cantonese and Korean. Mark Yong's media explanation still fits the facts.
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