Retaining Hokkien Language

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
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Mark
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Re: Retaining Language

Post by Mark » Wed Oct 02, 2002 7:41 am

Wrong, Hokkien is not = to Min. It is = to Minnan. And even then they are not interchangable- although this is the way it is widely used (as interchangable with Minnan), it's supposed to be a _dialect_ of Minnan.
:-)

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by :-) » Wed Oct 02, 2002 10:15 pm

I stand corrected. My Bad ;-)

In addition when I refered to Gan spoken in Hunan, again I was wrong. The Gan languages are spoken in Jiangxi, where as the Xiang languages are spoken in Hunan. My Bad again ;-)

I must say, it's obvious I've been a very bad boy ;-) Shame on me, but I'm glad I haven't yet exposed my naughty side!!! I really shouldn't be posting anything on the internet (ie yesterday) while the instructor is giving a lecture... It's easy to get my thoughts crossed when class is in session :-X

As far as Hainanese being threatened in Malaysia, I believe there may still be a thriving Hainanese community on Crab Island, Malaysia which according to a Singapore Airlines magazine I was reading on my way to Hong Kong states that this island's sole inhabitants are Hainanese and visiting the island community could take you several hundred years back into the colonial era of the South Seas.

:-)
Mark
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Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by Mark » Thu Oct 03, 2002 8:06 pm

lol.

Yep, you Gan-in-Hunan-sayer, you!
:-)

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by :-) » Thu Oct 03, 2002 9:00 pm

Yo Mark, U da man.

Just curious, are you a Brit from S'pore?

:-)
Mark
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Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by Mark » Mon Oct 07, 2002 8:03 pm

Maybe :p
:-)

Maybe :p

Post by :-) » Tue Oct 08, 2002 4:16 am

Mr Williamson,

From the perspective of a maybe :p point of view, of all places to be, why Singapore?

Among overseas ethnic-Chinese, Singapore, compared to other regions is not on the A-list.

:-)
Mark
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Re: Maybe :p

Post by Mark » Tue Oct 08, 2002 4:18 am

Singlish is interesting, plus the diversity of local dialects.

Perhaps M'sia would be better though...
BHYeo

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by BHYeo » Mon Oct 14, 2002 2:58 pm

YM,

You can call it a whiff of inferiority complex but the obvious fact is Hokkien language is gradually dying in Malaysia and Singapore unless something positive is done to arrest the trend. Mandarin is fast becoming predominant in many areas where Hokkien was once commonly spoken amongst the Chinese community such as Singapore and states of Johore and Malacca in Malaysia. This is not so in areas where Cantonese prevails such as Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. In fact, Cantonese is also making inroad probably due to the popularity of Hong Kong Cantonese music, movies and TV serials in the entertainment industry and of course the predominance of Cantonese programmes over TV and radio. I foresee the predominance of Hokkien language in Penang would gradually diminish in future eventhough it is presently very much alive there. Hakka language is facing similar fate in Taiwan but at least the Taiwanese government has established the Council for Hakka Affairs to preserve the language and Hakka culture. Such measure is unthinkable in Malaysia and of course Singapore where the government is vigorously promoting Mandarin. In the final analysis, it is left to the Hokkiens themselves to preserve their own language to reflect their cultural identity but it is definitely an uphill task as ironically the Federation of Hokkien Associations in Malaysia is also promoting the use of Mandarin amongst the Chinese community in Malaysia! Hope my concern is well understood. There is no malice on my part.
BHYeo

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by BHYeo » Mon Oct 14, 2002 3:00 pm

YM,

You can call it a whiff of inferiority complex but the obvious fact is that Hokkien language is gradually dying in Malaysia and Singapore unless something positive is done to arrest the trend. Mandarin is fast becoming predominant in many areas where Hokkien was once commonly spoken amongst the Chinese community such as Singapore and states of Johore and Malacca in Malaysia. This is not so in areas where Cantonese prevails such as Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. In fact, Cantonese is also making inroad probably due to the popularity of Hong Kong Cantonese music, movies and TV serials in the entertainment industry and of course the predominance of Cantonese programmes over TV and radio. I foresee the predominance of Hokkien language in Penang would gradually diminish in future eventhough it is presently very much alive there. Hakka language is facing similar fate in Taiwan but at least the Taiwanese government has established the Council for Hakka Affairs to preserve the language and Hakka culture. Such measure is unthinkable in Malaysia and of course Singapore where the government is vigorously promoting Mandarin. In the final analysis, it is left to the Hokkiens themselves to preserve their own language to reflect their cultural identity but it is definitely an uphill task as ironically the Federation of Hokkien Associations in Malaysia is also promoting the use of Mandarin amongst the Chinese community in Malaysia! Hope my concern is well understood. There is no malice on my part.
Ken

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by Ken » Wed Oct 30, 2002 3:49 am

Hi,

I feel that it's important for anyone to retain the ability to speak one's own dialect, which is theoretically speaking, one's mother tongue. Mandarin is important as a language to facilitate communication and forster unity among the Chinese people.
Ken

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by Ken » Wed Oct 30, 2002 4:04 am

Hi,

I feel that it's important for anyone to retain the ability to speak one's own dialect, which is theoretically speaking, one's mother tongue. Mandarin is however, important as a language to facilitate communication and forster unity among the Chinese people.
As a Singaporean Chinese Hokkien who has been brought up in the English medium education system , I am proud of my Fujian heritage. Always keen in Chinese history, I have to say that the Fujianese people, including the min-nans, min-beis or the other mins have always been known for their praiseworthy exploits in commerce and sea adventures.
One of the Fujianese historical personalities that greatly inspired me was Zheng Chenggong also known as Koxinga, a die hard Ming Dynasty loyalist who fought 16 hard years against the Manchus and later defeated the Dutch aggressors to recover Taiwan back to Chinese rule. In a way, one could say that the Fujianese were one of the first few Asian groups to ever defeat the Western Colonialists. Zheng Chenggong's father , Zheng Zhilong was also a great figure in Chinese Maritime history. Through his efforts in sea trading, naval military and diplomacy, he became the most powerful man in late-Ming China.
Ken

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by Ken » Wed Oct 30, 2002 4:10 am

Hi,

I feel that it's important for anyone to retain the ability to speak one's own dialect, which is theoretically speaking, one's mother tongue. Mandarin is however, important as a language to facilitate communication and forster unity among the Chinese people.
As a Singaporean Chinese Hokkien who has been brought up in the English medium education system , I am proud of my Fujian heritage. Always keen in Chinese history, I have to say that the Fujianese people, including the min-nans, min-beis or the other mins have always been known for their praiseworthy exploits in commerce and sea adventures.
One of the Fujianese historical personalities that greatly inspired me was Zheng Chenggong also known as Koxinga, a die hard Ming Dynasty loyalist who fought 16 hard years against the Manchus and later defeated the Dutch aggressors to recover Taiwan back to Chinese rule. In a way, one could say that the Fujianese were one of the first few Asian groups to ever defeat the Western Colonialists. Zheng Chenggong's father , Zheng Zhilong was also a great figure in Chinese Maritime history. Through his efforts in sea trading, naval military and diplomacy, he became the most powerful man in late-Ming China. For several hundred years,The Fujianese have been known to be the pioneers in Chinese Maritime history. They were the first group of Chinese to venture into the sea for survival and prosperity.
Due to the mountainous nature of Fujian province, the lack of lands for crop cultivation forced many Fujianese to look for greener pastures outside China. Many became sea traders, fishermen,
Ken

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by Ken » Wed Oct 30, 2002 4:41 am

Hi,

I feel that it's important for anyone to retain the ability to speak one's own dialect, which is theoretically speaking, one's mother tongue. Mandarin is however, important as a language to facilitate communication and forster unity among the Chinese people.
As a Singaporean Chinese Hokkien who has been brought up in the English medium education system , I am proud of my Fujian heritage. Always keen in Chinese history, I have to say that the Fujianese people, including the Min-Nans, Min-Beis or the other Mins have always been known for their praiseworthy exploits in commerce and sea adventures.
One of the Fujianese historical personalities that greatly inspired me was Zheng Chenggong also known as Koxinga, a die hard Ming Dynasty loyalist who fought 16 hard years against the Manchus and later defeated the Dutch aggressors to recover Taiwan back to Chinese rule. In a way, one could say that the Fujianese were one of the first few Asian peoples to ever defeat the Western Colonialists. Zheng Chenggong's father , Zheng Zhilong was also a great figure in Chinese Maritime history. Through his efforts in sea trading, naval military and diplomacy, he became the most powerful man in late-Ming China. For several hundred years,The Fujianese have been known to be the pioneers in Chinese Maritime history. They were the first group of Chinese to venture into the sea for survival and prosperity.
One other famous Fujianese historical figure is Lin ZeXu, who fought the British in the Opium war.
Due to the mountainous nature of Fujian province, the lack of lands for crop cultivation forced many Fujianese to look for greener pastures outside China. Many became sea traders or fishermen. Many migrated to Taiwan, Southeast Asia and even Southern Japan ( especially Nagasaki, Hirado regions in Kyushu). Zheng Zhilong was one such person who established his career in Japan and married a Japanese woman. The great Chinese hero Zheng Chenggong was the product of this marriage.
Habitually, the term 'Hokkien' is used to refer to the Min-Nan language. This is quite natural as Min-Nan speakers form a majority of the Fujianese people around the world. As such, Min-Nan became the language that so-called represents the Fujian or Hokkien province. There's nothing wrong with this practice but I feel that when we use the word 'Hokkien', we must also include the people or languages of the other Mins because we are all Fujianese; the only thing being we speak different kinds of Hokkien or Fujian dialects.
Next, on Taiwan. As a keen enthusiast on China, I really hope that the Taiwanese people who share so much similarities with mainland China in culture and languages will one day be peacefully re-uinified with their motherland. In the emotially strirring movie 'Zheng Chenggong', the hero fought so hard to recover Taiwan. Nothing would sadden him or millions of Chinese around the world more than the separation of Taiwan from China, a great glorious country which had undergone too much humiliation in the past.
Ong

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by Ong » Wed Oct 30, 2002 9:46 am

Hi Ken!

Being a true Hokkien myself, I really concur with what you have said. But are you giving us your message in instalment? Is there more coming? Keep up your participation. This forum needs more people like you especially fellow Hokkiens.

Kam sia
Ken

Re: Retaining Hokkien Language

Post by Ken » Thu Oct 31, 2002 2:13 am

Hi Ong,

Thanks for your compliment. By the way, my surname is Peh ( Bai in Mandarin, i.e. 'white'). Is this your first time participating?
Anyway, I was kind of a delighted to 'bump' into this forum. It allows me to express my keen interest on a subject related to my ancestry and identity.
Just wonder anyone out there a history major in University?

I am quite disturbed by a piece of information in one message that says that in KL, Malaysia, Hokkien speakers were discriminated by some 'nerdy' TV or entertainment companies years ago when Hong Kong Cantonese entertainment was popular then. Being someone who respects and accepts cultural differences, I sincerely would love to challenge those who committ such discrimination. I would tell them to do their homework and find out more about Chinese history before they make a fool out of themselves.
The Hokkiens or Fujianese have always been regarded as one of the main pioneering groups in the shaping of modern developing China. Fujian province more than neighbouring Guandong province is given the prime respect as the holistic origin of Overseas Chinese ( think abt why 'The Overseas Chinese University' or Huaqiao Da Xue is set up in Fujian and not Guangdong). The Fujianese bore the brunt of foreign Mongolian and Manchurian invasion first in the early years as the invaders came southwards and protected the Cantonese or people in Guangdong, which may explain why Fujianese people appear more 'garang' than Guangdongese). For those interested in Chinese Martial Arts, just to tell you that the famous Southern Shaolin Temple or Nan Shaolin is at Fujian. Fujianese martial arts is a chief source of Southern Chinese Kung Fu that also contributed the development of Japanese Karate in Okinawa.
One of the greatest overseas Chinese, Tan Kah Kee is known to all, a pioneering Fujianese as well. He is in fact the first overseas Chinese to speak publicly in the National Assembly in Communist China then and won the highest accolades from Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai. Today, Tan Kah Kee is regarded as the sacred symbol of overseas Chinese in China.
I am not fanning the fire of Fujian Chauvinism here. I respect all people in this world, not least the other Chinese groups. But when unfair treatment is imposed on my people and culture, I will stand up and defend. As a true Fujianese, it is only my pleasure to share with all of you the greatness of our Fujian-Hokkien legacy.
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