Hi amhoanna,amhoanna wrote:...The whole isthmus from Penang up the tail of Myanmar is really interesting for Hokkienology. People from Tn̂gsoaⁿ were all over the area from early on. Merchants, princesses, what have you. We can safely guess that they were largely if not all Hokkiens. What do you guys think about Phuket Town? I felt that it had this Penang-like vibe. I saw lots of Hokkien faces (I would even say Ciangciu) and met a few people who could speak bits and pieces of Hokkien or had a parent who did.
Welcome to the Forum. Thanks for your really interesting contributions.
Two reactions to what you said:
1. These days, the most internationally famous (and perhaps most spectacular) Kiu Ong Ia / Nine Emperor Gods festival in the world seems to be the one in Phuket. And indeed, the Kiu Ong Ia is a uniquely Hokkien festival, which would imply that there is a very strong Hokkien influence in Phuket.
2. When I was studying, in the mid 1970's, one of my fellow students took a trip to Penang. He came back with an amazing statement (a revelation to me at the time). He said: "Before I went to Penang, I thought your face was just 'your' face - i.e. unique to Sim - but when I was wandering around in Penang, I had such a strong feeling that 60% of the people looked like you! I.e. apparently, you have 'typically Hokkien' features".
Years later, I had a very similar experience, the other way around. In the late 1980's I was living in Darwin, Australia, and a friend of mine there - Ian - was from rural Scotland (around Ayr). After I had known him for about 5 years I went to that part of Scotland as part of a work assignment. Suddenly, I noticed that facial features which I had always thought of as being "unique to Ian" were shared by a very large proportion of the population.
So (but perhaps this is not a world-shattering revelation!), there appear to be facial features which can be considered to be "typically X".