Thursday, July 15, 2010

Teochew people(潮州人)

The Chaozhou Han or Chaozhou people (commonly known as Teochew Nang) are Han people who are native to the Chaoshan region of eastern Guangdong province of China and speak the Teochew dialect. The Teochew diaspora can be found almost anywhere in the world, especially Southeast Asia, North America, Australasia and France. The diaspora, at least estimated, contains over 10 million people, which is as much as the population of Chaoshan itself. They speak a language closely related to Hokkien, and their Teochew cuisine is distinctive. The ancestors of the Teochew people moved to present-day Chaoshan from the Central Plains of China in order to escape from a series of civil wars during the Jin Dynasty.

Teochew Nang(潮州人)

Historically, these people were called Helao or Fulao, as they came mostly from Henan and Shanxi via Fujian, with well-maintained language and customs from north-central China. As was recorded in pedigrees and ancient inscriptions, these people who had originally migrated to southern Fujian, especially from Quanzhou and Putian, made settlements toward Chaoshan in batches and soon spread all over the Chaoshan area. Geographic isolation and difficulty in traveling in the past made the Helao or Fulao become a relatively closed population. Recently, studies of genetic analysis supported that although all Han Chinese are indeed related and share a common root, the Teochew had closest links with the Minnan area of Fujian province and those from the Taihang Mountain range of north-central China.

They are known to Cantonese speakers as "Hoklo", which means “men from the Hok province i.e. Fujian province”, although the term “Teochew” is applied to them in the Strait Settlements(British Malaya) in the 19th century and early 20th century. "Teochew" is derived from Teochew Prefecture (Chaozhou Fu, 潮州府) the departmental city where they originate. In Mandarin, it should be Chaozhou(潮州).

In ancient times, all the 8 counties (Chaoan 潮安、Chenghai 澄海、Chaoyang 潮阳、Jieyang 揭阳、Raoping 饶平、Puning 普宁、Huilai 惠来、Nanao 南澳 ) were under Chaozhou Prefecture 潮州府. So people from these counties are known as Chaozhou ren 潮州人.

Chaoshan ren(潮汕人)

Initially only Shantou people is called Swatoa nang(汕头人), Chaozhou people is called Chaozhou Ren or Teochew Nang, at that time the name included all Teochew people.
After Shantou 汕头 (formerly under Chenghai County) became a prefecture-level city, people began to use the word "Chaoshan ren" to replace "Chaozhou ren". This is why Teochew in China use "Chaoshan 潮汕" while Teochew in overseas use "Chaozhou 潮州".

Now, even Chaoyang(潮阳)also politically under Shantou, and now call Chaonan; Chaoyang Nang also become Chaoshan Nang. Chaoyang people naturally is not happy over the broader definition of Chaoshan ren (潮汕人). Because Chaoyang ren(潮阳人) are Chaozhou ren(潮州人), not Chaoshan ren (潮汕人) !.

A narrow definition of Teochew or Chaozhou, now restricted only to people under Chaozhou county; broader defination included all formerlly or historically called Teochew Nang as oversea Chinese called for people from all the 8 counties (Chaoan 潮安、Chenghai 澄海、Chaoyang 潮阳、Jieyang 揭阳、Raoping 饶平、Puning 普宁、Huilai 惠来、Nanao 南澳 ) were under Chaozhou Prefecture 潮州府, including Shantou 汕头.

Chaoshan(潮汕) is name for political administration for a region, including Shantou and Chaozhou. It is not the name of people or language. It is wrong to call Chaoshan ren(潮汕人). Any attempt is with political motive to let Shantou overtake Chaozhou, not only politically but also culturally.

Chaozhou will always be the cultural capital of Teochew people, and the mother of Teochew culture. Shantou is just a port, a commercial city; it is not the mother land for Teochew culture.

Teochew Nang is not Chaoshan ren(潮汕人), but all Chaoshan ren(潮汕人)is Teochew Nang or Chaozhou Ren; in China or oversea....

We are always Teochew Nang or Chaozhou Ren, wherever we are; in China, in Taiwan, in Hong Kong, in Thailand, in Cambodia, in Singapore and all over the world. Let not political division divided us. Even you are from Shantou, you are still Teochew Nang.

We are all Teochew Nang((潮州人)!.

Wah Shi Teochew Nang.....

No comments:

Post a Comment