Email: Two Types of Hakka Categorisation (Friday, March 02, 2018 14:30)

Dear Waiman
I was reading a Chinese language article about Mao Zedong’s association with Hakka culture. I might translate this later this evening. However, in it there is an explanation of two categories of Hakkaness in use within Mainland Chinese discourse.
1) This refers to what we might call ‘ethnic Hakka’ – defined as people born today into functioning Hakka communities (and speaking the Hakka dialect).
2) The other definition states that there are people of ‘Hakkas descent’ who although having Hakka ancestry, are NOT today born into a functioning Hakka community.
This article states that Mao Zedong was not an ‘ethnic Hakka’, but WAS a ‘Hakka by descent’. The article then describes his Hakka ancestry. I have met many modern Chinese people from the Mainland who are probably ‘Hakka by descent’, but who have not been born into functioning ethnic Hakka commuities. Of course, in a sense people like this are no less ‘Hakka’, but they do represent a ‘secular’ movement in Hakkaness, so to speak. The noble attributes often attributed to Hakka people are expanded beyond the immediate need to survive in a Hakka community (which now only involves farming and crop production rather than fighting), and are now used within modern society and building a strong nation. This can be further expanded to the world in general, and used to explain a Hakka contribution to World Culture.
Best Wishes

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