Siu-Leung Lee’s Hakka site has a section on the language: “This section is a collection of notes of my own experience and thoughts about the Hakka dialect and other language/dialects. Except where cited, many of my non-linguist viewpoints are unproven hypotheses. Discussions holding similar or contrary views, as well as supplementations are cordially welcome.” The modesty is welcome; for a more organized take on the subject one can check the Wikipedia article and its links, but this is one Hakka’s take on his own culture and language and interesting as such. Dr. Lee’s biography can be read here; on his own site he says “I was born in a Hakka family, but I knew little about Hakka. Brought up in Hong Kong, I had little use of the Hakka dialect except to understand the conversation of my father’s friends and employees. My parents spoke to me in Cantonese…. In the early 1990s, I spent 4 years back in Hong Kong. Browsing in a bookstore, I picked up a book about Hakka. Only then did I start to learn more about what Hakka meant to me…” Thanks for the link, Paul!


  1. Siganus Sutor says

    Hakka customs and habits
    As the Chinatown festival is being held this week-end, it is the occasion to cast a look on the culture of the Mauritians of Chinese descent. In this group of more than 22 000, 90 % are Hakkas.
    From generation to generation, these customs & habits have been transmitted and today the mottos of the Hakka people can be summed up as: “Be an upright & honest man, be a winner on hard effort and give up the forefathers land rather than what they said”. These special features are clearly demonstrated in the memory of the Hakka people for their forefathers and patriarchal clan as well as in their disposition of self-confidence, self-reliance and independence, their respect to teachers & women and their love for cleanliness. The Hakkas were the only group of the Han nationality who refused to bind the feet of their women.
    Twice burial is another custom inherited by the Hakkas during their southbound migration.

    One wonders how much legend there might be in this L’Express article…

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