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The formation and development of Gannan Hakka community
source: gndaily.com
2009-01-03 00:40
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The course of formation and development of Gannan Hakka community is from Gannan to Western Fujian and to the worldwide. Geographically and historically, Gannan is the first place to meet the Han people southward, and much data of Hakka surname also testifies that Hakka ancestors had lived for generations in Gannan before migrating to the western Fujian and eastern Guangdong. There were together five great migrations in the Chinese history. The first was in the Jin Dynasty as the invasion of foreign conquerors. Many people in central plains moved to Yangze River Basins with their family.

The second occurred at the end of the Tang Dynasty when the rebellion of An and Shi broke out (a turning point of Tang Dynasty from flourish to decay). Because of the social unrest and continual war in the north, a large number of Han people migrated to the relatively peaceful delta area of Gan, Fujian and Guangdong. The first Hakka ancestors were formed at that time.

The third was in the Song Dynasty when the invasion of northern minority. More Han people migrated the delta area as the Court moved southward. They lived there and exchanged with some aboriginal habitants of She and Yao nationalities in economics, culture and blood relationship. The Hakka community was formed finally.

The forth was during the early Qing Dynasty which saw massive depopulation in Gannan due to the ravage of pestilence and war. However, while western Fujian and eastern Guangdong suffered population explosion at that time. Some edicts were issued to block the coastal areas, ordering coastal residents to move to the inland. The population pressure and the sharp contradiction of the land redistribution drove a few residents to leave. Some of them moved back to Gannan, mixing with the Hakka lived here for generations. Thus, the modern style of Gannan residents was laid. From the data of surname sources in counties and cities of Gannan, more generation-surnames since Song Dynasty appeared in the eastern river area, with the representatives of in Ningdu and Shicheng; while more returned-migrant surnames existed in the western river area, up to 60% -- 70% in some counties. After moving to Gannan, some of them north warded to Ji'an in central Jiangxi, Anfu, Yichun, Pingxiang and Wanzai in Western Jiangxi, Liling, Liuyang, Pingjiang in Hunan, and some counties like Tonggu, Xiushui in eastern Jiangxi. All these greatly extended the distribution of Hakkas. So Gannan played an important role in the development of Hakka community.

The fifth was in the modern times of years' war. Quite a few Hakkas migrated from western Fujian and eastern Guangdong to coastal areas, and some even to overseas to make a living. Some of them became wealthy subsequently.

From the analysis above, we can see that Gannan is among the most important originations for Hakka community. There is a saying: Hakka community was formed in Gannan, grown in western Fujian, matured in Meizhou and developed abroad.

(Editor on duty:Fuzhiqun)     
 
 
 
 
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