Hakkas helped built the societies in Ipoh, Penang, Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Singapura, Hong Kong (especially Sheung Shui, and Yuen Long, New Territories), Taiwan, Indonesia, Australia, USA, and Malaya like Lee Kuan Yew (李光耀), Kapitan China Yap Ah Loy, the Founder of Kuala Lumpur (Chinese: 葉亞來甲), Kapitan China Yap Kwan Seng (Chinese: 葉觀盛), Capitan China Chung Keng Quee (traditional Chinese: 鄭景貴甲); and other HAKKA families, and pay much TAXES.
My parents’ Hakka surnames “Chen and Yeap (葉)” have multiple variations in English spelling in various countries and cities. For example Chen (曾)can be spelled as Tsang in Hong Kong (in Cantonese).
One of my “Heung Har” ancestry home is “Tsang Shing” or Tsang-Chen Clan Village near Guangzhou, China.
As the most diasporic among the Chinese community groups, the worldwide population of Hakkas is about 80 million to 120 million.
The Five Hakka Migration Diaspora:
First Hakka Migration (c. 311)
Second Hakka Migration (c. 960)
Third Hakka Migration (c. 1125)
Fourth Hakka Migration (c. 1644)
Fifth Hakka Migration (c. 1850-1864)
The Hakka (Chinese: 客家), sometimes Hakka Han, are Han Chinese people whose ancestral homes are chiefly in the Hakka-speaking provincial areas of Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan, Zhejiang, Hainan and Guizhou.
The Hakka people have had significant influence on the course of modern Chinese and overseas Chinese history; in particular, they have been a source of many government and military leaders — in 1984, over half of the Standing Committee of the Politburo were ethnically Hakka.
Read about Discrimination and Mass killings of Hakkas in 19th century
In retaliation for establishing the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, the Qing Dynasty military massacred the Hakkas, killing 30,000 of the Hakkas daily during the height of the anti-Hakka mass-killing operation.
The bloody Punti-Hakka Clan Wars, which eventually killed some 500,000 Hakkas (or quite possibly even more), saw large-scale massacres against the Hakkas by Cantonese forces.
The Hakka language was the national language of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, which had, at one stage, occupied one-third of China in the 19th century. Today, it is one of the official languages of Taiwan.
Hakka cuisine is known for the use of preserved meats and tofu as well as stewed and braised dishes. A popular dish known as Yong Tau Foo is a Hakka Chinese food consisting primarily of tofu that has been filled with either a ground meat mixture or fish paste (surimi).
My beautiful Mum’s mother in traditional Kebaya & Sarong Peranakan (Straits Chinese) Wedding Dress and Nyonya-Baba jewelry in Penang. Madam Tan Liew Sin (a Peranakan Hokkien, born in 1905, the Year of the Snake, age 24) married Yeap Beng Seng (a Penang Hakka, born in 1904, the Year of Dragon, age 25) in 1929.
My granny did not have foot binding.
For centuries, Hakkas were nomads. The Chinese characters for Hakka (客家) literally mean “guest families”. Hakka women worked as hard as Hakka men. Bound feet “Tai Tais” were only for the very rich who don’t have to work or move much.
My granny and mum made and sold Nyonya Kuih (cakes) during the World War 2 Imperial Japan occupation of Malaya.
Read more about Malaysia’s First Hakka Tin Mining Museum and Hakka People “The Jews of Asia”: Han Chin Pet Soo in IPOH:
Published: 22nd July 2019.
Updated: 24th July 2019.
Foot binding was the custom of applying tight binding to the feet of young girls to modify the shape and size of their feet. The practice possibly originated among upper class court dancers during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in 10th century China, then gradually became popular among the elite during the Song dynasty. Foot binding eventually spread to most social classes by the Qing dynasty and the practice finally came to an end in the early 20th century. Bound feet were at one time considered a status symbol as well as a mark of beauty. Yet, foot binding was a painful practice and significantly limited the mobility of women, resulting in lifelong disabilities for most of its subjects. Feet altered by binding were called lotus feet.