Surviving In Adverse Conditions

by Patrick Liew on July 31, 2011

I believe we are part of the same race – the human race.

If we choose to preserve any cultural heritage, it is to help us ensure continuity so as to achieve improvements and progress. It should not create disunity or worst, enmity.

When we respect our roots, we must also respect other people’s roots. We should never discriminate anybody because of their race, language, creed, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, or disability.

If I think that I have the best beliefs and I look down on other people’s belief, then my beliefs can’t be all that good.

I consider myself to be a citizen of the world.

I want to learn from the best that the world can offer and remove whatever is negative from my life.

Having said that, recently, I did some research about the Hakkas, the Chinese ethnic group that I belong to. There are many lessons that I have learned from the study.

The Hakkas were considered to be one of the earliest ‘Han’ settlers in China and have therefore oftentimes been linked with royalty.

Now you know why I’ve got so much class!

The Hakkas were known to have migrated many times in history to avoid wars and natural crises, and to seek a better life. Along the way, they assimilated the positive values of other races and ethnic groups.

The Hakkas migrated to the south but they were never accepted by the natives in the newly-settled land. In fact, many locals persecuted these northerners, calling them ‘Hakkas’ which meant ‘guest families’.

The Hakkas had to settle down in less desirable lands and constantly protect themselves against constant harassments.

They were known for their hardworking qualities, adaptability, fierce determination, and perseverance even during the most difficult conditions.

As a result of these qualities, many Hakkas have become prominent leaders in society. These are the same qualities that can help me go far in my life.

The Hakkas kept a more in-depth record of their clan and family genealogy than most other Chinese ethnic groups. They are known to preserve their cultural values; including customs, food and spoken language, which can be traced to a history of more than 2200 years ago.

The Hakkas were afraid of losing the positive values of their cultural roots. That’s why, when two Hakkas meet, the favourite greeting is, “We share the same roots.”

In his book, ‘The Origin of The Hakka Chinese,’ Mr Lee Siu-Leung likened the Hakkas to be like dandelions. In his words, a dandelion is:

‘A little flower, tough enough to survive the harshest environment, travels to all corners of the world, plants its roots in the poorest soils and blooms with yellow flowers. It has a lot of useful culinary and medicinal applications yet few people know about them.’


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