unified in 221 B.C. and has stayed unified most of the time since then, whereas forgeographic reasons Europe was never unified. <1.1>
I understand that the ideas about Chineseness have changed over the years, andare also changing elsewhere, even in Asia. The notion that identity relates to apolitical entity known as the Middle Kingdom started with a name ‘Chinese’. Butclearly after reading my sources I utterly confirm what Aldous Huxley wrote in1935 “it will be clear that 'racemixture, has in the past been beneficial”.
1.2. Identity bonds. Half truths and other white lies .
Gish Jen, a Hyphenated Asian, was questioning himself about what is to be, ornot to be, Chinese nowadays.
A few years ago in Hong Kong, for example, I had heard Chinese intellectuals questionwhether anyone was really Chinese anymore. After all, they joked, the Chinese in HongKong were so British, the Chinese in Taiwan so Japanese; the Chinese on the mainland socommunist. <1.2>
But if it is not politics perhaps we can assume that the
identity is in somesense homogeneous, as they make up to 92% of the population. But in
sense? China's linguistic near-unity is also puzzling in comparison with thelinguistic disunity of other parts so I will spray some doubts on its genetic unity. The very notion of
minorities (minzu) is political:Indeed the Han have a very long recorded history of their dealings with various"barbarians", who were divided into "raw" (
) and "cooked" (
) "according towhether they were cultured enough to accept moral edification and eventualcivilization." <1.3>
The southern Han popular mythology states that their ancestors migrated bystages to southern China because their "homeland" was occupied by "barbarian"tribes. No doubt, this conspiracy gives extra bonus at group pride (old dynastieswere all from north, Huang-ho river and surrounding, weren’t they?). But theinterlocking migration pattern tells them away. To make matters worse, I would venture into an old hat trick: the case of Hakka.Clearly a
situation. To compare, read this
The Hakka were called “guest people”when they began migrating into Yue-speakingterritory, and the exotic name seems to have stuck quite simply because, until fairlyrecently, many Cantonese and Min mistakenly thought that the Hakka were not Chineseat all, but rather some kind of strange non-Han "barbarians" like the Tai or the Miao.”
That the south of China is more heterogeneous than the north of China seems tobe true without exception, from history to
geography, ecology and culture, andnow genetics. The greater
heterogeneity of southern China is likely to reflect the