Hakka People

A Vast Majority of the Chinese in India are Hakka Chinese. So who are Hakka People ?

The Hakka people are a subgroup of the Han Chinese people based in the provinces of Guangdong, Jiangxi and Fujian in China and speaking the Hakka language. Their ancestors were often said to have arrived from what is today’s central China centuries ago, but the origins of the Hakkas is still a contested issue. It is said that in a series of migrations, the Hakkas moved, settled in their present locations in southern China, and then migrated overseas to various countries throughout the world.

The use of the term Hakka to describe this people is thought to be comparatively recent, dating to the Qing Dynasty (c. 17th century). Their ancestors migrated southwards several times because of social unrest, upheaval, and the invasion of foreign conquerors, since the Jin Dynasty (265-420). Subsequent migrations occurred at the end of the Tang Dynasty when China fragmented, during the middle of the Song Dynasty which saw massive depopulation of the north and a flood of refugees southward, when the Jurchens captured the northern Song capital, at the fall of the Song to the Mongols in the Yuan Dynasty, and when the Ming Dynasty fell to the Manchu who formed the Qing Dynasty. Some of these migrants did not want to reveal where they were from as, under Chinese Laws, a crime of treason committed by one person is punishable by death upon the clan of that person up to nine generations. As the locals did not know where the migrants were from, they referred to them as ‘guest families‘.

The Hakka people have a marked cuisine and style of Chinese cooking which is little known outside the Hakka home. Hakka cuisine concentrates on the texture of food – the hallmark of Hakka cuisine. Whereas preserved meats feature in Hakka delicacy, stewed, braised, roast meats, ‘texturized’ contributions to the Hakka palate have a central place in their repertoire. In fact the raw materials for Hakka food are no different from raw materials for any other type of regional Chinese cuisine, what you cook depends on what is available in the market. Hakka cuisine may be described as outwardly simple but tasty. The skill in Hakka cuisine lies in the ability to cook meat thoroughly without hardening it, and to naturally bring out the proteinous flavour (umami taste) of meat.

Source: Wikipedia


  1. Howard says:

    Leon : your story is damn right, twice (been to China 3 times in 3 years!)I told my folks in China (Meixian districts) that they are better off now or earlier living in your own country. As a Chinese living away from your country is twice or tripple hard to make a living: one has to be really smart and patient in order to compete with the locals to survive! I am not kidding.