ODYSSEY OF THE HAKKA

These Round Earth Buildings epitomize the natural creativity of China's remarkable Hakka People. The multi functional and inspiring Hakka settlements represent longstanding traditions that reflect this unique culture of farmers and scholars. The Hakka focus on cultural preservation and stewardship of the land has been instrumental in cultivating a five thousand year Chinese identity which is based to a large extent on a humanitarian perspective and respect for human interaction with the natural environment. With an emphasis on education, hard work and a nomadic way of life, the dynamic Hakka People have had a pivotal role in shaping Chinese civilization. In their epic journey over vast territory, the resilient Hakka overcame dramatic adversity while expanding the boundaries of China and later extending the country's trade around the globe.
The elaborate weddings above reflect the Hakka tradition of colorful ceremonies. Over the Centuries, Hakka People have been known for combining tradition with innovation and for applying creative thinking in their undaunted determination to prevail against overwhelming odds. Their perseverence in the face of hardship and their dedication to the Chinese cultural heritage are legendary in China. On their thousand year, thousand mile odyssey, the Hakka brought Chinese culture to the remote frontier and settled what is now South China.
These pictures demonstrate the rich tradition of music, theater and pageantry that is integral to the Hakka experience and pivotal to contemporary Chinese culture. With high spirits and an optimistic approach to life, the Hakka People have made many contributions to China's complex and vibrant society. The Hakka set trends and define tradition. They are also known to be risk takers & innovators in business. Over the last century, the Hakka have migrated around the world, bringing Chinese culture and economic influence to every continent.
These images provide a vivid illustration of the fascinating world of Hakka Theater. This regional form of Chinese entertainment combines a compelling musical performance with a dramatic presentation of complex narrative. Based on the fabled Hakka experience, the informative cultural stage has a widespread and timeless relevance that is enjoying a surge in popularity. The inspiring theatrical performance is praised for offering perceptive symbolism and insightful commentary to invoke themes that resonate with audiences around China.
The images above and below illustrate the traditional Hakka Heartland in Southeastern China. The rolling mountains and fertile valleys of Northern Guangdong and Southern Fujian are often referred to as the Hakka Shangri-La. This pristine region preserves the original interaction with nature that the Hakka have cherished for millennia. In this mystical land, the Hakka People continue to emphasize farming as a way of life and many of the villages are completely encircled by verdant fields, including terraced agriculture on cascading hills.
Life is serene in the Tulou villages and green valleys of the Hakka Heartland. The natural setting in a climate that is nearly tropical provides an ongoing foundation for the continuation of Hakka traditions. With hard work and imagination, the self reliant Hakka People have created a cultural and geographic anchor that has endured for centuries & served as a base for a dynamic people who have frequently migrated to distant lands.
Images of Hakka People around Asia: 1) Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the former Prime Minister and founding father of modern Singapore. 2) Ms. Fann Wong, an actress from Singapore. 3) Tea ceremony in Taiwan. 4) Chinese celebration in Malaysia. Many Hakka have migrated to Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines. The Malaysian city of Kuala Lumpur was founded by Hakka settlers and the Hakka are the largest cultural group in Singapore. The Hakka are widely recognized for an ability to adapt to many environments & they are known for emphasizing Chinese culture in the context of regional traditions. Since the Hakka often combine their own traditions with local customs, Hakka culture varies somewhat across the Asia Pacific region.
Many dimensions of Chinese life emanate from Hakka culture. The images above reflect the Hakka flair for creative endeavor in the context of cultural continuity. From modest tea ceremonies to large scale musicals, complex opera and dramatic cinema, the Hakka People illuminate China's cultural traditions with a well balanced convergence of wisdom, confidence and humility. In their odyssey through space and time, the Hakka have influenced the course of Chinese history for many centuries and they have won a special place in the hearts of the Chinese people. The nomadic farmers with unique and visionary concepts had a crucial role in shaping classical Chinese culture and they now have a significant role in shaping the cultural future of China.
 
Hakka Green Lion