Sinicization, Sinicisation or Sinification, ( Mandarin: 汉化 Hànhuà), also called Chinalization (Mandarin: 中国化 Zhōngguóhuà), is a process whereby non-Han Chinese societies come under the influence of dominant Han Chinese state and society. Areas of influence include alphabet, diet, economics, industry, language, law, lifestyle, politics, religion, sartorial choices, technology, culture, and cultural values. More broadly, "Sinicization" may refer to policies of acculturation, assimilation, or cultural imperialism of neighbouring cultures to China, depending on historical political relations. This is reflected in the histories of Korea, Vietnam and Japan in the East Asian cultural sphere, for example, in the adoption of the Chinese writing system.
The integration policy is a type of nationalism aimed at strengthening of the Chinese identity among population. Proponents believe integration will help to develop shared values, pride in being the country’s citizen, respect and acceptance towards cultural differences among citizens of China. Critics argue that integration destroys ethnic diversity, language diversity, and cultural diversity. Analogous to North America with approximately 300 Native American languages and distinct ethnic groups, in China there are 292 non-Mandarin languages spoken by native peoples of the region . There are also a number of immigrant languages, such as Khmer, Portuguese, English, etc.
Historical Examples of Sinicization
Descendants of Uyghurs who migrated to Taoyuan County, Hunan have largely assimilated into the Han Chinese and Hui population and practice Chinese customs, speaking Chinese as their language.
During the 8th and 9th centuries in the Tang dynasty, Chinese soldiers moved into Guizhou (Kweichow) and married native women, their descendants are known as Lao-han-jen (original Chinese), in contrast to new Chinese who colonized Guizhou at later times. They still speak an archaic dialect. Many immigrants to Guizhou were descended from these soldiers in garrisons who married non-Chinese women.
Massive military campaigns were launched by the Ming dynasty during the Miao Rebellions against the southern aboriginal Miao, Yao, and other tribes, settled thousands of Han and Hui in their land after crushing and killing the aboriginals.
During the Ming conquest of Yunnan Chinese military soldiers were settled in Yunnan, and many married the native women.
Manchu names consisted of more than the two or one syllable Chinese names, and when phonetically transcribed into Chinese, they made no sense at all. The meaning of the names that Manchus used were also very different from the meanings of Chinese names. The Manchus also gave numbers as personal names.
They gave their children Chinese names which were separate from the Manchu names, and even adopted the Chinese practice of generation names, although its usage was inconsistent and error ridden, eventually they stopped using Manchu names.
Although the Manchus replaced their Manchu names with Chinese personal names, the Manchu bannermen followed their traditional practice in typically used their first/personal name to address themselves and not their last name, while Han Chinese bannermen used their last name and first in normal Chinese style
Usage of surnames was not traditional to the Manchu while it was to the Han Chinese.
Modern Examples of Sinicization
The Kuomintang pursued a sinicization policy, it was stated that "the time had come to set about the business of making all natives either turn Chinese or get out." by foreign observers on the Kuomintang policy. It was noted that "Chinese colonization" of "Mongolia and Manchuria" led to the conclusion "to a conviction that the day of the barbarian was finally over."
Hui Muslim General Ma Fuxiang created an Assimilationist Group and encouraged the integration of Muslims into Chinese society. Ma Fuxiang was a hardcore assimilationist and said that Hui should assimilate into Han.
The Hui Muslim 36th Division (National Revolutionary Army) governed southern Xinjiang in 1934–1937. The administration which was set up was colonial in nature, putting up street signs and names in Chinese, which used to be in only Uighur language. They lived much like Han Chinese, importing Han cooks and baths. The Hui also switched carpet patterns from Uyghur to Han in state owned carpet factories.
After the Republic of China took control of Taiwan in 1945 and relocated its capital to Taipei in 1949, the intention of Chiang Kai-shek was to eventually go back to mainland China and retake control of it. Chiang believed that to retake mainland China, it would be necessary to sinicize Taiwan's inhabitants. Examples of this policy included the renaming of streets, use of Mandarin Chinese in schools and punishments for using other languages, and teaching students to revere Confucian ethics, develop Han Chinese nationalism, and believe Taiwan is part of China. Other reasons for the policy were to combat the Japanese influences on the culture that had occurred in the previous 50 years, and to help unite the recent immigrants from mainland China that had come to Taiwan with the KMT and among whom there was a tendency to be more loyal to one's city, country or province than to China as a nation.
The process of re-asserting non-Chinese identity, as in the case of ethnic groups in Taiwan, is sometimes known as (desinicization).
In popular culture
In some forms of fiction, due to China's communist statehood, Soviet-themed characters are de-Sovietized and switched over to become Chinese to fit modern (post-Cold War) times. The original cut of the 2012 Red Dawn remake depicted a Chinese invasion before having said information leaked to the Global Times, sparking controversy in China and threatening its airing in the country (the invaders were changed to North Koreans). In 2006, Chinese versions of the Crimson Dynamo and the Abomination were created and made members of the Liberators in Marvel Comics.
- (English) Scottish Geographical Society (1929). Scottish geographical magazine, Volumes 45-46. Royal Scottish Geographical Society. p. 70. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- (English) Margaret Portia Mickey (1947). The Cowrie Shell Miao of Kweichow, Volume 32, Issue 1. The Museum. p. 6. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Mark C. Elliott (2001). The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China (illustrated, reprint ed.). Stanford University Press. p. 242. ISBN 0-8047-4684-2. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "famous Manchu figure of the early Qing who belonged to the Niohuru clan) would have been the unwieldy "Niu-gu-lu E-bi-long" in Chinese. Moreover, the characters used in names were typically chosen to represent the sounds of Manchu, and not to carry any particular meaning in Chinese. For educated Han Chinese accustomed to names composed of a familiar surname and one or two elegang characters drawn from a poem or a passage from the classics, Manchu names looked not just different, but absurd. What was oneo to make of a name like E-bi-long, written in Chinese characters meaning "repress-must flourish," or Duo-er-gun, meaning "numerous-thou-roll"? S. . .To them they looked like nonsense. . . But they are not nonsense in Manchu: "E-bi-long" is the transcription of ebilun, meaning "a delicate or sickly child," and "Duo-er-gun" is the Chinese transcription of dorgon, the Manchu word for badger."
- Mark C. Elliott (2001). The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China (illustrated, reprint ed.). Stanford University Press. p. 242. ISBN 0-8047-4684-2. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "Thus we find names like Nikan (Chinese), Ajige (little), Asiha (young), Haha (nale), Mampi (knot—a reference to the hair?), Kara (black), Fulata (red-eyed), Necin (peaceful), Kirsa (steppe fox), Unahan (colt), Jumara (squirrel), Nimašan (sea eagle), Nomin (lapis lazuli), and Gacuha (toy made out of an animal's anklebone).44 Names such as Jalfungga (long-lived), Fulingga (lucky one), Fulungga (majestic), and Hūturingga (fortunate), were not unknown, either, particularly after the seventeenth century. Although mightily foreign when written as Zha-la-feng-a, Fu-ling-a, Fu-long-a, or Hu-tu-ling-ga"
- Mark C. Elliott (2001). The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China (illustrated, reprint ed.). Stanford University Press. p. 243. ISBN 0-8047-4684-2. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "While Chinese names, too, sometimes ended in characters with the sounds "zhu," "bao," and "tai," more often than not, such names in the Qing belonged to Manchus and other bannermen (Chinese bannermen and Mongols sometimes took Manchu-sounding names), even if the attached meaning is not clear (it is not certain that all names in fact had a specific meaning). Giving "numeral names" was another unique Manchu habit. These were names that actually referred to numbers. Sometimes they were given using Manchu numbers—for example, Nadanju (seventy) or Susai (fifty). Other times number names used the Manchu transcriptions of Chinese numbers, as in the name Loišici (= Liushi qi, "sixty-seven"), Bašinu (= bashi wu, "eight-five").45 Such names, unheard of among the Han, were quite common among the Manchus, an appeared from time to time among Chinese bannermen. Popular curiosity about this odd custom in Qing was partly satisfied by the nineteenth-century bannerman-writer Fu-ge, who explained in his book of "jottings" that naming children for their grandparents' ages was a way of wishing longevity to the newly born.46"
- Edward J. M. Rhoads (2001). Manchus & Han: ethnic relations and political power in late Qing and early republican China, 1861-1928 (reprint, illustrated ed.). University of Washington Press. p. 56. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "At Xiuyan, in eastern Fengtian, the Manchus in the seventh or eighth generation continued as before to give their sons polysyllabic Manchu personal names that were meaningless when transliterated into Chinese, but at the same time they began to also give them Chinese names that were disyllabic and meaningful and that conformed to the generational principle. Thus, in the seventh generation of the Gūwalgiya lineage were sons with two names, one Manchu and one Chinese, such as Duolunbu/Shiman, Delinbu/Shizhu, and Tehengbu/Shizhen. Within the family and the banner, these boys used their Manchu name, but outside they used their Han-style name. Then, from the eight or ninth generation one, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Gūwalgiya at Xiuyan stopped giving polysyllabic Manchu names to their sons, who thereafter used Chinese names exclusively."
- Edward J. M. Rhoads (2001). Manchus & Han: ethnic relations and political power in late Qing and early republican China, 1861-1928 (reprint, illustrated ed.). University of Washington Press. p. 56. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "and when the ancient and politically prominent Manchu lineage of Niohuru adopted the Han-style surname Lang, he ridiculed them for having "forgotten their roots." (The Niohuru, whose name was derived from niohe, Manchu for wolf," had chosen Lang as their surname because it was a homophone for the Chinese word for "wolf.")"
- Edward J. M. Rhoads (2001). Manchus & Han: ethnic relations and political power in late Qing and early republican China, 1861-1928 (reprint, illustrated ed.). University of Washington Press. p. 56. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "Manchu men had abandoned their original polysyllabic personal names infavor of Han-style disyllabic names; they had adopted the Han practice of choosing characters with auspicious meanings for the names; and they had assigned names on a generational basis. . . Except among some Hanjun such as the two Zhao brothers, bannermen still did not, by and large, use their"
- Edward J. M. Rhoads (2001). Manchus & Han: ethnic relations and political power in late Qing and early republican China, 1861-1928 (reprint, illustrated ed.). University of Washington Press. p. 57. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "family name but called themselves only by their personal name—for example, Yikuang, Ronglu, Gangyi, Duanfang, Xiliang, and Tieliang. In this respect, most Manchus remained conspicuously different from Han."
- Mark C. Elliott (2001). The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China (illustrated, reprint ed.). Stanford University Press. p. 241. ISBN 0-8047-4684-2. Retrieved 2012 March 2. "Chinese names consist typically of a single-character surname and a given name of one or two characters, the latter usually chosen for their auspicious meaning. Manchu names were different. For one thing, Manchus did not commonly employ surnames, identifying themselves usually by their banner affiliation rather than by their lineage. Even if they had customarily used both surname and given name, this would not have eliminated the difference with Han names, since Manchu names of any kind were very often longer than two characters—that is, two syllables— in length. Where a Han name (to pick at random two names from the eighteenth century) might read Zhang Tingyu or Dai Zhen, the full name of, say, Ebilun (a"
- The new Orient; a series of monographs on Oriental culture .... 1933. p. 116. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
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- Joseph Mitsuo Kitagawa (2002). The religious traditions of Asia: religion, history, and culture. Routledge. p. 368. ISBN 0-7007-1762-5. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Lipman, Jonathan N. (Jul., 1984). "Ethnicity and Politics in Republican China: The Ma Family Warlords of Gansu". Sage Publications, Inc. p. 296. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
- Andrew D. W. Forbes (1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: a political history of Republican Sinkiang 1911-1949. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. p. 130. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Andrew D. W. Forbes (1986). Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia: a political history of Republican Sinkiang 1911-1949. Cambridge, England: CUP Archive. p. 131. ISBN 0-521-25514-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- Dreyer, June Teufel (July 17, 2003). Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars "Taiwan’s Evolving Identity". Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Retrieved May 20, 2009. "In order to shore up his government’s legitimacy, Chiang set about turning Taiwan’s inhabitants into Chinese. To use Renan’s terminology, Chiang chose to re-define the concept of shared destiny to include the mainland. Streets were re-named; major thoroughfares in Taipei received names associated with the traditional Confucian virtues. The avenue passing in front of the foreign ministry en route to the presidential palace was named chieh-shou (long life), in Chiang’s honor. Students were required to learn Mandarin and speak it exclusively; those who disobeyed and spoke Taiwanese, Hakka, or aboriginal tongues could be fined, slapped, or subjected to other disciplinary actions."
- "Starting Anew on Taiwan". Hoover Institution. 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-05. "The new KMT concluded that it must “Sinicize” Taiwan if it were ever to unify mainland China. Textbooks were designed to teach young people the dialect of North China as a national language. Pupils also were taught to revere Confucian ethics, to develop Han Chinese nationalism, and to accept Taiwan as a part of China."
- "Third-Wave Reform". "....The government initiated educational reform in the 1950s to achieve a number of high-priority goals. First, it was done to help root out fifty years of Japanese colonial influence on the island's populace--"resinicizing" them, one might say- -and thereby guarantee their loyalty to the Chinese motherland. Second, the million mainlanders or so who had fled to Taiwan themselves had the age-old tendency of being more loyal to city, county, or province than to China as a nation. They identified themselves as Hunanese, Cantonese, or Sichuanese first, and as Chinese second."
- Burbu, Dawa (2001) China's Tibet Policy, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-7007-0474-3, pp 100-124
- Samdup, Tseten (1993) Chinese population - Threat to Tibetan identity
- Sinicization vs. Manchuness (by Xiaowei Zheng).
- Sinicization: at the crossing of three China regions, an ethnic minority becoming increasingly more Chinese: the Kam People, officially called Dong People (in French)/ Sinisation: à la limite de trois provinces de Chine, une minorité de plus en plus chinoise: les locuteurs kam, officiellement appelés Dong, Jean Berlie, Guy Trédaniel editor, Paris, France, published in 1998.
- Sinicization of the Kam (Dong People), a China minority (in French)/ Sinisation d'une minorité de Chine, les Kam (Dong), Jean Berlie, s.n. editor, published in 1994.
- Islam in China, Hui and Uyghurs: between modernization and sinicization, the study of the Hui and Uyghurs of China, Jean A. Berlie, White Lotus Press editor, Bangkok, Thailand, published in 2004. ISBN 974-480-062-3, ISBN 978-974-480-062-6.