Hainanese womenfolk in Hainan.
|(~10 million worldwide)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Hainan, Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia), Australia, New Zealand, Americas|
|Hainanese, Standard Mandarin, Hlai languages, Kim Mun, Tsat, Danzhou dialect and various languages of the countries they inhabit|
|Chinese Buddhism, Chinese folk religion, Taoism, Christianity|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Putian people, other Min Chinese speakers, Yue Chinese speakers, and Tai-Kadai people|
The Hainan people (Chinese: 海南人), also known as Hainanese or Hailam (in Hokkien dialect, especially in Malaysia and Indonesia), usually refers to people who originate from Hainan, the southernmost and smallest Chinese province. The term "Hainanese" was frequently used by Hainanese-speaking Han (Chinese: 海南漢人), who are the majority in the island, to identify themselves overseas. Nevertheless, other natives of the island such as Hlai (Chinese: 黎族), Yao (Chinese: 苗族 "Miao people") and Utsuls also use the term.
Most Hainanese Han people were originally fisherfolk from the Fujian, Guangdong and Guangxi provinces who later settled in the island of Hainan, while the Li natives came to the island earlier and were descendants of the Yue tribe, from the mainland. Many ancestors of the Southern Min Hainanese-speaking people came from Southern Fujian, while all of the ancestors of the Danzhou-speaking people came from Guangdong. As a result of the assimilation of other dialect groups, most Hainanese genetically cluster with Han Chinese from Guangdong and Guangxi instead of Fujianese people.
Similarly to Fujian and Guangdong provinces, Hainan has been a source for immigrants. Towards the turn of the 20th century, many Hainanese migrated to various Southeast Asian nations, where they worked as cooks, restaurateurs, coffee shop owners, clothesmakers, sailors and hoteliers. Chan Sing, one of the "villain" movie stars that dotted the Hong Kong movie industry was of Hainanese ancestry, as was the bartender who invented the world-famous Singapore Sling at the renowned Singapore Raffles Hotel, Mr. Ngiam Tong Boon. In Thailand, singer Nichkhun of 2PM, media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul, the politically influential Sarasin family, as well as two of the wealthiest business families, the Chirathivats and the Yoovidhyas, all trace their ancestries to Hainan.
In Hainan, the local Han Chinese speak Hainanese, a Min Chinese language also known as Qiongwen, as their native tongue. The dialect of Wenchang is considered to be the prestige dialect. With Hainan's proximity to Guangdong and Guangxi, some locals can also understand Cantonese. Standard Chinese (based on Mandarin) is also the lingua franca in the island province as in the rest of China.
Notably, in Singapore, these signature dishes are served at the various eateries located along Purvis Street, within the Hainanese enclave; as a result, Purvis Street is often referred to as "Hainan Second Street", while Middle Road and Seah Street are referred to as "Hainan First Street" and "Hainan Third Street" respectively. Hainanese chicken rice is a recognised dish throughout Southeast Asia due to the Hainanese diaspora in these areas who famed it. It is often labelled as Singapore's national dish.
Hainanese Opera (Qiong Opera) is a passion for many Hainanese, particularly for the older generation. Enriched with local flavours, Hainanese Opera is part and parcel of Hainanese culture.
- Han Chinese
- Hoklo people & Teochew people
- Thai Chinese
- Chinese Singaporean
- Malaysian Chinese
- Indonesian Chinese
- Li people
- Yangpu Ancient Salt Field
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