Hoklo people

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Hoklo People.jpg
Total population
Around 60 million (est. worldwide)
Regions with significant populations
ChinaMainland China Fujian
 Taiwan Majority of Taiwanese people (~16,321,075)
 Hong Kong A minority population
 Macao A minority population
 Malaysia Largest group of Malaysian Chinese (~2,020,000)
 Singapore Largest group of Chinese Singaporeans (~1,118,817)
 Indonesia Largest group of Indonesian Chinese (~1,100,000)[1]
 Myanmar One of the 3 largest groups of Burmese Chinese (~720,000)
(figured combined with Cantonese)[2]
 Philippines Majority of Chinese Filipinos (~20,280,000)[3]
 Madagascar A signficant group among ethnic Sinoa
 United States >70,000[4]
Hokkien, Standard Mandarin Chinese, English;
Diaspora also speak their respective country's language(s)
Chinese folk religions (including Taoism, Confucianism, ancestral worship and others), Mahayana Buddhism and non-religious;
minority: Christianity.
Minnan-speaking areas in South China and Taiwan. Only the speakers of Quanzhou-Zhangzhou dialects (also known as Hokkien) are seen as Hoklos.

The Hoklo people are Han Chinese people whose traditional ancestral homes are in southern Fujian of South China. They are also known by various endonyms (Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Hok-ló-lâng / Hō-ló-lâng / Ho̍h-ló-lâng / Hô-ló-lâng), or other related terms such as Banlam (Minnan) people (閩南儂; Bân-lâm-lâng) or Hokkien people (福建儂; Hok-kiàn-lâng).

In a narrow scope, "Hoklo people" refers mainly to people who speak and use the Hokkien dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in southern Fujian, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and by many overseas Chinese throughout Southeast Asia. In a wider scope, "Hoklo people" can include speakers of other Min Nan dialects, such as Zhongshan Min, Zhenan Min, Teochew dialect, and Hainanese.[5]


In Taiwan, there are three common ways to write Hoklo in Chinese characters (Hokkien pronunciations are given in Pe̍h-ōe-jī), although none have been established as etymologically correct:[citation needed]

  • 福佬; Hok-ló; "Fujian folk" – emphasizes their connection to Fujian province. It is not an accurate transliteration in terms from Hokkien itself although it may correspond to an actual usage in Hakka.
  • 河洛; Hô-lo̍k; "Yellow River and Luo River" – emphasizes their purported long history originating from the area south of the Yellow River. This term does not exist in Hokkien. The transliteration is a phonologically inaccurate folk etymology, though the Mandarin pronunciation Héluò has gained currency through the propagation of the inaccurate transliteration.
  • 鶴佬; Ho̍h-ló; "crane folk" – emphasizes the modern pronunciation of the characters (without regard to the meaning of the Chinese characters); phonologically accurate.

Meanwhile, Hoklo people self-identify as 河老; Hô-ló; "river aged".[6]

In Hakka, Teochew, and Cantonese, Hoklo may be written as Hoglo (學老; "learned aged") and 學佬 ("learned folk").

Despite the many ways to write Hoklo in Chinese, the term Holo[7][8] (Hō-ló / Hô-ló)[9] is used in Taiwan to refer to the ethnicity and language (Taiwanese Hokkien).


In general, the Hoklo people can refer to one of the following:

In Taiwan[edit]

Main article: Hoklo Taiwanese

About 70% of the Taiwanese people descend from Hoklo immigrants who arrived to the island prior to the start of Japanese rule in 1895. They could be categorized as originating from Xiamen, Quanzhou, Zhangzhou, and Zhangpu based on their dialects and districts of origin.[10] People from the former two areas (Quanzhou-speaking) were dominant in the north of the island and along the west coast, whereas people from the latter two areas (Zhangzhou-speaking) were dominant in the south and perhaps the central plains as well.

During the two centuries of Qing rule, a large number of Hoklo men took aboriginal brides.[11] As some of the plains aboriginals also adopted Chinese customs and language,[12] many of those who today categorize themselves as Hoklo have some degree of indigenous ancestry. Thus, Hoklo culture in Taiwan has deviated from that in mainland China due to Austronesian and Japanese influences.[11]

Within the Taiwanese Han Hoklo community itself, differences in culture indicate the degree to which mixture with aboriginals took place, with most pure Hoklo Han in Northern Taiwan having almost no Aboriginal admixture, which is limited to Hoklo Han in Southern Taiwan.[13] Plains aboriginals who were mixed and assimilated into the Hoklo Han population at different stages were differentiated by the historian Melissa J. Brown between "short-route" and "long-route".[14] The ethnic identity of assimilated Plains Aboriginals in the immediate vicinity of Tainan was still known since a pure Hoklo Taiwanese girl was warned by her mother to stay away from them.[15] The insulting name "fan" was used against Plains Aborigines by the Taiwanese, and the Hoklo Taiwanese speech was forced upon Aborigines like the Pazeh.[16] Hoklo Taiwanese has repalced Pazeh and driven it to near extinction.[17] Aboriginal status has been requested by Plains Aboriginals.[18]

The deep-rooted hostility between Taiwanese aborigines and (Taiwanese) Hoklo, and the Aboriginal communities' effective KMT networks contribute to Aboriginal skepticism against the DPP and the Aboriginals tendency to vote for the KMT.[19]

When the Taiwanese Han "blood nationalists" tried to claim Plains Aboriginal ancestry as a tool to promote Taiwanese independence and to claim an identity separate from that of mainland Chinese, in spite of the fact that their own ancestry was overwhelmingly that of recent migrants from China with genetic tests showing differences between them and plains aborigines, their claims were decidedly rejected by the modern descendants of Taiwanese Plains Aborigines. The Plains Aborigines seek to preserve their own traditional culture since the abuse of claiming their ancestry by Taiwanese "blood nationalists" to create a uniquely "non-Chinese" Taiwanese identity based on blood negates the actual significance of having Plains Aborigine ancestors.[20]

Indonesia and Malaysian Hoklo or Hokkien[edit]

Main article: Malaysian Chinese
Main article: Chinese Indonesians

The Hoklo or Hokkien make up one of the Malaysian Chinese groups. There are also Hokkien or Hoklo among the Chinese Indonesians.

Haifeng, Lufeng and Leizhou in Guangdong, China[edit]

The people of Leizhou and the non-Hakka people in Haifeng and Lufeng are Hoklo people, in a narrow scope, but are often being mistaken as Chaozhou/Teochew people in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.

North America[edit]

Between 1885 and 1949, there were only nine migrants out of nearly 100,000 to Canada who traced their origins to Fujian.[21]

After the 1960s, more Taiwanese Hoklo people began immigrating to the Untied States and Canada.

Notable Hoklo persons[edit]

This list includes people who are of either pure or partial Hokkien ancestry.

Science and mathematics[edit]


  • Tan Kah Kee, a Chinese patriot and businessman who contributed greatly in gathering financial support to help China in wars and contributed to many schools in Fujian.
  • Tan Tock Seng, a successful businessman most famous for contributing money to build the "Tan Tock Seng Hospital" to provide free service to sick people who could not afford medication.
  • Kwik Kian Gie, the Indonesian Coordinating Minister of Economics and Finance (1999–2000)
  • Mari Elka Pangestu (Phang Hoei Lan), Minister of Trade of Indonesia (2004-2011)


  • Tun Leong Yew Koh, first President of Malacca, Malaysia since Malaysia's independence from Britain, and first secretary and co-founder of the Malay Chinese Association.


See also[edit]



  1. ^ Lewis, M. Paul, ed. (2005), "Indonesia", Ethnologue: Languages of the World (15th ed.), Dallas, T.X.: SIL International, ISBN 978-1-55671-159-6, retrieved 26 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Mya Than (1997). Leo Suryadinata, ed. Ethnic Chinese As Southeast Asians. ISBN 0-312-17576-0. 
  3. ^ Ng, Maria; Philip Holden (1 September 2006). Reading Chinese transnationalisms: society, literature, film. Hong Kong University Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-962-209-796-4. 
  4. ^ 2005-2009 American Community Survey
  5. ^ Ben Sia, 《新加坡的漢語方言》 (The Chinese Languages and Dialects of Singapore),1988
  6. ^ Gu Yanwu (1985). 《天下郡國利病書》:郭造卿《防閩山寇議》. 上海書店. OCLC 19398998. 猺人循接壤處....常稱城邑人為河老,謂自河南遷來畏之,繇陳元光將卒始也 
  7. ^ Exec. Yuan (2014), pp. 36,48.
  8. ^ Exec. Yuan (2015), p. 10.
  9. ^ Governor-General of Taiwan (1931–1932). "hô-ló (福佬)". In Ogawa Naoyoshi. 臺日大辭典 [Taiwanese-Japanese Dictionary] (in Japanese and Hokkien). 2. Taihoku: 同府 [Dōfu]. p. 829. OCLC 25747241.  .
  10. ^ Davidson (1903), p. 591.
  11. ^ a b Exec. Yuan (2014), p. 48.
  12. ^ Davidson (1903), p. 581.
  13. ^ Brown 2004. pp. 156-7.
  14. ^ Brown 2004. p. 162.
  15. ^ Brown 2004. p. 157.
  16. ^ http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2014/06/15/2003592824
  17. ^ http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2008/06/26/2003415773
  18. ^ http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2014/07/15/2003595134
  19. ^ Damm, Jens (2012). "Multiculturalism in Taiwan and the Influence of Europe". In Damm, Jens; Lim, Paul. European perspectives on Taiwan. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. p. 95. ISBN 9783531943039. 
  20. ^ Chen, Shu-Juo (2009). How Han are Taiwanese Han? Genetic inference of Plains Indigenous ancestry among Taiwanese Han and its implications for Taiwan identity (Ph.D.). STANFORD UNIVERSITY. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  21. ^ Yu, Henry, edited by Tan, Chee-Beng, Routledge Handbook of the Chinese Diaspora p. 110
  22. ^ "Xie Xide" A talented female physicist" Check |url= value (help). Xiamen University. 2012.