Wu Chinese-speaking people

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Wu Chinese
吳越民系 江浙民系 江南民系
Total population
(approximately 92 million people [1])
Regions with significant populations
China China Zhejiang
Hong Kong Hong Kong As part of Mainlander population
Taiwan Republic of China (on Taiwan) As part of Mainlander population
United States United States As part of Chinese American population
Australia Australia As part of Chinese Australian population
Italy Italy Majority of Chinese people in Italy
France France 350,000 (Wenzhou), largest community of the Chinese diaspora in France
Singapore Singapore >22,000
Wu Chinese dialects and Standard Mandarin
Mahayana Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion. Small Christian minorities.
Related ethnic groups
other Han Chinese
General map of the Wuyue area.

The Wu-speaking Chinese (Chinese: 江南人; pinyin: Jiāngnán rén), also known as Jiangnan people or Wuyue people[citation needed] (simplified Chinese: 吴越人; traditional Chinese: 吳越人; pinyin: Wúyuè rén; Shanghainese: [ɦuɦyɪʔ ɲɪɲ]), are a major subgroup of the Han Chinese. They are a Wu Chinese-speaking people who hail from southern Jiangsu province, the city of Shanghai, all of Zhejiang province, as well as smaller populations in Xuancheng prefecture-level city in southern Anhui province, Shangrao, Guangfeng, and Yushan counties of northeastern Jiangxi province, and some parts of Pucheng county in northern Fujian province.



Main article: Jiangnan

For much of history and prehistory, the Wuyue region is home to several neolithic cultures such as the Hemudu culture, Majiabang culture, and the Liangzhu culture. Wu and Yue were two kingdoms during the Zhou dynasty, and many such allusions to those kingdoms were attributed in the Spring and Autumn Annals, the Zuo Zhuan, and the Guoyu. Later, after years of fighting and conflict, the two cultures of Wu and Yue became one culture through mutual contact and cultural diffusion. The Chu state from the west (in Hubei) expanded into this area and defeated the Yue state. After Chu was conquered by Qin, China was unified. It was not until the fall of Western Jin during the early 4th century AD that northern Chinese moved to Jiangnan in significant numbers. The Yellow River valley was becoming barren due to flooding (lack of trees after intensive logging to create farmland) and constant harassment and invasion by the Wu Hu nomads. In the 10th century, Wuyue (Ten Kingdoms) was a small coastal kingdom founded by Qian Liu who made a lasting cultural impact on Jiangnan and its people to this day. The cultural distinctiveness that began developing over this period persists to this day as the Wuyue region speaks a branch of the Chinese language called Wu (the most famous dialect of which is Shanghainese), has distinctive cuisine and other cultural traits.



Traditionally, in the past, Wuyue people dominated the Imperial examinations,[citation needed] and were often ranked first in the imperial examinations as Zhuangyuan (狀元), or in other positions of the Jinshi (進士) degree.




Philosophy and Religion[edit]

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DNA Analysis[edit]

The HLA-DRB1 distribution of Jiangsu-Zhejiang-Shanghai Han population does share genetic characteristics with other Han Chinese populations, but it also exhibits its own characteristics distinct from that of other Han Chinese populations.[2] This study also suggests that Wu-speaking peoples genetically, bridge the gap between Northern Han and Southern Han populations and thus are an intermediate between both populations.[3] Even though Wu-speaking peoples form a genetic cluster, DNA analyses also show that Wu-speaking peoples are genetically coherent[clarification needed] with other Han Chinese populations.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Feng, ML; Yang, JH; Ji, Y; Lu, JW; Lu, Q; Ji, YH; Xie, JH; Yang, Y (2003). "The genetic characteristic of HLA-DRB1 locus in the Jiangsu-Zhejiang-Shanghai Han population and a comparison of its frequency distribution with that of other populations". Zhonghua yi xue yi chuan xue za zhi. 20 (4): 365–7. PMID 12903056. 
  3. ^ Feng, ML; Ji, Y; Lu, Q; Yang, JH; Xie, JH; Ji, YH; Zhang, GL; Yang, Y (2003). "Study on HLA haplotypes in Jiangsu-Zhejiang-Shanghai Han population". Yi Chuan Xue Bao. 30 (6): 584–8. PMID 12939805. 
  4. ^ Chen, Jieming; Zheng, Houfeng; Bei, Jin-Xin; Sun, Liangdan; Jia, Wei-hua; Li, Tao; Zhang, Furen; Seielstad, Mark; et al. (2009). "Genetic Structure of the Han Chinese Population Revealed by Genome-wide SNP Variation". The American Journal of Human Genetics. 85 (6): 775–85. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2009.10.016. PMC 2790583Freely accessible. PMID 19944401. 
  5. ^ Gan, Rui-Jing; Pan, Shang-Ling; Mustavich, Laura F.; Qin, Zhen-Dong; Cai, Xiao-Yun; Qian, Ji; Liu, Cheng-Wu; Peng, Jun-Hua; et al. (2008). "Pinghua population as an exception of Han Chinese's coherent genetic structure". Journal of Human Genetics. 53 (4): 303–13. doi:10.1007/s10038-008-0250-x. PMID 18270655. 

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