…THEY ARE DEFINITELY NOT LIKE THE CHINESE IN
ANYMORE, WHO HAVE NO AFFILIATION OR AFFIRNITY TO THE MING DYNASTY CHINA OR MAO ZEDONG’S CHINA
OR EVEN THE DENG ZHAOPENG’S .’ CHINA
By Mansor Puteh
(My ancestors left
for good; they did not turn back to look at a country that had expelled them;
and if they had remained, they would have starved to death in the Great Famine. China
They became Melayu and are not happy to reminiscent on their backward past.)
How can the Chinese in
think they are still Chinese, in the right sense of the word? Malaysia
Their ancestors were indeed Chinese since they had come from there, or to be more exact, extracted by the British from South China mostly to come to Tanah Melayu and the other countries in
Southeast Asia or
Nusantara Melayu or Nanyang, as the Chinese then called it.
So the many scores of thousands of young and able Chinese men sailed in rickety junks crossing the Nanhai or
South China Sea to
Nanyang in search of the proverbial pot of gold.
Some found them, so they returned to their villages in South China or in the Fujian District and remained there to enjoy what they had earned in Tanah Melayu or the other countries in
Those who failed to find their pot of gold had to remain there, because they felt miserable and did not want to return to their remote villages with no more than the shirts on their backs, the very shirts, they had worn when they first left them few years earlier.
Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, in his books always like to say that most of the Chinese who had come to Singapore and also Tanah Melayu then were those who were not well-off or well-educated.
And he lamented how they could not speak Mandarin as they were mostly from the south and had to be taught the language; yet, even then after so many years, they still could not master the language to be able to speak with the Chinese in
The Chinese in
also Malaysia now, are not
like the Chinese in
in many ways. China
China does not have much fascination for the
Chinese outside of China,
who they see as renegades, much like the Chinese in . Taiwan
The only difference is that the Chinese in
consider Taiwan to be part
of China, but not Malaysia or or the other countries
that have many Chinese as their citizens. Singapore
And the Chinese outside of
Taiwan cannot claim to be
the strong supporter of the Chinese language and culture as what they do in China is not the same as those that the Chinese
do outside of . China
The Chinese in
China can be
described to be Chinese from the Ming Dynasty China,
and also Deng Zhaopeng Chinas. China
Herein lies the confusion that had arose.
Which Chinese are the Chinese in
Therefore, can’t they be described as a ‘Lost Tribe of China’?
Even the Chinese educationists and other chauvinistic Chinese in Malaysia cannot say which China they belong in or want to belong in, since even China has not given them any recognition and ask them to be their supporter and in what cause?
The funny thing is the Chinese in
can’t even impress the Chinese in other countries in Southeast
And no Chinese political and cultural leader of
has ever been accorded
with the utmost respect by the Chinese elsewhere. Malaysia
In fact, the senior and top Chinese leaders of Malaysia can never be given any respect by them, who would want to invite them to talk about the Chinese culture and language, especially in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and the other countries in the Asean region, including, Singapore, too.
Why have the vocal Chinese leaders in
especially those who express their ideals and aspirations to promote the
well-being of the Chinese on the political and educational levels, have never
been given due recognition by their brethren in those countries? Malaysia
The answer is that, the Chinese elsewhere do not consider them to be at par with them, that the Chinese in
This raises another interesting and intriguing issue concerning anthropology.
If the number of Chinese in
They can become much like the ‘lost tribes’ in remote areas of many countries, such as India and Africa where they may have some people who still practice their ancient ways of life, whose very existences were discovered by intrepid researchers and anthropologists, whose discoveries may heighten their prestige as scholars.
But since the Chinese in
today are still large and dominant and also vocal, such issues do not arise. Malaysia
But it is still an interesting and intriguing anthropological issue that can still be researched on.
But where are the serious anthropologists that we have in
can do that? Malaysia
In fact, such issues are not raised by any of them, but by someone else.
There are some researchers who have claimed that there are many people in
Madagascar and other parts of Africa
who may have Chinese ancestries.
They claimed that Admiral Zheng He or Cheng Ho had visited those parts in
Africa where some of the Chinese sailors had married or
had personal relationship with some African women who bore them children, who
then extended their lineage, so that we now still have Africans in those areas
who have Chinese features.
Not only that, the Africans too believe their ancestors were Chinese and they have material proof to show that, especially in the pottery and other folklores that they still share among themselves.
Many Jawa women in
have Chinese ancestry; this can be seen in their features. North
Zheng He and some others had visited Jawa many times and many other Chinese men who went to Jawa later remained there where they married Jawa women who bore them children.
They became Muslims so in the end the Chinese in the Chinese men disappeared, as they too started to practice the Jawa way of life.
In fact, the Chinese in
only cannot relate to the Chinese in other countries in Southeast Asia; they
cannot also relate to the Chinese of Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, and even and elsewhere. America
When the Chinese of Malaysia are abroad as travelers or students, they prefer to mix around with the Melayu from
Even if they are in
China on a short
tour, they find the local Chinese in to be vast different then
I tried to provoke some Chinese from
when I was on a tour of Beijing and Tianjin by asking if they would rather remain in to live
and work here. China
None of them said they would consider option. Because they know
The Chinese in
Malaysia do not
help to expand the vocabulary of the common and major Chinese language called
Mandarin or to uphold true Chinese cultural values, when most of them have
already become ‘less Chinese’ than the Chinese in themselves. China
They also do not embrace the Chinese language that those in
and changed over the years. China
So the claim or exertion by some Chinese chauvinists of
that they are supporting
the cause of the Chinese really does not hold water. Malaysia
They are only interested to remain as the ‘Lost Tribe!’ in Malaysia as they cannot claim to be the defendants or supporters of the cause of the Chinese culture and language, since they are not given those recognition by China itself who can claim to be doing this.