Hoklo people

Hoklo (endonym Hok-ló, Hō-ló, or Ho̍h-ló) commonly refers to those Taiwanese people who claim Han Chinese (Hokkien) ancestry from the southern part of Fujian province of China. Large populations of similar background can also be found in Malaysia, Guangdong, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, Burma, Thailand, and Indonesia where they are usually referred to as Hokkien, meaning Fujian in Min Nan language. In Hong Kong's New Territories, "Fukienese" often refers to all Min Nan speakers relocating from Fujian.

In Taiwan, the Hoklos are the largest ethnic group (see Demographics of Taiwan). Most Hoklos trace their paternal ancestry to men who migrated to Taiwan from Fujian in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Because about 70% of the population in Taiwan are Hoklo, Taiwanese is often used interchangeably with Hoklo. People who are aware of the multi-ethnic nature of Taiwan recognize the two are not identical, although most people will know by context when this word refers to people from Taiwan and when this word refers specifically to Hoklos.

In Taiwan, there are three common ways to write Hoklo in Chinese characters (Min Nan pronunciations are given in POJ):

  • 福佬 (Hok-ló; lit. "Fujian person") – emphasizes their connection to Fujian province.
  • 河洛 (Hô-lo̍k; lit. "Yellow River and Luo River") – emphasizes their purported long history originating from the area south of the Yellow River. This Han-character reading does not reflect the actual pronunciation in the southern-Chinese languages but only in Mandarin. It is likely a result of folk etymology.
  • 鶴佬 (Ho̍h-ló; lit. "crane person") – emphasizes the modern pronunciation of the characters (without regard to the meaning of the Chinese characters). This variant is used by the Chinese Wikipedia version of this article.

In Hakka, Hoklo may be written as 學老 (lit. "knowledge aged") and 學佬 (lit. "knowledge person").

Despite many ways to write Hoklo in Chinese, many Taiwanese will use the term Hō-ló to refer to the language and Hoklo culture.

See also

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