Hoklo people

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hoklo people
Hokkien / Fukien / Fokien / Banlam
A'Chu and other stories (1920) (14597338250).jpg
A Hokkien family in Fujian, 1920.
Total population
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)[2]
 Myanmar One of the 3 largest groups of Burmese Chinese (~720,000)
(figured combined with Cantonese)[3]
 Philippines Majority of Chinese Filipinos (~1,500,000)[4]
 Madagascar A significant group among ethnic Sinoa
 United States >70,000[5]
Min Nan Proper and/or other Min Nan variants, 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.
Related ethnic groups
Hoklo Taiwanese, Hoklo Americans, Putian people, Teochew people, Hainanese people Ancient Minyue people† and other Han Chinese

The Hoklo people are Han Chinese people whose traditional ancestral homes are in southern Fujian, 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 the narrowest scope, "Hoklo people" refers mainly to people who speak and use the Hokkien dialect (or whose ancestors spoke it) of Min Nan Chinese spoken in southern Fujian, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines 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.[6]

There have been many famous Hoklo people throughout history, notably Koxinga and Su Song.


Illustration of female types and costumes in Fujian, 1878.

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".[7]

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[8][9] (Hō-ló / Hô-ló)[10] is used in Taiwan to refer to the ethnicity and language (Taiwanese Hokkien).



Hoklo architecture styled Lukang Longshan Temple.

Hoklo architecture is for the most part similar to any other traditional Chinese architectural styles, Hoklo shrines and temples have tilted sharp eaves just like the architecture of Han Chinese in all parts of China due to superstitious beliefs, however Hoklo shrines and temples do have a few special differences from the styles in other regions of China: the top roofs are high and slanted with exaggerated finely-detailed decorative inlays of wood and porcelain.

The main halls of Hoklo temple are also a little different, they are usually decorated with two dragons on the rooftop at the furthest left and right corners, and a miniature figure of a pagoda at the centre rooftop. One such example of this is the Kaiyuan Temple in Fujian, China. Other than all these minor differences, Hoklo architecture is the basically same as any other traditional Chinese architecture of any other regions by Han Chinese.


The Hoklo people speak the mainstream Minnan (Hokkien) dialect which is not mutually intelligble with other Chinese dialects except for Teochew dialect to a small degree. Minnan can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty, and it also has roots from earlier periods such as the Northern and Southern Dynasties and also a little influence from other dialects as well.

Hokkien has one of the most diverse phoneme inventories among Chinese varieties, with more consonants than Standard Mandarin or Cantonese. Vowels are more-or-less similar to that of Standard Mandarin. Hokkien varieties retain many pronunciations that are no longer found in other Chinese varieties. These include the retention of the /t/ initial, which is now /tʂ/ (Pinyin 'zh') in Mandarin (e.g. 'bamboo' 竹 is tik, but zhú in Mandarin), having disappeared before the 6th century in other Chinese varieties.[11] Hokkien has 5 to 7 tones or 7 to 9 tones according to traditional sense, dependng on variety of hokkien spoken such as the Amoy dialect for example has 7-8 tones.


Hokkien women performing the Dragon Boat dance in traditional attire in Hong Kong.

In Taiwan

Minnan-speaking areas in South China and Taiwan. Only the speakers of Quanzhou-Zhangzhou dialects (also known as Hokkien) are seen as Hoklos.

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.[12] 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.

Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Phillipines Hoklo or Hokkien

The Hoklo or Hokkien are the largest dialect group among the Malaysian Chinese as is in Singapore. The various Hokkien dialects are still widely spoken in these two countries but the daily use is gradually decreasing in favor of Mandarin Chinese. The Hokkien or Hoklo are also the largest group among the Chinese Indonesians even though most do not speak the dialect. Another South East Asian country with Hoklo or Hokkien as the largest group among the Chinese people is the Phillipines.

Haifeng, Lufeng and Leizhou in Guangdong, China

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

Between 1885 and 1949, there were only nine migrants out of nearly 100,000 to Canada who traced their origins to Fujian.[13]

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

Notable Hoklo persons

This list includes people who are of either pure or partial Hokkien ancestry, in chronological birth arrangement with the oldest person first

Scientists and mathematicians

Businessmen and entrepreneurs

  • Howqua, merchant who was at one time the richest man in the world.
  • Ong Seok Kim, wealthy entrepreneur that financed China in war and many charities.
  • Tan Kah Kee,Chinese patriot who contributed greatly in gathering financial support to help China in wars and many schools.
  • Lee Kong Chian, Rubber baron, Philanthropist and one of the richest men in Southeast Asia in the 1950s and 1960s. (Son-in-law of Tan Kah Kee)
  • Henry Sy, the richest man in the Philippines (named by Forbes in 2015).
  • Robert Budi and Michael Bambang Hartono brothers, the richest persons in Indonesia.
  • Khoo Teck Puat Banker, hotel owner and once the richest man in Singapore
  • Loh Boon Siew, also known as “Mr Honda”, was a Penang Hokkien tycoon and the first sole distributor of Honda motorcycles in Malaysia.
  • Tony Tan Caktiong, Chinese Filipino entrepreneur and founder, chairman and CEO of the fast food chain Jollibee.
  • Tan Tock Seng Singaporean merchant and philanthropist, who served as acting Kapitan China of Singapore (head of the Chinese community appointed by the British Colonial Government).
  • Lim Chin Tsong, Burmese Chinese tycoon, merchant and philanthropist. Known as the most successful Chinese merchant in Rangoon, British Burma in the early 1900s.

Monarchs and politicians


Philosophers and writers

  • Li Zhi, Ming Dynasty philosopher.
  • Jose Rizal a writer and one of the national heroes of the Philippines, a descendant of Cue Yi-Lam or Domingo Lamco.
  • Lin Yutang, one of the most influential writers of his generation, many of his books were bestsellers both in China and the Western world.
  • Amy Chua, American Professor of Law and author of the international best seller Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother which attracted huge media attention and ignited global debate about different parenting techniques and cultural attitudes that foster such techniques.


  • Baosheng Dadi, Song Dynasty doctor and Taoist practitioner who was credited with performing medical miracles. After his death, he was worshiped as a deity.
  • Lorenzo Ruiz, first Filipino saint.
  • Gu Hongming, Malaysian Chinese man of letters, president of the Nanyang Public School, the forerunner of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and professor at Peking University in 1915 .
  • Stephen Tong Tjong Eng, Chinese Indonesian Reformed pastor, international evangelist, Bible teacher and musician. He heads the Reformed Evangelical Church of Indonesia, which houses the megachurch Messiah Cathedral, and is one of the largest Christian Reformed church facilities in Southeast Asia.
  • Rudy Hartono Legendary badminton player from Indonesia. Won the men's singles title at the prestigious All-England Championship a total of eight times with seven times consecutively (1968–1974) and at World Championship in 1980.
  • Wesley So, famous chess prodigy, he won the 2015 Bilbao Chess Masters and 2016 Sinquefield Cup.
  • Michelle Yeoh , famous international movie star from Malaysia. Voted by the People (magazine) as one of the "35 All-Time Screen Beauties"—the only Asian actress to make the list.

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ Mya Than (1997). Leo Suryadinata, ed. Ethnic Chinese As Southeast Asians. ISBN 0-312-17576-0. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ 2005-2009 American Community Survey
  6. ^ Ben Sia, 《新加坡的漢語方言》 (The Chinese Languages and Dialects of Singapore),1988
  7. ^ 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 
  8. ^ Exec. Yuan (2014), pp. 36,48.
  9. ^ Exec. Yuan (2015), p. 10.
  10. ^ 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.  .
  11. ^ Kane, Daniel (2006). The Chinese language: its history and current usage. Tuttle Publishing. pp. 100–102. ISBN 978-0-8048-3853-5. 
  12. ^ Davidson (1903), p. 591.
  13. ^ Yu, Henry, edited by Tan, Chee-Beng, Routledge Handbook of the Chinese Diaspora p. 110
  14. ^ "Xie Xide" A talented female physicist". Xiamen University. 2012. 
  15. ^ 李遠哲 
  16. ^ [2]
  17. ^ Low, Shawn; McCrohan, Daniel (2012-07-01). Singapore. Lonely Planet. ISBN 9781742208541. 
  18. ^ 吴作栋 新加坡前总理吴作栋盛赞千岛湖开元]


  • Brown, Melissa J (2004). Is Taiwan Chinese? : The Impact of Culture, Power and Migration on Changing Identities. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-23182-1. 
  • Davidson, James W. (1903). The Island of Formosa, Past and Present. London and New York: Macmillan. OCLC 1887893. OL 6931635M. 
  • The Republic of China Yearbook 2014 (PDF). Executive Yuan, R.O.C. 2014. ISBN 9789860423020. Retrieved 2016-06-11. 
  • The Republic of China Yearbook 2015. Executive Yuan, R.O.C. 2015. ISBN 9789860460131. 
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hoklo_people&oldid=820700255"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoklo_people
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Hoklo people"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA