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ID 43815
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title alternative
Self-Portrait of the "Minh Huong" Chinese-Vietnamese in Central Vietnam
creator
Nguyen, Thi Thanh Ha
NDC
General history of Asia
abstract
The aim of this paper is to examine the self-portrait of Chinese-Vietnamese called "Minh Huong" in Hoi An city by analyzing mainly their family genealogies. The category of Chinese-Vietnamese refers to people who share the roots of having migrated from regions that historically were geopolitically delineated as part of China and their descendants. In this category, those who continue maintaining their "Chinese-ness", are regarded as ethnic Chinese (華人), one of the minority groups living in Vietnam. On the other hand, people who lose their consciousness of their Chinese origin and choose indigenization are, at present, registered not as one of the 53 minority groups but as the major ethnic group "Kinh." The category "Minh Huong" falls under the latter. The author conducted fieldwork focusing on people describing themselves as "Minh Huong" in Hoi An for about one year from April 2015 to March 2016. Hoi An is a small city in Quang Nam Province in Central Vietnam. It prospered as an overseas trading port and a base for trade between Vietnam and foreign countries from the 16th century to the 19th century. At that time, the rise of Hoi An was supported by Chinese immigrants. Among the Chinese immigrants in Hoi An at the time, it is widely known that a large number of people fled from China during the fall of the Ming dynasty from the 1600s to the late 17th century, aiming for permanent residence when they first arrived in Hoi An. Those Chinese immigrants and the mixed-heritage children who were born between them and the local women were called "明香" (this was changed to "明郷" from 1827, but the two words have the same Vietnamese pronunciation, "Minh Huong"). The historical explanation of the name is "people who maintain the incense of the Ming dynasty". The communities named "Minh Huong Xa (明香社)" have been established in many parts of Vietnam since the latter half of the 17th century. Today, among the local people, Hoi An is said to be the birthplace of the first "Minh Huong" community established in Vietnam. Along with the change of times, those descendants who continue to declare themselves "Minh Huong", are actively managing the "Minh Huong 萃先堂" (Minh Huong ancestors hall), a base for meetings and activities of the "Minh Huong" group in Hoi An. By analyzing mainly family genealogies obtained with the cooperation of self-proclaimed "Minh Huong" in Hoi An, the author attempts to elucidate the category "Minh Huong" in the historical and present context, e.g. "how they positioned and position themselves among the genealogies", "how they are conscious of their ancestors" and "how they intend to maintain their Chinese-ness in the future".
journal title
The journal of social and cultural studies on Asia
issue
Issue 18
start page
113
end page
146
date of issued
2017-03-31
publisher
アジア社会文化研究会
issn
1346-1567
ncid
language
jpn
nii type
Departmental Bulletin Paper
HU type
Departmental Bulletin Papers
DCMI type
text
format
application/pdf
text version
publisher
department
Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences
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