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The Teochew people (also known as Tiê-Chiu in romanized Teochew, Chaozhou in Mandarin, and Chiuchow in Cantonese) are a Han Chinese native to the historical Chaozhou prefecture (now the Chaoshan region) of eastern Guangdong province. Their native speech is the Teochew dialect. Teochew people can also be found almost anywhere in the world, including United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
|Estimated 25–30 million worldwide |
|Regions with significant populations|
|Greater China (Guangdong, Hong Kong), Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia), North America (United States, Canada), Oceania (Australia, New Zealand), France, Italy|
|Thai, Lao, Khmer, Vietnamese, Malay (Malaysian/Indonesian) and English|
|Predominantly Chinese folk religions (including Taoism, Confucianism, ancestral worship and others) and Mahayana Buddhism.|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Hoklo people, Hainanese people other Han Chinese|
The Teochew speak the Chinese Teochew dialect of Southern Min; Teochew cuisine is also distinctive. The ancestors of the Teochew people moved to present-day Chaoshan from the Central Plains of China in order to escape from a series of civil wars during the Jin dynasty (265–420).
Teochew can be romanised in a variety of schemes, and are known in Mandarin as Cháozhōu rén and Cantonese as Chiuchao yan. In referring to themselves as ethnic Chinese, Teochew people generally use Deung nang (Chinese: 唐人; pinyin: Tángrén; literally: "Tang Dynasty people"), as opposed to Hang nang (simplified Chinese: 汉人; traditional Chinese: 漢人; pinyin: Hànrén; literally: "Han Dynasty people").
Teochew people of the diaspora would generally use Ting nang (Chinese: 唐人; pinyin: Tángrén) to indicate Chinese heritage in a cultural sense. Tingnang and Tángrén are broadly used by Teochew, Hokkien as well as Cantonese Chinese people living outside of China, referring to their maintaining a substantial cultural identity they consider to be Chinese. The identification of "Tingnang" could perhaps be due to their early affiliation with the Tang Dynasty. It is possible that a large number of Teochew people were immigrants from Northern China who came to settle down in the Chaoshan areas following the establishment of the Tang Dynasty.
Teochew people also commonly refer to each other as ga gi nang (Chinese: 自己人; pinyin: zìjǐrén; literally: "our own people", "one of us").
Historically, these people were called Helao or Fulao (Hoklo), as they came mostly from Henan and Shanxi via Fujian, with well-maintained language and customs from ancient north-central China. As was recorded in pedigrees and ancient inscriptions, one of the two groups of those who originally migrated to Putian later decided to settle in Chaoshan instead in batches during the Tang Dynasty and soon spread all over the Chaoshan area, genetically intermixing with the local people there.
Geographic isolation and difficulty in traveling in the past made the Helao or Fulao become a relatively closed population.
The Teochew people are known to Cantonese speakers as "Hoklo", literally meaning "men of Fujian", although the term "Teochew" was used in the Straits Settlements in the 19th century and early 20th century. "Teochew" is derived from Teochew prefecture (Chaozhou Fu), the departmental city where they originate.
Teochew immigration to SingaporeEdit
From the 19th century, due to disadvantaged circumstances, significant numbers of Teochew people left their homeland for Singapore and a new life. Early Teochew settlers could trace their origins to eight counties/prefectures: Chao'an, Chenghai, Chaoyang, Jieyang, Raoping, Puning, Huilai and Nan'ao. In addition to these new immigrants from the port of Swatow (Shantou), there were Teochew people relocating to Singapore from Siam and the Riau Islands.
In the past, Teochew is the second-most spoken Chinese dialect in Singapore. They are the second-largest Chinese group in Singapore, comprising 21% of the Chinese population. As a result, they play a significant role in commerce and politics. Today however, Teochew ranked behind Cantonese after the dominance of English Language as the main language of government, public services, high end commerce and education in Singapore and the Singapore Government launched Speak Mandarin Campaign. This resulted in the decrease in the number of Teochew speakers especially among the younger generation as they speak mostly English and some Mandarin today. Some of the middle aged and few young Singaporean Chinese of Teochew ancestry have already been "hokkienized" ("hoklonized")，their original Teochew language was replaced with Mainstream Southern Min Chinese (Min Nan; Hokkien-Taiwanese). The remaining speakers of Teochew are of elderly generation.
Teochew in TaiwanEdit
Most of the Teochew descendants in Taiwan have already been "hokkienized." They speak the Taiwanese Hokkien language instead of Teochew. Some of them consider themselves as being Hakka. However, there are still some Teochew in Chaozhou township, in Pingtung County.
A 1926 Japanese census found that there were 134,800 people in Taiwan of Teochew ancestry.
Culturally, Teochew people are similar to Minnan (Hoklo) people, though they consider themselves distinct from Minnan people. Throughout a history of over 1000 years, the region of Chaoshan, known in ancient times as Teochew Prefecture, has developed and cultivated a prestigious culture which manifests its unique characteristics in language, opera, cuisine, tea practice, music, and embroidery.
The Teochew dialect (Chinese: 潮州話) the variant of Minnan dialect is considered[by whom?] one of the oldest Chinese dialects. Like Minnan dialect, it preserves many features from ancient Chinese that have been lost in other chinese varieties. It is spoken by roughly 10 million people in Chaoshan and more than five million outside the Chinese mainland.
Teochew woodcarving(Chinese: 潮州木雕) is a form of Chinese woodcarving originating from the Tang Dynasty. It is very popular in Chaoshan. Teochew people used a great deal of Teochew wood carving in their buildings.
Swatow ware is a form of porcelain associated with Teochew.
Teochew music (Chinese: 潮州音樂) is popular in Chaoshan's teahouse scene. The Teochew string instrument, gong, drum, and traditional Chinese flute are typically involved in ensembles. The current Chaozhou drum music is said[by whom?] to be similar to the Drum and Wind Music form of the Han and Tang Dynasties.
Teochew opera (Chinese: 潮劇) is a traditional art form which has a history of more than 500 years and is now enjoyed by 20 million Teochew people in over 20 countries and regions. Based on local folk dances and ballads, Teochew opera has formed its own style under the influence of Nanxi Opera. Nanxi is one of the oldest Chinese operas and originated in the Song Dynasty. The old form of choral accompaniment still preserves its distinctive features[which?]. Clowns and females are the most distinctive characters in Teochew opera, and fan-play and acrobatic skills are prominent.
Although few movies or television dramas have been made about the Teochew people, one such notable drama is the Singaporean 1995 drama series The Teochew Family.
Notable Teochew peopleEdit
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- Mainland China
- Hong Kong
- Charles Heung, actor-turned-film producer and presenter
- Li Ka-shing, founder and chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings
- Lim Por-yen, founder of Lai Sun Group, media tycoon, banker
- Albert Yeung, founder and chairman of Emperor Group
- Joseph Lau, founder, chairman and CEO of Chinese Estates Group
- Vincent Lo, founder and chairman of Shui On Group
- Chau Chak Wing also known as Zhou Zerong, Chinese-born Australian property developer and billionaire philanthropist known for his business Kingold Group based in Guangzhou, China
- Low Kiok Chiang, founder of Khiam Hoa Heng entreprises
- Chin Sophonpanich, founder of Bangkok Bank
- Dhanin Chearavanont (Thai: ธนินท์ เจียรวนนท์; 謝國民/谢国民; Xie Guomin; Zia Gokmi) (1939–; Chenghai, Guangdong), CEO of Charoen Pokphand
- Prachai Leophai-ratana, founder and former CEO of Thai Petrochemical Industry (TPI) and TPI Polene
- Chatri Sophonpanich, CEO of Bangkok Bank
- Krit Ratanarak, CEO of Siam City Cement Public Company Limited and Bank of Ayudhya Public Company Limited
- Mainland China
- Hong Kong
Arts and academicsEdit
- Alice Pung, novelist and lawyer
- Mainland China
- Da-Wen Sun, authority in food engineering education and research
- Xu Dishan, philosopher
- Hong Zicheng, literary scholar
- Chen Pingyuan, literary scholar
- Hong Kong
- Tchan Fou-li, photographer
- Zhao Tingyang, scholar of philosophy
- Jao Tsung-I, poet, calligrapher and painter
- Vincent Lam, novelist
- United States
- Wena Poon, novelist
- Choo Hoey, musician and conductor
- Chen Chong Swee, painter, educator, writer and critic
- Chua Lam, columnist, food critic, and movie producer
- Lee Boon Yang, former Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts
- Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister
- Low Thia Khiang, Secretary-General, Workers’ Party, Member of Parliament for Aljunied
- Lim Swee Say, Cabinet Minister in Prime Minister's Office
- Lim Boon Heng, former Cabinet Minister
- George Yeo, former Minister for Foreign Affairs (Singapore)
- Teo Ser Luck, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports and Ministry of Transport
- Chiam See Tong, prominent Opposition Member of Parliament
- Taksin the Great, the first and only monarch of Thonburi kingdom
- Banharn Silpa-archa, 21st Prime Minister of Thailand
- Chamlong Srimuang, former Deputy Prime Minister and Governor of Bangkok
- Pridi Banomyong, 7th Prime Minister of Thailand
- Chuwit Kamolvisit, former leader of Rak Thailand Party
- Alice Wong (黄陳小萍), Minister of State for Seniors; the first Chinese-Canadian woman sitting in Cabinet
- Mainland China
- Guo Weiyang (1988–; Shantou, Guangdong; born in Yuxi, Yunnan), gymnast, gold medalist at the 2012 Summer Olympics
- Liao Lisheng (1993–; Jiexi, Guangdong), footballer, Chinese international team player
- Lin Yue (1991–; Chaozhou, Guangdong), diver, gold medalist at the 2008 and 2016 Summer Olympics
- Sun Shuwei (1976–; Jieyang, Guangdong), diver, gold medalist at the 1992 Summer Olympics
- Zhang Yanquan (1994–; Chaozhou, Guangdong), diver, gold medalist at the 2012 Summer Olympics
- United States
- Michael Chang (1972–; Chaozhou, Guangdong; born in the United States), former professional tennis player
- Tan Howe Liang (1933–; Shantou, Guangdong), the first Singaporean Olympic individual silver medalist
- Kunoi Vithichai (1933–2008; born in Yaowarat, Bangkok), former professional boxer
- Napa Kiatwanchai (1967–; born in Chok Chai, Nakhon Ratchasima), former WBC strawweight champion
- Mainland China
- Hong Kong
- Canti Lau, actor and singer
- Damian Lau, film and television actor, executive producer and film director
- Sammul Chan, actor, singer
- Emil Chau, actor and singer
- Matthew Ko, model
- Kwong Wa, actor and singer
- Miriam Yeung, actress and singer
- Sammi Cheng, actress and singer
- Ada Choi, actress
- Steven Ma, actor and singer
- Stephen Wong Cheung-Hing, actor
- Joey Boy, rapper
- Zoe Tay, actress
- Chen Shucheng, actor
- Chen Liping, actress
- Huang Wenyong，actor
- Celest Chong, singer and actress
- Stefanie Sun, singer
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- Jessica Henwick, actress
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- Genetic background associated with related populations at high risk for esophageal cancer between Chaoshan and Taihang Mountain areas in China (PDF), ScienceDirect, 2007, pp. 474–480
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- Kingsley Bolton, Christopher Hutton, Triad societies: western accounts of the history, sociology and linguistics of Chinese secret societies, pg 93.
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- "的族群？南臺灣屏東地區廣東福佬人的身分與認同=Had They Disappeared? The Identity of Guangdong Hoklo People in Pingtung Plain of Southern Taiwan".
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