Days Like Floating Water, A Story of Modern China

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Some regions also burn lanterns to determine the gender of their future child from the shape of the ashes. In the city of Fengyang, swings play a major role. Holding fans and parasol-like props, folks dance to the beat of drums. The ancient Chinese would often get together with some friends, drink wine and write poetry.

FLOAT, SINK OR SWIM

Plays on words and riddles were a favorite pastime. During this festival, people would write riddles on the lanterns. These small games are popular with everyone.

Chinese dragon

They require you to be clever and think outside the box. The lion is intricately designed, with movable eyes and mouths. Sometimes, the lion will open its mouth and demand food and red pockets. Other times, they roll around and play like oversized kittens. Chinese stilt performances are an ancient act.

They stem from Chinese opera and the performers sing and dance while on stilts. Depending on their character, they have difference costumes and heights. The trademark food of the Lantern Festival is called yuan xiao, just like the festival itself. They are glutinous rice dumplings with sweet fillings made of syrup, red bean paste, black sesame paste or more.


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They can be steamed or fried, but usually boiled and served in hot water. Despite being a night of revelry, the Lantern Festival is also a night for families. Before Chinese New Year finally ends, the family should reunite again. Take a break from the celebrations and relax with your family. Reconnect under the moon. The Hakka and Hoklo are not considered as Puntis. The Tanka have been compared to the She people by some historians, practising Han Chinese culture, while being an ethnic minority descended from natives of Southern China.

Chinese scholars and gazettes described the Tanka as a "Yao" tribe, with some other sources noting that "Tan" people lived at Lantau, and other sources saying "Yao" people lived there. As a result, they refused to obey the salt monopoly of the Song dynasty Chinese government. The county gazetteer of Sun on in described the Tanka as "Yao barbarians", and the Tanka were viewed as animals. Wolfram Eberhard suggested that the Yueh are related to the Tanka, that the Chinese admixture in the Tanka is due to the Tanka prostitutes serving Chinese, and that the Tanka replaced their own culture with Chinese culture, including the Chinese language.

In modern times, the Tanka claim to be ordinary Chinese who happen to fish for a living, and the local dialect is used as their language. Some southern Chinese historic views of the Tanka were that they were a separate aboriginal ethnic group, "not Han Chinese at all". The Tanka were regarded as Yueh and not Chinese, they were divided into three classifications, "the fish-Tan, the oyster-Tan, and the wood-Tan" in the 12th century, based on what they did for a living.

The three groups of Punti, Hakka, and Hoklo, all of whom spoke different Chinese dialects, despised and fought each other during the late Qing dynasty. However, they were all united in their overwhelming hatred for the Tanka, since the aboriginals of Southern China were the ancestors of the Tanka. The Chinese poet Su Dongpo wrote a poem in which mentioned the Tanka. The Nankai University of Tianjin published the Nankai social and economic quarterly, Volume 9 in , and it referred to the Tanka as aboriginal descendants before Chinese assimilation. The most widely held theory is that the Tanka are the descendants of the native Yue inhabitants of Guangdong before the Han Cantonese moved in.

The Tanka, according to this theory, are descended from Yue who preserved their separate culture. A minority of scholars who challenged this theory deny that the Tanka are descended from natives, instead claiming they are basically the same as other Han Cantonese who dwell on land, claiming that neither the land dwelling Han Cantonese nor the water dwelling Tanka have more aboriginal blood than the other, with the Tanka boat people being as Chinese and as Han as ordinary Cantonese.

Eugene Newton Anderson claimed that there was no evidence for any of the conjectures put forward by scholars on the Tanka's origins, citing Chen, who stated that "to what tribe or race they once belonged or were once akin to is still unknown". Some researchers say the origin of the Tanka is multifaceted, with a portion of them having native Yueh ancestors and others originating from other sources. The Song dynasty engaged in extensive colonisation of the region with Chinese people. Due to the extensive sinicisation of the Tanka, they now identify as Chinese, despite their non-Chinese ancestry from the natives of Southern China.

A Meritocracy?

The Cantonese exploited the Tanka, using their own customs against them to acquire fish to sell from the Tanka. The Portuguese , who were granted Macau during the Ming dynasty , often married Tanka women since Han Chinese women would not have relations with them. Some of the Tanka's descendants became Macanese people. Some Tanka children were enslaved by Portuguese raiders. The Chinese poet Wu Li wrote a poem, which included a line about the Portuguese in Macau being supplied with fish by the Tanka.

The majority of marriages between Portuguese and natives was between Portuguese men and women of Tanka origin, who were considered the lowest class of people in China and had relations with Portuguese settlers and sailors, or low class Chinese women. The Tankas originally included many refugees to the sea and were considered a non-Chinese aboriginal ethnic group, classified by the Qing government as "mean".

Some built markets or villages on the shore, while others continued to live on their junks or boats. They claimed to be Han Chinese. The Qing edict said "Cantonese people regard the Dan households as being of the mean class beijian zhi and do not allow them to settle on shore. The Dan households, for their part, dare not struggle with the common people", this edict was issued in As Hong Kong developed, some of the fishing grounds in Hong Kong became badly polluted or were reclaimed , and so became land.

Those Tankas who only own small boats and cannot fish far out to sea are forced to stay inshore in bays, gathering together like floating villages. Always there is plenty to see, as the Tanka.

They are an aboriginal tribe, speaking an altogether different language from the Chinese. On the land they are like fish out of water. They are said never to intermarry with landlubbers, but somehow or other their tongue has crept into many villages in the Chiklung section. The Chinese say the Tanka speech sounds like that of the Americans.

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