QUOTE (Yerroperil @ Feb 13 2012, 07:48 AM)
I don't think seafaring is that much of deal for Cantonese,Teochew and Hokkien anymore,perhaps in Qing times being a pirate,fishermen or merchant was the only choice you had,but not now. However the worship of Mazu still exists a legacy of my superstitious ancestors(have you ever been to 小琉球,they have over 80 temples in that small area). If Zhengchengonglived longer perhaps the Philippines would be Chinese. The only Chinese pirates I know are Limahong,the Zheng family,Gan Ning(lol dynasty warriors actually sparked my intrest in the Three kingdoms era) and Wang Zhi.
Chinese piracy was big in the Qing Dynasty, but little known these days. I'm starting a book called 華南海盜 by 穆黛安. (You can download it for free from Sina's 共享資料.) It says,
As for modern Cantonese, Teochiu, and Hokkien, of course seafaring has become a lot less important in daily life. But when I was growing up, it existed in the cultural imagination of my family - "Seafaring people" explained why we had the type of seafood we had at dinner, why we had distant relatives in Indonesia and Thailand, stories about women who either waited for their husbands to come back or to bring them over to SEA, etc. I even remember thinking to myself (I must have been quite young back then), "I don't know anything about seafaring. Am I not authentically Teochiu enough?"
I've been thinking a lot of these issues the past few days. I think the mainland education system really cuts us Southern Chinese people off from our cultural roots, because we're given a standardised education based on Mandarin, stripped down to the most common denominator functional in a modern state, which does not relate at all to the cultures of our ancestors (which were quite different from those of North). The highest vision of the people in charge of education is to make us into clones to service their ideal technocratic state.
Plus, the 推普 people even want to ban our regional languages on TV and all public places. This really bothers me in a deep way.
I believe that our Southern Chinese ancestors saw the world in a quite different way than we did. Rather than looking to 中央, their horizon included possibilities and opportunities in distant foreign lands. The idea of an independent Chinese power somewhere in the middle of the ocean came naturally to them. (For instance, 蘭芳共和國.) Chinese pirates in fact bought Western firearms far earlier than the Qing Dynasty.*
*As I learnt recently from Baidu: