message_150895

Theory and Criticism
 
Muslim tradition in Taiwan
The Muslim tradition carried by Muslim Chinese who emigrated from mainland China to Taiwan after 1949 may be endangered with the passing of the older generation.

It is a topic that interests me, as the son of Muslim Chinese.
Kenneth Huo
Responses
 
Muslim tradition in Taiwan
I am interested in this topic and am just wondering how the Muslim tradition can be "alive" in the big Chinese/Buddist tradition of Taiwan? How can it maintain its cultural identity for the young generation?
Rapinawati Iberam
Muslim tradition in Taiwan
There are major Muslim populations through out mainland China historically.

The Muslim Chinese immigrants who came over from mainland to Taiwan were originally nurtured by ex President Chiang Kai-Shek government, to explore political & diplomatic connection towards Saudi Arabia.

President Chiang Kai-Shek's 5 star military General Pai Chung-Shi was a Muslim, originally from Kuiling, Kuang Xi, who installed the roots of supporting Muslim Culture in Taiwan.

However, that was the past history dated back to 1950 or 1960. From my understanding, there is no current, systematic re-generation of Muslim Culture in Taiwan now, the stronghold; social, cultural and political power is long gone.

I left Taiwan in 1986. And, I am intending to dig further to my Mother's cultural roots to Kuiling Muslims in Southwest China.
Kenneth Huo
Muslim tradition in Taiwan
Hi Kenneth,

I was aware of Hui Muslims whose origins date to Persian/Arabic traders along the coast of China, but never heard of Kuiling Muslims, or of Kuang Xi... forgive me for my ignorance but are "Kuiling" and "Kuang Xi" name of regions? When I searched for them on google, I could not find any information. Are there any important monuments associated with the Kuiling Muslims?
Ozgur Basak Alkan
Muslim tradition in Taiwan
Kuang Xi used to be a province & Kuiling (Guiling) is a city in Kuang Xi province.

Yes, Hui Muslim got their roots back to the Arabic trader. My mother's last name, YEE, actually was rooted in something like "Ibraham"... as we returned to Guiling (Kuiling), in the neighborhood where my mother left 50, 60 years ago, found out the brief history and connection.
Kenneth Huo
Muslim tradition in Taiwan
To just clarify, Guangxi -- Kuang Xi, Guilin -- Kuiling. I translated phonically from Chinese. Guangxi, Guilin is where my mother was from. They are Hui Muslim Chinese.

"... Guangxi is the only autonomous region of China that is bordered by land, sea and river. This privileged geographic location has given Guangxi a pivotal role in the economic development of western China and especially that of the southwest. Guangxi has become a base and port for the opening up of southwest China to southeast Asia and the world....

...In about 200 BC, Guangxi was the biggest seaport of China, serving as a trade channel with the Roman Empire. In 1368 Guangxi's position as the main trade center was rivaled by Guangdong province, so it began to go into economic decline...

...When the Western China Development Project began a few years ago, Guangxi province was not initially included. However, given its geographic location and the province's lack of development, there was significant reason to include Guangxi in the development project. Guangxi's people are very proud of their province and its ideal geographic position, with the region having the most convenient ocean access in southwest China. The coastline of Guangxi runs for 1,595 kilometers, along which there are numerous seaports.

... At present there are 21 operational ports, the largest ones being Fangcheng, Beihai and Qinzhou. All the ports in Guangxi are well positioned. They have deep water, are protected from the wind and waves and are close to Hong Kong and other southeast Asian countries...

...Guangxi is bordered by mountains that are more than 1,000 meters high and has many hills and basins. The province has a sub-tropical climate, with the average temperature ranging between 17 and 22 degrees. This warm climate of Guangxi has resulted in a very rich ecological environment, with many species of plants and flowers.

...Just like Guangxi's climate, which has no clear distinction of the four seasons, Guangxi's people rarely show emotional extremes, living a placid and peaceful life. Guangxi has 12 ethnic groups, including Zhuang, Han, Yao, Miao and Yi. The mountainous geographic environment has influenced Guangxi's people into having a honest, simple and carefree temperament...

...The province's history is one of cultural diversity with many nationalities co-existing and merging. Here there are 12 indigenous nationalities and other 25 minority groups that have immigrated to the region. These minority nationalities account for 37 percent of Guangxi's 47 million strong population. The Zhuang nationality is the biggest minority ethnic group in the whole of China, with a population of 15 million people.

...Guangxi's geographic location has a very strong influence on its culture. The eleven minority groups that live in the province have long interacted, but still maintain their individual customs and identity, with distinctive clothes, food, housing and festivals. The four defining symbols of the Guangxi culture are the Zhuang nationality's songs, the Yao's dances, the Miao's festivals and Dong nationality's architecture...

...The Zhuang nationality are very good at singing and entertainment, with young boys and girls often singing love songs to each other or taking part in impromptu singing competitions. The Yao nationality excel at dancing with their melody, costume, and choreography, which are all very unique. The Dong nationality believe that through developing outstanding architecture, like bridges, roads and buildings, their virtuous behavior will positively influence their afterlife. One particular type of bridge called the 'wind and rain bridge' is made entirely from wood without the use of a single nail...

...In recent years an international folk song festival has been held in Nanning, and has attracted tens of thousands of tourists, with many of the folk singers travelling from abroad to enjoy the music and festivities...

...It has been said for hundreds of years that 'Guilin's scenery is the best in the world', and certainly tourists that visit the region today would agree with this statement...

...While Guangxi has definitely benefited from the beautiful surrounding mountains, with a booming tourism industry, there have also been negative effects with the mountains restricting growth...

...No large-scale migration or merging of nationalities has ever occurred in Guangxi. With the province's rugged mountains, Guangxi's people were unable to easily move around as the nomadic tribes in the grasslands of north China did. Therefore Guangxi never rapidly developed, with many people sticking to their local villages for generations, most could never imagine becoming rich through trade and modernization....

...Guangxi's people have always had a definite regional character, that of contentment. However Guangxi's harsh ecological environment with many rocky mountains has made it difficult for some people to earn a living off their unfertile land...

...People here often have a challenging and difficult life. In 1984 Guangxi's poverty reached a peak, with 15 million people living under the poverty line. Even though this number fell to 1.69 million in 1999, Guangxi still remains one of the poorest provinces in China. The mountainous geographic environment has led many farmers to accept a limited definition of trade. Even faced with these challenges some people are using their initiative to improve their lives, some even opening up their own businesses...

...West Street, the oldest street in Yangshuo county, was built more than 1,400 years ago and is now a famous tourist attraction. The street is 570 meters long and passes many beautiful hills and rivers. It is also known by the locals as 'Foreigner Street' because a large number of foreigners often come here to sight-see or just relax and enjoy themselves. Many bars, net-cafes, western food restaurants and hotels have now sprung up along the street....

...'Guangxi has achieved a lot during the past twenty years. It helped 15 million people get out of poverty. But, there are still some serious problems. First, seaports are not used efficiently, and the economy in the port area can't develop. Readjusting industrial structure is also important. Also, there's no close connection between Guangxi and the Zhujiang River Delta, so Guangxi lacks a foundation for development,' said Xu Guodi, the researcher of Regional Economy Institute, State Planning..."
Kenneth Huo
Muslim tradition in Taiwan
I see, it's somewhat close to Guangzhou, which has a major Muslim population. It's listed as Guiling in the World Gazetteer.
Ozgur Basak Alkan
Muslim tradition in Taiwan
I just found that the architect from South East Asia who responded above "Rapinawati Iberam" bears the similar last name, like my mother's very, very rear Chinese last name, it pronounced as "Yee", which is the adaptation and short version of something similar to Iberam, a popular Arabic surname, I assume.
Kenneth Huo
Muslim tradition in Taiwan
Hi, Ozgur Basak, Thanks for the note and clarification. Is " Ibream " a popular surname in your part of world? Like " Chang " as a popular surname in China or Taiwan?

Like my friend Prof. Yung Ho Chang, who sometimes kidding himself as " Old Chang ", just like the guy sells watermelon on the street corners in Beijing. This " Chang " and that " Chang " were used to belong to the same family, 500 years ago...

My mother's last name "YEE" is truly an adaptation from Arabic word, which, I don't read, write or even understand.
Kenneth Huo
Muslim tradition in Taiwan
Hi Kenneth,

I'm a bit confused, since I don't see any resemblance between "Ibrahim" and "Yee". Name of the prophet "Ibrahim" or "Abraham" are popular first names among Muslims and Christians in the Middle East (and elsewhere too... remember Abraham Lincoln?)

Returning to your original question about maintaining a minority identity within a majority culture... There are many cases where being in the 'minority' has helped a religious community maintain a strict sense of identity and tradition. There are also cases where that identity is simply lost due to pressure or negligence. What seems to happen more often then not, however, is a hybrid identity -- just like the Hui.

I think it's a question of what's good to retain and what's good to lose. Cultural traditions -- such as arts, architecture, music etc. -- are great assets to all communities. Some other traditional practices, however, are best forgotten and should not be maintained for the sake of keeping one's "identity". What do you think?
Ozgur Basak Alkan
Muslim tradition in Taiwan
The Chinese pronunciation of "Ibrahim" is "Yee-Bra-Ra-Him" and "Yee" is the truncated, first part of Ibrahim, as we understand and guess which may be the case.

I like the input of notions, such as "Hybrid Identity" and the differentiation of types of identity, i.e. social, culture, hereditary, blood bound, etc.

Great input.
Kenneth Huo
Muslim tradition in Taiwan
Hi Kenneth,

About the name, mostly muslim name influenced by Middle East country. So far people from the other side like South East or Pasific continent, is more to cultural or like the way of the languages and the way we pronounce the words.

In Malaysia, we raised with so many cultural including people from China or Taiwan, Arabs, India, Japanese,Portugues, Dutch and English came to Malaya (previous name of Malaysia) and do the settlement in here many centuries ago. Even the Malays or indiginous peoples also influenced by the Chinese or any other peoples came to Malaya at that century. Thats make Malaysia blended with many races, culturals and religions.


Regards
Rapinawati Iberam
Search

Thumbnails
View

This site is adjusted only for landscape mode. Please rotate your device for properly using Archnet.org
We are sorry, we are still working on adjusting Archnet.org for Metro IE. Please use another browser for the best experience with our site.