Introduction / History Although proud of their cultural differences, the Hakka have never claimed to be non-Chinese. Many famous Chinese have been Hakka, including Deng Xiaoping, Lee Kwan Yew, and Hong Xiuquan, the leader of the Taiping Rebellion.
There is much speculation concerning the historical roots of the Hakka. Some claim that they were the first Chinese people to arrive in China. Others claim that the Hakka are the descendants of the Xiongnu tribe. This much is agreed upon: At various stages between the fourth and thirteenth centuries AD, large numbers of people were forced to flee their homes in the war-torn Yellow River valley to seek refuge in southern China. These war refugees came to be known as Kejia - a Hakka word meaning "strangers" or "guests." When the savage Mongol hordes swept across China in the thirteenth century, many Hakka fled to the south to escape the carnage.
In the past many Hakka mothers preferred to kill their daughters soon after birth rather than allow them to be sold into slavery or become concubines. The Hakka never practiced foot binding like other Chinese.
Where are they located? The Hakka people are most numerous in Taiwan and southern China's Guangdong Province, but many also live in Malaysia and Hong Kong.
What are their lives like? The Hakka are among the majority Han Chinese peoples in the People's Republic of China (PRC). They have their own cuisine, architecture, and dress.
At one time there were Hakka villages in Hong Kong, but that part of the world is becoming increasingly urban. Hakka people in Hong Kong must either leave or adapt to the urban environment. Some Hakka people are trying to resurrect their village communities from places where there are now high-rise apartments and reservoirs.
As part of the careful preservation of their language, when a non-Hakka woman marries into a Hakka family she is required to learn the Hakka language. There are numerous Hakka dialects, many of which are not mutually intelligible.
What are their beliefs? Hakka spirituality is very similar to other peoples in the Chinese world.
What are their needs? The Hakka people in Hong Kong need the chance to hear the claims of Jesus Christ in their own language. The JESUS Film is in at least one of their dialects. There is a complete Bible for them, and online "talking" Bibles available to the Hakka people.
Prayer Points * Pray for Bibles, the JESUS Film, and other Christian materials to find their way into Hakka homes.
* There are many Hakka believers in Malaysia. Pray that they will take the gospel to their kinsmen in Hong Kong.
* Believers in southern China surround the Hakka peoples. Pray that these believers will share Christ with them.
* Pray for a disciple-making movement among every Hakka people.