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Han Chinese, Dan in China

Han Chinese, Dan

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Han Chinese, Dan in China map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
4,998,000 Chinese, Yue Ethnic Religions 8.80 % 6.70 %   

Han Chinese, Dan in China

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The Dan prefer to call themselves Soisangyan, a name which means "water-borne people" in their dialect. Although they are officially classified as part of the Han Chinese nationality, most other people in southern China "attest the Dan are not Han Chinese at all, but rather a distinct minority race." Experts now generally agree that although the Dan are ethnolinguistically a Sinitic people, "there is no doubt that they have been discriminated against in the past, officially as well as socially. It is clear they have developed a strong sense of group identity. Other Chinese consider them an separate ethnic group. Such a castelike distinction is more typical of India than of China."

Chinese references to the Dan and their lives as boat people date back at least 800 years. The uniqueness of the Dan was enforced by tales describing how they had short legs, useful only for life at sea. Some stories alleged they had six toes and even a tail. In Hong Kong the status of the Dan has been greatly diminished in recent years since the government has outlawed the practice of living on boats.

Not surprisingly, all customs of the Dan revolve around their lives on the water. Whole families live on small boats that "seldom if ever touch the shore. Children are born and raised on the boats, and dogs, chickens, and cats move freely from deck to deck. In the old days little coffin boats carried each [Dan] person to his or her final resting place on land. For some, it was the first time on land as well as the last." The Chinese have a saying that a Dan person "on the water is a veritable dragon, on land is only a miserable worm."

The Dan developed their own religious beliefs relating to their unique lifestyles. They worship Tin Hau, the goddess of fishermen, whose image is carried in floating temples. They also honor the spirit of the fish and sea dragon.

Because of their close-knit families and unique, isolated culture, few Dan in China have ever been exposed to the gospel message. Churches have existed among the Dan in Hong Kong for more than 50 years, however, due to the efforts of mission agencies who specifically focused on them and boarded their boats to share the love of Christ. Most Dan can understand standard Cantonese and could be reached using materials in that language.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-04-12
Han profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
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Country: China
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Northeast
Persecution Rank:16 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:A 1972 study listed a population of about three million Dan people, historically known as the "Boat People," living along the coasts of southern China including Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan Island, and Macau. An additional 150,000 lived on boats in Hong Kong at the time. By the 1980s the number in Hong Kong had diminished to about 50,000. In addition, Dan people have migrated to several countries in Southeast Asia, where they are known by various names, including the official Ngai minority in Vietnam.
(Source: Operation China, 2000)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Han Chinese, Dan
People Name General: Han Chinese, Dan
Alternate People Names:
Boat PeopleDan
ROP3 Code: 114079
Joshua Project People ID: 18473
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 4,998,000
Population all Countries: 4,998,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: East Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Chinese
People Name General: Han Chinese, Dan
Ethnic Code: MSY42a
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Chinese, Yue (4,998,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): yue    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Yuehai
Dialect Code:20733
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism5.00 % 
Christianity8.80 %(Evangelical: 6.70 %)
Ethnic Religions61.40 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious24.80 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have a modest presence.
Least-Reached: No
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1862-1903
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1894-1997
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Audio RecordingsOnline Audio Scripture
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoGod's Story video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Chinese, Yue
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMagdalena video
Film / VideoMy Last Day video, anime
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children
Film / VideoWorld Christian Videos
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralZume Resources
GeneralZume Training
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app from Google Pla ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese, Yue
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese, Yue
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese, Yue
Text / Printed MatterBible: Chinese, Yue
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Han Chinese, Dan in China

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Chinese     Asia, Northeast    
      Han Chinese, Dan China    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Han Chinese, Dan in China          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Chinese, Yue  
    All Religions                              

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