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In Session: Race to the Unfinished: How do Transnational Experiences Re/Shape the Discourse of Race and Ethnicity in and out of Taiwan? A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue
4: Hakka in Between—The Contemporary Hakka Imagination in Malaysia.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
3:00pm – 4:30pm EDT
National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University
, Taiwan (Republic of China)
This paper argues that the imagination of Hakka identity in Malaysia is constructed by the intersection of transnational actors’ narratives and world politics. In a way, actors from academics, Hakka associations, and cultural workers strive for their power within the borders by building transnational relations to accumulate their political, economic and cultural capitals. On the other hand, the transnational resources distribution is determined by exogenous power relationships of world politics. The establishment of Hakka associations that is promoted by Chinese entrepreneurs such as Aw Boon Haw, couple with the homogeneous myth that derives from Lo Hsiang-lin’s theory of origin and migrations of the Hakka people, Hakka becomes a symbolic icon that reinforces Hakka people’s inner solidarity and enhances the external connections. Meanwhile, the transnational actors, the two “motherlands”—China and Taiwan, and the Malaysia government’s political decisions all contribute to the Hakka imaginations in Malaysia.