Forum on Penang Hakka folk

Wednesday April 29, 2009
CHUNG Ling High School, Chinese daily Kwong Wah Yit Poh and the Penang Philomathic Union all have one thing in common — Sun Yat-Sen and the Penang Hakka community.

Their history and connection are among the topics that will be discussed during the upcoming ‘Hakka Study and Research and the Chinese Communities of Penang’ forum at Han Chiang College on May 2.

The forum will be the second joint effort between the college and the National University of Singapore (NUS).

“Our first collaboration with NUS was in 2005, after which we jointly published Studies on the Chinese in Penang.

“This coming forum is focused specifically on the Hakka community and we hope to publish these research papers into a book as well,” Han Chiang College honorary principal Datuk Dr Cheah See Kian told a press conference at the college.

Dr Cheah, who is also the Federation of Hakka Associations of Malaysia deputy president and a speaker at the forum, said he would touch on Balik Pulau as the state’s Hakka heartland.

“The Hakka community was among the first Chinese clans to arrive in Penang about 40 years before Francis Light came in 1786.

“They congregated around the Balik Pulau hilly areas which were similar to th village areas they occupied in China,” Dr Cheah said.

He added that the Federation of Malaysian Hakka Associations also had high hopes of establishing a Hakka Village Cultural Centre in Balik Pulau soon.

The Hakka studies and research forum will start at 9am at the Han Chiang College hall.

It will kick off with a dialogue session with Han Chiang and NUS academicians at 9.20am.
Three research papers on the Hakka community will be presented by post graduate NUS students at 10.45am.

All Hakka culture enthusiasts are welcome and admission is free.

For details, please call the college’s School of Chinese Studies at 04-2831088.

From: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2009/4/29/north/3758855&sec=north