Cantonese in China protest over language loss fears

Discussion in 'China' started by ajtr, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Cantonese in China protest over language loss fears

    Mon, 26 Jul 12:56 PM IST
    BEIJING (Reuters) - Hundreds of people took to the streets of the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou over the weekend to demand the government halt efforts to push aside the local Cantonese language, state media said on Monday.

    The protest on Sunday was prompted by plans to switch most programming on Guangzhou television stations to the country's official language, Mandarin, feeding fears that the government wants to phase out Cantonese in official settings, reports said.

    Some newspapers in Hong Kong, where Cantonese remains the main language of government, education and the man in the street, said demonstrators numbered more than 10,000, with participants singing and giving impassioned speeches in Cantonese.

    The Global Times, a popular Chinese tabloid run by Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily, said the protest was peaceful and dispersed after a few hours.

    "I stand for multiculturalism, and I strongly oppose the government's plan to promote Putonghua with administrative means," the report quoted one demonstrator as saying, referring to another name for the Mandarin Chinese language.

    Beijing has promoted Mandarin for decades to unite a nation with thousands of dialects and numerous minority languages.

    Cantonese is still widely spoken in the booming southern province of Guangdong, thanks in part to the spillover influence of Hong Kong's wildly successful and racy vernacular pop culture, but some people fear for its future.

    An influx of outsiders seeking work in China's coastal export hubs has added to the onslaught on local languages.

    Chinese newspapers and Internet sites have reported on companies where employees are fined for speaking Cantonese at work, prompting anger.

    "I support Cantonese. If we don't speak it, we are shaming our ancestors," wrote "Bright Star" on the popular Chinese internet portal Sina.com.

    The Guangzhou authorities strongly deny wanting to marginalise Cantonese.

    "The city government has never had such a plan to abandon or weaken Cantonese," the Global Times quoted Su Zhijia, one of Guangzhou's Communist Party deputy bosses, as saying.

    The controversy has prompted the People's Daily itself to wade in. In an editorial last week, the newspaper stressed the importance of Mandarin, but also of respecting dialects.

    "We have to find a balance," it said.
     
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  3. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Cantonese, actually widely in use in overseas Chinese communities in addition to Guangdong, Guangxi Hong Kong and Macau is easy for a Mandarin speaker due to a similar origin.

    Of course Mandarin is more delightful and expressive.
     
  4. masterofsea

    masterofsea Regular Member

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    Cantonese, these people eat anything. Because of them, the world believes that Chinese eat anything.
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The Cantonese are the 'outer people' who have been Hanised long back. Starting from the Qin Dynasty to Tang and so on.

    With globalisation and big money and creature comforts and demands for more, idealism of Communism is fading away and the real self is emerging out of the veneer - the crass capitalist crave.

    One cannot subdue the requirements for self over the community!

    Start of sub-nationalism as with the Tibetans and Uighurs?
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Cantonese cuisine draws upon a great diversity of ingredients as Canton has been a trading port since the days of the Thirteen Factories, bringing it many imported foods and ingredients. Besides pork, beef, and chicken, Cantonese cuisine incorporates almost all edible meats, including organ meats, chicken feet, duck tongue, snakes, and snails. However, lamb and goat is rarely eaten, unlike in cuisines of Northern or Western China. Many cooking methods are used, steaming and stir-frying being the most favoured due to their convenience and rapidity, and their ability to bring out the flavor of the freshest ingredients. Other techniques include shallow frying, double boiling, braising, and deep frying.

    For many traditional Cantonese cooks, the flavors of a finished dish should be well-balanced, and never greasy. Also, spices should be used in modest amounts to avoid overwhelming the flavors of the primary ingredients, and these primary ingredients in turn should be at the peak of their freshness and quality. Interestingly, there is no widespread use of fresh herbs in Cantonese cooking (and most other regional Chinese cuisines in fact), contrasting with the liberal usage seen in European cuisines and other Asian cuisines such as Thai or Vietnamese. Garlic chives and coriander leaves are notable exceptions, although the latter tends to be mere garnish in most dishes.


    More at:
    Cantonese Food
     
  7. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    Ray sir the cantonese cuisine got a lot of ill-repute to china all chinese were stereotyped with cantonese cuisinies.Which in reality is not as chinese cuisine is as varied as indian cuisine
     
  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    JP,

    Thanks.

    I am rather fond of Chinese food and the actual Chinese food is quite bland and not the type we eat in India.

    For instance there is nothing like Manchurian Gobi or Manchurian Paneer. It is to ensure that the rich vegetarians are attracted to the hotels and they can get their money!

    True, that dogs and cats are eaten and other rather 'exotic' stuff, like dogs and cats, centring around Canton mainly.

    It maybe noted that in the NE India dogs are also eaten.

    A rare type of coffee (Kopi Luwak) made from the droppings of the civet cat is wowing coffee connoisseurs around the world. It cost $50 per cup.

    Frogs legs are eaten as delicacy by the French.

    Puffer fish are the second–most poisonous vertebrate in the world, after the Golden Poison Frog. The puffer's skin and certain internal organs are highly toxic to humans, but nevertheless the meat of some species is considered a delicacy in both Japan (as fugu), Korea (as bok), and China (as 河豚 he2 tun2) when prepared by chefs who know what is safe to eat. Thick gloves should be worn to avoid poisoning and bites when removing the hook from a caught animal. Chefs prepare the puffer fish by skinning them while they are still alive, a practice that prevents the toxins from seeping into the edible portions of the fish.

    Here is a link for unusual food:

    Unusual food

    My Marwari acquaintances shudder how Bengalis can eat prawns and fish which they feel are 'insects'!

    Therefore, one man's food is another man's poison.
     
  9. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    Ray sir in the Chittor district of Andhra esp in the Talkona forest the Chenchu tribes have a local speciality called "Boddingulu".When ever they have guests they cook it.Which actually is a larvae of an insect which grows under the roots of some particular trees.When cooked with masala they taste awesome.If you eat more than two "Boddingulu" you may get blood stained stools.Heck sir they even eat pangolins
     
  10. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Havin' spent years in Guangdong and HK, I'd say Cantonese cuisine is one of the best in China (at least). Along with Sichuan Cuisine (generally spicy) Cantonese Cuisine is the most popular in China with a mild flavour. Cantonese are especially good at making goose and chicken.

    Not really 'sub-nationalism' in my opinion. There's a huge population of non-Mandarin speakers in Guangdong. Therefore a good balance ought to be stricken btwn Mandarin and Cantonese. Besides Mandarin as relatively 'sophisticated' and 'standardized' language enhances communication among different (Han or Non-Han_) communities and access to 'advanced studies', while Cantonese is mostly 'colloquial'.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010

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