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Ian_Lee

Population in Great Flux

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Ian_Lee

Does any Chinese fellow poster reside in where his/her grandparents lived?

I don't. In fact, my father does not live at where my granddad used to live and my granddad did not live at where my great granddad used to live.

Chinese population has been in a state of great flux in the last 150 years. That is not the norm. Throughout the 500 years from early Ming to mid Qing period, China was basically a static society. Most population used to live in probably 30-miles radius of his hometown or home village. 1 out of 50 male might have a chance to take the civil service exam at the provincial capital while 1 out of 50,000 might have a chance to take the exam at Beijing. The others just stayed put at where he was born for the whole life.

But after Opium War and Taiping, all had changed.

Tens of million fled to SE Asia and hundreds of thousands to North America from 1860s onward. Internally millions migrated to Manchuria and Mongolia during 1870s and 1920s. After 1949, millions fled to Taiwan and HK.

The flow has even accelerated after 1979. Millions try their luck in cities like Shenzhen, or places like Tibet.

It reminds me of the deceased Taiwanese writer San Mao who had been wandering around for her whole life in Spain and Sahara.

Remember the song: "Don't ask me where I came from, don't ask me where I am going to,......."

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confucius

I think the Chinese song you might be referring to is "Olive Tree" and begins: "Bu yao wen wo cong nali lai...wo de guxiang zai yuanfang..."

(Don't ask me where I am from, my hometown is far in the distance)

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