|c. 66 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
| China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hong Kong and Macau )|
Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Indonesia and Philippines)
Western world (United States, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand)
|Cantonese, Taishanese and other Yue languages (native languages), Southwestern Mandarin, Vietnamese, Malay (both Malaysian and Indonesian), Hong Kong English, Macau Portuguese|
|Predominantly Chinese folk religions (which include Confucianism, Taoism, ancestral worship) and Mahayana Buddhism |
Minorities: Christianity, Atheism, Freethought, others
|Related ethnic groups|
|Hong Kong people, Macau people, Taishanese people, other Han Chinese subgroups|
some population totals are based on speaker counts and may not reflect the total population with ancestry
|Alternative Chinese name|
|Second alternative Chinese name|
|This article is part of the series on|
The Cantonese people (广府人; 廣府人; gwong fu jan; Gwóngfú Yàhn) or Yue people (粤人; 粵人; jyut jan; Yuht Yàhn), are a Yue-speaking Han Chinese sub-group originating from or residing in the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi (collectively known as Liangguang), in Southern Mainland China. Although more accurately, "Cantonese" refers only to the people from Guangzhou and its satellite cities and towns and/or native speakers of Standard Cantonese, rather than simply and generally referring to the people of the Liangguang region.
Historically centered on and predominating the Pearl River Basin shared between Guangdong and Guangxi, the Cantonese people are also responsible for establishing their native language's usage in Hong Kong and Macau during their migrations within the times of the British and Portuguese colonial eras respectively. Today, Hong Kong and Macau are the only regions in the world where Cantonese is the official spoken language, with the mixed influences of English and Portuguese respectively. Cantonese remains today as a majority language in Guangdong and Guangxi, despite the increasing influence of Mandarin. Taishanese people may also be considered Cantonese but speak a distinct variety of Yue Chinese, Taishanese.
There have been a number of influential Cantonese figures throughout history, such as Yuan Chonghuan, Bruce Lee, Liang Qichao, Sun Yat-Sen, Lee Shau-kee, Ho Ching and Flossie Wong-Staal.
"Cantonese" has been generally used to describe all Chinese people from Guangdong since "Cantonese" is commonly treated as a synonym with "Guangdong" and the Cantonese language is treated as the sole language of the region. This is inaccurate as "Canton" itself technically only refers to Guangdong's capital Guangzhou and the Cantonese language specifically refers to only the Guangzhou dialect of the Yue Chinese languages. David Faure points out that there is no direct Chinese translation of the English term "Cantonese."
The English name "Canton" derived from Portuguese Cantão [pàːk wǎː] ( 白話 ) which means "vernacular". In historical times, it was known as "Guangzhou speech" or Guangzhounese (廣州話, 广州话, Gwóngjāu wá) but due to Guangzhou's prosperity it has led people to conflate it with all Yue languages and many now refer to "Guangzhou speech" as simply "Guangdong speech" (廣東話, 广东话, Gwóngdūng wá). Similar cases where entire Chinese language families are thought to be a single language occur with non-specialists, conflating all Wu Chinese languages as just Shanghainese and its different forms, as it is the prestige dialect (although historically Suzhounese was) or that Mandarin only refers to the Beijing-based Standard Chinese and that it is a single language rather than a large group of related varieties.or Cidade de Cantão, a muddling of dialectical pronunciations of "Guangdong" (e.g., Hakka Kóng-tûng). Although it originally and chiefly applied to the walled city of Guangzhou, it was occasionally conflated with Guangdong by some authors. Within Guangdong and Guangxi, Cantonese is considered the prestige dialect and is called baahk wá
There are many other Chinese languages spoken by the Han Chinese in these areas. In Guangxi, Southwestern Mandarin is spoken as are other Yue Chinese languages apart from Cantonese. In Guangdong, aside from other Yue Chinese languages, these non-Cantonese languages include Hakka, Chaoshan, Leizhou Min and Tuhua. Non-Cantonese speaking Yue peoples are sometimes labelled as "Cantonese" such as the Taishanese people (四邑粵人; sei yāp yuht yàhn), even though Taishanese (台山話) has low intelligibility to Standard Cantonese. Some literature uses neutral terminology such as Guangdongese and Guangxiese to refer to people from these provinces without the cultural or linguistic affiliations to Cantonese.
Until the 19th century, Cantonese history was largely the history of Guangdong and Guangxi provinces. What is now Guangdong, and later Guangxi, was first brought under Qin influence by a general named Zhao Tuo, who later founded the kingdom of Nanyue in 204 BC.The Nanyue kingdom went on to become the strongest Baiyue state in China, with many neighboring kingdoms declaring their allegiance to Nanyue rule. Zhao Tuo took the Han territory of Hunan and defeated the Han dynasty's first attack on Nanyue, later annexing the kingdom of Minyue in the East and conquering Âu Lạc, Northern Vietnam, in the West in 179 BC.
The greatly expanded Nanyue kingdom included the territories of modern-day Guangdong, Guangxi and Northern Vietnam (Tonkin), with the capital situated at modern-day Guangzhou. The native peoples of Liangguang remained under Baiyue control until the Han dynasty in 111 BC, following the Han–Nanyue War. However, it was not until subsequent dynasties such as the Jin Dynasty, the Tang Dynasty and the Song Dynasty that major waves of Han Chinese began to migrate south into Guangdong and Guangxi. Waves of migration and subsequent intermarriage meant that existing populations of both provinces were displaced, but some native groups like the Zhuangs still remained. The Cantonese often call themselves "people of Tang" (唐人; tòhng yàhn). This is because of the inter-mixture between native and Han immigrants in Guangdong and Guangxi reached a critical mass of acculturation during the Tang dynasty, creating a new local identity among the Liangguang peoples.
During the 4th–12th centuries, Han Chinese people from North China's Yellow River delta migrated and settled in the South of China. This gave rise to peoples including the Cantonese themselves, Hakkas and Hoklos, whose ancestors migrated from Henan and Shandong, to areas of southeastern coastal China such as Chaozhou, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou and other parts of Guangdong during the Tang dynasty.There have been multiple migrations of Han people into Southeastern and Southern China throughout history.
The origin of the Cantonese people is thus said to be Northern Chinese peoples that migrated to Guangdong and Guangxi while it was still inhabited by Baiyue peoples.During Wang Mang's reign in the Han dynasty (206BC-220AD), there were influxes of Han Chinese migrants into Guangdong and Guangxi, western coast of Hainan, Annam (now Northern Vietnam) and eastern Yunnan.
During the early 1800s, conflict occurred between Cantonese and Portuguese pirates in the form of the Ningpo massacre after the defeat of Portuguese pirates. –1842) and Second Opium Wars (1856–1860) led to the loss of China's control over Hong Kong and Kowloon, which were ceded to the British Empire. Macau also became a Portuguese settlement. Between 1855 and 1867, the Punti-Hakka Clan Wars caused further discord in Guangdong and Guangxi. The third plague pandemic of 1855 broke out in Yunnan and spread to the Liangguang region via Guangxi, killing thousands and spreading via water traffic to nearby Hong Kong and Macau.The First (1839
The turmoil of the 19th century, followed by the political upheaval of the early 20th century, compelled many residents of Guangdong to migrate overseas in search of a better future. Up until the second half of the 20th century, the majority of overseas Chinese emigrated from two provinces of China; Guangdong and Fujian. As a result, there are today many Cantonese communities throughout the world, including in Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Americas, the Caribbean and Western Europe, with Chinatowns commonly being established by Cantonese communities. There have been a large number of interracial marriages between Cantonese men and women from other nations (especially from Cuba, Peru, Mexico ), as most of the Cantonese migrants were men. As a result, there are many Black Caribbeans and South American people who of Cantonese descent including many Eurasians and people Cantonese ancestry,for example Nancy Kwan, born to a Cantonese father and Scottish mother, is a well-known Hollywood actress in the 1960s; and influential martial artist Bruce Lee, who was born to a Cantonese father and a half-Chinese, half-Caucasian mother.
Unlike the migrants from Fujian, who mostly settled in Southeast Asia, many Cantonese emigrants also migrated to the Western Hemisphere, particularly the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Many Cantonese immigrants into the United States became railroad labourers, while many in South America were brought in as coolies. Cantonese immigrants in the United States and Australia participated in the California Gold Rush and the Australian gold rushes of 1854 onwards, while those in Hawaii found employment in sugarcane plantations as contract labourers. These early immigrants variously faced hostility and a variety of discriminatory laws, including the prohibition of Chinese female immigrants. The relaxation of immigration laws after World War II allowed for subsequent waves of migration to the Western world from southeastern mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. As a result, Cantonese continues to be widely used by Chinese communities of Guangdong, Guangxi, Hong Kong and Macau regional origin in the Western hemisphere, and has not been supplanted by the Mandarin-based Standard Chinese. A large proportion of the early migrants also came from the Siyi region of Guangdong and spoke Taishanese. The Taishanese variant is still spoken in American-Chinese communities, by the older population as well as by more recent immigrants from Taishan, in Jiangmen, Guangdong.
The Xinhai Revolution of 1911 was a revolution that overthrew the last imperial dynasty of China, the Qing dynasty, and established the Republic of China. Guangdong's uprising against the Qing dynasty in 1895 let to its naming as the "cradle of the Xinhai Revolution".Revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen was born in Zhongshan, Guangdong. Hong Kong was where he developed his thoughts of revolution and was the base of subsequent uprisings, as well as the first revolutionary newspaper. Sun Yat-sen's revolutionary army was largely made up of Cantonese, and many of the early revolutionary leaders were also Cantonese.
Cantonese people and their culture are centered in Guangdong, eastern Guangxi, Hong Kong and Macau.
Guangzhou (formerly known as Canton), the capital city of Guangdong, has been one of China's international trading ports since the Tang dynasty. During the 18th century, it became an important centre of the emerging trade between China and the Western world, as part of the Canton System. The privilege during this period made Guangzhou one of the top three cities in the world.Operating from the Thirteen Factories located on the banks of the Pearl River outside Canton, merchants traded goods such as silk, porcelain ("fine china"), and tea, allowing Guangzhou to become a prosperous city. Links to overseas contacts and beneficial tax reforms in the 1990s have also contributed to the city's ongoing growth. Guangzhou was named a global city in 2008. The migrant population from other provinces of China in Guangzhou was 40 percent of the city's total population in 2008. Most of them are rural migrants and they speak only Mandarin.
Hong Kong and Macau are two of the richest cities in the world in terms of GDP per capita and are autonomous SARs (Special Administrative Regions) that are under independent governance from China. Historically governed by the British and Portuguese empires respectively, colonial Hong Kong and Macau were increasingly populated by migrant influxes from mainland China, particularly the nearby Guangdong Province. For that reason, the culture of Hong Kong and Macau became a mixture of Cantonese and Western influences, sometimes described as "East meets West".
Hong Kong Island was first colonised by the British Empire in 1842 with a population of only 7,450; however, it was in 1898 that Hong Kong truly became a British colony, when the British also colonised the New Territories (which constitute 86.2% of Hong Kong's modern territory). It was during this period that migrants from China entered, mainly speaking Cantonese (the prestige variety of Yue Chinese) as a common language. During the following century of British rule, Hong Kong grew into a hub of Cantonese culture, and has remained as such since the handover in 1997.
Today Hong Kong is one of the world's leading financial centres, and the Hong Kong dollar is the thirteenth most-traded currency in the world.
Macau native people are known as the Tanka. A dialect similar to Shiqi (石岐話), originating from Zhongshan (中山) in Guangdong, is also spoken in the region.
Parts of Macau were first loaned to the Portuguese by China as a trading centre in the 16th century, with the Portuguese required to administrate the city under Chinese authority. In 1851 and 1864, the Portuguese Empire occupied the two nearest offshore islands Taipa and Coloane respectively, and Macau officially became a colony of the Portuguese Empire in 1887. Macau was returned to China in 1999.
By 2002, Macau had become one of the world's richest cities,and by 2006, it had surpassed Las Vegas to become the world's biggest gambling centre. Macau is also a world cultural heritage site due to its Portuguese colonial architecture.
The term "Cantonese" is used to refer to the native culture, language and people of Guangdong and Guangxi.
There are cultural, economic, political, generational and geographical differences in making "Cantonese-ness" in and beyond Guangdong and Guangxi, with the interacting dynamics of migration, education, social developments and cultural representations.
The term "Cantonese language" is sometimes used to refer to the broader group of Yue Chinese languages and dialects spoken in Guangdong and Guangxi, although it is used more specifically to describe Gwóngjāu wah (廣州話), the prestige variant of Cantonese spoken in the city of Guangzhou (historically known as Canton). Gwóngjāu wah is the main language used for education, literature and media in Hong Kong and Macau. It is still widely used in Guangzhou, despite the fact that a large proportion of the city's population is made up by migrant workers from elsewhere in China that speak non-Cantonese variants of Chinese and Standard Mandarin. Though in recent years it is slowly falling out of favour with the younger generation prompting fears in Cantonese people that the language may die out. Cantonese language's erosion in Guangzhou is due to a mix of suppression of the language and the mass migration of non-Cantonese speaking people in to the area.
Because of its tradition of usage in music, cinema, literature and newspapers, this form of Cantonese is a cultural mark of identity that distinguishes Cantonese people from speakers of other varieties of Chinese, whose languages are prohibited to have strong influences under China's Standard Mandarin policy. The pronunciation and vocabulary of Cantonese has preserved many features of the official language of the Tang dynasty with elements of the ancient Yue language.Written Cantonese is very common in manhua, books, articles, magazines, newspapers, online chat, instant messaging, internet blogs and social networking websites. Anime, cartoons and foreign films are also dubbed in Cantonese. Some videogames such as Sleeping Dogs, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto III and Resident Evil 6 have substantial Cantonese dialogues.
Cantopop during its early glory had spread to Mainland China, Taiwan, (South) Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Well-known Cantopop singers include Andy Lau, Aaron Kwok, Joey Yung, Alan Tam, Roman Tam, Anita Mui, Danny Chan, Leslie Cheung, Jacky Cheung, Leon Lai, Sammi Cheng and Coco Lee, many of whom are of Cantonese or Taishanese origin.
The Hong Kong movie industry was the third-largest movie industry in the world (after Hollywood and Bollywood) for decades throughout the 20th century, with Cantonese-language films viewed and acclaimed around the world. Recent films include Kung Fu Hustle , Infernal Affairs and Ip Man 3 .
Cantonese people are also known to create various schools or styles of arts, with the more prominent being Lingnan architecture, Lingnan school of painting, Canton porcelain, Cantonese opera, Cantonese music, among many others.
Cantonese cuisine has become one of the most renowned types of cuisine around the world, characterised by its variety of cooking methods and use of fresh ingredients, particularly seafood.One of the most famous examples of Cantonese cuisine is dim sum, a variety of small and light dishes such as har gow (steamed shrimp dumplings), siu mai (steamed pork dumplings), and cha siu bao (barbecued pork buns).
According to research, Cantonese peoples' paternal lineage is mostly Han, while their maternal lineage is mostly Nanyue aboriginals.Speakers of Pinghua and Tanka, however, lack Han ancestry and are "truly, mostly pureblood Baiyue". These genetic differences have contributed to Cantonese differing from other Han Chinese groups in terms of physical appearance and proneness to certain diseases. The genetic admixture of the Cantonese people clusters somewhere between the Zhuang people (Tai) and the Northern Plain Han Chinese people.
This is an incomplete list of notable Cantonese people.
Guangzhou, also known as Canton and alternately romanized as Kwangchow, is the capital and most populous city of the province of Guangdong in southern China. Located on the Pearl River about 120 km (75 mi) north-northwest of Hong Kong and 145 km (90 mi) north of Macau, Guangzhou has a history of over 2,200 years and was a major terminus of the maritime Silk Road, and continues to serve as a major port and transportation hub, as well as one of China's three largest cities. Long the only Chinese port accessible to most foreign traders, Guangzhou was captured by the British during the First Opium War. No longer enjoying a monopoly after the war, it lost trade to other ports such as Hong Kong and Shanghai, but continued to serve as a major transshipment port. Due to a high urban population and large volumes of port traffic, Guangzhou is classified as a Large-Port Megacity, the largest type of port-city in the world.
Guangdong is a coastal province in South China on the north shore of the South China Sea. The capital of the province is Guangzhou. With a population of 113.46 million across a total area of about 179,800 km2 (69,400 sq mi), Guangdong is the most populous province of China and the 15th-largest by area. Its economy is larger than that of any other province in the nation and the 4th largest sub-national economy in the world with GDP of 1.66 trillion USD in 2019. The Pearl River Delta Economic Zone, a Chinese megalopolis, is a core for high technology, manufacturing and foreign trade. Located in this zone are two of the four top Chinese cities and the top two Chinese prefecture-level cities by GDP; Guangzhou, the capital of the province, and Shenzhen, the first special economic zone in the country. These two are among the most populous and important cities in China, and have now become two of the world's most populous megacities.
Yue is a group of similar Sinitic languages spoken in Southern China, particularly in Liangguang.
This is a list of Cantonese-related topics, which encompasses Guangdong and Guangxi, the Cantonese people, culture and language.
Taishan, alternately romanized in Cantonese as Toishan or Toisan, in local dialect as Hoisan or Toisan and formerly known as Xinning or Sunning (新寧), is a county-level city in the southwest of Guangdong province, China. It is administered as part of the prefecture-level city of Jiangmen. During the 2010 census, there were 941,095 inhabitants, of which 394,855 were classified as urban. Taishan calls itself the "First Home of the Overseas Chinese". An estimated half a million Chinese Americans are of Taishanese descent.
Cantonese is a language within the Chinese (Sinitic) branch of the Sino-Tibetan languages originating from the city of Guangzhou and its surrounding area in Southeastern China. It is the traditional prestige variety of the Yue Chinese dialect group, which has over 80 million native speakers. While the term Cantonese specifically refers to the prestige variety, it is often used to refer to the entire Yue subgroup of Chinese, including related but largely mutually unintelligible languages and dialects such as Taishanese.
Yue or Yueh (Yüeh) may refer to:
The subgroups of the Han Chinese people, Chinese dialect groups or just dialect groups, are defined based on linguistic, cultural, ethnic, genetic and regional features. The terminology used in Mandarin to describe the groups is: "minxi", used in Mainland China or "zuqun", used in Taiwan. No Han subgroup is recognized as one of People's Republic of China's 56 official minority ethnic groups. Scholars like James W. Hayes have described the Han Chinese subgroups as "ethnic group" outright, at least in the context of Hong Kong society.
Nanyue or Nam Việt, was an ancient kingdom ruled by Chinese monarchs of the Triệu dynasty that covered the modern Chinese subdivisions of Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hong Kong, and Macau, as well as parts of southern Fujian and northern Vietnam. Nanyue was established by Zhao Tuo, then Commander of Nanhai of Qin Empire, in 204 BC after the collapse of the Qin dynasty. At first, it consisted of the commanderies Nanhai, Guilin, and Xiang.
Lingnan culture, or Cantonese culture, refers to the regional Chinese culture of the region of Lingnan: twin provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi, the names of which mean "eastern expanse" and "western expanse" respectively.
Punti is a Cantonese endonym referring to the native Cantonese people of Guangdong and Guangxi. Punti designates Weitou dialect-speaking locals in contrast to other Yue Chinese speakers and others such as Taishanese people, Hoklo people, Hakka people, and ethnic minorities such as the Zhuang people of Guangxi and the boat-dwelling Tanka people, who are both descendants of the Baiyue – although the Tanka have largely assimilated into Han Chinese culture.
The Triệu dynasty ruled the kingdom of Nanyue, which consisted of parts of southern China as well as northern Vietnam. Its capital was Panyu, in modern Guangzhou. The founder of the dynasty, called Zhao Tuo, was an ethnic Chinese from Hebei and served as a military governor for the Qin dynasty. He asserted his independence in 207 BC as the Qin dynasty was collapsing. The ruling elite included both Yue and immigrant Han peoples. Zhao Tuo conquered the Vietnamese state of Âu Lạc and led a coalition of Yuè states in a war against the Han dynasty, which had been expanding southward. Subsequent rulers were less successful in asserting their independence and the Han dynasty finally conquered the kingdom in 111 BC.
The History of Hong Kong under Imperial China began in 214 BC during the Qin dynasty. The territory remained largely unoccupied until the later years of the Qing dynasty when Imperial China ceded the region to Great Britain under the 1842 Treaty of Nanking, whereupon Hong Kong became a British Colony.
Liangguang is a Chinese term for the province of Guangdong and the former province and present autonomous region of Guangxi, collectively. It particularly refers to the viceroyalty of Liangguang under the Qing dynasty, when the territory was considered to include Hainan and the leased territories of British Hong Kong, the French Kouang-Tchéou-Wan and Portuguese Macau. The Viceroyalty of Liangguang existed from 1735 to 1911.
The Cantonese Wikipedia is the Cantonese-language edition of Wikipedia, run by the Wikimedia Foundation. It was started on 25 March 2006.
Sze Yup Cantonese are a Han Chinese group coming from a region in Guangdong Province in China called Sze Yup (四邑), which consisted of the four county-level cities of Taishan, Kaiping, Xinhui and Enping. Now Heshan has been added to this historic region and the prefecture-level city of Jiangmen administers all five of these county-level cities, which is sometimes informally called Ng Yap. Their ancestors are said to have arrived from what is today central China about less than a thousand years ago and migrated into Guangdong around the Tang Dynasty rule period and thus Taishanese as a dialect of Yue Chinese has linguistically preserved many characteristics of Middle Chinese.
Sze Yap Cantonese represents the second largest Han group in Hong Kong after the group of people (Punti) originating from the Guangzhou-Sam Yap region. The Sze Yap Cantonese comes from a region in Guangdong in China called Sze Yap (四邑), now called Ng Yap, which consists of the counties of Taishan, Kaiping, Xinhui, Enping, Heshan and Jiangmen. The Sze Yap Cantonese group have contributed much to what makes Hong Kong a success. Hong Kong people of Sze Yap origin represented about 18.3% of Hong Kong's total population in 1961, and 17.4% in 1971; today this population still increases as more immigrants from the Taishanese-speaking areas of Guangdong in mainland China continue to immigrate to Hong Kong.
Lingnan architecture, or Cantonese architecture, refers to the characteristic architectural style(s) of the Lingnan region – the Southern Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi. Usually, it is referring to the architecture associated with the Cantonese people, with other peoples in the area having their own styles. This style began with the architecture of the ancient non-Han Nanyue people and absorbed certain architectural elements from the Tang Empire and Song Empire as the region sinicized in the later half of the first millennium AD.
The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area also referred as Greater Bay Area (GBA), is a megalopolis, consisting of nine cities and two special administrative regions in South China. On 7 December 2016, the concept for the area was mentioned in the English version of China's 13th Five-Year Plan. On 13 April 2017, the heading of a piece of news released at the English.gov.cn website of the State Council adopted the name "Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area". Just over two months later, on 1 July 2017, the "Framework Agreement on Deepening Guangdong - Hong Kong - Macau Cooperation in the Development of the Bay Area" was signed in Hong Kong.
On the other hand, the diversity of the southern and south-eastern dialects, and also the archaic character of several of them, bears witness to the relative stability of the peoples established in these regions.
At the time of the troubles which marked the reign of Wang Mang (9-23) and the first years of the Han restoration, Chinese emigration to Yunnan, Kwangtung and north and central Vietnam increased considerably. ...
There was indeed a group of Portuguese who became pirates, called "Macau ruffians", or policemen who turned bad, along with "Manila-men" from the Philippines and escaped African slaves. Their fleet attacked "the Cantonese ships when they could get them at an advantage, and murdered their crews with circumstances of great atrocity."55 They were destroyed in Ningbo by a fleet of Chinese pirates with the support of the local Chinese government and other Europeans.
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