Interested to learn who the Han people are and what their contributions in China were? This article shares all you need to know about the Han people.
For starters, it is worth noting that the Han people of China not only make up the biggest ethnic group in China, but they also make up the largest ethnicity in the world. The Han people also boast the longest history, they have a mysterious origin, and throughout their existence, they have had many big accomplishments that have changed China.
The Han people make up 91% of China’s population, and they are the dominant group in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. Records show that there are at least a 1.5billion Han in the world.
What Is Han Chinese?
The Han Chinese are an ethnic group and also ethnic nation that is native to China, specifically, the Yellow River Basin region in modern-day China.
As one of the world’s largest ethnicities, they may up 18% of the total global population, and they are also made of many other subgroups that speak different versions or dialects of Chinese.
Han Chinese Culture
Although the culture of the Han people started to develop during the reign of the Qin Empire, it had had pretty much crystallized in the 400 years of the Han Empire’s rule. And thanks to the stability of the culture and the fact that the Han people had a lot of time during which their culture could be nurtured and solidified, the culture stuck and is the one thing that this Chinese group is known for. It is also worth noting that because of the importance of the Han Empire to Han and Chinese history, they took the empire’s name as theirs.
One notable thing about the Han culture is the language. The Han people speak Mandarin, among other Han dialects called the Hanyu. The dialects are differentiated by the tones, and the Hanyu is essentially a tonal language primarily using pictograms or Hanzi rather than the Chinese characters. It is, therefore, interesting to note that because of the many Chinese dialects that are often very different from each other, all these people use a similar system for writing, hence the most effective forms of communication, especially when you have individuals or groups that speak different languages or dialects.
Chinese Han Clothing
The Han people’s traditional clothing that has made them quite renowned worldwide is known as the Hanfu. The Hanfu features a robe or maybe a jacket that is worn as the top of the upper garment, alongside a skirt worn as a lower garment.
Today, the Chinese Hanfu is considered the historical clothing for the Han people. It is also important to note that this type of clothing was present in ancient China for quite a long time before the rule of the Qin and Han Dynasty, and it appears that it was officially introduced at the time when the Manchus. Talks of the Hanfu in the past and today always referred to the hanfu as a long flowing robe whose sleeves are loose, worn with a belt around the waist. But generally, there are many versions of the Hanfu today, and this clothing type comes in different styles, depending on the dynasty that ruled.
Today, Hanfu clothing is regarded as the symbol of authentic Chinese culture. It is also a reflection of the aspirations of the Confucian scholars, especially towards music rituals, as well as their moralistic ideas.
Han Chinese Food
The Han people’s cuisine is recognized as being varied, but also the foods were delicious. Their cuisines feature the tastiest flavors, some belonging to the main schools or styles of cuisines that different parts of China are known for. They didn’t have a specific type of food, but the rice was the most common meal that the Han people enjoyed. Most of the foods eaten by the Han people are flavorful and tasty, but also unusually healthy options thanks to the use of their unique herbal medicine cooking techniques that guided cooking of food depending on the climate, individual needs, and the weather.
Han Chinese Facial Features
They have unique facial features thanks to the 4 genes that determine the shapes of their faces. These genes are the reason for the narrower chin, longer nose, slim cheeks, and high eyebrows. Others have completely opposite features. Most Han Chinese people, however, have very short and flat faces, yellow skin, black hair, and black eyes, which make them distinguishable easily from other Chinese people.
Han Chinese Population
Worldwide, there are 1.5billion Han people. But in China, the Han people make up 91% of the population, and there are at least 128 million Han people in China.
Why Are Most Chinese Han?
The reason for this has to do with the fact that the Han people have lived in China for the longest time, from as early as the time of the Manchus. Essentially, the Han lived through most Chinese empires, and by the time there was a unified China, the biggest part chunk of the population was made of the Han people.
Han Chinese History
Their history dates back to before 1000BC, and by the Sima Qian’s account that was written between 109 and 91BC, the Han people lived along the Yellow River basin during the reign of the Xia Dynasty and when the Huaxia tribe was the main group. Even during the reigns of the dynasties between Zhou and Qin between 1046 – 2-06BC, and through Confucianism and Daoism, the Han existed. It was until Qin’s reign that the Han people and culture were recognized as the main group and culture for imperial China.
Notably, the rule of the Han Empire after the Qin Empire’s rule cemented the place of the Han Culture and people.
Han Chinese Origin
The Han Chinese people trace their ancestry to the Huaxia, which was the very first confederation of the agricultural tribes of China that lived along the Yellow River basin.