臺灣的族群與語言 ~ The Peoples and Languages of Taiwan
Here’s a succinct explanation of Taiwan’s demographics from my textbook. No, not all Chinese people are the same, and even calling them all “Chinese” is a simplification.
Source: Wikipedia. 98% of Taiwanese are Han (15% of Taiwanese are Hakka, 70% are Hoklo, and 13% are from other provinces). The remaining 2% are indigenous.
Taiwan Today: The Peoples and Languages of Taiwan
Have you ever ridden the Taipei subway? Before every stop, the name of the next station is broadcast in four languages. You might wonder why there are two other languages besides Mandarin and English. Actually, this system is related to the mixed demographics of Taiwanese society.
Taiwan, like Switzerland, is a multi-ethnic country. Its people can be roughly divided into two groups: the indigenous and the Han Chinese. The indigenous were the first to live in Taiwan, and there are ten tribes altogether. Because the Pingpu tribe intermarried with the Han, and Han culture was dominant, this tribe has almost disappeared. The other nine tribes, such as the Puyuma, Yami, Saisiyat, Atayal, and Bunun, live in the mountains and rarely communicate with the Han so as to preserve their own cultures.
The Han Chinese who immigrated to Taiwan can be divided into three groups: the Hoklo who came from Fujian Province at the end of the Ming Dynasty, the Hakka who immigrated during the reign of Qing Emperor Qianlong, and finally the Waishengren (“extraprovincial people”) who escaped here from various parts of the mainland in 1949.
These three groups have their own languages: the Hoklo speak the Southern Min dialect, the Hakka speak Hakka, and the other Chinese speak either their own hometown’s dialect, heavily accented Mandarin, or relatively standard Mandarin. The government at that time made the Beijing dialect the standard language and strongly pushed its use in schools, hence Southern Min and Hakka dialects didn’t receive attention. In recent years, however, local culture has regained its status, and multiculturalism has been emphasized, so education in the other languages is starting to spread. More and more people are taking pride in their native languages and seeing this mixture as a special phenomenon of Taiwan.