Things went well for a while but then one day, Han Wo Di decided to send a hundred thousand troops south to put an end to this kingdom down there. During this Nan Yue kingdom period, the Chaos began to work on assimilating the Yue people and their culture into the Han Chinese world, and after Han Wo Di put an end to them, the Nan Yue people and their world was swallowed up by China, never to be heard from again, no written records survived to tell their side of the story. One thing’s for sure, the Yue people may not survived as a race but strands of their DNA most definitely attached itself to the whole double helix that makes up the culture of Huandong Province.
Hong Kong during the Chin and Han dynasties was, because of its geographic location, a fisherman’s paradise, and thanks to the geological goings on during the Cretaceous period of 50 to 80 million years ago, salt was plentiful too, and business was booming, and guess what? Salt and fish business wasn’t too bad either. It maybe didn’t seem like that much, but from these most humblest of beginnings, I guess we could say the Hong Kong economy, more than 350 billion strong today, was off and running. We know that Hong Kong was populated during the Han dynasty because one day back in 1955 when the Hong Kong government was leveling the side of a mountain in Chun Chi Wan to build the Lei Cheng Uk Housing Estate, they stumbled upon a tomb that was dated back to the time of the Eastern Han. So this alone proves that Hong Kong history surely didn’t begin with the Opium War. So we can conclude that it was at least during the Han Dynasty that settlements first began to appear in Hong Kong.
The next great period for Hong Kong came around the Fifth and Sixth Centuries during the time of upheaval known as the Southern and Northern Dynasties, later the Ching Dynasty, the Jurgens, these were the times if you recall from past China History Podcast episodes, when massive waves of Chinese north of the Yellow River fled to the South, and for those that kept on going until you couldn’t go any further South, they ended up in Hong Kong. These became known as the Five Great Clans, and folks they’re still around today, you have Hau, Tang, Pang, Lui and Man Clans. In Mandarin that would be Hau, Tang, Pang, Lui and Man, these are original Hong Kong people, and recorded history starts with them, they’re today known as the Punti P-U-N-T-I or Huntai in Cantonese, or Juntay in bad Cantonese. Mandarin of course, this is Panti, it means native or “of this land”. Charming Asia Tours will take you to Hong Kong to meet its modern day natives.
Many of these Punti people today still hold title to their lands. So other than the earliest unorganized settlers who plied their trade in fishing, diving for pearls and…from the salt biz, these Punti were the first Hong Kong people. In American history I guess we say you came over on the Mayflower in 1620, “you’re the first of the first”. Well the Punti are Hong Kong’s version of this, although this all began during the Southern and Northern Dynasties, it was really during the southern Sun and especially during the Jun Dynasty that these five great clans became firmly established. But they weren’t the last, they got there first, established themselves and after they were all set up and held proper title to their lands and had organized themselves, along come the Hakka people from north of the Yellow River as well as the Tanka from Guan Dung and the Hap Leow who originally came from Fu Chien and spoke a Hap Yen or Fue Chien dialect. These Tanka and Hap Lo were the legendary boat people of Hong Kong, they lived the entirety of their lives on their boats, they called themselves the seoi seong jan, or Mandarin, the shushang ren, the people who lived on the water.Read More