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The Name 'Kam'

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Chapter Summary

The name 'Kam' used by the people of Xiangye to define their nationality was a name handed down by their ancestors. Han people of the area called their own children 'zai ', the Chinese term for 'sons'. In addition, as a term of affection within the family, they addressed all people in their extended family of a younger generation including nephews and nieces, and grandsons and granddaughters as sons. The term carries the sense of 'dear ones' and does not harbour any derogatory or negative meaning. Xiangye people adopted this custom and used it as a means of referring to themselves and other nationalities. Observing that the Kam tenant farmers were poor, honest and obedient, and feeling sympathetic towards them, the landlords also sometimes referred to them as 'sons'. Today Kam society still develops in parallel with the neighbouring Han society.

Keywords: Han people; Kam; Xiangye



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    Life in a Kam Village in Southwest China, 1930-1949 — Recommend this title to your library
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