Exploring the Identity Space of the Ding Hui Community in Quanzhou, China (78204)

Session Information: Cultural and National Identities
Session Chair: Yunjoo Sung

Saturday, 25 May 2024 13:20
Session: Session 3
Room: Room 707
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

At the turn of Yuan and Ming dynasties, the Ding Huis in Quanzhou fled to Chendai to escape warfare and religious persecution. They concealed Islamic faith and Hui identity, and proactively developed a complete clan system through localization and imperial examinations, despite Islam's opposition to idolatry. In 1978, upon hearing about a national subsidy for ethnic minorities, they initiated “re-ethnicization” and received many targeted benefits. Their economy rapidly developed, and they are now considered a model of ethnic development and cultural integration.

From the perspective of architectural anthropology, this paper highlights that space, as a form of capital, played a crucial role in the re-formation of the Ding Hui community. The Dings, through the possession, utilization and reproduction of spatial capital, fashioned a structure of community identity spaces characterized by “prominent ethnic space, subdued religious space, and concealed clan space”. This process contributed to the shaping of their contemporary narrative, emphasizing values such as patriotism, loyalty to the Party, ethnic self-improvement, unity and friendliness, thereby contributing to their economic prowess and social standing.

However, the obfuscation of religious and clan identities limits the Dings’ ability to attract the agglomeration of the Huis and their spaces in a spontaneous way. The deviation between identity space and daily space reveals a misalignment of their social and cultural identity. This is closely related to the obfuscation of the Hui concept, and shifts in the state's attitudes towards ethnic development, which nowadays emphasize the separation of lineage and religious practices and the ethnic integration.

Ke Liu, Tsinghua University, China

About the Presenter(s)
Ms KE LIU is a University Doctoral Student at Tsinghua University in China

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00