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    Date:2017-12-12       Data source:客家事務委員會       

    Hakka Mountain Songs

    Hakka mountain songs has been regarded as their oral literature. The lyrics of the Hakka mountain songs incorporate Hakka vernacular, and are thus distinct from other types of folk songs. The formation of the Hakka folk song has to do with their living environment among the hills and mountains. The majority of the Hakka folk songs are Seven quatrains, particularly emphasizing the Level and Oblique Tones and rhyming. Often times, the last word in the first, second, and the fourth line use the 1st and 2nd tones; the last word of the third line use oblique tones; while all other words in the song are somehow loosely structured than recent poetry.

    Hakka folk songs have been known for its freedom of improvisation. There was no documentation of scores in the early days. One can sing while picking tea on the mountain hill to express themselves. The song was meant as an outlet to release the oppression of life, or to convey affections, expressing love interest.
    Hakka folk song can be sung alone, or in duet as if in a musical dialogue. The duet was originated by the Hakka custom in which women are accustomed to choose their lover through singing. This tradition grants Hakka women the right to choose their own lover in a way free them from arranged marriage, which is fairly autonomous especially in the early days.


    Hakka Opera

    Originated in Jiulongshan tea regions in southern Jiangxi Province, Tea-Picking Opera is a collective term for Hakka Opera. It is the same as Siping and Luan Tan, the type of plays carrying over to Taiwan along with the Mainland immigrants.

    The development of Hakka operas have significant connection with tea cultivation, tea picking, and mountain living. Working in mountain areas, Hakka people have to shout out to communicate with family and friends in mountain ridge, which have gradually turned into melody. Subsequently, the melody has further developed into singing dance, also called tea-picking lamp or tea bucket lamp, which then evolved into three-character tea-picking opera, called "three-legs tea-picking."

    "Locality and cheerfulness are the two key elements of the Hakka operas," Zheng Rung-sing, principle of Taiwan Traditional Opera School, has mentioned. A distinguishing feature in Hakka culture, the three-legs tea-picking play, born out of folk song and signing dance, has very close connection with the Hakka's living environment in its tones plots, and dialogue.


    Hakka Poetry

    Hakka poetry is the artistic conglomeration of famous poems by poet from ancient to modern period, and is also an important element in Hakka culture. These poems praise those with heroic deeds, describe grandeur landscape, and reflect times, vividly capturing the happiness and melancholy of the Hakkas.


    Hakka Nursery Rhyme

    Nursery rhyme exists in every ethnic group, is considered children’s favorite, and remains the important memory for grownups. The content of Hakka Nursery rhyme is fairly fluid and can be altered anytime, which is considered the core feature of the genre. In Taiwan, Hakka Nursery rhyme is composed of two categories, which are traditional nursery rhyme through chanting, and the creative nursery rhyme through signing.

    The characteristics of Hakka nursery rhyme include:
    •Due to the oral tradition like all nursery rhymes of other cultures, Hakka nursery rhyme has many variations. This is because it is passed vocally to other provinces or counties, and hence been altered one way or another, which is why most nursery rhymes are the combination of two or three nursery rhymes. Although they shared the same theme, the content of each rhyme varied.

    •One of the nursery rhymes is called Play Rhyme, which means it is the rhyme for play by many. The Hakka utilizes the play to discipline their children the team spirit and filial piety.