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Hokkien people
  • Hoklo
  • Banlam
  • Minnan
A Hokkien family in Southern Fujian, 1920
Total population
60,000,000 (est.)[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Mainland ChinaFujian
 Taiwan22,277,000 (est.)
 MalaysiaLargest group of Malaysian Chinese[quantify]
 SingaporeLargest group of Chinese Singaporeans[quantify]
 PhilippinesLargest group of Chinese Filipinos[quantify][2]
 IndonesiaLargest group of Chinese Indonesians[quantify][3]
 BruneiLargest group of Bruneian Chinese[quantify]
 MyanmarOne of the four largest groups of Burmese Chinese[quantify][4]
 United States70,000+[5]
 Vietnam45,000 (est.)
 Hong KongMinority population[quantify]
 MacauMinority population[quantify]

The Hoklo people (Chinese: 福佬人; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Ho̍h-ló-lâng) are a Han Chinese subgroup[6] who speak Hokkien,[7] a Southern Min language,[8] or trace their ancestry to southeastern Fujian in China,[9] and known by various related terms such as Banlam people (閩南人; Bân-lâm-lâng), Minnan people, or more commonly in Southeast Asia as the Hokkien people (福建人; Hok-kiàn-lâng).[a] The Hokkien people are found in significant numbers in mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Myanmar, the United States, Hong Kong, and Macau. The Hokkien people have a distinct culture and architecture, including Hokkien shrines and temples with tilted sharp eaves, high and slanted top roofs, and finely detailed decorative inlays of wood and porcelain. The Hokkien language, which includes Taiwanese Hokkien, is the mainstream Southern Min, which is partially mutually intelligible to the Teochew language, Hainanese, Leizhou Min, and Haklau Min.


In Southern Fujian, the Hokkien speakers refer to themselves as Banlam people (閩南人; Bân-lâm-lâng) or generally speaking, Hokkien people (福建人; Hok-kiàn-lâng). In Mandarin, they also call themselves Minnan people (閩南人; 闽南人; Mǐnnán rén).

In Taiwan, the term "Hoklo" is usually used for the people. The term Holo[10] (Ho̍h-ló)[11] is also used to refer to Taiwanese Hokkien and those people who speak it. The term is likely an exonym originating from Hakka or Cantonese that some Hokkien and Teochew speakers, particularly in Taiwan and mainland China, borrowed from, since the term is not recognized by Hokkien speakers in Southeast Asia. There are three common ways to write Hoklo in Chinese characters, although their etymological correctness is often disputed:

In Hakka, Teochew, and Cantonese, Hoklo may be written as Hoglo (學老; 'learned aged') and 學佬 ('learned folk').

In the Philippines, Chinese Filipinos, where most are usually of ethnic Hokkien descent, usually generally refer to themselves as Lannang (咱儂; Lán-lâng / Lán-nâng / Nán-nâng) or sometimes more specifically Hokkien people (福建儂; Hok-kiàn-lâng).

In Malaysia and Singapore, Hokkien Malaysians and Singaporeans generally refer to themselves as Tng Lang (Tang People)(Chinese: 唐儂; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tn̂g-lâng), where those of Hokkien-speaking descent are more specifically known as Hokkien people (福建儂; Hok-kiàn-lâng).

In Indonesia, Hokkien Indonesians generally refer to themselves as Tionghoa (中華; Tiong-hôa), where those of ethnic Hokkien descent are more specifically known as Hokkien people (福建人; Hok-kiàn-lâng).


Main article: Hokkien culture


Hoklo architecture styled Lukang Longshan Temple, with its distinguished swallowtail-roof.

Main article: Hoklo architecture

Hoklo architecture is, for the most part, similar to any other traditional Chinese architectural styles. Hoklo shrines and temples have tilted sharp eaves just like the architecture of Han Chinese due to traditional beliefs. However, Hoklo shrines and temples do have special differences from the styles in other regions of China: the top roofs are high and slanted with exaggerated, finely-detailed decorative inlays of wood and porcelain.

The main halls of Hoklo temples are also a little different in that they are usually decorated with two dragons on the rooftop at the furthest left and right corners and with a miniature figure of a pagoda at the center of the rooftop. One such example of this is the Kaiyuan Temple in Fujian.


Main article: Hokkien

The Hokkien people speak Hokkien, which is mutually intelligible to the Teochew language but to a small degree. Hokkien can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty, and it also has roots from earlier periods such as the Northern and Southern Dynasties and also a little influence from other sinitic languages as well.

Hokkien has one of the most diverse phoneme inventories among sinitic varieties, with more consonants than Standard Mandarin or Standard Yue. Vowels are more-or-less similar to that of Standard Mandarin. Hokkien varieties retain many pronunciations that are no longer found in other Sinitic varieties. These include the pronunciation of the /ʈ/ initial as /t/, which is now /tʂ/ (Pinyin 'zh') in Mandarin (e.g. 'bamboo' 竹 is tik, but zhú in Mandarin), having disappeared before the 6th century in other Sinitic varieties.[13] Hokkien has 5 to 7 tones, or 7 to 9 tones according to traditional sense, depending on the variety. The Amoy dialect for example, has 7-8 tones.


Speakers of proper Hokkien language live in the areas of Xiamen, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou in southern Fujian. Most Min Nan-speaking groups in southern Fujian refer to themselves by the area where they live, for example: Quanzhou, Zhangzhou, Teochew people or Hailufeng people.


Hokkien women performing the Dragon Boat dance in traditional attire in Hong Kong.


Main article: Hoklo Taiwanese

Southern Min-speaking areas in South China and Taiwan. Only the speakers of Quanzhou-Zhangzhou dialects (also known as Hokkien) are seen as Hoklos.

About 70% of the Taiwanese people descend from Hoklo immigrants who arrived to the island prior to the start of Japanese rule in 1895. They could be categorized as originating from Xiamen, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou based on their dialects and districts of origin.[14][better source needed] People from the former two areas (Quanzhou-speaking) were dominant in the north of the island and along the west coast, whereas people from the latter two areas (Zhangzhou-speaking) were dominant in the south and perhaps the central plains as well.

Hong Kong

Main article: Hong Kong people of Fujianese descent

Southeast Asia

The Hoklo or Hokkien-lang (as they are known in Southeast Asia) are the largest ethnic group among Chinese communities in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and the southern part of Thailand. These communities contain the highest concentrations of Hokkien-lang in the region. The various Hokkien language are still widely spoken in these countries, but the daily use of them is slowly decreasing in favor of Mandarin Chinese, English, and local languages.

The Hokkien-lang also make up the largest ethnic group among Chinese Indonesians.

In the Philippines, the Hoklo or Hokkien-lang call themselves Lannang and form the majority of the Sinitic people in the country known as Chinese Filipinos. The native Hokkien language is still spoken there.

United States

Main article: Hoklo Americans

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2016)

After the 1960s, many Taiwanese people (大員民族/大員族) from Taiwan) began immigrating to the United States and Canada.

Notable Hoklo people

For a more comprehensive list, see List of Hokkien people.

See also


  1. ^ "Hokkien" is sometimes erroneously used to refer to all Fujianese people.


  1. ^ 闽南文化研究. 2004. ISBN 9787806409633.
  2. ^ Ng, Maria; Holden, Philip, eds. (1 September 2006). Reading Chinese transnationalisms: society, literature, film. Hong Kong University Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-962-209-796-4.
  3. ^ Lewis, M. Paul, ed. (2005), "Indonesia", Ethnologue: Languages of the World (15th ed.), Dallas, T.X.: SIL International, ISBN 978-1-55671-159-6, retrieved 26 January 2010.
  4. ^ Mya Than (1997). Leo Suryadinata (ed.). Ethnic Chinese As Southeast Asians. ISBN 0-312-17576-0.
  5. ^ 2005-2009 American Community Survey
  6. ^ Damm, Jens (2012). "Multiculturalism in Taiwan and the Influence of Europe". In Damm, Jens; Lim, Paul (eds.). European perspectives on Taiwan. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. p. 62. ISBN 9783531943039.
  7. ^ Bolton, Kingsley; Botha, Werner; Kirkpatrick, Andy (14 September 2020). The Handbook of Asian Englishes. ISBN 9781118791653.
  8. ^ Ding 2016, p. 1.
  9. ^ Ding 2016, p. 3.
  10. ^ Exec. Yuan (2014), pp. 36, 48.
  11. ^ Naoyoshi Ogawa, ed. (1931–1932). "hô-ló (福佬)". 臺日大辭典 [Taiwanese-Japanese Dictionary] (in Japanese and Taiwanese Hokkien). Vol. 2. Taihoku: Governor-General of Taiwan. p. 829. OCLC 25747241.
  12. ^ Gu Yanwu (1985). 《天下郡國利病書》:郭造卿《防閩山寇議》. 上海書店. OCLC 19398998. 猺人循接壤處....常稱城邑人為河老,謂自河南遷來畏之,繇陳元光將卒始也
  13. ^ Kane, Daniel (2006). The Chinese language: its history and current usage. Tuttle Publishing. pp. 100–102. ISBN 978-0-8048-3853-5.
  14. ^ Davidson (1903), p. 591.