Comprehensive Child Marriage Research Library

Book Reviews: Passion, Poverty and Travel: Traditional Hakka Songs and Ballads

Author(s):

Object Type:

McLaren, Anne E

Book Review

Year & Month/Season:

2016

1

Decemeber

Publication/Publisher:

The China Quarterly

Peer Reviewed

false

PDF Available?

false

Public Link:

ISSN (If Available)

0305-7410

If Journal Article:

ISBN (If Book):

Page Start

1142

Page End

1143

Volume

228

Issue

N/A

DOI

10.1017/S0305741016001417

N/A

Students Against Child Marriage's Object Summary:

Anne Mclaren reviews one of the first ever translations of traditional Hakka folklore and ballad poetry into English. Written by Wilt Idema, Passion, Poetry and Travel is an anthology of “mountain songs” (sung in open air) passed down among the Hakka people. Originally from the mountains of China’s southern provinces, they were forced out by poverty and now live across China, Southeast Asia, and the United States. The anthology contains love songs, depictions of traditional courting and marriage customs, and the hardships of emigration. They deal with traditional topics of folklore like live, morality, comedy, satire, and much more. This volume is ideal for people with an interest in folklore, oral traditions, transnational migration, Chinese literature, or the Hakka people.

Article Abstract (If Available):

Passion, Poverty and Travel: Traditional Hakka Songs and Ballads Wilt L. Idema Singapore : World Scientific viii + 453 pp. £50.00; $75.00 ISBN 978-1-938134-65-4 Book Reviews In Passion, Poverty and Travel, Wilt Idema presents us with the first substantial anthology of the oral traditions of the Chinese Hakka people in English translation. The "mountain songs" (songs sung in the open air), narrative ballads and bamboo-clapper songs translated here provide an unrivalled opportunity to gain insight into how the Hakka dealt with the rigours of their existence and transmitted a deep sense of Hakka identity. The young girl contributed to the family labour and could well serve as nanny to her future husband: "She's a grown-up girl of eighteen, he's a husband of three/Weeping and crying, she takes him to bed in her arms" (p. 70).

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