Hainan people

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The people of Hainan (Chinese: 海南人), known as Hainanese and Hainan people, usually refers to people who originate from Hainan Island, the southernmost and smallest Chinese province. The term "Hainanese" was frequently used by the Hainanese Han (海南漢人) who are the majority in the island, to identify themselves overseas. Nevertheless, other natives of the island such as Li (黎族), Miao (苗族), and Utsuls also use the term.


Most Hainanese Han people were originally fishermen from the Fujian and Guangdong provinces who later settled in Hainan, while the Li natives came to the island earlier from the mainland.

Similarly to Fujian and Guangdong province, Hainan has been the source for much migration. Most of the Chinese diaspora trace their ancestry through these three provinces. Towards the turn of the 20th century, many of them migrated to the various Southeast Asian countries, where they worked as cooks, restaurateurs, coffeeshop owners, sailors, and hoteliers. In fact, the person who actually created the world-famous Singapore Sling at the renowned Singapore Raffles Hotel, Mr. Ngiam Tong Boon, was himself a Hainanese.


The Hainanese are known for their signature dishes such as the Hainanese Chicken Rice, Hainanese Pork Chop, Hainanese Mutton Soup, Hainanese Salted Fish Soup and beef noodle soup. In Singapore, one can find some of these signature dishes served at the various eateries located along Purvis Street - which is often...
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