Today, we reach the final part of our series about the ancient capital of the Shang Dynasty, located where today the city of Zhengzhou stands. Now, among the Hakka people, Zhengzhou is widely considered to be their ancestral home. The Hakka are a unique group of people in China. They are descended from migrants who came originally from China’s Central Plains region. At one time or another and for various reasons, such as war, uprisings and changes of dynasty, people from the Central Plains would seek refuge in the South. Collectively, they became known as the Hakka. Every year, there are Hakka people who undertake a pilgrimage to Zhengzhou, to honour their ancestors there.
The Central Plains region was the ancestral home of the migrants, and also the cradle of Chinese civilization. Without doubt, it was hard for them to tear themselves away. To make matters worse, the southward journey was not always as peaceful as they might have hoped.
The massive migration of the Hakka people around the time when the Mongols seized control of China, undoubtedly dealt a blow to the progress of civilization along the Yellow River. As for the Hakka themselves, south of the Nan Mountains they were faced with the challenge of integrating their own culture with that of the local indigenous people.
In recent years, Hakka people have been drawn to Zhengzhou in increasing numbers, hoping to discover their roots there. If current trends continue, we can assume that during the rest of this century many more Hakka people will be returning from abroad, most of them intent on finding business success. Zhengzhou, as their ancestral home, will naturally benefit from this trend.