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Why do some Northern Chinese Look Southern Chinese ?


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#1 Andy Lau

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 11:35 PM

I always asked myself this question, when i see a group of chinese from some Northern Chinese provinces "Why do some Northern Chinese look like Southern Chinese ?"

One example is this Shandong Women
Posted Image

http://www.theprovin...3592/story.html

Another example is Premier Wen Jiabao, from Tianjin

Posted Image

#2 mohistManiac

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:40 AM

I always asked myself this question, when i see a group of chinese from some Northern Chinese provinces "Why do some Northern Chinese look like Southern Chinese ?"

One example is this Shandong Women
Posted Image

http://www.theprovin...3592/story.html

Another example is Premier Wen Jiabao, from Tianjin

Posted Image


This is due to gradual gradation of human looks. But many oversimplify and categorize the north and south separately as though they don't meet at the center. it usually means taking the extremes and making them represent the whole populations. Therefore I can easily say this Tungus man from Siberia looks northern Chinese. http://upload.wikime...at_vorogovo.jpg Notice sharper more raised features including heavy browline jawline

But this is ultimately absurd as Siberia is only associated with China but arguments have been made to say they are entirely northern Chinese just like Innuits or whatever. I mean if this is the case why not make the argument that Kazakhs and Mongolians look eastern European? You see the absurdity. These people have their own lands and form the other part of the gradation going from north to south of China or of Chinese looks going from west to east. They cannot logically represent all of the northern or western or whatever direction. Just like people will want to think they know what southern Chinese look like and make exception to people like Wen Jia Bao. I mean Wen Jiabao looks southern so Chen Shui Bian looks northern? Can't we make an exception to Chen Shui Bian also? Maybe even think he looks Kazahk due to his razor eyes. But the fact is Chen Shui Bian and Wen Jia Bao also look similar. Wen Jiabao simply does not represent the whole of southern China. Chen Shui Bian does not represent the whole of northern. Sorry for the burst in your bubble. Southern Chinese are a mix of peoples as there is not a single typified look even if they diverge in terms of features found commonly in the higher reaches of northern China.
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#3 Andy Lau

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:33 PM

I'm not stating nor concluding, just wondering why (aka asking CHF members, if they might know why and backed up with facts) there are a fair amount of Northerners that have similar looks found in Southern Chinese.

Another example is this Henan girl:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLA22mHEFwU

Another is a Zhengzhou, Henan women:
Posted Image

Link: http://www.loveme.co.../info118005.htm

=========================================================

Chen Shui Bian is a common look among Minnan people. It's funny that Wen Jiabao looks like one of my relatives lol

My theory would be that the Chinese inhabiting the Central Plains in the past probably looked something similar to the common Southern Chinese look and as many non-han dynasties (Tungus, Turks, Mongols, Manchu, etc) invaded Northern China, they brought with them their people to inhabite and mix with the Northern Chinese population. In addition, with waves of Han Chinese migrating south into Southern China, and being isolated from political and cultural change - occuring in the North - the Chinese in the South were able to preserve their language, culture and genetics. Hence which is why Southern Chinese dialects like Wu, Min, Xiang, Hakka and Cantonese are closer to Old and Middle Chinese.

Another theory could be that the Chinese inhabiting the Central Plains in the past were already a mixture of people fom North and South and what united the Han ethnicity was the culture and the writing system.

Edited by Andy Lau, 11 September 2012 - 11:13 PM.


#4 mohistManiac

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:19 PM

Chen Shui Bian is a common look among Minnan people. It's funny that Wen Jiabao looks like one of my relatives lol

My theory would be that the Chinese inhabiting the Central Plains in the past probably looked something similar to the common Southern Chinese look and as many non-han dynasties (Tungus, Turks, Mongols, Manchu, etc) invaded Northern China, they brought with them their people to inhabite and mix with the Northern Chinese population.


I think Chen Shui Bian looks Kazakh with his sharp eyes and nose. I guess many Minnan people have ties across to Central Asia. Very interesting considering the wide gap in between. I wonder what their story could have been. Perhaps adventure trade or intermarriage across countless lineages of royalty that made it possible for one to look like another over so great a distance.
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#5 Trimac20

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:19 AM

Ever heard of modern migration?

Folk from the south moved north. It happens in every country. We have planes, trains and automobiles these days.

#6 baybal

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 03:11 AM

I think Chen Shui Bian looks Kazakh with his sharp eyes and nose. I guess many Minnan people have ties across to Central Asia. Very interesting considering the wide gap in between. I wonder what their story could have been. Perhaps adventure trade or intermarriage across countless lineages of royalty that made it possible for one to look like another over so great a distance.

For me, he does not to any extent look Kazakh, although if you disregard his tan skin you can say that he has some Eurasian touch. Ma is much more Northern. I would say, he can pass for Kazakh if he wouldn't speak Chinese.

Most of Southern looking people up north is a product of natural diffusion of genes, but you shouldn't disregard historical events. Far North was a communist favourite laogai destination and a place for mass deportation of Cantonese. Some older generation people in Harbin still remember that there were a lot of Cantonese villages around the city in Mao and early Post-Mao period.

Edited by baybal, 10 November 2012 - 03:15 AM.


#7 mohistManiac

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 06:55 AM

For me, he does not to any extent look Kazakh, although if you disregard his tan skin you can say that he has some Eurasian touch. Ma is much more Northern. I would say, he can pass for Kazakh if he wouldn't speak Chinese.

Most of Southern looking people up north is a product of natural diffusion of genes, but you shouldn't disregard historical events. Far North was a communist favourite laogai destination and a place for mass deportation of Cantonese. Some older generation people in Harbin still remember that there were a lot of Cantonese villages around the city in Mao and early Post-Mao period.


I say it's Kazakh or somewhere along the lines of northern. Look at his picture here and don't tell me it doesn't resemble something Russian.

http://www.plaidaven...07/09/chens.jpg
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#8 Eidolon

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:20 PM

His picture in no way resembles a Russian.

But trying to match pictures to ethnographic stereotypes is, in general, silly because of how reliant it is on the observer's own personal biases and the observed's gene expression. This is why physical anthropology isn't based on 'what does he look like to you,' but accurate measurements and averaged statistics.

#9 Eidolon

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 03:05 PM

My theory would be that the Chinese inhabiting the Central Plains in the past probably looked something similar to the common Southern Chinese look and as many non-han dynasties (Tungus, Turks, Mongols, Manchu, etc) invaded Northern China, they brought with them their people to inhabite and mix with the Northern Chinese population. In addition, with waves of Han Chinese migrating south into Southern China, and being isolated from political and cultural change - occuring in the North - the Chinese in the South were able to preserve their language, culture and genetics. Hence which is why Southern Chinese dialects like Wu, Min, Xiang, Hakka and Cantonese are closer to Old and Middle Chinese.

Another theory could be that the Chinese inhabiting the Central Plains in the past were already a mixture of people fom North and South and what united the Han ethnicity was the culture and the writing system.


First of all, 'North' and 'South' are clusters that appear in a metrics graph. They are not pure populations, nor are they underlying admixture components.

Second, the divide between northern and southern China is fuzzy in anthropological terms. While there is a genetic barrier along the Yangtze, variation within China follows a clinal pattern. That is to say, the average looks / genes of people are distinguished by degrees of physical proximity, and this only applies to the average. Due to the way genes manifest themselves in populations through gene expression, an individual with a small amount of genes from a 'southern' population is nonetheless capable of expressing them to the fullest within the space of a single generation. This is why brothers / sisters don't look the same, but are capable of rather large variation in physical looks.

Third, the Chinese population in the Central Plains today is genetically and physically continuous with older populations in the same region from the late Longshan onwards. They did not look 'southern' and then became 'northern' during the course of Chinese history. The skeletons from Shang and Zhou era sites cluster with 'northern' Chinese. Qin and Han Dynasty sites also cluster with 'northern' Chinese.

Fourth, it is an outright distortion to say that southern Chinese populations are not heavily admixed with southern native populations. The Southern Dynasties were full of records of a moderately sized Chinese elite living among, and gradually absorbing, larger populations of southern aboriginals. Intermarriage between the Chinese elite and the southern native elite, in the Southern Dynasties, was standard.

Fifth, the same goes for language: southern Chinese languages, while preserving certain traits of older forms of Chinese that were lost in northern China, have also taken on traits of southern Austric, HM, and Tai-Kradai languages.

Sixth, your 'theory' is transparently self serving given your past posts. It's obvious that you're trying to show that Cantonese are 'original Chinese' against all evidence of the opposite.

Edited by Eidolon, 16 November 2012 - 03:11 PM.


#10 mohistManiac

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:29 PM

First of all, 'North' and 'South' are clusters that appear in a metrics graph. They are not pure populations, nor are they underlying admixture components.

Second, the divide between northern and southern China is fuzzy in anthropological terms. While there is a genetic barrier along the Yangtze, variation within China follows a clinal pattern. That is to say, the average looks / genes of people are distinguished by degrees of physical proximity, and this only applies to the average. Due to the way genes manifest themselves in populations through gene expression, an individual with a small amount of genes from a 'southern' population is nonetheless capable of expressing them to the fullest within the space of a single generation. This is why brothers / sisters don't look the same, but are capable of rather large variation in physical looks.

Third, the Chinese population in the Central Plains today is genetically and physically continuous with older populations in the same region from the late Longshan onwards. They did not look 'southern' and then became 'northern' during the course of Chinese history. The skeletons from Shang and Zhou era sites cluster with 'northern' Chinese. Qin and Han Dynasty sites also cluster with 'northern' Chinese.

Fourth, it is an outright distortion to say that southern Chinese populations are not heavily admixed with southern native populations. The Southern Dynasties were full of records of a moderately sized Chinese elite living among, and gradually absorbing, larger populations of southern aboriginals. Intermarriage between the Chinese elite and the southern native elite, in the Southern Dynasties, was standard.

Fifth, the same goes for language: southern Chinese languages, while preserving certain traits of older forms of Chinese that were lost in northern China, have also taken on traits of southern Austric, HM, and Tai-Kradai languages.

Sixth, your 'theory' is transparently self serving given your past posts. It's obvious that you're trying to show that Cantonese are 'original Chinese' against all evidence of the opposite.


What is with this whole late Longshan onwards? Do we dig people out of Longshan now to find out what original Chinese looked like? Chinese some 4 - 5 thousand years ago looked in their own right different from what people in China looked today because they were only beginning to transition from hunter gatherer tuber eating lifestyle to the agricultural city state lifestyle such as in Liangzhu. A person's wisdom teeth growing out of alignment are precisely due to the diet changes which have occurred since agriculture. Previously they had bigger jaws stronger forebrow larger eyes all in accordance with having the need for stronger jaw muscles to chew through bark and the like. Now granted these features probably do appear in more often than not places in China which are attributed to northern Chinese history so there may be some connection there but lets not forget the evidence of receding jawline within the Chinese. They did a comparison study with Japanese which showed the exact same thing when the modern Japanese evolved out of their aboriginals.

http://www-personal....n Maeda.pdf.pdf


Also lets not forget that the northern Chinese are also mixed heavily with people from Mongolia who themselves have been caucasianized to a large degree because people who moved their herds around the steppe moved throughout the world not to mention their entire Mongol empire at the time of Yuan was the largest land empire ever to exist. The only thing southern Chinese ever moved were their water buffalo for agricultural purposes. So are you pretending as though the Cantonese are not original Chinese? that they somehow look and speak things which aren't Chinese? when the direct evidence for all that is in the north? Even by accounts of their language it is a more preservative rendition of what was spoken during the Tang. Now unless you change your mind as well and believe the Tang were not Chinese.

Edited by mohistManiac, 16 November 2012 - 04:56 PM.

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#11 Eidolon

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:48 PM

Cantonese are certainly not 'original Central Plains Chinese' from the genetic angle, which is what Andy Lau was alluding to. I am not making further statements about whether Cantonese are 'genetic Chinese' because that is tautological, but existing genetic studies have been done on Central Plains Chinese from the period he is talking about, and Cantonese =/= those people.

Edited by Eidolon, 06 December 2012 - 07:50 PM.


#12 mohistManiac

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:23 PM

delete


Edited by mohistManiac, 13 March 2013 - 07:40 PM.

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#13 mohistManiac

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 08:22 PM

ALERT...The truth is being revealed...ALERT

 

Fourth, it is an outright distortion to say that southern Chinese populations are not heavily admixed with southern native populations. The Southern Dynasties were full of records of a moderately sized Chinese elite living among, and gradually absorbing, larger populations of southern aboriginals. Intermarriage between the Chinese elite and the southern native elite, in the Southern Dynasties, was standard.

 

Cantonese are certainly not 'original Central Plains Chinese' from the genetic angle, which is what Andy Lau was alluding to. I am not making further statements about whether Cantonese are 'genetic Chinese' because that is tautological, but existing genetic studies have been done on Central Plains Chinese from the period he is talking about, and Cantonese =/= those people.

 

Cantonese are not in central plains and were not mixing with other types in the region such as ancient north China type and north asiatic type during the Zhou period.

 

From paper by J. Yang "Differentiation of two types of cultural remains of the eastern zhou period in north china"

 

 

mongolicblood.jpg

 

 

Don't you see?  By the time of the preeminence of the Zhou had ended the Rong and Di had already been assimilated amongst the north Chinese.  The correlation is that there's no more pure Zhou eminence because there's no more pure Rong and Di blood available which could enforce Zhou suzerainty.  Hu and Xiongnu further off the charts presented an even greater and later threat during the Han dynasty.  Many of these got assimilated in northern southern dynasties period.  In more recent times this is just like the Manchu situation.  Their empire declined as soon as they discovered there was nobody left to train in the steppe method since they gradually assembled their land into Han domain. And you want to convince people that the original central plains type was somehow not a southern native type?  Central plains type have been heavily admixed with a bunch of northern ethnics since the time of Zhou. 

 

For all the effort you present in showing how southern native Chinese populations were separate from the central plains you come no closer to overturning the truth about central plains people as not being ethnically pure in any time period.  This is expressed by the archaeological record, which you yourself highly recommend we take into consideration.  Central plains type were originally native, temporally speaking, the same as other southern types but which got conglomerated with an assortment of peoples further to the north that shaped them to become more characteristic of ancient north China types and north asiatic types.  That's why those cluster more closely with the northern Chinese.  The northern Chinese in turn migrated to the south recursively allowing non native gene flow to further south in China as time went on.  Where the Yellow river meets Ordos, continuous usage by non natives throughout Chinese history was the norm.  The north is generally more genetically inclusive of Mongolics than it is of genetics from Hans.  There are still some 30 to 40 ethnic groups in the north which have just got recently introduced as late as the Yuan dynasty.


Edited by mohistManiac, 13 March 2013 - 08:53 PM.

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#14 Eidolon

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:20 PM

ALERT...The truth is being revealed...ALERT

 

 

Cantonese are not in central plains and were not mixing with other types in the region such as ancient north China type and north asiatic type during the Zhou period.

 

From paper by J. Yang "Differentiation of two types of cultural remains of the eastern zhou period in north china"

 

 

 

 

Don't you see?  By the time of the preeminence of the Zhou had ended the Rong and Di had already been assimilated amongst the north Chinese.  The correlation is that there's no more pure Zhou eminence because there's no more pure Rong and Di blood available which could enforce Zhou suzerainty.  Hu and Xiongnu further off the charts presented an even greater and later threat during the Han dynasty.  Many of these got assimilated in northern southern dynasties period.  In more recent times this is just like the Manchu situation.  Their empire declined as soon as they discovered there was nobody left to train in the steppe method since they gradually assembled their land into Han domain. And you want to convince people that the original central plains type was somehow not a southern native type?  Central plains type have been heavily admixed with a bunch of northern ethnics since the time of Zhou. 

 

For all the effort you present in showing how southern native Chinese populations were separate from the central plains you come no closer to overturning the truth about central plains people as not being ethnically pure in any time period.  This is expressed by the archaeological record, which you yourself highly recommend we take into consideration.  Central plains type were originally native, temporally speaking, the same as other southern types but which got conglomerated with an assortment of peoples further to the north that shaped them to become more characteristic of ancient north China types and north asiatic types.  That's why those cluster more closely with the northern Chinese.  The northern Chinese in turn migrated to the south recursively allowing non native gene flow to further south in China as time went on.  Where the Yellow river meets Ordos, continuous usage by non natives throughout Chinese history was the norm.  The north is generally more genetically inclusive of Mongolics than it is of genetics from Hans.  There are still some 30 to 40 ethnic groups in the north which have just got recently introduced as late as the Yuan dynasty.

 

What in the world are you talking about? Your paper is a study of sites in northern Hebei, showing that people there were admixtures of the North Asiatic, Ancient North China, and Ancient Central Plains type. Its remark about the lack of pure Ancient North China types was in reference to northern Hebei becoming admixed during the eastern Zhou, and the term refers to people in the northern stretches of Shanxi and Hebei. How in the world did you arrive at the conclusion that this shows the Ancient Central Plains type were equivalent to Ancient South China types? This paper doesn't even say that the Ancient Central Plains type was not pure, which you tried to extrapolate without evidence.

 

This paper is basically talking about how the Central Plains culture and demographic expanded northwards during the Zhou. The Central Plains culture and demographic during the Zhou was the Zhou culture and the demographic at the capital of the Zhou, which funny enough you refuse to call 'Chinese,' thereby contradicting yourself.


Edited by Eidolon, 19 March 2013 - 08:24 PM.


#15 mohistManiac

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:55 AM

What in the world are you talking about? Your paper is a study of sites in northern Hebei, showing that people there were admixtures of the North Asiatic, Ancient North China, and Ancient Central Plains type. Its remark about the lack of pure Ancient North China types was in reference to northern Hebei becoming admixed during the eastern Zhou, and the term refers to people in the northern stretches of Shanxi and Hebei. How in the world did you arrive at the conclusion that this shows the Ancient Central Plains type were equivalent to Ancient South China types? This paper doesn't even say that the Ancient Central Plains type was not pure, which you tried to extrapolate without evidence.

 

This paper is basically talking about how the Central Plains culture and demographic expanded northwards during the Zhou. The Central Plains culture and demographic during the Zhou was the Zhou culture and the demographic at the capital of the Zhou, which funny enough you refuse to call 'Chinese,' thereby contradicting yourself.

 

The paper is more than a study of northern Hebei.  It was a study primarily of Rong and Di and how these ought to be differentiated from Hu and Xiongnu which were temporally displaced from interacting with China until after the Rong and Di's assimilation or conglomeration created a vacuum.  The skeletal features found in Hebei was singled out of the rest of the other provinces, which didn't make it into the paper for reasons unstated.  The Hebei types was interpreted to show none other than admixture during the period.  State of Zhao freely mingled with Hu as the Qin freely mingled with Rong and Di that could be put under their yoke.  The Zhou were firly implanted in the middle of the warring states AFTER they moved from their western stronghold.  What more needs to be said?


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