Han Chinese, Teochew in Malaysia





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

Teochew speaking Chinese constitute the fifth largest Chinese dialect spoken among Chinese in Malaysia. Originally, the ethnic Teochew ancestors came from the vicinity of Shautou in northern Guangdong and southern Fujian in China. Additionally, they were known as the Chaoshan people or people of the mountains of Chao. The term Teochew (Chaozhou in phonetic Mandarin) came from the name of the ancient riverside city of Chaozhou in China, a major port in that region. The Teochew dialect is essentially the language of the Chaoshan people. It evolved from the Hokkien dialect and is therefore a part of the Minnan subgoup to which Hokkien also belongs. In Malaysia, there are a number of Teochew variants (each peculiar by sub-region) with sometimes vastly different pronunciations and or tones.

Teochew speaking Chinese throughout Malaysia are concentrated in certain regions. As a result, their dialect is often the primary language spoken. Major concentrations of Chinese speaking Teochew are found in Kedah and north Perak states.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The early Teochew adventurers came to Malaysia in order to seek a better life. In the past, they specialized as grocers. With rapid socio-economic changes in Malaysia, Teochew people work in many professions, interacting with people of other races. In the states of Kedah and north Perak, Chinese speaking Teochew are predominantly fisherman. Traditionally, Teochew, like all other Chinese groups, lived with their nuclear or extended families. Although there are still a good number of Teochew villages existing in some parts of Malaysia, many members of these communities are moving to developed towns and cities in pursuit of social and economic advancement.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Teochew speaking Chinese are very particular about their safety both at work and at home. They often use the Mandarin phrase churu ping'an, which ensures one's safety on undertaking a journey or on returning home. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a typical Teochew speaking Chinese family to place the paintings of two door deities called Qin Qiong and Yuchi Gong (AD 618-907 Tang dynasty's top two generals of emperor Taizong who stood guard outside his bedroom door) on their doors to protect the family. Teochew villages in every rural area establish a small shrine for Tudigong, which is the earth god. He is also enshrined in every Teochew household, shop, and temple. Tudigong is a local deity who keeps track of all births and deaths in the area under his jurisdiction and he accompanies the newly departed soul to the courts of purgatory to await judgment. Teochew speaking Chinese also worship or offer sacrifices to Tudigong when their children are illness or have offended the deity. A small percentage of the Teochew are Christian.

What Are Their Needs?

Many Teochew are drawn away from their communities in order to find a new and better lifestyle in the cosmopolitan cities. However, many others still live in isolated fishing villages. Pray that God's will minister to those Teochew speaking Chinese who are shifting to urban areas and are search for meaning in life. Pray also that God will send similar ministers to the Teochew back in their isolated fishing villages.

Profile Source:   Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Han Chinese, Teochew
People Name in Country Han Chinese, Teochew
Population in Malaysia 993,000
World Population 1,680,000
Countries 3
Progress Scale 3.1
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Han Chinese, Teochew
Affinity Bloc East Asian Peoples
People Cluster Chinese
People Name General Han Chinese, Teochew
Ethnic Code MSY42a
People ID 12055
Country Malaysia
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 37  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Chinese, Min Nan: Chaochow (993,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Chinese, Min Nan: Chaochow 993,000

For Main Lanugage: Chinese, Min Nan

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1875-1916)
New Testament Yes   (1896-1974)
Complete Bible Yes   (1884-1933)
Audio Bible Online
Format Resource
Audio Recordings Amoy Bible
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Chinese, Min Nan
General Four Spiritual Laws
Text / Printed Matter Bible-in-Your-Language
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Edition, Simplified
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti Edition, Simplified
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Edition, Simplified
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shen Edition, Simplified
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Revised Chinese Union Version, Traditional
Text / Printed Matter Bible: 新譯本(繁體字版)
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
20.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 5.00 %)
10.00 %
Ethnic Religions
43.00 %
0.00 %
2.00 %
25.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
45.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
5.0 %
25.0 %
Roman Catholic
25.0 %
Photo Source: Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Profile Source: Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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