Cantonese is the second largest Chinese dialect spoken among Chinese in Malaysia. A majority of Cantonese speaking Chinese are the descendants of immigrants who came from the Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi in the mid 19th and early 20th centuries.
Cantonese as a spoken language tends to sound more aggressive and rude than the other Chinese dialects. Cantonese is the Chinese lingua franca in cities and towns such as Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Kuantan, Seremban, and Sandakan. The Cantonese are one of the most urbanized groups with more than 80 percent living in towns. In the central region of Peninsular Malaysia, it is easy to find Chinese conversing in Cantonese. They are the majority Chinese people in the states of Negri Sembilan, Perak, Pahang, and Sabah.
In the past, the traditional stereotype of the Cantonese, as well as other Chinese groups, was that they were thrifty, expedient, hard working, and prudent. They were also regarded as shrewd in business and able to quickly learn new skills, which for the most part, are those of small traders and crafts people. However, a better way to describe the Cantonese is that they have adopted a pragmatic solution to the problem of struggling to thrive. They place great importance and value on education because they view education as a means to improve their standard of living. Today, the Cantonese together with the rest of the Chinese communities are one of the most academically competitive groups in the country.
As they are favored in the public service, private sector is the main source of employment for almost the whole Chinese population inclusive of the Cantonese. Presently, Cantonese people are no longer restricted to work in positions like blue-collar technical workers and goldsmiths but are employed in all sorts of trade and services.
Like other Chinese groups, the majority of Cantonese profess faith in Buddhism but what they practice is correctly called Chinese folk religion. It incorporates traditional Chinese practices such as the belief in deities (bodhisattvas) who help people gain salvation.
Most Cantonese households have the deity Guanyin (the goddess of mercy) on the family altar. Guanyin is believed to have compassion for people in need. Religion, like other aspects of their life, is pragmatic and relates to the everyday issues of life. At the time of offering incense it is a routine for the Cantonese to ask Guanyin and the other deities or spirits for blessing, protection, good health, etc.
Most Cantonese place great importance and value on education and skills. They believe that sufficient education and skill improvement can help them improve their standard of living. In spite of professed beliefs in either Buddhism or Christianity, the risk of materialism replacing recognition of true spiritual needs is great. Pray that God's children will be reawakened to His Truth and be motivated to become His instruments in demonstrating the transforming Power of the good news. Pray that the Cantonese will see the love, grace, and mercy of God in the commitment and service of these instruments.
* Scripture Prayers for the Han Chinese, Cantonese in Malaysia.
|Profile Source: Southeast Asia Link - SEALINK Copyrighted © Used with permission|
|People Name General||Han Chinese, Cantonese|
|People Name in Country||Han Chinese, Cantonese|
|Progress Scale||4 ●|
|Frontier People Group||No|
|GSEC||2 (per PeopleGroups.org)|
|Pioneer Workers Needed|
|Alternate Names||Baihua; Cantonese; Guangdong Hua; Guangxi; Gwong Dung Waa; Hakka; Han Chinese; Hoa (Hán); Macau Chinese; Nung; Punti; Totok; Yuet; Yuh|
|Persecution Rank||42 (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)|
|Location in Country||Peninsular, largest community in Johor State. Source: Ethnologue 2016|
|Primary Language||Chinese, Yue (1,443,000 speakers)|
|Language Code||yue Ethnologue Listing|
|Language Written||Yes ScriptSource Listing|
Primary Language: Chinese, Yue
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible-New Testament||Yes (1877)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum Bible Agencies|
|National Bible Societies|
|World Bible Finder|
|Resource Type ▲||Resource Name|
|Audio Recordings||Audio Bible teaching (GRN)|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament - Cantonese (FCBH)|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament - Revised Union (FCBH)|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament - Simplified (FCBH)|
|Audio Recordings||Online New Testament - Union (FCBH)|
|Audio Recordings||Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)|
|Audio Recordings||Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)|
|Film / Video||God's Story Video|
|Film / Video||Jesus Film: view in Chinese, Yue|
|Film / Video||Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)|
|Film / Video||My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)|
|Film / Video||Open the Doors See the Mountains|
|Film / Video||Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)|
|Film / Video||The Prophets' Story|
|Film / Video||The Story of Xiao Nong|
|Text / Printed Matter||Bible: Chinese Union Version, Shangti 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|
|Christianity (Evangelical 8.05 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|