Due to the COVID19 epidemic, the 31st World Hakka Conference has been postponed from October 8-10, 2021 to June 24-26, 2022. The organizing committee of the 31st World Hakka Conference held a simultaneous ZOOM video press conference in Toronto and Vancouver this Friday (May 21, 2021) to announce this important information.
This ZOOM press conference was hosted by Mr. Chuan Yu Jiang, Secretary General of the 31st World Hakka Conference Organizing Committee and Executive Vice President of the [Canadian Hakka Friendship Association in BC]. Mr. Joe Li, Co-Chair of the 31st World Hakka Conference, member of the York Region Council and Regional Councillor at the City of Markham, introduced the preparations for the conference. Mr. James Wingnean Chu, Co-Chair of the 31st World Hakka Conference and President of the Hakka Canadian Association, introduced the history, purpose and significance of the World Hakka Conference in Canada. Mr. Andy Taylor, Chief Administrative Officer of the City of Markham, also took time out of his busy schedule to attend this press conference. Other key officials of the organizing committee also introduced the progress of work at the conference.
The 31st World Hakka Conference is the first time that the World Hakka Conference is held in Canada, and has received strong support from all three levels of government in Canada, as well as the trust and support of Hakka folks around the world. This year 2021 is the 50th anniversary of the World Hakka Conference, which has been held in 22 cities in 11 countries and regions in Asia, the United States and Africa, since the first conference was held in Hong Kong on September 28, 1971, and has gradually expanded in scale from a mere fraternity to an event that integrates economic cooperation, cultural exchanges and academic seminars. For a long time, the conference has been promoting the Hakka spirit, spreading Chinese culture, and enhancing the unity of hundreds of millions of Hakka families at home and abroad, while gradually developing into one of the most influential international Chinese events, and an important platform for Hakka folks at home and abroad to liaise with each other and conduct transnational and cross-regional exchanges.
Together with the City of Markham, Canada, the Hakka Canadian Association was honoured to receive the hosting right to host the 31st World Hakka Conference at the 29th World Hakka Conference in 2017, and the theme of the Conference was “Hakka Reunion in Markham & World Harmony”. Since then, the World Hakka Conference has entered Markham, and our Canadian Hakka teams are actively preparing and working hard with great enthusiasm, in the hope that the world’s fellow Hakkas and guests from various countries will gather in Canada to visit friends and relatives and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the World Hakka Conferences, and we looked forward to the success of the Conference.
It seems that mother nature is testing the resilience of Hakka people, as a new Corona virus that ravaged the world in 2020 had a far-reaching impact. More than a year has passed since 2020, and the epidemic is still serious, and the daily lives of people around the world have not yet returned to normal. After careful consideration, the organizing committee of the conference, deeply convinced that the health and safety of Hakka folks around the world is of utmost importance, has listened humbly to the suggestion of postponing and decided to postpone the 31st World Hakka Conference, originally scheduled for October 8-10, 2021, to June 24-26, 2022, in Markham, Canada.
Mr. Joe Li, Co-Chair of the Conference, introduced the preparations for the Conference at the press conference. He said, “The purpose of the Hakka Canadian Association’s bid for the World Hakka Conference is to introduce the World Hakka Conference to Canada, to enhance the understanding of Hakka culture among the Canadian people, and to allow Hakka people from other parts of the world to get to know Canada.
Regarding the preparations for the conference, Mr. Li said that the 31st World Hakka Conference Organizing Committee is divided into different departments to take charge of various tasks, such as contacting and promoting to fellow Hakkas and associations worldwide, managing registration work smoothly and increasing the number of sponsors. Meanwhile, the federal government of Canada, the provincial government of Ontario, the regional government of York and the municipal government of Markham all expressed their strong support! Especially, the Mayor of Markham, Mr. Frank Scarpitti, is very concerned about the conference and asked to make it an outstanding event. The conference venue, hotels, tours and transportation for delegates are being arranged and actively promoted. Mr. Li thanked the media contacts present today for covering the news of the conference and expanding the publicity.
On behalf of the Organizing Committee, Co-Chair Li expressed his deep appreciation to the nearly 500 delegates who have already registered and paid their fees for 2021, which is the greatest encouragement and confidence to our Organizing Committee under the epidemic. These delegates’ names and payments will be automatically transferred and credited towards the new conference dates in 2022. Co-Chair Li also hopes that this press conference will be the occasion to reach new heights for our conference registration. For registration instructions, please visit the conference website at www.worldhakka2022.com. Canada welcomes you! Markham embraces you!
Since the World Hakka Conference is entering Canada for the first time, many Canadians do not know much about it. Caught up in this, President James Chu of the Hakka Canadian Association, who has led many Canadian Hakka delegations to the World Hakka Conferences and is highly respected in the world Hakka communities, reviewed the 50-year history of the World Hakka Conferences and the Canadian bidding process.
At the conference, President Chu spoke movingly about the history of Hakka people in the world, “Where there is sunshine, there is Chinese, and where there is Chinese, there is Hakka”. It is estimated that there are more than 120 million Hakka people worldwide, settled in various countries around the world. For the sake of communicating with each other and helping each other, especially for the continuity and development of Hakka culture, since the 20th century, many knowledgeable Hakka people have been actively exploring and practicing vehicles to suit such requirements and purposes. Therefore, various Hakka associations and organizations of blood, geography, clan and industry have been established all over the world, and through long-term efforts, a suitable stage has been formed for the reunion and fellowship of Hakka folks in the world: the World Hakka Conference.
President Chu also said, “The World Hakka Conference, from the first one in Hong Kong in 1971 to this year 2021, has gone through half a century, a full 50 years of beautiful journey. Around the world of the Hakka folks for the country’s prosperity and national prosperity, adhering to the fine tradition, always heartfelt love for the hometown, family, unity and progress, concern for the development of the motherland to support the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, for world peace and friendship, to make a new and greater contribution to the establishment and build a good World Hakka Conference for such a mutual exchange and promotion of the platform. ”
At the 29th World Hakka Conference held in Hong Kong in 2017, the Hakka Canadian Association was successfully awarded the right to host the 31st World Hakka Conference and confirmed that it will be held in Markham, Canada in 2021, with support by the City of Markham, Ontario, Canada. Over the past few years, the organizing committee of the 31st World Hakka Conference has been working hard to promote the preparation for the conference, and all the matters are going smoothly. Although the members of the organizing committee have been busy working hard, they are even more proud to be able to do something for the Hakka conference. Hakka groups and folks from all over the world are looking forward to attending this first-ever event in Canada and attending the 50th anniversary of the conference together.
President Chu also took this opportunity to express the willingness of the organizing committee of the conference to cooperate with the media in Canada and abroad to vigorously promote the World Hakka Conference. We sincerely hope that the 31st World Hakka Conference will be held successfully in Markham, Canada in June 2022, creating a new glory for the development of the world Hakka cause!
Markham is one of the fastest growing cities in Ontario and is known as the “High Tech Capital of Canada” with more than 1,000 high-tech companies including IBM, AMD, Philips, Huawei, Lenovo and others. Markham has a population of 350,000, of which 150,000 are Chinese, including about 20,000 Hakka, who come from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, India, etc. They have a long history of relationship with Hakka, and can be called the Hakka capital of North America.
Mr. Andy Taylor said in his speech: “Markham residents are eagerly awaiting the Hakka Conference and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Hakka families. Markham will seize the opportunity of the World Hakka Conference in Markham and celebrate its 50th anniversary to make Markham the “Hakka City of Canada”, so that Hakka people from all over the world can make new friendships, discover new opportunities, and feel energized in Markham. This will benefit Markham and the rest of the world”.
It is reported that Markham will sign a friendship city agreement with Ganzhou, the cradle of Hakka in China, and Meizhou, the capital of Hakka, and will name Ganzhou Avenue and Meizhou Avenue, and will unveil the two avenues during the World Hakka Expo, while welcoming Hakkas from all over the world.
Conference Co-Vice Presidents Mr. Zuoyan Fan, Mr. Chan Yu Hsiung, Mr. Billy Lok, Mr. Bill Tian and Mr. Christian Yuan, Conference Organizing Committee members Ms. Sandra Tam, Mrs. Santha Leong, Mr. Victor Pan, Mr. Gang Zhang, Mr. Yuebin Zhong, Mr. and Mrs. John Liu, Liao Xu Baozhen, Ms. Qihua Zheng, and Ms. Haiyan Yeh, Field Journal Editor-in-Chief Mr. Roger Libin Xiao, Conference Information Department Mr. Puxing Lu and Mr. Xie Qing attended the press conference and gave a report and updates of their subcommittees at the press conference.
Looking ahead to the 31st World Hakka Conference, President Chu said with confidence: “For the first time, Hakka people around the world will gather in Canada and in Markham, and the theme is “Hakka Reunion in Markham & World Harmony”, to promote the Hakka spirit, enhance the unity of Hakka people around the world, promote economic cooperation and cultural exchange, promote economic and cultural exchanges between Canada and the rest of the world, to achieve the purpose of promoting lasting peace in the world, to explore the historical origins of Hakka, to highlight the outstanding contributions of Hakka, and to showcase the purpose of Hakka styles, the conference will certainly open a new page in the development of Hakka businesses.”
Also speaking at the press conference were Sandra Tam, Bill Tian, Christian Yuan, Qing Xie, and Puxing Lu.