A Field Investigation on Kaifeng Jews: A Folklore Perspective
|School||Northwest University for Nationalities|
|Keywords||Kaifeng Jews source religious customs rituals mix with present situation|
In the history of Jewish diaspora in China, Kaifeng Jews were rather spectacular. Since Jews arrived in China either by sea route or by land route during Tang Dynasty and Song Dynasty, they began their community lives which were full of Jewish characteristics, mainly reflected in their religious activities, customs and ceremonies. After being in the Chinese surroundings for more than 1000 years, they naturally and gradually mixed together with our Chinese nationalities. And Jewish nationality, as a whole, disappeared in China, but some Jewish remains are still kept now. This thesis tries to review the Kaifeng "Jews" in the view of folklore, analyze the vicissitudes of their custom and living, compare the integration with races around and inter-influence, explore how these vicissitudes and integration affected their current living. It also tries to draw scholars and government’s regard to their current and future status.The author has read widely Chinese and foreign scholars’ writing about Kaifeng "Jews", investigated the historical relics on the spot. Author also has reviewed the unique assimilation, begun to research by the hint of time and combined with some Jewish descendants’ dictation. With limited capacity, author has to exhibited Chinese Jews’ history and some disputed points, for this vicissitude has made important sense. Author expects to research the focus with a new view and strive for the possibility of existing Kaifeng Jews and Jewish relic’s sustaining existence.