The name of a Chinese dynasty which lasted from 206 bce to 220 ce. Also a cultural group within the people that are known as the Chinese, and a name for the dialect commonly known as Mandarin. (han yu)

Han, in addition to being a Chinese imperial dynasty that lasted from around 200 BC to 200 AD, is the name of an ethnicity that resides in most of China. The Han civilization originated in the Yellow River Valley around 3000 BC near Central China, in today's Sichuan province. It continued to spread through Southern China then into Northern China, establishing a system of dynastic imperial government. Chinese often refer themselves as "The Children of Han".

The Han are regionally oriented, meaning that each region has their own spoken language. However, we all use the same script. As the vastly dominant ethnicity in China, the Han number up to a billion members. Mandarin is the most widely used language in the world.

Han Chinese is almost representative of Chinese culture, because we have played by far the most part in the making of Chinese history. Recently, Western media have regularly bashed the Han Chinese "oppressive majority", accusing us of snuffing out Tibetan, Mongolian and various other minority cultures. Which is false, because the Chinese government is well aware of the numerous ethnic minorities that exist in China, especially at the borders of the nation, and have worked tirelessly to preserve it.

Thankfully, political correctness is absolutely non-existant in China, so we Han, who make up around anything from 97% to 99% of the Chinese population, don't have to worry about minority education and other nonsense like that. I'll be damned if I have to sit through a Tibet pride day. I have yet to see a person of Tibetan descent in Shanghai.

Han is also the name of an Athapaskan First Nation located in the Dawson City area of the Yukon Territories in Canada.

1 A river 900 mi (1448 km) long in east central China in Shaanxi and Hubei flowing southeast into the Chang.

2 A river 220 mi (354 km) long in north central South Korea flowing west and northwest into Yellow Sea.

Han (han), contr. inf. & plural pres. of Haven.

To have; have. [Obs.] Piers Plowman.

Him thanken all, and thus they han an end.


© Webster 1913

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