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CHINA: Jews (and others) and the Y chromosome



Paul Simon comments from Chengdu: "The ancient Chinese Jews of Kaifeng--they have been gone a century, so who knows what they looked like. The Muslim populations of China vary widely in appearance, for comparison. The Hui are Muslim but ethnic Han and hence look stereotypically Chinese for the most part. The Uighurs come from Xinjiang in Western China. Many are very Caucasian-looking. My best Muslim Chinese friend, Mr. Shi in Shenyang, is 6'4" and weighs about 320! The lesson is that you really never know 'how someone will look' in China. So many diverse ethnic groups, such a huge population, and lots of migration. Many ancient ethnic groups are gone or nearly so. The mummies of western China appear to be kilt-wearing Celts, with red or blonde hair! Another venerable North China tribe, the Manchus, are more or less gone (though many claim to be Manchu to escape the 'one child policy'). There are just 16 native speakers of Manchu left. Certainly, Manchu dress, elaborate dining rituals, etc. have died out in the last half-century. But when a group 'disappears', be they Kaifeng Jews, Western Chinese Celts, or Manchus, they don't evaporate. They assimilate, intermarry, and leave genes behind in the gene pool. So you never know what non-stereotypical physical feature you might notice on someone wandering down the streets here!"

My question: So Manchus are exempt from the 'one-child policy'. Does that apply to any other group?

Ronald Hilton - 2/22/02


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