The World Hakka Conference was founded by the Hong Kong Tsung Tsin Association in 1971. The Hakka Associations outside of mainland China were the driving forces behind the World Hakka Conferences until 1994 when China hosted it for the first time in Meizhou, Guangdong. These gatherings were attended by thousands of Hakka from around the world, who represented their Hakka associations. The conference has been held in different countries which see the cultural and economic potential in hosting such events.
The bidding to host the World Hakka Conference is equivalent to that of a major sporting event. The conference was originally planned to be held every two years but in the last eleven years (2002-2013) ten conferences have taken place. The 2014 conference took place in Kaifeng, China and 2015 to Hsinchu, Taiwan.
The first conference held in Hong Kong in 1971 was attended by 250 Hakka, by 2013, the 26th conference (9-11 September) held in Jakarka was attended by more than 6,000 delegates. The conference is by far the highest number of attendees since inception.
The World Hakka Conferences is used as a vehicle to globalise the Hakka, have been very successful on many levels. These conferences not only keep the Hakka spirit alive but also helped the Hakka to strategise their cultural and economic resources.
~ Article adapted from Global Hakka: Hakka identity in the Remaking by Jessieca Leo