Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology

2004 Edition
| Editors: Carol R. Ember, Melvin Ember


  • Xingwu Liu
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/0-387-29905-X_73

Alternative Names

Chinese, Zhongguo-ren, Han-ren, Hua-ren, Tang-ren. Because of their predominant numbers in China, the Han are commonly referred to as Chinese in the English language, though in China (including Taiwan) they have always called themselves “Han-ren” (Han people). Outside China they tend to call themselves “Chinese” (Zhongguo-ren) and many overseas Han Chinese also use their provincial names or other local origins in China (such as Guangdong, Fujian, Hakha, Taishan, etc.) to refer to themselves since their Han identity is virtually unknown outside China.

The name “Han” was derived from the Han River, an upper tributary of the Yangtze River. It was further strengthened by the famous Han Empire (206 bc–220 ad) which lasted for several hundred years when the people began active interactions with the outside world. It is understood the Han are the result of amalgamation of numerous ancient ethnic groups.

While the term “Han-ren” is used in China to differentiate the Han from...


Chinese Medicine Western Medicine Filial Piety Recommended Dietary Allowance Keshan Disease 
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© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 2004

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  • Xingwu Liu

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