When is a mainland not a mainland?

Well, having lived in hk for 8 years I can say for sure that locals never refer to China as mainland, unless you are a government official or similar.

What? Where are you getting this from. And having been in HK and working with HKers. They do use mainland and mainlanders. Not all but I find it crazy you would not have encountered that if you’ve lived in HK.


And I can say for sure that they do. Conclusion: we know different people.


Not sure which age group you refer to, but most young(say under 30) would generally refer to Chinese as Chinese and not mainlanders, especially since 2014 or so.

Older generations are more inclined to consider themselves as Chinese, hence could refer people from China as mainlanders. But even here, I seldom would here a Hongkongese use the term mainlander

Might be that the word mainlander is used more often when discussing with outsiders, ie non local who might not otherwise see the distinction between a Hongkongese and Chinese person

Doesn’t the HK gov itself issue statements using the word nei di “mainland”?

I’ve heard of other more derogatory words for mainlanders used by HKers as well.

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The language in China used by municipal authorities is standardised, same applies to hk. The correct term to use is Mainland China(for Taiwanese it’s Chinese Residents living in Taiwan)

The whole Chinese residents living in Taiwan threw me off when applying visa for my Taiwanese wife I remember, I used the same form as other foreigners use. Didn’t work.

I don’t understand what you’re saying about mainland not making sense like using it for China/japan. It’s clearly understood by people.

Even the PRC has to unwillingly make the distinction. Go to any airport in China and you clearly do not use the domestic Chinese terminal.


So, when a resident of penghu tells another resident of penghu he’s going to the mainland. Where is he going ?

Or switch penghu to Hawaii, where is the person going when he/she says she’s going to the mainland ?

To the mainland. What’s there not to understand. And Hawaii clearly has a different political situation, rather weak comparison.

I agree the political situation is different, and that obviously is the differing factor. But feeding the Chinese narrative doesn’t do Taiwan or hk any good

You can switch Hawaii to Åland, it’s a more apt comparison

Stop seething with rage bro.
Different people refer to things… wait for it… differently.
It’s a subjective opinion.

In before
“B-but everyone I know says it this way”
“Muhh punghu is a island”
“I lived in HK and two of my friends say”
“B-but what do people in Hawaii say”

To the mainland? OK I have one too! What color is the guy in the video?


Green. Wait…is this a trick question?

Feeding the bovine narrative are we… hmmmph

in mandarin chinese? if he said ‘da4 lu4’ then obviously he means mainland china. i have never seen that word used by itself in a context that wasn’t ‘zhong guo da lu’. if it’s any other context, then it would be specified.

People with different political opinions need a way to get along and understand each other. Separate Customs Area of X, Y and Z is a pain in the mouth, so people just say Taiwan, and in most contexts, no clarification is needed. The blues have learned to live with it. Can the greens learn to live with the term mainland China?

(Whether or not the M should be capitalized is another story…)

I reckon a Hawaiian in Honolulu talking about the mainland would mean the lower 48. A Hawaiian on a small island/islet might mean one of the larger islands, but mainland USA would still have a clear meaning.

Would any Hawaiians or Hainanese like to comment? :slight_smile:

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Read the post and then drew a blank on whether or not hk is an island. Is it? I’m super not great at geography.

It is, and it isn’t.

(Resist the temptation to make American jokes, yyy. Resist!)

You’re completely ignoring the fact that, for a goodly portion of its existence, people (here and elsewhere) referred to this place AS “China”.
When I was a kid, the standard designations for the two entities were “Free China” and “Red China” (you can puzzle out which was which), and I mean standard. When I came to live here, the official (and universally used) name of the country was, literally, “The Republic of China on Taiwan”.
Calling it “Taiwan” is far from a universally applied norm.

As well, please note that these terms have actual definitions in English.
Accordingly, hypothesising about Peng Hu or Hawaii is dopey and utterly inapplicable.

Nobody on Ka’ula would ever refer to Maui or Kaua’i as “the mainland”, and ditto for Peng Hu, because even though they’re bigger, they’re still, obviously islands , for Cripes sakes. :roll_eyes:


[ahy-luh nd]

  1. a tract of land completely surrounded by water, and not large enough to be called a continent.


[meyn-land, -luh nd]

  1. the principal land of a country, region, etc., as distinguished from adjacent islands or a peninsula:the mainland of Greece.
  2. (in Hawaii) the 48 contiguous states of the U.S.
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As a Hawaiian-Hainanese islander I would like to say that the OP deserves a swift kicking in the main-ass. Which he seems to be getting, so I am happy with how this is going.