Changing Attitudes of Inter-marriage amongst Huis in China

In the second half of the 20th century the problem of out-marriage amongst Hui Muslims has become endemic to the extent that many descents of Hui Muslims are no longer Muslims. I was reading up on this topic in the book “Beijing’s Hui Muslim Community” and came across the following excerpt from an interview of a 56 year old Hui woman. It summarizes the problem quite well.

The elders of the past generation stuck to the old ways. If the sons and daughters married Han people, they were considered rebels. The elders would break off the relationship. This generation like me is better and more sensible than the elders … Why do we [Huis] emphasize endogamy? The first reason is to preserve the Hui roots. The second is to consider the benefits for our sons and daughters. Can you be sure that he or she [the spouses of our sons and daughters] will not eat pork all their lives. This question is related to whether or not they can live together forever. No one wants the marriage of their sons and daughters to be unstable and unreliable. All parents hope that their children will be better; in the end they consider [what’s best] for their children. Additionally, Hui marrying Hans will cause the confusion of lineage. If one bears children with the pork-eating people, whom will the children follow? …. Now boys marry Han girls without much rebuke. Now no one can meddle with other people’s affairs.


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