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Old November 9th, 2012, 09:45 PM   #1

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Differences between Northerners and Southerners


People tend to perceive Chinese as a homogeneous ethnicity. However, I did notice several apparent physical differences between Northern Chinese and Southern Chinese.

Northerners tend to be taller and heavier, while Southerners tend to be shorter and thinner. This difference in stature might be due to genetic differences, but it could also be due to environment and diet. Northerners like to eat wheat and foods made out of wheat, while Southerners like to eat rice.

Northerners tend to be less hairy, while some Southerners might be very hairy. While it's true that Chinese in general are not hairy, but I did find a few hairy Southern Chinese. The best example is probably my father. Although he was born in Northern China, but ethnically speaking he is Southern Chinese (since my grandparents are Southern Chinese). My father has large eyes and he is hairy, and he is even more hairy than some White Caucasians, believe it or not. I also met a few Cantonese girls with hairy arms. So where did their hairy genes come from? Southern aborigines perhaps?

Although there are people with large eyes and double eyelids among both Northern and Southern Chinese, but I find that double eyelids and large eyes seem to be more prevalent among Southern Chinese.

Regarding the skin color, I find that there are pale people among both Northern and Southern Chinese, so it's not an exclusive Northern trait. The contrast is rather between urban and rural peoples. Urban Chinese tend to be paler, while rural Chinese tend to be darker.

So do you think that these differences between Northern and Southern Chinese are caused by genetic factors or environmental factors? I'd like to hear your opinions.

And also, I'd like to know about the differences between Northerners and Southerners in other Asian countries, particularly in India, since India is also a large country composed of different ethnicities.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 11:33 PM   #2

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Originally Posted by purakjelia View Post
People tend to perceive Chinese as a homogeneous ethnicity. However, I did notice several apparent physical differences between Northern Chinese and Southern Chinese.

Northerners tend to be taller and heavier, while Southerners tend to be shorter and thinner. This difference in stature might be due to genetic differences, but it could also be due to environment and diet. Northerners like to eat wheat and foods made out of wheat, while Southerners like to eat rice.

Northerners tend to be less hairy, while some Southerners might be very hairy. While it's true that Chinese in general are not hairy, but I did find a few hairy Southern Chinese. The best example is probably my father. Although he was born in Northern China, but ethnically speaking he is Southern Chinese (since my grandparents are Southern Chinese). My father has large eyes and he is hairy, and he is even more hairy than some White Caucasians, believe it or not. I also met a few Cantonese girls with hairy arms. So where did their hairy genes come from? Southern aborigines perhaps?

Although there are people with large eyes and double eyelids among both Northern and Southern Chinese, but I find that double eyelids and large eyes seem to be more prevalent among Southern Chinese.

Regarding the skin color, I find that there are pale people among both Northern and Southern Chinese, so it's not an exclusive Northern trait. The contrast is rather between urban and rural peoples. Urban Chinese tend to be paler, while rural Chinese tend to be darker.

So do you think that these differences between Northern and Southern Chinese are caused by genetic factors or environmental factors? I'd like to hear your opinions.

And also, I'd like to know about the differences between Northerners and Southerners in other Asian countries, particularly in India, since India is also a large country composed of different ethnicities.

In India, other than the Northwest and North East portion, the Physical appearance and skin complexion are quite the same.

The Population of Northwest portion including Kashmir, Rajastan, Punjab, Haryana, Pakistan show Caucasian physical traits

The Population of North East Portion Assam, Meghalaya, Sikkim , Bhutan, Nagaland, Burma, Mizora, some parts of Bangladesh exhibits Mongoloid physical traits.


The population of other parts of India are considered to be the mixture of physical traits that are generally believed to belong to the Negroids, Austronesians

I consider this Racial terms as archival, but for the sake of presenting clear picture, I am forced to use these terms.

Coming to the Body Hair. It is generally believed that the Caucasians Austronesian have body hairs where as the negroid people don't . But this doesn't apply well with the Indian population. I have seen people of Caucasian trait without body hairs and people with Negroid traits with lot of body hairs.

What we infer is that, we can not generalize any physical trait to any geographical region.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 12:02 AM   #3
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And also, I'd like to know about the differences between Northerners and Southerners in other Asian countries ...
Vietnam is spread over a fairly large distance North to South. One famous Vietnamese proverb is ---> An Bac, mac nam = Eat food as in the North, Wear clothes as in the South.

Hello Vietnam!: Vietnamese Proverbs

Perhaps that means that people in the North of Vietnam eat simple food and those in the South wear simple clothes.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 06:58 AM   #4

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Originally Posted by 1991sudarshan View Post
In India, other than the Northwest and North East portion, the Physical appearance and skin complexion are quite the same.

The Population of Northwest portion including Kashmir, Rajastan, Punjab, Haryana, Pakistan show Caucasian physical traits

The Population of North East Portion Assam, Meghalaya, Sikkim , Bhutan, Nagaland, Burma, Mizora, some parts of Bangladesh exhibits Mongoloid physical traits.


The population of other parts of India are considered to be the mixture of physical traits that are generally believed to belong to the Negroids, Austronesians

I consider this Racial terms as archival, but for the sake of presenting clear picture, I am forced to use these terms.

Coming to the Body Hair. It is generally believed that the Caucasians Austronesian have body hairs where as the negroid people don't . But this doesn't apply well with the Indian population. I have seen people of Caucasian trait without body hairs and people with Negroid traits with lot of body hairs.

What we infer is that, we can not generalize any physical trait to any geographical region.
I don't think Indians are Negroids. I heard that Indians are a mixture of Caucasoids and Australoids. Anthropologists speculate that there was a great coastal migration out of Africa which passed through Southern India, Southeast Asia, and all the way to Australia. This migration is generally believed to be associated with the people carrying Y-chromosome haplogroup C. It's one of the oldest haplogroup outside of Africa (the other one is haplogroup D, also found in Asia), and its age is estimated to be around 50000 years old. At present, C has six identified sub-clades, C1 to C6. C4 is found among Australian aborigines, C5 is found among Indians, and C2 is found among Polynesians and Indonesians. The problem is that C3 is frequently found among Mongolic and Tungusic peoples, and those northern peoples exhibit the most typical Mongoloid traits among all Asians. So maybe some sub-clades of haplogroup C are associated with Mongoloids, while others are associated with Australoids.

Haplogroups D and C are also found in East Asia, and the archaic Paleolithic East Asians seemed to have Australoid traits. The Ainu peoples of Hokkaido is generally considered to be a relic population, and they look like Australoids. Based on the fact that the skull of the Liujiang Man discovered in Southern China exhibits similar features to the skull of the Minatogawa Man discovered in Okinawa, I infer that Jomon-Ainu peoples might have an ancient connection with the Paleolithic peoples of Southern China or Southeast Asia.

There's a difference between Austronesian and Australoid. Austronesian refers to a specific linguistic group in the Asia-Pacific region, while Australoid could refer to a southern race.

Last edited by purakjelia; November 10th, 2012 at 07:30 AM.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 07:38 AM   #5

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Australian aborigine

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Old November 10th, 2012, 07:42 AM   #6

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Originally Posted by purakjelia View Post
I don't think Indians are Negroids. I heard that Indians are a mixture of Caucasoids and Australoids. Anthropologists speculate that there was a great coastal migration out of Africa which passed through Southern India, Southeast Asia, and all the way to Australia. This migration is generally believed to be associated with the people carrying Y-chromosome haplogroup C. It's one of the oldest haplogroup outside of Africa (the other one is haplogroup D, also found in Asia), and its age is estimated to be around 50000 years old. At present, C has six identified sub-clades, C1 to C6. C4 is found among Australian aborigines, C5 is found among Indians, and C2 is found among Polynesians and Indonesians. The problem is that C3 is frequently found among Mongolic and Tungusic peoples, and those northern peoples exhibit the most typical Mongoloid traits among all Asians. So maybe some sub-clades of haplogroup C are associated with Mongoloids, while others are associated with Australoids.

Haplogroups D and C are also found in East Asia, and the archaic Paleolithic East Asians seemed to have Australoid traits. The Ainu peoples of Hokkaido is generally considered to be a relic population, and they look like Australoids. Based on the fact that the skull of the Liujiang Man discovered in Southern China exhibits similar features to the skull of the Minatogawa Man discovered in Okinawa, I infer that Jomon-Ainu peoples might have an ancient connection with the Paleolithic peoples of Southern China or Southeast Asia.

There's a difference between Austronesian and Australoid. Austronesian refers to a specific linguistic group in the Asia-Pacific region, while Australoid could refer to a southern race.
Sorry about the mix up of two terms. But I believe that present Australoid population should have resulted from the intermixing of Negroids and Australoids.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 08:00 AM   #7

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Jomon VS Yayoi, another ancient southern and northern contrast? Yayoi peoples were clearly Mongoloid and they probably came from somewhere in Northeast Asia, while Jomon peoples didn't look like Mongoloids and they probably originated from somewhere in the south.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 08:08 AM   #8

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Jomon VS Yayoi, another ancient southern and northern contrast? Yayoi peoples were clearly Mongoloid and they probably came from somewhere in Northeast Asia, while Jomon peoples didn't look like Mongoloids and they probably originated from somewhere in the south.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Jomon

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Yayoi
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Old November 10th, 2012, 08:13 AM   #9

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Jomon

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Yayoi

Modern Japanese are a mixture of these two groups, so most likely both of them are mixed.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 08:20 AM   #10

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Facial reconstructions of Yangshao man and woman in Central China, around 5000 years before present. I would say that they were somewhere in between. The man on the left seemed to have more southern traits, while the woman on the right seemed to look somewhat like East Asians.

Click the image to open in full size.


Maybe I should have explained this graph under the picture. It's very difficult to explain, so I would only say a few words about it.

The (華北组) present-day Northern Chinese are located on the bottom right corner of this graph, and the (仰韶合並组) Yangshao peoples are located between the bottom left corner and the top left corner of this graph. Their respective locations on this graph indicate that there is a considerable physical difference between modernday Northern Chinese and ancient Yangshao peoples.

Last edited by purakjelia; November 10th, 2012 at 08:39 AM.
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