Hui

Hui, or Hui Hui, people are a diverse group of many different ethnicities. The term “Hui” or “Hui Hui” was synonymous with Muslims since the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368 C.E.) until up to formation of the modern China in the middle of the 20th century. In this period, all Muslim ethnic groups, including indigenous Chinese Han Muslim converts, were considered “Hui”. After the founding of The People’s Republic of China, the term “Hui” refers to Chinese-speaking Muslims, regardless of their ethnic origins. Hence, Hui people are not a separate unique ethnic group. On the Southeast coast of China, some Hui are direct descendents of Arab and Persian traders, while some Hui in central China are descendents of soldiers from Central Asia. Similarly, ome are early Jews who assimilated with the Hui people. The only common feature among Huis is that they are Chinese-speaking Muslims or descendents of Muslims. Among Muslim ethnic groups in China, Hui have historically been the most influenced by Chinese culture and tradition. This is primarily due to their linguistic affinity. Today, the Huis are spread across China, but are particularly concentrated in the Northwestern provinces including Ningxia, Gansu, Qinghai, and Xinjiang, as well as the Central Asian and Southeastern provinces of Henan and Yunan respectively. According to the 2000 census, the estimated number of Hui people today is 9,820,000.