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The Chinese Are Ashamed Of Their Chinese Names

Popularity 1Viewed 1930 times 2016-7-1 11:43 |System category:News| Chinese, Names

Many Chinese, especially those of the younger generation, are ashamed of their Chinese names, and when they have learned their ABC, they change their names to Western ones.  That is a puzzle to many foreigners.

Chinese parents go to great lengths to choose a name for their children; they consult the almanac and ensure that all the essential elements of earth, fire and water are in the names, because they want the best for their children,  but little do their know that their children would discard their Chinese names.  It's unfortunate, as Chinese names are meaningful and represent their parents' hopes and expectations for them.  Western names are common and simple and devoid of meaning.  There are many Peters, Pauls and Marys, but there is only one Tu You You; that's how unique Chinese names are and they should be cherished as a link to their ancient civilization.
It's bad enough for the Chinese to discard their names, but even worse for them to discard their family or ancestral names the moment they marry foreigners.  To many Chinese girls a foreign boyfriend, especially one of Caucasian origin, is a prize catch, a trophy to take home and show off to family and friends.  Once they tie the knots they would drop their ancestral names and adopt their foreign husbands'; so Ivy Wang woud become Ivy Johnson-Smith overnight.  They think nothing of severing their only link to their ancestors, and they are very proud of that too, strutting around in their Western names.  
Incidentally, not many Asians do that, certainly not the Indians and the Pakistanis.  Could it be that the Chinese are suffering from inferiority complex?
The Chinese are confusing modernization, a good thing, with Westernization, not always a good thing!  They should pause for a moment, sip a cup of Chinese tea, and ask themselves if their want to be a satellite of the West.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report Liononthehunt 2017-4-18 19:25
To some extend, it is true that some people think it fashionable to have a western name, but in most cases, the western names they have are just an extra name like a moniker for fun, and they would not discard their original Chinese names, which are still the only valid names on their ID cards and passports.
Most Chinese employees of foreign companies with operations in China are usually required to adopt a western name similar to an alias or stage name, that will be officially registered in the company's roster electronically,  just for internal communication's sake (Chinese names are sometimes too hard for the foreign co-workers to pronounce.) However, to my knowledge, more and more new recruits of those companies, particularly the millennials, reject this requirement outright, and insist on calling them Gu Tao, Xiao Yu, Ling Xu, etc.
Things are changing.

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  • Government Officials Should Speak 'Putonghua' While On Duty 2017-4-18 20:04

    In reality, the government officials might not all have been schooled in mandarin, especially for the older ones.
    Do all the officials in the US speak with the same so-called General American accent? Have you never heard the twang of the southerners on US TV channels when interviews are conducted between reporters and government officials? I bet not.

  • The Chinese Are Ashamed Of Their Chinese Names 2017-4-18 19:25

    To some extend, it is true that some people think it fashionable to have a western name, but in most cases, the western names they have are just an extra name like a moniker for fun, and they would not discard their original Chinese names, which are still the only valid names on their ID cards and passports.
    Most Chinese employees of foreign companies with operations in China are usually required to adopt a western name similar to an alias or stage name, that will be officially registered in the company's roster electronically,  just for internal communication's sake (Chinese names are sometimes too hard for the foreign co-workers to pronounce.) However, to my knowledge, more and more new recruits of those companies, particularly the millennials, reject this requirement outright, and insist on calling them Gu Tao, Xiao Yu, Ling Xu, etc.
    Things are changing.

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