Off Topic

2nd generation Chinese vs 2nd generation Indians

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 17th, 2017 6:21 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
Sep 5, 2010
1951 posts
168 upvotes
Toronto

2nd generation Chinese vs 2nd generation Indians

Noticed something about 2nd generation Chinese vs 2nd generation Indians: the former have english names while the latter, even if born here, still use Indian names (especially Sikhs)

Why is that? And it is not like the Chinese are not into their culture, because we know they very much are.

Is it a religious thing?
My Signature is empty. My signature space is not for sale. You may not contact me to advertise your RFD-related activities here. I repeat, this signature-space is not for sale, unless it is a ......day
83 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Aug 20, 2012
9720 posts
844 upvotes
Pacific Ocean
Cant speak for Indians or south asians... but SE Asians tend to take on a westernized name to "fit in" western society despite having an asian character name. In other words they have two names - the asian name as on birth certificates and english/westernized name. That's IF the asian parents give the kid an asian name at birth. For example a first gen asian who comes from the old country will usually give their kid 2 names (asian and western) but 3rd generation may not have an asian character name because the parents (2nd gens) dont know or forget the culture and language skill. Tho usually the first gen parents help them (2nd gens) with selecting the asian name. Sounds confusing... but its not.

example:
Chinese name (making this up): Tsang Siu Fong. The first character Tsang becomes the surname in the western name.
Western name: Johnny Tsang
Last edited by aznnorth on Aug 11th, 2017 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
If the glove don't fit you must acquit! #WINNING
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 7, 2007
18763 posts
2284 upvotes
Poormond Hill
Their religion plays a large part of it. I know some Indians that have western names simply because they are Catholics. Those who got Vishnu, Amandeep, Ashok, Chandra, Ramesh, Gurjit....Etc are Hindus/Muslims.
A life spent making mistakes is not only more memorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 28, 2002
5969 posts
240 upvotes
Toronto
Cultural identity, its the same thing in the Caribbean.
Under colonial rule and a significant time after you had serious issues if you did not have a westernized name you may not get employment or attend certain schools.
You actually had to submit a photo when applying for school or a job.
Many have at least English and Indian/Asian middle names.
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
15547 posts
1688 upvotes
Montreal
Sure we do. My name is "Sam". It's short for Samrendra Chattopadhyay.
Newbie
Mar 17, 2010
66 posts
54 upvotes
Toronto
Lets not forget that names are a 'cultural thing' and religion is..well...religion. People tend to blend the two things together. I know a Devon Singh who follows sikhism and I also know Harjit Singh who follows Christianity.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 6, 2010
7861 posts
747 upvotes
I'd say it's religious/cultural because if you take other ethnic groups(Hispanics, Middle Easterners, Eastern Europeans etc.), you'll notice there's variations as to who uses "English" names and who uses more "exotic"
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 15, 2004
13839 posts
1407 upvotes
Toronto
Chinese people pick English names to go by when they're young. My girlfriend told me she picked hers in second grade along with everyone else in her class. When they tell you their English name that's not their real name, it's more like a very commonly used nickname. Their government documents will have their Chinese name and nothing else. For instance, the guy you know as Jackie Chan is actually named Chan Kong-sang, but it's a sure bet that nobody calls him that except for his family.

Indians from the Caribbean (like me) usually have a western name as our legal first names, then our Indian names as our middle names.
Could HAVE, not could OF. What does 'could of' even mean?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 1, 2011
4517 posts
574 upvotes
Piro21 wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 10:52 am
Chinese people pick English names to go by when they're young. My girlfriend told me she picked hers in second grade along with everyone else in her class.
?? Sounds like you have an immigrant girlfriend? The title asked about 2nd gen. I know a few 2nd gen Chinese and who have registered Anglo names from birth...
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 15, 2004
13839 posts
1407 upvotes
Toronto
peanutz wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 11:16 am
?? Sounds like you have an immigrant girlfriend? The title asked about 2nd gen. I know a few 2nd gen Chinese and who have registered Anglo names from birth...
She's 1.5 gen, as am I, since we both came here as little kids. That's pretty much second-gen, right?

Chinese kids born here may be going the same way as Indians in the Caribbean though, with the anglo first names and traditional middle names. From what I see of Indian kids (from the east) it's a toss up whether they get traditional or anglo names. They're all over the place with no consistent methodology.
Could HAVE, not could OF. What does 'could of' even mean?
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 3, 2006
10180 posts
610 upvotes
Toronto
Most 2nd gen Chinese will have Chinese names whether it is their legal name or not. They're not that far removed from Chinese culture to not have one since their parents are first gen.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 1, 2011
4517 posts
574 upvotes
Piro21 wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 11:22 am
She's 1.5 gen, as am I, since we both came here as little kids. That's pretty much second-gen, right?
Not really. No one in my Grade 2 class was picking out Anglo nicknames, and it was heavily 2nd gen. Maybe it's different in ESL.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 5, 2016
2059 posts
100 upvotes
mr_raider wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 7:42 am
Sure we do. My name is "Sam". It's short for Samrendra Chattopadhyay.
Their are some South Asian names that can be shortened to fit the need. I've come across people who've shortened Siddhartha to Sid so it doesn't sound too ethnic.
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
15547 posts
1688 upvotes
Montreal
Dumbbelldore wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 12:14 pm
Their are some South Asian names that can be shortened to fit the need. I've come across people who've shortened Siddhartha to Sid so it doesn't sound too ethnic.
If your name is Siddharta, you shouldn't even bother with such earthly concerns. Back to the banyan tree with you.
Sr. Member
Feb 7, 2017
759 posts
405 upvotes
Interesting topic...

But what does it matter ?

Names can be based on a lot of different things... Tradition, Religion, Culture.

Is true for ALL nationalities, not just the 2 you have pointed out.

Let's look at it from a historic perspective here in Canada, going back to our French & English Roots.

Immigrants from both cultures, tended to name their children with names that carried on family traditions...

Such as naming their oldest son after the father (Patrice Sr & Patrice Jr - John Sr & John Jr) so much so... That if the oldest son died in infancy, that the next born son, would be again named after the father

In many English & French families the names for both men & women in that particular branch of a family tree go on for generations... Using my above exampld (ie all first born sons named John or Patrice).

And both male & female names recycled.... Using an English / UK rooted Family as an example (Elizabeth - Catherine - Ruth) or French Cdn / France rooted Family as an example (Paul - Matthieu - Pierre).

So a man's Daughter, Sister, Mother, Aunt & Grandmother might all be named Elizabeth. To distinguish, nick names / foreshortened names were often used. Gramma Elizabeth - Aunt Liz - Mom Bette - Sister Betty - and Daughter Beth. This still left room for: Eliza - Lizzy - and Lillabet.

If it got really complicated with extended family overlapping with names... A Cousin... Then it was not uncommon for the youngest to get a tag-line of Junior or Little (ie John Jr - Junior - or Little John)

In Catholic families, traditionally the first name for males was Joseph, and for women Marie (Mary). So that Patrice in my original example, might actually be christened: Joseph Patrice LeBrun.

And in both cultures, names that were used in the bible were very prominent, both for males & females.

As well 3rd or 4th given names, incorporating those associated with other family ties... honoring a passed love one - or female family surname might be given. (ie Peter Samuel Donnelly Blackstone... In this case Donnelly might have been his mother or grandmothers maiden name. And Samuel could be the name that his uncle had, but sadly he passed young... So the father or mother has decided to honour them by giving a son his name)

These naming traditions that incorporate both religion & culture still go on today... It is just that many are not fully aware of it, until it is time to name your own kids.

It is only in the last 50 years or so that many have broken away (somewhat) from traditional naming practices, and now choose names that are not necessarily associated with any family tradition... But look for names that differentiate their children from others. In my own family, we were given and chose to give our kids just one longstanding family name (first or middle) and then chose a non-traditional name for the one the child is commonly called by.

Lol, this is the other aspect of culture...

In current day north American it is now common practice, and more often than not "that name" comes from some aspect of the mass media... A name we found / we are fond of in books, movies, music, etc

As an aside,

The practice of changing / altering one's name to conform to the world is also not unusual... People tend to adapt to what is socially acceptable at the time & place they find themselves in.

No where is this more apparent than the entertainment industry:

When it wasn't socially acceptable to be Catholic or Italian, many a Francis became a Frank (Frank Sinatra)
When it wasn't socially acceptable to be Jewish, the likes of Benjamin Kubelsky became Jack Benny

But that doesn't mean that they weren't just Francis or Benjamin at home with family.

But it can affect all cultures & prejudices:

in the 1960s & 70s, I knew quite a few women who when applying for jobs that were not traditional for their gender, that they'd do so just using their initials (not an usual practice for some men as well... ie JP - JC - AJ etc) they did this in hopes of getting their CVs into the Interview Pile hoping that the one doing the screening would make the common mistake & think Engineer = Man.

Likewise, the young man known as Joey, might decide when he becomes a lawyer to go by Joe or Joseph.

In future, perhaps those named Kahleesi by their Game of Throne obsessed parents might change their names somewhat as times change, and they make their way in the world.

In all cases, people do what they have to ... Often just to get a foot in the door, and past any initial stereotypical thinking.

In reality, names are both more complicated, and more fluid than we are first led to believe.

Top