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2nd generation Chinese vs 2nd generation Indians

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  • Aug 17th, 2017 6:21 am
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UrbanPoet wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 8:16 pm
All the time...

guy : whats your name?
me : bob
guy : no... What is your REAL name?
me : bob
guy : ok ... What is your Chinese name?
me : I don't have one. Sort of. Its a long story... But My Chinese name is Bob
guy : Why won't you tell me your real name? What is your real chinese name? Are you ashamed of being Chinese?

Its actually gone that way before.

P.S. Thats not my real name. I gotta stay somewhat anonymous lol
I've had a few experiences like this. My ethnic "middle name" is unregistered, unofficial, but I'll have strangers insisting that my Anglo first name can't possibly be my "real name." Then they will insist on me telling them my ethnic name, even though only my older close relatives ever address me by it (and some just simply called me by a playful kiddie version of my first name), so then it's a bit intrusive, like telling someone a name that only insiders (my family) use.

The accusation that I'm ashamed is weird...why do they think they see something that's not there?
Penalty Box
Dec 2, 2007
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Asian parents want their kids to fit into North American society hence they adopt western names. This is a survival technique
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UrbanPoet wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 8:16 pm
All the time...

guy : whats your name?
me : bob
guy : no... What is your REAL name?
me : bob
guy : ok ... What is your Chinese name?
me : I don't have one. Sort of. Its a long story... But My Chinese name is Bob
guy : Why won't you tell me your real name? What is your real chinese name? Are you ashamed of being Chinese?

Its actually gone that way before.

P.S. Thats not my real name. I gotta stay somewhat anonymous lol
The other pet peeve of mine is a conversation like this:

guy: where are you from
me: Toronto
guy: no, where are you really from
me: Toronto Canada
guy: seriously where are you really really from

happens a lot in the deep southern part of USA.
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commie wrote:
Aug 12th, 2017 11:34 am
The other pet peeve of mine is a conversation like this:

guy: where are you from
me: Toronto
guy: no, where are you really from
me: Toronto Canada
guy: seriously where are you really really from

happens a lot in the deep southern part of USA.
This is an example of institutionalized racism. Its so ingrained that if youre not white, you are automatically an outsider. No matter how many generations youve been in canada, no matter how many ties you have, you are still an outsider.

Its worst because this is ingrained as something normal and okay to say. But it only reinforces the idea that all colored people will never truly be Canadian... even though this land was stolen from natives... everyone is as much of an immigrant as a racialized person.
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UrbanPoet wrote:
Aug 12th, 2017 11:57 am
This is an example of institutionalized racism. Its so ingrained that if youre not white, you are automatically an outsider. No matter how many generations youve been in canada, no matter how many ties you have, you are still an outsider.

Its worst because this is ingrained as something normal and okay to say. But it only reinforces the idea that all colored people will never truly be Canadian... even though this land was stolen from natives... everyone is as much of an immigrant as a racialized person.
I think the proper way to ask about ethnicity is, where is your family from? (and then immediately offer your own family roots). I'm really blonde so people will ask if I am Swedish or Polish or wherever they imagine pale blondes come from, other than Canada. People are curious about what makes people look the way they do and you can't take it too seriously. Just turn it around and ask them to share their roots too. If it's 20 generations of Canadianness, they have had no foreigners in their stock and they are clueless about other cultures so hey, inform them.
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Jun 11, 2016
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This is such silly topic to post a thread on. It's all about preference and double names nothing too spectacular, like having dual nationality simply.
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lecale wrote:
Aug 12th, 2017 1:15 pm
I think the proper way to ask about ethnicity is, where is your family from? (and then immediately offer your own family roots). I'm really blonde so people will ask if I am Swedish or Polish or wherever they imagine pale blondes come from, other than Canada. People are curious about what makes people look the way they do and you can't take it too seriously. Just turn it around and ask them to share their roots too. If it's 20 generations of Canadianness, they have had no foreigners in their stock and they are clueless about other cultures so hey, inform them.
Yes, I agree with you. I'm not offended by mere curiosity.

Actually, at risk of offending people, I also ask about people's backgrounds. I once asked a taxi driver if he is Ethiopian, because I imagined that I recognized his features and I haven't met too many. Oops, he was Eritrean! My friend told me that I'd committed a major faux pas. They are neighbours so they share some physical similarities but I was informed by said friend that "Ethiopians and Eritreans don't like each other". But if I didn't ask, I wouldn't have learned that.

But back to the naming conventions...I don't like it when people presume that I've ditched or turned my back on my "motherland" or "mothertongue" based on the first name I've been given. Or that my name isn't really my name, but rather, a mere cultural front borne out of convenience or assumed advantages. My parents figured that I'm born Canadian, that my name is going to be registered in English in Canada, and they therefore chose a "Canadian name" to give to me. If I'm asked about it with an open mind, I don't care, but lots of people load it with their own assumptions about my personality over something that wasn't my choice. lol.
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peanutz wrote:
Aug 12th, 2017 1:35 pm
Actually, at risk of offending people, I also ask about people's backgrounds. I once asked a taxi driver if he is Ethiopian, because I imagined that I recognized his features and I haven't met too many. Oops, he was Eritrean! My friend told me that I'd committed a major faux pas. They are neighbours so they share some physical similarities but I was informed by said friend that "Ethiopians and Eritreans don't like each other". But if I didn't ask, I wouldn't have learned that.
Oh yeah. I was in a shop once and did the my family's from...where is your family from thing and the guy was Iranian and the next thing he pulled out an elaborate gold coffee set and had me take a coffee with him. The equipment and process was totally cool. It is totally worth asking where people are from.

IMO there is a brotherhood among the 1st and 2nd generation Canadians...I think they are very open-minded people in general. We all face the same issues in keeping one culture alive while embracing a second at the same time. Names are just part of the battle.
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Newlife01 wrote:
Aug 12th, 2017 1:27 pm
This is such silly topic to post a thread on. It's all about preference and double names nothing too spectacular, like having dual nationality simply.
I don't think.this is silly topic.
I have also noticed that the number of Chinese people taking christian names like mike, bob, jeffery, daniel, cecelia etc etc is much much more than indians taking up these names. Its simply not just the matter of preference.
I know from sources that indians treat it as a loss of pride to call oneself daniel or kelvin.
500 years after in.canada it will be highly unlikely to find a ying or min or quang but you will find sameer or vishal.or parminder or mohmed.
Every second Chinese i meet is kelvin or cecelia...can't Chinese parents find easy going authentic names that are easy to pronounce. I am sure there are 100s
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UrbanPoet wrote:
Aug 12th, 2017 11:57 am
This is an example of institutionalized racism. Its so ingrained that if youre not white, you are automatically an outsider. No matter how many generations youve been in canada, no matter how many ties you have, you are still an outsider.

Its worst because this is ingrained as something normal and okay to say. But it only reinforces the idea that all colored people will never truly be Canadian... even though this land was stolen from natives... everyone is as much of an immigrant as a racialized person.
Absolutely necessary reading for any person of Asian descent in North America: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/09/maga ... ntity.html

Asians are the loneliest Americans. The collective political consciousness of the ’80s has been replaced by the quiet, unaddressed isolation that comes with knowing that you can be born in this country, excel in its schools and find a comfortable place in its economy and still feel no stake in the national conversation. The current vision of solidarity among Asian-­Americans is cartoonish and blurry and relegated to conversations at family picnics, in drunken exchanges over food that reminds everyone at the table of how their mom used to make it. Everything else is the confusion of never knowing what side to choose because choosing our own side has so rarely been an option. Asian pride is a laughable concept to most Americans. Racist incidents pass without prompting any real outcry, and claims of racism are quickly dismissed. A common past can be accessed only through dusty, dug-up things: the murder of Vincent Chin, Korematsu v. United States, the Bataan Death March and the illusion that we are going through all these things together. The Asian-­American fraternity is not much more than a clumsy step toward finding an identity in a country where there are no more reference points for how we should act, how we should think about ourselves. But in its honest confrontation with being Asian and its refusal to fall into familiar silence, it can also be seen as a statement of self-­worth. These young men, in their doomed way, were trying to amend the American dream that had brought their parents to this country with one caveat:

I will succeed, they say. But not without my brothers!
I'm At The W, But I Can't Meet You In The Lobby, Girl I Gotta Watch My Back, Cuz I'm Not Just Anybody, I Seen Em' Stand In Line, Just To Get Beside Her, That's When We Disappear, You Need GPS To Find Her, Oh That Was Your Girl? I Thought I Recognized Her."
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karakoram wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 9:43 pm
what an insult to your ancestors
Right. It would have been much less insulting to my ancestors if I had been named after some Arab invader instead.
peanutz wrote:
Aug 12th, 2017 12:31 am
I've had a few experiences like this. My ethnic "middle name" is unregistered, unofficial, but I'll have strangers insisting that my Anglo first name can't possibly be my "real name." Then they will insist on me telling them my ethnic name, even though only my older close relatives ever address me by it (and some just simply called me by a playful kiddie version of my first name), so then it's a bit intrusive, like telling someone a name that only insiders (my family) use.

The accusation that I'm ashamed is weird...why do they think they see something that's not there?
commie wrote:
Aug 12th, 2017 11:34 am
The other pet peeve of mine is a conversation like this:

guy: where are you from
me: Toronto
guy: no, where are you really from
me: Toronto Canada
guy: seriously where are you really really from

happens a lot in the deep southern part of USA.
I've only gotten this once, and I turned it around on the guy. Some American with a Polish last name and an English first name decided to ask me where I was 'really' from and what my 'real' name was. He didn't like receiving the same questions.
peanutz wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 12:01 pm
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.
This was a grade 2 class in Hong Kong. Both her and my families do what yours does, in that they only call us by our traditional names. The local name is only for outsiders to use, and it feels weird for someone who isn't close to me to use it.
Could HAVE, not could OF. What does 'could of' even mean?
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Apr 30, 2017
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Chinese from Hong Kong here.

  • My English name was picked out by my mom when I was born - hence my birth certificate contains both my English name and my Chinese name. My passport only has my English name and both my English name and my Chinese name are on my Social Insurance Card.
  • My older sister picked out her English name in secondary school in Hong Kong for a school project (everyone needed to sew their English names onto an apron and she had to pick a name.) That name has stuck with her since.
  • My mom had to pick her English name when she emigrated to England when she was 5 years old. Her English name was chosen by the teacher at the time.
  • My father picked his English name when he came to Canada.
  • When I was in school in Hong Kong, my school was considered an "English school" where subjects like Science and Math were taught in English. Everyone in my class was referred to by their English names and we never called each other by their Chinese names.
  • I would say that it is actually quite rare in Hong Kong for people to call each other by their Chinese names - maybe only family members do that.
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peanutz wrote:
Aug 12th, 2017 12:31 am
I've had a few experiences like this. My ethnic "middle name" is unregistered, unofficial, but I'll have strangers insisting that my Anglo first name can't possibly be my "real name." Then they will insist on me telling them my ethnic name, even though only my older close relatives ever address me by it (and some just simply called me by a playful kiddie version of my first name), so then it's a bit intrusive, like telling someone a name that only insiders (my family) use.

The accusation that I'm ashamed is weird...why do they think they see something that's not there?
My parent's really trolled everyone on that… They actually gave me a Chinese name that sounds phonetically identical to my English Name.

I experienced soooo much "subtle" racism growing up.

You know the 4 food groups they teach at school? They also had an exercise where you write down your meals and see how much or what food group you're eating.

I put Chicken, Rice, Green vegetables for my meals every single day… They thought I was being lazy or a smart ass. I got in trouble for it. They had such low racial sensitivity that they couldn't for one second think "hey… MAybe there are races out there who eat stuff thats different from White people…".

YES I ate Chicken and Rice every day. I'm sure many Asian's do. And imagine trying to ask your Chinese/Vietnamese parents how to spell Asian vegetable in english… Gai lan, bok choy, water cress etc… They didn't know that. Hence the reason why everything was "green vegetables". Also the time I slipped in "ox tail noodles." . They look at me and question "you eat… ox tail?" as if it was evil or disgusting. I'm half vietnamese and poor growing up… The cheapest meal we ate almost every day was ox tail pho… Ox tail was cheap back then, and full of protein.

I never forgot that experience. Being looked at as disgusting, foreign, and strange. Other people are going to say "hey… you're too sensitive". But its hypocritical… A white boy would never move to the middle of markham. The looks and stares they get creep them out. Imagine it the other way around when you're of a race that actually gets discriminated against without the luxury of white privilege.
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UrbanPoet wrote:
Aug 14th, 2017 3:48 pm
My parent's really trolled everyone on that… They actually gave me a Chinese name that sounds phonetically identical to my English Name.

I experienced soooo much "subtle" racism growing up.

You know the 4 food groups they teach at school? They also had an exercise where you write down your meals and see how much or what food group you're eating.

I put Chicken, Rice, Green vegetables for my meals every single day… They thought I was being lazy or a smart ass. I got in trouble for it. They had such low racial sensitivity that they couldn't for one second think "hey… MAybe there are races out there who eat stuff thats different from White people…".

YES I ate Chicken and Rice every day. I'm sure many Asian's do. And imagine trying to ask your Chinese/Vietnamese parents how to spell Asian vegetable in english… Gai lan, bok choy, water cress etc… They didn't know that. Hence the reason why everything was "green vegetables". Also the time I slipped in "ox tail noodles." . They look at me and question "you eat… ox tail?" as if it was evil or disgusting. I'm half vietnamese and poor growing up… The cheapest meal we ate almost every day was ox tail pho… Ox tail was cheap back then, and full of protein.
LOL I'm sorry to laugh but that's a bit funny. I don't think the daycare or early grade school training/selection of teachers was as good as it is now. I experienced strange gender rules, too...like being told I wasn't allowed to play tag because only the boys were allowed to.

I went to a heavily 2nd-gen elementary school in downtown Toronto, and I really loved it. My mom, trying to shield me from any potential "meal teasing", made me a ham sandwich for lunch almost every day for like 3 years. White Wonderbread, ham, lettuce, mayo. Almost every single day, nooo! Sometimes my parents would drop by and give me some McDonalds. The best, though, was omurice! Asiany- and homemade and nutritious but recognizable to the other kids. Inexpensive as well. My two best friends in Grades 1-2 were Pakistani and Vietnamese, and we'd peek at each other's lunches out of curiosity. They were most impressed by kimbap.

At home I think I ate a lot of "odd" foods that many kids would shy away from. My brother and my cousins shied away from some of the stuff I enjoyed. Like salty pickled clams, canned mackerel pike (sardines), and like you, all manner of greens that weren't available at the standard supermarket. We had other canned meats like Vienna sausages or Spam, which I laugh at now.

The only food I got made fun of was once drawing a carton of milk, in red. My friend thought that was sooo gross! Blue carton only for her!

I bet our parents didn't imagine that the meals they'd choose had the potential to cause trauma. :razz: I'm so glad for my traditional diet as a kid, though.
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I have used my birth name since day one in Canada, from Uni to work. If people have had trouble pronouncing it, I have not shied away from
politely having them say it correctly a few times so it does not get repeated. One should be proud of ones heritage/culture, if you never make a
stand, you end up like the Chinese with funky names that just don't jive. No issues fitting in at work or otherwise. Grew up in Germany( from
a very young age) and never shortened my name there either - to the contrary, always got respect for sticking to my guns. But then Germans
respect my country of birth very much(India).

My son's name is very long and we always get asked what we will shorten it to ( daycare, friends blah blah), our answer
is always the same - we game him that name and that's how he should be called. I will make every attempt to imbibe a sense of pride in his
identity. In the end, people of colour can never be Johns/Michaels/Peters.

Can you imagine Anglos or French arriving here centuries ago and taking on native names?

I often wonder if this is a slave mentality thing...the whole "trying-to-fit-in" issue.

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