Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Sometimes I cannot recognize my own name.

In the overseas Chinese context, family name (surname) is placed before name. But following the islamic convention, people in Algeria, Lebanon and the entire Arab world go by their first name and their father's name. So names are constructed differently.

In official papers, they do not only ask for family name and first names, but also for my father's name too. So officially my name will be constructed this way: (family name)(name)(father's name)

Suppose my name is Tan Ah Kow and my dad's name is Ah Niao. My name will be Tan Ah Kow Ah Niao.

So no blame can be put on me when I failed to acknowledge to an Arabic twist of Ah Kow Ah Niao, announced over the bank or government office counter.


Marc said...

Imagine if your surname was Jiak and your given name was Ba Boh. Father's name is Sai Pang.

Arab name would be:
Mr Jiak Ba Poh Sai Pang.

Sencha said...

Ha Marc!

You got it!