A Rose By Any Other Name

Many people I come across always tell me that the Chinese in Indonesia have lost not just their Chinese tongue but their Chinese names as well. Some famous Indonesians such as world badminton champion Rudy Hartono, renowned film director Teguh Karya, physicist Yohanes Surya, pop-music star Agnes Monica are actually ethnic Chinese but their names do not reveal that and foreigners may perhaps think they are pure Javanese or Balinese and names like Agnes Monica may even suggest a Filipino or perhaps a black or white from the West! Once I had a penpal of Chinese descent staying in Java by the name of Tan Djoen Fong and from her, I found that Indonesians could only register as citizens using Indonesian names. My penpal thus had an unofficial Chinese name which she used privately at home or with friends but elsewhere, in schools and other official matters, she would have to use her Indonesian names. That should be perfectly all right if you believe in Shakespeare's A rose by any other name, is still a rose,

Indonesian Chinese:

Rudy Hartono

Teguh Karya

Yohanes Surya

Agnes Monica


Liudmila said…
Russians say: you can call me even "saucepan" if you like it, it's enough that you don't put me on the fire.
footiam said…
Sometimes, name calling hurts!

Popular posts from this blog

A Singer and a Gentleman

Old Taiwanese Romantic Movies

Genetically Chinese