Two Changs

The news of Victor Chang's killer being denied parole confused me for a moment. I had confused Victor Chang with Michael Chang. Michael Chang is Chang Te Pei while Victor Chang is Chang Yam Him. Michael Chang used to be very popular in Asia. When he dropped in Malaysia in the nineties, an ardent tennis fan I know went all the way to Kuala Lumpur to catch a glimpse of him. I remember him commenting that Michael was very American and of course, he was! He is an American of Chinese descent, having been born in Hoboken, New Jersey to Taiwanese parents. Michael is best remembered for being the youngest-ever male player to win a Grand Slam singles title when he won the French Open in 1989 at the age of 17. For years, he was in the top 10 of the ATP world rankings. I have actually forgotten him after he retired in 2003. As for Victor Chang, I have never heard of him until his death hit the headlines. Victor is a Chinese Autralian cardiac surgeon best known as a pioneer for the development of an artificial heart valve. On 4 July 1991, the Shanghai-born surgeon was shot twice in the head in a failed extortion bid and his body was found slumped in the gutter next to his car. Indeed, it is a sad end to a great man.

Now, which one is Michael Chang and which one is Victor Chang?


Liudmila said…
Chinese have persons with the same names too? By the way, howe many parts of name have you (nation)? Russians have first name-fathers name-last name. But we have persons that have all 3 names equal with somebody other. ;-)
Micah said…
This is a great post.. Very informative... I can see that you put a lot of hard work on your every post that's why I think I'd come here more often. Keep it up! By the way, you can also drop by my blogs. They're about Vegetable Gardening and Composting. I'm sure you'd find my blogs helpful too.
footiam said…
Yes, they do. There are normally three words that make up the Chinese name, Sometimes, therre are just two or four but that is rare. The first part like Chang is the family name, the second and third part is the person's name. The second part is interesting in that it should be the same for the people of the same generation and this allows a person to know what generation they are from but of course, the system is not followed nowadays.Nowadays, especially with overseas Chinese, in Malaysia and Singapore, Chinese adopt Christian names even though they are not Christians. I think it is because of the influence of English school. British used to colonise most part of Asia and many missionary schools were built. Brothers and nuns from Britain came over and taught the local children English and of course , Christianity.

Micah, Welcome!