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Showing posts from May, 2014

What's in a name?

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Rwanda, it was said, was one of the few countries in the world where the citizens are required to fill in their ethnic group in government forms. It was also said that there was no ethnic distinction initially until Western colonizers colonized the country and divided the people into Tutsis and Hutus. When there is a call to do away with the race column in government forms in Malaysia, some people were for the idea citing that a name itself  will easily give away the person's race. Malaysia, being a multiracial country, has as her citizens three major races, the Malay, Indian and Chinese. Malays always have their Muslim names, Indian, their Indian names and if a Chinese does not have a Chinese name but an English name, his ethnic group would still be given away by his surname or family name. That would  also be true for Chinese, who convert to Islam who would still have the family name attached to their new Muslim names. Then, of course, I think there would be exceptions to the ru…