My name and why am I Chinese not Malay?

I wrote this as a Facebook note on 16 February 2007, five months after I first arrived in the UK. It was for my university course mates and housemates who were just plain confused. The tone makes me cringe (I was 19!), but I thought I’d preserve this so it serves as a reminder that I was once, you know, young.

I sometimes get confusions about my name and my .. “origins”??? lol i know some of u know but i’m bored now so let me just explain these issues to u yea? 😛
I’m pretty glad people are calling me Jia-Xuan. But don’t worry if you’re used to calling me Alexa, it’s my bad.

For those who don’t know, it’s pronounced as:
Jee-ya Shoo-anne (as written in profile)
Hon (as in “horn” not “honey”)

First name: Jia Xuan
Last name: Hon

1) In Chinese names, we honour/acknowledge our parents first. That is why in my passport, my name is “Hon Jia Xuan” (not Jia Xuan Hon).

Make sense? Good. 🙂

2) Jia Xuan is one word like “Fiona” “Alexandra”. It’s written with a space in between, purely due to the nature of Chinese language/words. To avoid confusion, I replaced the space with a “-“, but that seems to not be very effective… 😛

Still make sense? Ok…

3) Calling me Jia is like calling Alexandra “Dra” or Fiona “Ona”.
If you want to call me like calling Alexandra “Alex” or Fiona “Fi”, then call me “Xuan” like my best friends at home do (sounds best in Chinese pronunciation. I’ll teach u in person if you’re interested lol).

4) “Xuan” is not my middle name. I do not have a middle name. Although on my bank cards it’s written “Jia X Hon”. Oh well..

5) Can someone tell me why there are middle names? They seem unimportant. Anyway, the least important element in my name is “Jia”.
Just think of your English middle names.
Clare M Cody-Richardson: nobody calls her M.
So it’s the same,
Hon Jia Xuan: Call me “Hon” or “Xuan”, but nobody calls me “Jia”.
(Well, not in malaysia lol)

PS: Special thanks to fi alex and clare’s names. 😀


So you think I’m Chinese, speak good English and I tell you it’s because I’m from Malaysia. (lol, the reason-cause is illogical)

Anyway, don’t panic, I AM chinese and I AM from Malaysia.

Why do I address myself as “Chinese” not “Malay” if I’m from “Malaysia”?

I’m not sure if in English language, “Chinese” is a nationality.
To me, “Chinese” is more like an ethnic group.

My grandparents are from China (proper Chinese they are) but they migrated to Malaysia and gave birth to my parents. But my parents can’t say that they are “Malays” because they are not indigenous ppl. So from that onwards, we are Malaysian Chinese.

We are still Chinese, not Malay. We eat like China Chinese, we speak languages from China, we follow customs and traditions originated from China. Hell, we even look like Chinese. lol.

So yea, next time I am not Malay ok? 😀

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