Monday, 15 July 2013

Chinese Surnames

There are many Chinese surnames and most are short and simple. However, some of a bit longer and need a bit of practice to say them right. The simple ones are Tan, Lim, Yap, Wong, and Ong. The longer ones and have a bit more complex pronunciation are Khoo, Chong, Ching, Kuan, etc.

In Penang hotels, the Chinese temples in the wall frames are usually Khoo Kongsi - elaborate and colourful. I have seen quite a few of the Khoo Kongsi pics and even B/W fine pen drawing.

When I shop at souvenir shops, I look for Chinese souvenirs, usually pendants that bear the Chinese surname, "Wong:.

My last visit to a souvenir shop in Malacca on 4 July 2013 landed me in confusion over two Chinese surnames - Wong and Ong. Wong is a square and fatter design or calligraphy piece. Ong is thin like Eiffel tower. Between the two, the sales girl asked me which I wanted. Not knowing which one was Wong and which was Ong, I asked the girl to point to me which one was Wong. Because I am hard of hearing, it didn't matter whether she said Wong or Ong - I just heard the same! LOL.

I think the best way out of such confusion is either I say "WONG" and "NOT ONG". But the girl said Wong and Ong are similar, though not identical. You should see me trying to purchase two Wong pendants for my daughters - they are Chinese from their Wong-father.