So why is everybody so interested in Zoe Saldana’s husband changing his last name to her last name? In this article on BBC magazine, it seems trendy these days for people to choose unconventional ways to show their marriage union. Some have decided to combine 2 last names to create a new one, to start an entirely new family. It appears like a new trend, but what are some traditions around the world? The video in the article highlights some interesting traditions around the world.
In mainland China, most Han Chinese women keep their maiden name, and their children take on the father’s last name. Not knowing this, my husband and I created Chinese names for ourselves in China with the same last name. Every time we introduced ourselves, people always had a slightly confused look, then right away would look a little relieved (figuring out we are foreigners and so we just don’t know things). Most people with the same last name are immediately considered siblings. With the different minority groups in China though, the traditions vary. The Dai people of SouthWest Yunnan province didn’t really have a family name tradition until recently, so all women have the last name “Yu” and all men have the last name “Ai”. As you can imagine, last name is not really an indicator of familial relationship in this case, just an indicator of male or female…
So what we consider to be common or appropriate, may not be so common to other cultures. Getting to really know other cultures is always a path to enlightenment.
Unicultural team and trainers, sharing our views and experiences on everything cultural.