Chinese Culture

Naming

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  • In Chinese names, the surname comes before one or two given names (e.g. WANG Zhifu Ping). The surname is usually one syllable, and the given names may contain one or two syllables each.
  • In China, people address each other by their full name. When they wish to denote respect, they use one’s surname and appropriate title. It is disrespectful and uncommon to address someone by their given name alone.
  • Only close friends and relatives may address each other by their nicknames.People may refer to those older or younger than them as ‘old’ [surname] (e.g. Xiao WANG) or ‘young’ [surname] (e.g. Lao WANG) to show respect and affection.
  • Chinese women do not change their names when they marry, but children are given their father's name. However, during the One-Child Policy, some children were given their mother’s surname or the surnames of both parents.
  • Chinese names are hard for Westerners to pronounce as the tones of Cantonese and Mandarin are very specific. Upon moving to Australia, the Chinese take this into consideration (along with the pressure to conform to Western standards), and therefore, most will adopt a Westernised first name. They may keep one of their original first names as a middle name, but essentially adopt a new name and format it in the Western way: [Westernised first name] [Chinese first name/middle name] [surname] (e.g., James Zhifu WANG). This new name is only used in Western and international contexts; they revert to their original name when returning to China. However, first generation Chinese migrants living in Australia usually give their Australia-born child a Western name instead of a Chinese one.
  • 270 million Chinese have one of the following three most popular surnames: Li, Wang and Zhang.
China
  • Population
    1,401,586,609
    19.13% of World Population
  • Languages
    Mandarin (official)
    Cantonese
    Shanghainese
    Plus other dialects
  • Religions
    No Religion (52.5%)
    Folk Religion (21.9%)
    Buddhism (18.2%)
    Christianity (5.1%)
    Islam (1.8%)
  • Ethnicities
    Han Chinese (91.6%)
    Zhuang (1.3%)
    Other (7.1%)
  • English Proficiency
    Well (49.41%)
  • Cultural Dimensions
    Power Distance 80
    Individualism 20
    Masculinity 66
    Uncertainty Avoidance 30
    Long Term Orientation 87
    Indulgence 24
    What's this?
  • Australians with Chinese Ancestry
    866,208
Chinese in Australia
  • Population
    483,398
    1.8% of Australia's total population
  • Average Age
    35
  • Gender
    Male (44.4%)
    Female (55.6%)
  • Religion
    No Religion (63.2%)
    Buddhism (16.2%)
    Catholic Christianity (3.4%)
    Other (11.4%)
  • Ancestry
    Chinese (94.1%)
    English (1.8%)
    Russian (1.4%)
  • Languages
    Mandarin (65.3%)
    Cantonese (22.5%)
    Samoan (2.5%)
    Chinese (6.0%)
  • English Proficiency
    Well (49.41%)
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (48.9%)
    Victoria (29.4%)
    Queensland (8.5%)
    Western Australia (5.2%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (38.2%)
    2001-2006 (23.7%)
    2007-2011 (33.7%)
Where do we get our statistics?
Country CN Flag