"As recently as 1991, Smith was the most common name in Metro Vancouver.
Today, it's fourth behind Lee, Wong and Chan,
as immigration changes our city.
There are now more than twice as many Lees as Smiths."
WINSTON SMITH NOW WONG
In the good old days in Canada (before the Asian invasion) there was a joke everyone used to tell:
Question: "Why are there no phone books in China?"
Answer: "There are so many people named Wing and so many people named Wong, people would probably wing the wong number!"
Today the front page of a Vancouver (jokingly named HONGcouver) newspaper (scanned above) is the personification of that old Wing Wong joke except no one is laughing because now in the western world it is considered "politically incorrect" - or in Orwellian terms "unorthodox" or "ungoodthinkful" - to tell an ethnic joke. See 27.Goodthink
Orwell warned us that the political systems in Russia, China and UK/America (ie Eurasia, Eastasia and Oceania) would be the same, ie brutal totalitarian tyrannies run by an evil one-world government (ie Goldstein's Big Brother), but he described the peoples inhabiting those super-states as ethnic European, Asian, and English respectively. See 6.Super-States and 7.Systems of Thought and 35.The Brotherhood and 2.Big Brother.
Orwell gave the hero of "1984" the name "Winston Smith", the last name representing the most common surname in England and the Western World, now Airstrip One of Oceania. See 1.Winston's Diary
I guess Orwell never imagined - even in his worst nightmare - that the people of Oceania (English) would be replaced by the people of Eastasia (Chinese).
But now - in 2007 - if Orwell were to come back to earth in person (instead of just in spirit) he would probably do a few revisions to "1984". He'd change Winston's last name from "Smith" to "Lee" because that would give readers another clue as to what was in the plan for us. ~ Jackie Jura
100 most common surnames in Vancouver
Vancouver Sun, Nov 3, 2007
LEE, WONG, CHAN, SMITH, KIM, CHEN, GILL, LI, BROWN, JOHNSON, WANG, WILSON, LEUNG, ANDERSON, LAM, JONES, TAYLOR, SINGH, LIU, WILLIAMS, NG, WU, HO, CAMPBELL, CHOW, MACDONALD, MILLER, CHANG, HUANG, LIN, CHEUNG, MARTIN, LAU, YOUNG, THOMPSON, SCOTT, NGUYEN, CHENG, ZHANG, YU, STEWART, YANG, SIDHU, SANDHU, WHITE, PARK, ROBINSON, MOORE, DHALIWAL, CLARK, MITCHELL, TANG, WALKER, MCDONALD, ROSS, JOHNSTON, REID, GREWAL, CHU, MA, THOMAS, HALL, LAI, CHUNG, WRIGHT, CHOI, DHILLON, JACKSON, BAKER, EVANS, ROBERTSON, KING, BELL, DAVIS, LO, GRAHAM, WOOD, FRASER, ROBERTS, HARRIS, WATSON, PETERS, FRIESEN, TAM, MANN, LEWIS, LIM, CLARKE, PHILLIPS, YEUNG, HILL, NELSON, DAVIES, MURRAY, GRANT, BRAR, MORRISON, TRAN, FUNG, HAMILTON
As recently as 1991, Smith was the most common name in Metro Vancouver. Today, it's fourth behind Lee, Wong and Chan, as immigration changes our city. We've got the top 100 surnames in today's paper -- and we'll tell you how to find out where your name ranks.
Lee replaces Smith as most common surname
by Chad Skelton, Vancouver Sun, Nov 3, 2007
When former city councillor Don Lee came to Canada from China in 1949 at the age of 13, there weren't that many Lees in Vancouver. City directories from the time show there were only a few hundred in the entire city - and many of them were from England, where the name (meaning "meadow") is also common. When Lee received his science degree from the University of B.C. in 1960, he was one of just three students named Lee in a graduating class of 445. When he began applying for teaching positions in Ontario, he said, employers would often look at his resume and assume he was white - then look disappointed when a Chinese man showed up for the interview. He got so frustrated at being turned down for jobs because of his ethnicity that he changed his cover letter so the first sentence read: "I am a Chinese-Canadian". Lee finally got a job as a math teacher, then moved back to Vancouver a few years later. Over more than 25 years at Templeton Secondary in east Vancouver, he noticed the number of Lees in his class steadily grow as waves of immigrants from Hong Kong, and then mainland China, transformed the city. By the time he ran for a seat on city council in 1996, Lee had become the second-most common surname in Greater Vancouver, after Wong. And during his two terms on council, he was one of two Lees on the 10-member council (the other was Daniel Lee).
Today, according to statistics compiled by The Vancouver Sun, Lee is the single most common surname in the Lower Mainland - shared by more than 5,800 households in the 604 and 778 area codes. And while Don Lee may have once been mistaken for English or Irish, the shoe is now very much on the other foot.
Mario Lee, a social planner at the City of Vancouver, is an immigrant from Chile who got his last name from his great-grandfather, who was Irish. He said he regularly gets mail delivered to him at city hall that is written entirely in Chinese - and at election time gets hassled by Chinese-speaking campaigners targeting the ethnic vote. But perhaps the biggest case of mistaken identity came several years ago, when Lee was asked to speak at a conference in Ottawa on multiculturalism in big cities. When he walked in the room to speak, he recalls, he could almost feel the disappointment. "I found out upon arrival that they were expecting a Chinese individual," he said. "Instead, they ended up with a Latin American."
Smith may be the stereotypical everyman - and remains the most common surname in Canada as a whole. But here in the Lower Mainland it comes in a distant fourth - after Lee, Wong and Chan. Indeed, if you add in those with the surname Li - which is the same name as Lee, just in Mandarin instead of Cantonese - there are now more than twice as many Lees in the Lower Mainland as Smiths. Lee is also the most popular surname in B.C. as a whole, followed by Wong, Smith and Chan. Most Lees in Greater Vancouver are, of course, from China, where Lee is one of the most common surnames. But an increasing number are also from Korea, where Lee is one of the top three most common names.
Meanwhile Smith's fall from the top spot in Greater Vancouver is still recent. As recently as 1991, according to telephone directories, Smith was still the most common surname in the region. But it has been slowly losing ground ever since. The change can be partly traced, of course, to the changing ethnic makeup of our city. But that doesn't fully explain it. According to the 2001 census, about 17 per cent of Greater Vancouver's population is Chinese - yet Chinese surnames make up fully half of the city's Top Ten names. Koreans account for just 1.5 per cent of our population - yet a Korean name, Kim, is the fifth most popular in the entire region. And yet the Japanese - who are almost as numerous as Koreans in our city - don't have a single surname in the Top 200. The reason for this puzzling disparity is that, in the battle for surname supremacy, it's not a fair fight.
In China, for example, one-fifth of that country's 1.3 billion people share one of just two surnames: Lee or Wang. (Surname, it should be pointed out, is a bit misleading in this case. Chinese people, like most Asians, put their family name first and their given name second - although most who immigrate to Canada use their family name as a last name.) Things are even more extreme in Korea, where more than half the population is a Kim, Park or Lee. And in Vietnam, 40 per cent of the population are Nguyens.
In contrast, only about one per cent of those with English ancestry are Smiths.
Mark Lewellen, an expert on Asian names in Virginia who used to do work for the U.S. State Department, said the reason for the extreme concentration of surnames in Asian countries isn't entirely clear. One explanation has to do with the way surnames were established in Asia. Unlike European names - which were often linked to one's occupation (Tanner, Draper) or parents (Christianson, MacGregor) - Asian names were more often adopted en masse to identify allegiance with a particular emperor or region. "Sometimes, somebody who rose to power would use the original town they were from [as a surname] ... and then all the people in that region would take it," said Lewellen. In other cases, he said, an emperor would actually forbid his subjects from having the same surname as him - forcing millions of people to quickly adopt whatever other name was handy. A second explanation has to do with the longevity of many Asian names. Surnames didn't even exist in most of Europe before the 11th century and were only widely adopted by the end of the 1300s. In contrast, most surnames in China are at least 3,000 years old - and have been in their current, fully developed form, for the past 2,000. Korea and Vietnam adopted surnames somewhat later, but still much earlier than the Europeans.
Those who study names, a field known as onamastics, say there is evidence of a kind of Darwinian evolution of surnames: over time, popular names become more popular and rarer names die out. This is due in part to people adopting names they perceive as popular - because they think it might help them fit in - and the simple odds of someone with a rare name not having a male heir.
In a 2004 study, Ken Tucker, a research fellow at Carleton University in Ottawa, compared all the surnames in the 1881 census of England and Wales with those in the 1997 United Kingdom electoral roll. Of the roughly 400,000 surnames in use in 1881, only about 130,000 - or less than a third - were still in use a century later. Tucker said this mass extinction was partly due to names that were spelled multiple ways becoming standardized over time. But other names simply disappeared entirely, and Canada may be on the brink of a similar name wipe-out. Data gathered by Tucker from Canadian phone directories reveal that about 225,000 Canadian surnames have only a single phone listing. And while those people make up fewer than one per cent of the entire population, they account for more than 40 per cent of this country's 520,000 surnames.
A crucial piece of evidence supporting the longevity theory is that while most Asian countries have had surnames for thousands of years, one has not: Japan. For most of its history, surnames were basically banned in Japan for all but the nobility. But then, in 1875, the Japanese government abruptly changed course and required everyone to have one. With no real history of surnames to draw upon, many Japanese people simply picked one out of thin air. As a result, there are now an estimated 100,000 different surnames in Japan. And even the two most common - Sato and Suzuki - are each held by only about one in every 300 people.
Someone living in the Lower Mainland could be forgiven for thinking that Indian names follow a similar pattern to those in China and Korea, with just a handful of names enormously common. After all, Gill is the seventh most popular name in all Greater Vancouver and there are neighbourhoods in Surrey packed with Dhaliwals and Sandhus. But that extreme concentration of names is a bit of an illusion. There are actually thousands of popular surnames in India, originating in everything from occupation to religion to caste. But the vast majority of Indians living in Greater Vancouver come from just one small part of India: the Punjab. Almost all of the most popular Indian names here - including Brar, Dhillon, Grewal and Sidhu - are village names associated with a particular caste of farmers, known as Jats.
The one exception is Singh - No. 18 on the list of most popular names in the Lower Mainland. In 1699, one of the gurus of the Sikh religion urged all his male followers to adopt the surname Singh (meaning lion) and all women to adopt Kaur (meaning princess). The move was intended to signify that all Sikhs were equal - and to make it more difficult for people to identify one's caste from their last name. "Our guru said, 'We want to eliminate caste ... [so] nobody should use their last name,'" said Rajwant Singh Chilana, author of the Dictionary of Sikh Names. However, while many Sikh men adopted Singh as a surname (and later passed it on to their female descendants) others only took Singh or Kaur as a middle name and continued to use their original family name. There are a number of reasons why Sikh families retained their surnames, said Chilana. Some prefer having a name that identifies their family's history and social standing, he said, and indeed still encourage their children to marry within their own caste. Others, like himself, used Singh as a surname when they lived in India. But when they applied to come to this country, they were encouraged by Canadian immigration officials to drop Singh or Kaur and use their own, less-common, family name to avoid confusion with others. Whatever the reason, said Chilana, technically speaking all Sikhs should have the surname Singh or Kaur. And those, like himself, who don't? "They're not strictly following the teachings of our gurus," said Chilana.
Wong Coat of Arms first in Canada to feature a panda bear, National Post, Aug 9, 2011
The Wong coat of arms is the first in Canada to feature a panda - not to mention Chinese writing, a dragon and a phoenix....The coat of arms, which is meant to represent anyone with the last name Wong in Canada, will be celebrated with a presentation ceremony Aug 13. "I think it's cool," says Windsor resident Raymond Wong. "I think it's an honour to be one of the Wongs." Mr Wong says he feels kinship with all those who share his last name. It's that sense of kinship that led to the Wong coat of arms. The project is the work of the Wong Association of Ontario, based in Toronto. In order for a coat of arms to be recognized by the Governor General, petitioners must contact the Canadian Heraldic Authority and work with them in designing the coat of arms.
100 most common names in Vancouver (Lee-Wong-Chan-Smith-Kim-Chen...) & Lee beats Smith as most common name (Canada on brink of name wipe-out). The Vancouver Sun, Nov 3, 2007
CANADA'S TOP 100 CHINESE and CANADA GATE FOR CHINA and THE CHINESE ARE COMING! and CHINADA'S SOVIETIZATION and CHINESE TAKE-OVER
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