Eurasian Surnames and more | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Eurasian Surnames and more

What's in a name?

"I can tell you how the Tysons became Chan. The old lady went to the Miu Temple Kow Cheem to consult the oracle and out came the character Chan. She wanted a Chinese surname for the children. She was Mrs Tyson. She was half Spanish and half Chinese. She was Eurasian married to a pure bred American called Tyson. Her maiden name was Lum, her Spanish name we think is Bardoo or Partoo, we don't know what it is. And she can't give her Chinese maiden surname to her children, so she gave the Chinese name of Chan to her children in addition to the English name of Tyson. My grandfather was known as Chan Kai Ming, he was also known as George Tyson."


There is more:

"Cum shaw" - in Cantonese it sounds like "golden comb".  but it isn't.  It's English! It was the call of the local Tanka girls to

"cum shaw cum shaw, daai baan cum shaw" - come ashore !

In the old days, one of the things Eurasians were called were "haam seui" - salt water - because it was a short hand way of saying you are the product of the Tanka people who lived on salt water - and the Europeans.  ""Haam Seui jai" and "haam seui mui" - that's where the term came from.

And there is more ! : Veronica Needa interviews the Reverend Guy Shea