Chinese Indonesian surname

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A large number of ethnic Chinese people have lived in Indonesia for many centuries. Over time, especially under social and political pressure during the New Order era, most Chinese Indonesians have adopted names that better match the local language.[1][2]

Colonial era to 1965[edit]

During the Dutch colonial era until the Japanese invasion in 1942, the Dutch administration recorded Chinese names in birth certificates and other legal documents using an adopted spelling convention that was based primarily on Hokkien (Min), the language of the majority of Chinese immigrants in the Dutch East Indies. The administrators used the closest Dutch pronunciation and spelling of Hokkien words to record the names. A similar thing happens in Malaya, where the British administrators record the names using English spelling. Compare Lim (English) vs. Liem (Dutch), Wee or Ooi (English) vs. Oei or Oey (Dutch), Goh (English) vs. Go (Dutch), Chan (English) vs. Tjan (Dutch), Lee (English) vs. Lie (Dutch), Leung or Leong (English) vs Liong (Dutch).[1]

Hence, Lin (林, Mandarin) is spelled Liem in Indonesia. Chen (陳) is Tan, Huang (黃) is Oei or Oey, Wu (吳) is Go, Wei (魏)is Goei or Ngoei, Guo (郭) is Kwee, Yang (楊) is Njoo. And so on. Further, as Hokkien romanization standard did not exist then, some romanized names varied slightly. For example, 郭 (Guo) could sometimes be Kwik, Que, Kwek instead of Kwee, and Huang is often Oei instead of Oey.

The spelling convention survived well into Indonesian independence (1945) and sovereignty acknowledgment by the Dutch government (1949). It is even still used today by the Chinese-Indonesian diaspora in Europe and America, by those Chinese-Indonesians courageous or famous enough during Suharto's regime to keep their Chinese names (e.g., Kwik Kian Gie, Liem Swie King), or by those too poor to bribe Indonesia's civil court bureaucracy.

The Indonesian government changed the Latin spelling twice, first in 1947 (Ejaan Suwandi), and again in 1972 (Ejaan Yang Disempurnakan, literally "Perfected Spelling"). According to the Suwandi system of spelling, "oe" became "u", so Loe is often spelt Lu. Since 1972, Dutch-style "j" became "y", meaning Njoo is now spelt Nyoo.

1965 to 2000[edit]

After Suharto came to power, his regime created many anti-Chinese legislations in Indonesia. One of them was 127/U/Kep/12/1966 which mandated that ethnic Chinese living in Indonesia adopt Indonesian-sounding names instead of the standard three-word or two-word Chinese names. The Chinese Indonesian community was politically powerless to oppose this law. The Suharto regime wrongly but intentionally cast the ethnic Chinese as supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI),[citation needed] which he brutally defeated in a power struggle to succeed Sukarno's government in 1965-1970. By doing so, the Suharto regime - a coalition of the Golkar bureaucrats and the armed forces - extracted unofficial taxes from wealthy Chinese businesspeople in exchange for protection from occasional but deadly pogroms, such as the Jakarta Riots of May 1998.[citation needed]

Some Chinese Indonesians adopt western names as first names, such as Jonny or Albert, and Javanese or Sundanese names for the family names. The adopted Javanese names were often based on their phonetics, but it was not always the case. Although two Chinese individuals shared the same Chinese surname, they may adopt different Indonesian-sounding names. For example, one with the surname 林 (Lin) may adopt "Limanto", and the other may adopt "Halim" as Indonesian-sounding names. "Limanto" and "Halim" both contain "lim" that corresponds to the 林 surname (Mandarin: Lin, Hokkien: Liem or Lim = forest). Some translated their names. For example, the famous 1966 political activist and businessman Liem Bian Koen translated Lin to old Javanese "wana", meaning forest, and added the male-suffix "ndi", resulting in the new clan name Wanandi.[2]

The Indonesianized names - basically Hokkien syllables with western or Indonesian prefix or suffix - resulted in so many exotic sounding names, that people can tell accurately whether a person is an Indonesian Chinese based only on his/her name.[1][2]


Without the Chinese name it's hard to tell wether a person is of Chinese origin, Indonesian Chinese ID cards' number contain a certain code such as 01 to distinguish that they are of Chinese origin for any purposes like discrimination etc. Later on, this "01" is protested, but this "01" is still there, then the government added the respective Chinese surname or sometime change the name of a person, regardless wether the person like it or not. For example one with name like Junedi Santoso can be changed becomes Junedi Santoso Liem, or becomes Junedi Liem or Liem Junedi, missing the "Santoso", people who experienced this kind of case could have different names in their birth certificate, ID card, College Certificate, Passport. Nowadays names with Chinese surname in front or behind the names such as Tan Meliana Puspita, or Lena Angelina Liem are more common, if the surname is in front like Oen Jayadi Susilo it's almost certain that the surname is forced to be there by the government. In the past, people can't tell if a person with a good achievement in sport is of a Chinese origin or not, because the media would not mention their Chinese name, but when a person of a Chinese origin doing something bad, their Chinese name would be mentioned. Now that Chinese surname is more commonly use, some are forced, some are on their own will, it is now easier to know wether a person is of Chinese origin.

2000 to today[edit]

After Suharto resigned as president, the ethnic Chinese in Indonesia are again allowed to use their original names. Most no longer cared and kept their Indonesian names. Some reverted to Chinese names. Some decide to re-adopt the original Hokkien names of their grandparents or to use the Mandarin Chinese pinyin romanization, pronunciation and spelling.

Examples of Chinese names and their Indonesian versions[edit]

Surname in Chinese characters and Mandarin Chinese pronunciation Hokkien Chinese, Teochew Chinese Cantonese Chinese Hakka Chinese Example of Indonesian-sounding adopted surnames
陳 (Chen) Tan Tjan, Chan Tjhin, Chin Tantama, Tandubuana, Tanardo, Tanto, Hertanto, Hartanto, Hartono, Tanoto, Tanu, Tanutama, Soetanto, Cendana, Tanudisastro, Tandiono, Tanujaya, Santoso, Tanzil, Tanasal, Tanadi, Tanusudibyo, Tanamal, Taniwan, Tanuwidjaja, Tanuseputro, Tanumihardja, Tanaya, Tanjaya, Tandika, Tanandar, Hartanoe, Tania, Tjandra, Wirahadi, Yonatan, Sonatan, Natan, Tandoko, Tanojo, Sutanto, Daritan, Winata, other names with the prefixes Tanu- or Tan-
范 (Fan) Hoan, Hwan, Huang Fan, Faan Hoan, Hwan, Fam, Fan Van, Fania, Fandi, Stephoan, Hoana, Hoanoto, Hoanita, Hoanike, Famita
馮 (Feng) Pang Hung, Hoong Fung Fangestu, Fungestu, Pangestu
余 (Yu) Ee, Ie, Oe Yee Yi Iman, Ibrahim, Iskandar
郭 (Guo) Kwee, Kwik, Que Kuok, Kwok, Kok Kuok, Kwok, Kok Kusumawijaya, Kusuma
韓 (Han) Han Hon Hon Handjojo, Hanjoyo, Handaya, Handoko, Suhandi, Handoyo, Handidjaja, Hanjaya
洪 (Hong) Ang Hung, Hoong Fung Abraham, Anggawarsito, Anggakusuma, Angela, Angkadiredja, Angkiat, Anggoro, Anggodo, Anggono, Angkasa, Anggraini, Andyanto, Angryanto, Anggriawan, Sanggalo
黃 (Huang) Oei, Oey, Ng, Wie Bong, Wong Wong Darwis, Wienathan, Wibowo, Widiatmo, Wijaya, Widjaja, Winata, Widagdo, Widodo, Winoto, Willy, Wiryo, Wirya, Wiryanto, Wiraatmadja, Winarto, Witoelar, Winardi, Wibisono, Wiryono, Wiranata, Wiyono, Wijono, Wuisan, Wisanto, Wijanarko, Wijonarko, Windra
江 (Jiang) Kang Kong Kong Kangean
賴/赖 (Lai) Lai, Lay Lai Lai Laya
李 (Li) Li, Lie, Lee Li, Lie, Lee Li, Lie Lee Darmali, Lianto, Liman, Leman, Liedarto, Rusli, Lika, Aliwarga, Nauli, Romuli, Ramali, Ramli, Riady, Liecharlie, Linardi, Listiohadi, Liyono, Leonardo
梁 (Liang) Nio Leong, Liong, Leung Leong, Liong Neonardi, Antonio, Rovanio, Nurtanio
林 (Lin) Liem, Lim Lam Liem, Lim Halim, Salim, Halimkusuma, Limanto, Limantoro, Limantara, Limiardi, Limijanto, Limijanti, Limarta, Taslim, Liemena, Alim, Limawan, Linus, Baroleh, Ruslim, Mursalim, Linanto, Talim, Talin, Nursalim, Nastalim, Lumenta, Limputra, Suharlim, Satyalim, Wono, Wanandi, Haliman, Limansubronoto, Limandau
劉 (Liu) Lau, Lauw, Law Lau, Lauw, Law Liew, Lieu, Liu Mulawarman, Lawang, Lauwita, Leo, Lawardi, Pahlawan, Lawrence, Lauvin, Lovin
陸 (Lu) Liok, Liuk Luk, Look Luk, Look, Liuk Loekito, Loekman, Loekmantoro
呂 () Loe, Lu Lu, Loo, Loe Lukito, Loekito, Luna, Lukas, Lunardy, Lusanto, Lukmanto
司徒 (Situ) Sieto Szeto, Seto, Siehu, Suhu Lutansieto, Suhuyanli, Suhuyanly, Yosieto, Seto
沈 (Shen) Sam, Sham Shim, Sim Boedihardjo, Yansen, Yatsen
蘇 (Su) Souw, So, Soe, Su So, Soh Su, Soo, Shu Susanto, Suwandi, Soekotjo, Soehadi, Sosro, Solihin, Soeganda, Solikin, Soegihartanto, Sunardi
丁 (Ding) Teng
鄧 (Deng) Teng Tang Then, Thien Tenggara, Tengger, Ateng, Tranggono
王 (Wang) Ong Wong Wong Anugrah, Onggo, Ongko, Wangsadinata, Wangsa, Radja, Wongsojoyo, Ongkowijoyo, Onggano, Wongso, Soemitro
溫 (Wen) Oen Wan Boen, Woen, Woon Benyamin, Bunyamin, Budiman, Gunawan, Basirun, Bunaidi, Bunda, Wendi, Unang, Buntaran, Budiono
吳, 伍, 仵 (Wu) Go, Gouw, Goh Ng, Eng Ng, Eng Bagus, Bagoes, Gondo, Sugondo, Gozali, Wurianto, Gunawan, Gotama, Utama, Widargo, Sumargo, Gunardi, Gunadi, Prayogo
武, (Wu)
烏, 鄔 (Wu)
許, 古, 丘, 邱 (Xu, Gu, Qiu) Kho, Khouw, Khoe, Koo Hooi, Hui, Khu, Ku Hii, Hee, Khu, Ku Komar, Kurnia, Kurniadi, Kurniawan, Kusnadi, Kusuma, Kumala, Komarudin, Kosasih, Khosasih, Khoosasi, Kowara
蔡 (Tsai) Tjoa, Chua Choy, Choi, Tjhoi Chai, Tjai Tjahjana
謝 (Xie) Cia, Tjia Tse Cia, Chia, Tjia Ciawi, Syariel, Tjhia, Sieto, Sinar, Sindoro, Tjahjadi
楊 (Yang) Njoo, Nyoo, Jo Yeung Yong Muljoto, Inyo, Yongki, Yoso, Yohan, Yorensin, Nyoto, Sutaryo,Tindo
葉 (Ye) Yap/Jap Yip, Ip Yap Yapardi, Yapip, Yaputra, Jayaputra, Japutra, Yektiurip
曾 (Zeng) Tjan Tjang, Tjan, Tsan, Tsang Tjen, Tsen, Chen, Tsang, Tjang Tjandra, Chandra, Chandiluhur, Chandrawinata, Candrakusuma, Tjandrakusuma, Tjandrawinata, Candrasaputra
張 (Zhang) Thio, Tio, Theo, Teo Tjong, Cheung Tjong, Chong Canggih, Chandra, Setyo, Setio, Susetyo, Sulistio, Susantyo, Kartio, Setiadi, Prasetyo/Prasetya, Sutiono, Setiawan
鄭, 戴 (Zheng), (Dai) Te, The, Tee Cheng, Tjeng Chang, Tjang Sutedja, Teja, Tedja, Teddy, Tedjokumoro, Tejarukmana, Tedjamulia, Tedjasukmana
周 (Zhou) Chiau, Chau, Chew, Chou, Chu, Jhou, Joe, Jouh, Jue, Jow Chao, Chau, Djau, Jau, Jauw Chew, Chiew, Tseu, Djeu Juanda, Juano, Juanita, Yuanita
曹 (Cao) Tjo Chou, Tjo, Tjou Chao, Chau, Djau, Jau, Jauw Cokro, Vonco, Tjokro
魏 (Wei) Wei, Goei, Gui Ngoei, Ngui Ngoei, Ngui, Goei Wijaya, Widjaja, Gunawan
姚 (Yao) Lao, Lau Yiu Yauw Joeswanto, Jayawan

[2]

Chinese Indonesian family system[edit]

# Hokkien Teochew Hakka English equivalent
1 Kongco (公祖) Laokong(老公) Kungthai Great-grandfather
2 Maco (媽祖) Laoma(老嬷) Pothai Great-grandmother
3 Akong (阿公)/ Akung Akong (阿公) Akung (阿公) Grandfather
4 Ama (阿嬤)/ Popo (婆婆) Ama (阿嬤) Popo (婆婆) Grandmother
5 Apek (阿伯) Apek (阿伯) Apak (阿伯) Father's older brother
6 Acek (阿叔) Acek (阿叔) Asuk (阿叔) Father's younger brother
7 Ako (阿姑) Akou (阿姑) Aku (阿姑)/ Kume (姑媽) Father's sister
8 Akiu (阿舅) Aku (阿舅) Akhiu (阿舅) Mother's brother
9 Ieie (姨姨) Aie (阿姨) Ajie (阿姨)/ Jieme (姨媽) Mother's sister
10 Papa (爸爸) Apak (阿爸) Apa (阿爸) Father
11 Mama (媽媽) Amak (阿媽) Ame (阿媽) Mother
12 Koko (哥哥) Ahia (阿兄) Koko (哥哥) Older brother
13 Cici (姊姊) Ace (阿姊) Cece (姊姊) Older sister
14 Alek /xio ti (小弟) Ati (阿弟) Lothai (--) Younger brother
15 Amoi (阿妹)/xio moi (小妹) Amue (阿妹) Lomoi (-妹) Younger sister

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Budaya, Tradisi & Sejarah Tionghoa 
  2. ^ a b c d Sutanto, Irzanti (2004-08-09), Ganti Name di Kalangan Keturunan Tionghoa, Peraturan dan Kebebasan, archived from the original on 2008-01-30, retrieved 2009-01-29