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Surnames should adhere to tradition and social norms

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-28 08:38

A COUPLE IN JINAN, capital of Shandong province, wanted to register their daughter with a surname different from that of either of them. The local police rejected their request and a court also later ruled against their request. Hebnews.cn comments:

The Supreme People's Court published the case as a guide to all courts nationwide. The reason it gave was, citizens should follow traditional Chinese culture and ethics when registering a name for their children.

That does not mean a child can only have the surname of either his mother or father. Actually, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the nation's top legislature, issued a judicial explanation in November 2014 that made clear three conditions under which another surname was permitted: First, selecting a surname of another immediate family member, such as the maternal grandmother; second, selecting the name of the adopter in case of adoption; third, other conditions not contrary to traditions.

According to the Supreme People's Court, the move of the parents does not belong to "other conditions". In China, the surname of a person tells which family a person comes from. More importantly, it is deeply associated with the order of the society.

If one's surname could be changed at will, that will not only deal a blow to the family lineage, but also challenge the normal order of the society and the traditional culture.

Some say we live in a different age. True, but that only makes holding on to our traditional culture even more important.

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