Author: CHUNG Yoon Ngan
Date: 02-04-06 04:37
English man claims he is to a Cantonese Chinese
When I was an Australian civil servant, an Australian female colleague,
same department but different section, told me that she was a Australian
Cantonese. My reply was, "Don't make me laugh" because she was a Caucasian Australian, but she had a Chinese surname, Lee (李). She was not married at that time as I thought she was married to a Chinese with a surname of Lee. It is not unusual for a English to have Lee as his surname.
Then she told me that her father was adopted by a Chinese Lee family during the 2nd World War. Her grandparents were English. When the Japanese occupied Hong Kong, they took away her grandparents to the concentration camp for Europeans in Shanghai. For unknown reasons her father, a kid of 2 or 3 years old was left behind in Hong Kong. A Cantonese Chinese Lee family adopted her father as one of their children. Her father was too young to remember his surname. So the Lee family gave him a Chinese name.
After the war no one came to claim him. He was brought up by the Lee family as a Chinese boy and he spoke only Cantonese. Her father went to school in Hong Kong and learned Chinese and English like other Chinese kids did. After completing his secondary education her father came to Australia to do his tertiary education. Her father met her mother, an Australian girl. He married her and settled down in Australian and she was born in Australia. She said that her father frequently visiting her father's adopted family in Hong Kong. Lee (李) was her family name and her father claimed that he was a Cantonese Chinese although he was born English. Her father did not know what had happened to his parents.
Sounds like a fiction story, but it is a true story. It happened so long
CHUNG Yoon-Ngan (鄭永元)