XiaLab at University of Ottawa

Skip Navigation Links

ABOUT DR. XIA

Dr. Xia is full professor in the Department of Biology of University of Ottawa.

He serves as

Just in case you might be interested in knowing ......

"Xuhua Xia" is 夏旭华 in Chinese, where 夏 (Xia) is the surname and 旭华 is the given name. In Chinese schools, classmates will typically address you by your full name, e.g., 夏旭华, friends will call you by your given name, e.g., 旭华, and your loved ones, e.g., mother, wife, older siblings, will call you by the last character of your given name, e.g., 华.

There are two explanations for this variation. The first invokes the closeness of personal relationships, and the second is simply identifiability. In the wide world, all three characters are needed to identify the person. Within the circle of friends, the given name is typically sufficient. Among Chinese siblings, the last character of the name (e.g., 华) is typically unique and identifiable, whereas the middle one (e.g., 旭) is typically shared. In rural villages where people have shared ancestry and consequently a shared surname, people of the same generation also share the "middle name" taken from a book kept in a 祠堂 (an ancestral hall or temple where the record of ancestral lineages is kept. During the Great Cultural Revolution, such records were considered as remnants of the evil feudal system. Consequently they were taken out and burned, so that everyone became born-again communists, with no more affiliation to the dark past. It is in this context that I sometimes consider communism as a religious cult.)

A simple way to learn to pronounce 夏旭华 is simply to copy it into translate.google.com and click the speaker icon to hear it.

© 2016. XiaLab. All Rights Reserved.