Less than a century ago it was common to imagine that the adoption of inherited family names or surnames was a necessary stage in civilization. Did not the adoption of family names in Europe broadly coincide with the move out of the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance?¹ The westernizing King who imposed family names in Thailand in 1913 insisted, “Now we have surnames it can be said that we have caught up with people who are regarded as civilized.”² The top countries had them, and those who wished to emulate those countries in progress should adopt them.
|Title of host publication
|Personal Names in Asia: History, Culture and Identity
|Zheng Yangwen and Charles J-H MacDonald
|Place of Publication
|NUS Press - National University of Singapore
|Published - 2010