Zhang Ziyi was recently interviewed on a Chinese TV network:
She said (in translation):
The first time I was the lead in an English-language film, I received some high praise. And especially as a Chinese person, I thought that was something to be proud of.
At the Cannes Film Festival, in front of all that media, then they call your name… And as a Chinese person, they then call you by your Chinese name… I was pretty emotional. I’ve never thought about changing my name, changing it to an English name. I’ve never thought about adopting an English name just to accommodate them.
My father and mother gave me my name. It’s mine, and if you want to remember me, you have to put some thought into how to pronounce it. It’s mine.
And before anyone takes pride in, or accuses Zhang Ziyi of being a hard-core Chinese nationalist… keep in mind she just got engaged to Israeli venture capitalist Vivi Nevo.
How do others, especially the (ethnic) Chinese, feel about this? Do you understand Zhang Ziyi’s feelings towards her name, or do you reject them? Did you or will you choose to go by an English name? Did you have one given to you by your parents?
And what will you do for your children, if they are born overseas? Will you give them only a Chinese name? Will you give them only an English name?