This is a recollection of a previous article I wrote on Tsinoys. It dealt with the book compilation “How Tsinoy Are You” published by tsinoy.com and Anvil which listed the cultural peculiarities of the Chinese in the Philippines. Even though they are getting more modern each day, the local Chinese – like those close-knit Koreans- retain their own unique identity as a social nucleus in the Philippines.
Here are some traits which distinguish the Tsinoys. Your contributions are welcome:
– Tsinoys don’t like it when they’re called “Intsik”
– Newly-married couples are pressured to have a son because sons are expected to inherit the family business and take care of their parents in their old age
– White is a color of mourning and signifies death. As much as possible, going to wakes is avoided.
– After eating in a lauriat, it is normal for some guests to belch just to show they’re full and satisfied with what the host served.
– Male tsinoy names usually ends with -son as in Wilson, Emerson and Kingson.
– Mahjong is their favorite game
– They have a piano in the living room that no one plays
– Misua, boiled eggs and peanuts or cashew are their preferred breakfast on their birthday
– Keeping a pet turtle is a no-no because it is believed to slow down business
– Their first-aid kit (and acne medication) is a small bottle of “pe hwe iyu” also known as White Flower
– Their Rx for cough is “ki-pe-lo’ while for stomachache it’s Seirrogan
– Older people usually give out “ang paos” during birthdays and Chinese New Year
– They count every centavo that comes in and out of their wallet
– They speak Chinese at home, speak Filipino with friends, and write letters in English
– Anything with number 8 is viewed as lucky
– Common courses for young Tsinoys are Engineering or Computer Science for the males, and Commerce (major in aaAccounting) for the females
– Tsinoys who are 30 and are still single live with their parents
– Their food vocabulary consists of kiampong, cha-pong, am-beh, cha-sio, ma-ki-mi, hee-chee, and ma-chang.
Related read: 40 ways to know if you’re Tsinoy