The Straits Times
Published on Dec 29, 2012

What's in a double-barrelled surname? A desire to retain identity


Double-barrelled surnames for Singaporeans seem to be more acceptable now, and raise fewer eyebrows than in previous generations.

Some married women hyphenate their surnames in order to preserve a sense of identity, particularly in the instances of inter-ethnic marriages.

Mrs Teresa Chua-Moraes, 33, who married her Ceylonese husband in 2006, decided to retain her maiden name as "I'm telling people that even though I married someone outside my ethnic group, I am bringing my own values to the marriage".

Others , such as singer-songwriter Sarah Cheng-De Winne, hyphenate their surnames for professional reasons. When the 25-year-old released her debut album in 2010, she chose a unique moniker so that people would not confuse her with Korean violinist Sarah Chang.