Monday, October 6, 2008

Xiao (surname)

Xiao is a Chinese surname. In Wade-Giles, it is rendered as ''Hsiao''. It may also be romanized as Siew or Siu. In Malaysia & Singapore , the Hokkian or Teochew Chinese romanized "Xiao" as "Seow". Teochew "Seow" are mainly Changyangxiao from Chaoyang, Kwangtung, China. The Hakka "Xiao"Chinese, especially Huichew Hakka of Titi, a village town with high concentration of Hakka people of surname of Xiao, romanized "Xiao" as "Siow". The young may also used "Xiao" if they followed romanized Chinese. So,Xiao,Hsiao,Siew, Siu,Seow, and Siow; they are the descendants of the same Xiao family from ancient China.

Xiao family originated from Xiaosien,in Anhui province,China. It was from kingdom of Xiao in the ancient China. The first Xiao was an emperor, name Xiao Ta shing during Chow Dynasty. Later on, the descendants of Xiao Heduring the Han Wu Ti period; Xiao Biao and his family moved to Langling, now Fungsien of Shandong province due to some political problem. Xiao people is also called themselves from Langling, sometime they are called Langling Xiao .

Another mass movement of Xiao people is during Western Jin Dynasty "Yongjia Rebellion", Xiao Chenmoved to Danyang.The decendent of Danyang Xiao later found two dynasty, Xiao Daocheng found the Southern Ji dynasty and become the emperor; and Xiao Yan found the Southern Liang dynastyand became the emperor.

During Tang dynasty, there were 8 Xiao people appointed as prime ministers.

During Southern Song dynasty, Xiao Guoliang is the pioneer of Zhangzhou, Fujian Province Xiao people。His grandson, Xiao Xun was the county magistrate of Chaoyang, Guangdong. He become the founder of Chaoyangxiao. There were Xiao moved across the sea to Taiwan island.

During Yuan dynasty, Xiao people move from Jiangxi to Guangdong, Meizhou& Dapu. They are mainly the Hakka Xiao.

In early Ming dynasty, there were declining population in the north China & centraldue to the wars. The Ming government in order to increase the population ,and to start the economic recovery in these war torn area, organized many large scale forced mass migration to the area. From the area less affected by the war in Shanxi Province, moved to the war torn less populated area of the North and Central China. The people are ordered to move to a location near "the tree",and ready for the family migration. The Shanxi-xiao are also included in the large concentration of "immigrants under the tree", which were moved to Henan, Shandong, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Anhui, Jiangsu, Hubei, Hunan, Guangxi, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Shanxi and other places. Today, Xiao people still dedicated to their ancestor of the "immigrants under the tree", the memorial tablets at the fourth cabinet of the memorial hall at the "large tree roots memorial garden" .

During Ming dynasty, many of the Xiao family from the armies also moved into the Yunnan, they become the pioneer of Yunanxiao

During Ming and Qing dynasty, there were also mass migration of Xiao people from Jiangxito Sichuan. This was especially end of both Yuan & Ming dynasty,where there were two major revolution wars. The historian called the process of mass migration as "Jiangxi filled Huguang, Huguang filled Sichuan". Huguang is the province of Hunan & Kwangtung. According to historical materials, from the beginning of the Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong years, Xiao had huge wave of millions people moved to Sichuan.

End of the Qing Dynasty, Chinese begin the labour migration to other countries, and Xiao people also later traveled/moved to all over the world e.g. Vietnam,Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia. There were also migration from Fujian province to Taiwan.

During the civil war in Modern China, there were Xiao people move to Taiwan with Kok Ming Tang armies.In Taiwan, Xiao distribution are in the cities and counties of Changhua, Chiayi, Taipei, Kaohsiungand Taoyuan.Today, Xiao is the 30th-most common surname in Taiwan's total population.

Xiao surname is the top 20 surname in China.The World Congress of Xiao people will be held in Chaoyang,Kwangtung, China in 2009.

All Xiao people should know the history of Xiao,it is part of a classic history of ancient China. There were famous emperor, prime ministers, scholars, generals etc.

Simplified Chinese problem

The traditional surname 蕭 is currently represented by three different characters derived from traditional Chinese , simplified Chinese , and the rescinded second-round simplified Chinese . Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan maintain traditional Chinese characters and therefore write 蕭. In mainland China, which uses simplified Chinese, most linguistics agree the surname should be written as 萧. However, many people in mainland China still have 肖 as their surname in their legal documents for historical reasons . In mainland China, people may regard them as two separate surnames. However, in circumstances where traditional Chinese is used, e.g. in cross-strait relations, this may lead to confusion.

People have been writing the surname 肖 for simplicity for long, but the form was considered informal and should not be used in formal texts. However, the established 肖 as the standard form. When the second-round simplification was rescinded in 1984, some people restored their surname in legal documents to the traditional writing form, but some others did not.

Other surnames do not have similar problems. For example, was simplified to a character with 广 and 了 combined in the second-round simplification. All people have restored to use 廖 after its rescindment because the latter is no longer considered a valid character and cannot be typed into the computer. However, 肖, which has other meanings, is still valid so some people has continued to use this form even in legal documents.

Famous people

Famous people named Xiao include:

* Xiao He, one of the most highly regarded statesmen in Chinese history, and the first Prime Minister of the Han Dynasty.
* Elva Hsiao, Taiwanese singer
* Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwanese legislator
* Xiao Hong , Chinese writer
* William Hsiao, American economist
* Vincent Siew , Vice President of the Republic of China
*Francis Seow , a Singapore-born political dissident who is in exile from Singapore after lawsuits by the former Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew. Seow is currently a United States citizen, and a University Fellow based in the Department of Asian Studies at Harvard University.

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