Written By Malin Jörnvi
Published: February 22, 2017
Meet Denzil, the guy I saw reading Into the Wild in the dining hall on a Friday night freshman year, which meant that I then of course had to strike up conversation. I’m never going to regret that. Denzil is my second twin (I’m also the clone of Anna, my biological twin back in Sweden. Denzil and Anna actually met last spring. Denzil has also met my parents and they’re clearly not his parents, so no confusion). Now I’m going to let his own answers speak for themselves as they’re completely as awesome as he is. I love you Denz.
Denz, since you’re becoming an English teacher, please spell out what your name means!
My full name is Denzil Suo Falzon Zhang. Denzil is a different form of Denzel and comes from the British word meaning like a strong fort. So people just say Denzil means strong. In what ways, who knows. Suo is my Chinese middle name and I don’t think it has a meaning. I might be remembering incorrectly but I think my Chinese grandfather said it was a tropical fruit. Probably wrong. Falzon is my catholic confirmation name. I chose this name because Saint Falzon lived in Malta where my mum is from. This guy would translate the bible into numerous languages to share it with ships and their crew as they passed through Malta (since it was a port back in the day). I chose it because I consider myself pretty worldly, I love meeting people from different cultures and though I’m not religious anymore I still love have friends who speak different languages and come from different parts of the world. Zhang is my dad’s last name. An extremely common Chinese last name. I almost changed it when submitting my American citizenship registration this year.
How come you look Chinese, have a slight Australian accent [pa:k], but have your home home in New Jersey?
My dad was born and lived in Shanghai til 23. Then he moved to Melbourne, Australia. My mum was born in Malta and lived there, England, and Australia. My parents met in Melbourne. They had me in 95 and my sister in 98. When I was 7.5 we moved to Maryland because my dad was hired by a research facility there. When I was in middle school we moved to New Jersey. So yeah, pretty standard.
What does freestyle dancing, piercings and a guitar have in common?
Freestyle dancing, piercings, and guitar…. my love for music. When little, I loved dancing to Motown. I went from Jackson 5 to MJ to Chris Brown and so by high school I was really into self-taught freestyle dance. Actually the piercings I can’t explain and connect to the other things. I’ve always pictured myself with earrings and an eyebrow piercing. It’s something that felt natural to me growing up and so the two hoops, cartilage, and eyebrow piercing I have feel pretty normal to me. Guitar is new for me. I grew up playing the sax and moved to guitar because I like to sing while playing songs, which is impossible with the sax!
What would you say are our biggest similarities?
I’m astonished that you and I can be so similar. We always make that joke, that I’m your brother making it a triplet. Love that. We just like saying things as they are, not to be disrespectful or mean, or to sour argument but to simply express what were thinking. We’re very direct and feel things heavily. We’re very emotional based and we act on instincts and vibes. But besides all this heavy stuff we both love saying “but nothing matters in the end” and laughing off our thoughts.
Honestly though besides these qualities we’re very different. I think the similarities we have allow for us to love each other for our differences if you know what I mean. I could just put it this way: we’re free spirited, loving people who live to laugh and for the truth. Tooo cheesy.
Where are you in 10 years?
I live day to day. I can’t plan anything more than a few months away. 10 years who knows. I just hope I’m alive and happy.
Denzil all grown up (and with eyebrow piercing out for the moment) in his apartment, New York City