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Bird Crying By The Lake In A Forest

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Do you know the MEANING of your name? Or how your name comes about? During the last trip back to KL from Ipoh, I get to listen to the reason and story behind my name. The drama and conflict that happened and also the post-naming days.

Image from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-503600/As-Edward-Sophie-fret-baby-names-I-think-best-boring.html

I’m not sure about other races, but most Chinese believe that siblings should have same middle name. This is to signifies tight bond with one another. Which means, most cases, names would be like this:

XXX AAA BBB
XXX AAA CCC
XXX AAA DDD

Which means, the surname(XXX) and middle name (AAA) would be the same and only the last name differs one another. However, me and my siblings, just not quite it.

Lee Wey Jiun
Lee Huangshi (in case some still doesn’t know, this is me)
Lee Hau Neng

Yes, the 3 of us have very different names and YES, both my middle and last name are joined up. There’s a reason for it. Let’s start the story of my sister’s name. My dad is the eldest son in the family and when my mom was pregnant with my sister, it was quite a big deal. My mom’s father, let’s call him A wanted to be the one to name her. But based on Chinese tradition, it was supposing my dad’s father (B) should have the honor to name my sister. Especially when my father is his eldest son and the ONLY son who got married.

Image from http://www.everydaypeoplecartoons.com/cartoon/63

However, A is a person who likes to dictate things around him. Everything must go his way or suffer his wrath. He took my sis’s current name and then approach B. He then demand and convince them the name is suitable and appropriate. B and his wife would prefer to have all those “feng shui” calculated before naming the child but then eventually just give in. A’s wife scolded A and warn him not to repeat it for the next child.

When the next child, which is ME, was detected to be a male, it is an even bigger deal. I was the eldest son and ONLY son that time. To the chinese, I am the sole heir of the family and the bloodline heavily depends on me. I would also get equal inheritance as my father is my grandfather pass away. It is THAT big of a deal. They even name such child as the “Dragon Descendant“.

Don’t be fooled by my words. My family is not rich at all and quite poor that time. So all those heir and inheritance are just quite meaningless actually. LOL

Wood Character

So after knowing that it will be a baby boy, B and his wife waste no time in calculating the perfect name from all those “ba chi”. Of course, you wouldn’t expect A to sit quiet and just let this go. He started to make a fuss and wanted to name me. This led to a very heated argument between both parties. Even A’s wife was against A and kept scolding him for being so selfish. It was calculated that it is good for me to have “Wood” character in my name which led A into saying this.

A: The surname Lee also got the wood character already. Enough la.

Then they choose my last name “shen” from the chinese character of forest.

A: What kind of name is that? Summore want to use the same name as my father (great grandfather of mine). Cannot!

My Chinese Name

But end up, B got the upper hand as i’m the dragon descendant of the Lee family. When my mom had my brother, A this time wasted no time to again to name my brother which he kept bragging about it all the time. B let this one go because he already had the honor of naming me so it wouldn’t matter anymore.

Fun And Funny Facts About My Name:

1. Why do I only have 2 letter in my name instead of 3 like common chinese names? Because my dad made a mistake in penning down my name in Roman letters.

2. I have 3 names theoretically. Because my dad is not good in mandarin, he named me wrongly. My name is pronounced “Lee Hung Sen” but my dad put it as “Lee Huangshi”. And my family members, tend to call my “Huangshi’ name wrongly since young, they now all call me as “Hang Sin”.

3. This caused everyone unable to identify my chinese name just by looking at my romanized name. They all thought my Huang is “yellow” in mandarin when my name is more similar to “Red” in mandarin. So this lead them to translate my name directly to “Yellow Shit”. Go figure.

4. My Form 6 friends saw my name and say no wonder so “Fei Chai” because so many wood character in my name. “Fei Chai” refers to a lame and sarcastic joker in this case and not a useless person k? XD

5. I used to be a crybaby. I cried all the time when I’m young. Which led to A kept saying it is caused by my name. So damn bising and cannot keep quiet but cry. Just like a “Bird Crying By The Lake In A Forest“. This is because my contains the “Bird”, “lake” and “forest” characters.

Lake Character

Bird Character

So what do your name means? Any story behind it? Care to share?

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I'm a digital marketeer, visual story teller and designer who is determined to live my life to the fullest.

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