Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nameless no more

After three weeks and three different geomancers, we have finally decided on Rachel's Chinese name!

Some people were surprised to hear that we used geomancers, because Richard and I don't seem like the type to subscribe to this stuff about calculating your destiny and determining your character by the date and time of your birth. We don't seem like the type to believe that a name makes that much of a difference in one's future. Plus, at the end of the day, we are probably going to refer to her as Rachel.

Well, I guess it's precisely because we are "not the type", ie. we are Chinese-illiterate, that we needed help! If it were up to us to think up a Chinese name, we wouldn't know where to start. The options are endless! Some sounds can be represented by different characters and some characters are more suited to boys and some to girls. And then, there are the different shades of meaning with each character. Books and the internet aren't much help because we don't read Chinese. With thousands of Chinese characters and a bazillion possible combinations, it is an impossible task for us, as potato parents.

I would also say that the fact that we are hopeless at reading Chinese or that we don't know much about choosing a Chinese name, doesn't detract from the fact that we do have a lot of respect for our Chinese culture. We did recognise that some thought should be given to the intricacies of choosing a Chinese name, for example, whether there is a balance of the five different elements (earth, water, fire, wood and metal) and other such considerations. We took the matter quite seriously and, since we knew we couldn't do the job and the job needed to be done well, we outsourced it to the professionals.

Still, we didn't just accept what the geomancers gave us. We spent a lot of time considering the choices and discussing the options ... and rejecting most of them! We went through four rounds of names with three different masters. The first two rounds were with the first master, and after we concluded that we weren't going to get much more joy from there, we went to No. 2, and then to No. 3. A lot of running around, a lot of time discussing and deliberating, a lot of money ...  we're so relieved that it's finally settled.

We went through the same thing for Ryan's Chinese name too, except that we only had to go through two masters before we found a name we liked.

Anyway, we are back on track now. Now Richard has got to get Rachel's birth certificate and her passport issued and all the immigration matters settled before we make our way back to Malaysia next week for her full month celebration with our relatives and friends back there. Most of the preparations are done - restaurant booked, hotel rooms for out-of-town guests booked, invitations sent out. We're so grateful to our family and relatives in Malaysia for helping us to put everything together! All that remains is to wait for all the RSVPs to come in so we can finalise the numbers.

Ok, that wasn't a very interesting post, I know. I just had to pen it down for memory's sake. Perhaps this will make up for it - this is a photo taken when Rachel was 7 days old, by The Studio Loft. The Studio Loft put it up on their Facebook wall and I pinched it from there!


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