My name is Xiaoyan. In English Xiao means small, and Yan means is a kind of bird-swallow. However, in Chinese, Yan means not only is a swallow but also a symbol of freedom. I have two sisters that are older than me. Their names are Xiaolian and Xiaoting. I was born in the winter, and in the Chinese year of the monkey. Monkeys are supposed to be clever, free and brave. Therefore, my mom wanted me to become like a monkey. My mom came up with the name Xiaoyan at once when I was born.
At school, many classmates called me Xiaoyanzi. There is a TV Show in China called “HuanZhuGeGe”. The actress called Xiaoyanzi. The TV show was very popular, and almost everybody saw that show. When I was in high school, there is a classmate with the same name a me. Thus, when teachers called Xiaoyan separately, they always addressed with at last name. The name of Xiaoyan is very common in China. Consequently, when I came to US, I wanted like to change my English to Lyla because I have never seen anyone who is named Lyla, and it is simple and rare.