Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Trang Nguyen

How my name has changed

My name is Trang. I’m from Vietnam. In Vietnamese, it means “page” or a kind of flower, like the lotus. This name is pretty popular in my home country. Interestingly there are many girls who have the same name as mine, and many of them are strong in personality. In addition, they are independent and beautiful.
I actually never asked my parents about the story behind my name. Maybe they simply just liked it or chose it by chance. At their age, they don’t think too much about choosing a name for their children, I guess. However, there are some stories I learned myself about my last and middle name.
My grandfather originally had his last name as “Bui”, but he was an orphaned child when he was three or four years old. Later, a “Nguyen” family adapted him and he changed his full name then. After getting married, my grandfather changed all his children’s family name as “Nguyen” as well. Therefore, according to Vietnamese culture, my full name should be “Bui Nguyen Quynh Trang”. In Vietnam, the family name always comes first, then middle name and first name is the last. I don’t why my parents just didn’t keep it, just like other uncles.  
Another story is about my middle name. When I was in the second year of elementary school, the principal came to my home and talked with my parents about an award I received. He unexpectedly asked my dad and mom to change my middle name. At first it was “Huyen”, but he thought “Quynh” would be more beautiful. Then my parents just agreed with him, but I did not understand why. Though to be honest, I likes the new one, because it seems more modern.
After I married, I was supposed to change my last name. My husband is Japanese, and in his culture, all the wives need to change last name to follow their husband. This is unlike Vietnam. However, officially I didn’t do yet. Probably I will change it in a few years.

Considering all this history, I do love my name. I believe that a name is always bound up with a life and has its own meaning. 

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