My precious last and middle name means a lot of things. From the roots of Korea, it means nothing but to be one family. It means to be strong and not let anything become your fear. Take a stand and show who’s the boss. For Chung that is. Yet for Ye-Won, it means hope , joy, justice. Giving these things for those who originally needs it.
Coming from Korea, the last name Chung (Chogye- Chung) was and still is one of the smallest yet precious tribe names. The founder of the tribe was a political official, who’s 3rd generation broke the tribe into 3 branches. Through generations, although some were fortunate, many suffered along with others from many invasions during the time of wars. My grandmother, who was from the branch of the 3rd son, suffered through the Japan invasion and Korean war. Tears, pain, and loss of love ones is what most of the tribes experienced. Yet for my tribe, we were and still are the smallest and most isolated tribe compared to other distinct ones. We, the Chungs are small. Yet, it doesn’t mean we can’t be big. We are big. In the heart. We may act…strange, but we can identify someone quickly. Accepting them as well.
The same with my middle name, yet with a different meaning. My middle name was created from Chinese characters, since Koreans uses it as well. The “Won” from my middle name “Ye-Won” means “the original”. I was the first child that my mom had. At first, my parents wanted to use the character that means “the first one” but because it seemed too broad, they ended up using the one I am using. Yet the “Ye” still remains a mystery. In my opinion, I think “Ye” means hope and justice, since I tend to like those two things. And when you added it with the last character, it would probably mean “hope / just original” (literally) or in the right way “the original hope and justice”.
These two names will remain precious to me forever. I went through so much with these two names, I’m willing to let this go. These two names will always be name, without doubt.