What is in my name?
Part 1: The poem
I am Ni Zhihong
Ni, my surname inherited from my family.
….Grandfather, father, me.
Zhihong, given by my grandfather
who was a Chinese teacher.
志(Zhi) for 立志(decide to do, make up one’s mind).
鸿(Hong) for 鸿雁(swan).
Aim to fly high and far like a swan - make a grand enterprise in the future.
This is my grandfather’s hope.
Hong, usually use for mother, Zhi, for some people.
My old classmates :”big head” sometimes.
And people who don’t know me, ”sir, a man with blue jacket,” something description.
To me, l like the meaning of my name.
I am 倪志鸿.
Part 2: Personal Essay
My name is Ni Zhihong. My surname, Ni came from my family and Zhihong was given by my grandfather who was a Chinese teacher.
In China, the name they give to you must mean something. My grandfather told me”志, zhi, means 立志 decide to do, make up one’s mind, 鸿, Hong, means 鸿雁 swan. I hope you could fly high and far like a swan, not like a little bird. This means he hopes I could make a grand enterprise when I grow up. I felt that he is very happy to explain this to me and he actually was. A speech suddenly came to my mind when I heard that. “燕雀安知鸿鹄之志哉” How can a sparrow know the will of a swan. This puts the swan as a hero. how can an ordinary person know the thoughts of a hero. The Swan is great, I think to myself.
In middle school, many people called me big head. sometimes, they would say “big head son.” The reason was there was a cartoon named “big head son and small head father.” We were in military training first week of middle school. One day, the person who stood beside me turned his face toward to me and said, “Your head is big.” I did not answer him. He always repeated the claim at that time so that whole class knew. Even later, when he no longer said it, it was still rooted in people’s minds. Da tou, big head, they often said. We were starting to learn English, and these were 3 or 4 lesson that taught us how to describe a person. Of course, big head was part of the lesson. After that they changed “Da tou” to “big head.” It was very popular after that.
When I was little, my grandmother often called me” Ah, hong.” For my mother, she used “hong” all the time. Most of my friend call “Zhihong.” My last name Ni, the sound of it similar to knee so some people might call me that.
I think all of our other names (except the bad name) exist for friends. It shows we are close. Anyway, I like my name.