Tuesday, January 3, 2006

What's in a name?

Originally, this blog was going to be called ‘Fly by Night’, but it seems the name is already being used by a dead Brazilian blog on Blogger, not to mention about 5-6 other blogs across the Internet. (Most of those were dead, too.)
So I decided to choose a name that was completely unique. The name 奶黃包 (nai huang bao) refers to the Chinese steamed custard bun popular in the dim sum (點心) cuisine of Southern China/Hong Kong. Therefore, the title of this blog has been romanized as it is pronounced in Cantonese, which makes it sound much more like a pen name, too.
As for its significance, LWB (not to be confused with Librarians without Borders, also a dead blog) began as a nickname, given to the author by some well-meaning Chinese friends who teasingly used the opposite of the Banana slur (香蕉). (For those of you who don't know, the Banana is a derogatory term for overseas Chinese (華僑) meaning 'yellow' or Chinese on the outside but 'white' or Westernized on the inside, i.e. not truly ‘Chinese’ (whatever that means.) I'll leave you to figure out the significance of the custard bun.
It was with some trepidation that I chose this name, as any time you deal with identity, it can be controversial. So just let me state up front: I'm not saying I'm trying to be Chinese, or even attempting to understand what it means to be Chinese by using this name. LWB is simply a travelogue of just another foreign observer as he, once again, returns to Greater China (by the way, the name JAFO was taken and it too is also a dead blog). It will detail thoughts, news and impressions as I'm traveling. In other words, the blog is totally reflective and self-indulgent and after all is said and done, it does not reflect a great deal more than my musing of the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment