By Laura Goode, Jul 22, 2009 1:24 PM
Editor's note: Today's Blogwire contributor, Justine Drennan, reflects on the quandaries of naming (and re-naming) in her piece about her grandmother, Pei-Fen Koo, who immigrated with her husband and children from Amoy, China, to Seattle in 1949. Justine is an intern in one of NAM's summer youth programs, and will return to Princeton University for her junior year this fall. Justine writes:
“1945 after war end, Nancy born,” Popo says. Everyone calls my grandmother Popo. Ten years ago, one of Uncle George’s children who was studying Chinese in college pointed out that “Popo” means maternal grandmother. Still, they all continued to call her Popo, too.
“Nancy we name Ping-You - dummy bon.”
“What?” I ask.
Popo is a hundred and one years old. Her hearing is half-gone and she didn’t learn English until her forties. She reads the paper every day, and sometimes asks to check her stocks when a family member brings a laptop to her house.
"A dummy bond," she repeats, twice.