Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Nicknames



Apparently, the kid pictured above is a big internet hit in China. And his nickname is "Little Fatty."

That's the thing about the Chinese - they usually have or give nicknames that just doesn't mince any words. My sister, though by American standards, who isn't really fat, has been called "Elephant" by my mother half her life. I was a big fat baby when I was about 7 months old, and was called "Piggie" though my mother swears up and down that I was nicknamed "Pearl" (they both sound alike and knowing my parents' humor, it wasn't Pearl).

There used to be a Chinese actor, Sai Guah Pao, "watermelon run?" is a rough translation, whose claim to fame was his protruding teeth. Another Chinese actress, Lydia Sum, was mostly known by her nickname "Sum Fei Fei" which means Fatty Sum.

I never asked my sister how she felt about the nickname growing up, but I guess I don't have to. When she was 16 and came home for a visit (to Singapore) she lost 40 lbs that year, just to make my mother happy. Since then, she's just resigned herself to loving food and being the "fat" one in the family.

I remember how happy she was when I gained weight in college which prompted her to call me the "fat" one. Since I didn't want to compete with her on any level (long story) I quickly went on my very first diet of my life.

Weird cultural customs, eh?

 
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