So, what is in a name? To the superstitious Chinese, a given name contains meanings and holds the key to one’s destiny. The Chinese put a great deal of emphasis on naming their child, attempting to bestow auspicious meaning on it while considering good words which sounds both beautiful and lucky in Chinese pronunciation.
To the Chinese, the date & time of birth also matters a lot in their name, which is called “Sheng Chen Ba Zi” in Chinese—the pillars of destiny. It works something like the horoscope. Chinese is convinced that the time of birth could affect the characteristic of a baby and his/her future. This pillars of destiny also corresponds to the “Wu Xing”, or the five elements as known in other parts of the world. If your “Sheng Chen Ba Zi” is lacking certain elements, you can make it up in your name. It’s all part of the “Yin and Yang”, the “Tai Chi”, and the “Feng Shui”.
Sounds good so far right? Yep, it’s all cool until you realize your name is actually “bad” or “unlucky”. A “bad” or “unlucky” name can be changed at anytime to boost your fortune. Which bring us to the hot topic of the day - Yao Jinnan changes her name.
The name Jinnan literally means “golden boy” in Chinese (guess her parents really wanted a boy… her twin sister was named “fine boy” -_-). Which is not bad if you get over the boy part. However, the pronunciation of the name sounds just like the phrase “hard to get gold”…Mmmmm…could this be the reason she never get the gold on the world stage? Her superstitious family seems to think so. In order to complete her quest for gold, the old name’s gotta go.
After consulting with a fortune teller, Yao discovered that her “Sheng Chen Ba Zi” or pillars of destiny is lacking two elements: wood and metal. Hence her parents chose the name Ziyi to make up for these two elements. The most funny thing about the new name is that the pronunciation can also mean “easy to get a son”. Oh, Mr. & Mrs Yao, you two are truly something else… >_<
Anyways, there’s no scientific proof that you can alter your destiny just by changing your name; but at least, it provides a psychological assurance. We hope Yao will finally get her wish and grab that gold medal that’s be eluding her all this time. Good luck Yao!
p.s. - the name Yao Ziyi is on a test period. Yao has yet to change her official documents. Don’t rush to change your tumblr tags yet. ^_^