The Adventures of Shen and ShaSha: What's In A Name?

15.3.11 ShaSha LaPerf 3 Comments

Before I started dating Shen I used to joke that if I had a child with an Asian man I would name the child Kaname. I chose this name for two reasons. The first is because I happen to be a huge fan of the Japanese R&B group Chemistry and my fave member of the duo is named Kaname.

Kaname Kawabata

The other reason is because of "black" Kaname sounded to me.

LOL I know y'all are like, "WTF!? How can a Japanese name sound black!?" It's not that hard to buy actually. The name is pronounced "KAH-nah-may." I suppose you could butcher it and say "KAH-name." It doesn't sound that far off of a variation of names like K'wame. Kaname acts as a perfect median between a "black" name and an "Asian" name. Of course I threw the idea of that name out the window  when I started dating Shen. However the idea of giving my child a blasian name hasn't been thrown out the window just yet.

I suppose your wondering why I'm attached to the idea of my child having a "blasian" name. Why not choose just an Asian name or use a black name. Hell should the name even have anything to do with race?

For the most part I still consider myself to be involved in black American culture. Although I don't like every aspect of it, I feel it is simply a part of who I am. I want to pass this down to my child. On the same token if my child is blasian I would want the child to also understand aspects of that culture as well. So the idea of my child having a name that represents both sides. I supposed this can go many different ways. Like Asian first name, black middle name. Or vice versa. Or my idea of finding ways to have the first name be a mix of both cultures.

When it comes to naming children it's always a tricky case. If your name is out of the ordinary (code for "too black") then the child can expect a life of ridicule and even having their resume tossed in the trash regardless of their actual qualities. I supposed I can't say this is just the case with blacks though because a lot of Asians have had unhappy experiences due to their names. And it wouldn't surprise me if guys names Mohammed or Jose were getting passed over for Jim and Dan.

I have a "black (American)" name. No it doesn't have a lot of extra apostrophies, capital letters, or ten syllables. Nevertheless it's considered a black name (and was popular in the 80s; may girls I know with my name or some variation of it generally arre my age). I find myself amused when non-blacks tell me how "pretty" my name sounds. Hearing this sounds strange to me because I've always thought of my name not be out the ordinary, but I suppose it is because of the environment I grew up in. It was in Japan and other places with few blacks that I would hear people say this. So far my name hasn't stopped me from getting jobs. Then again I sent out a fair number of resumes before I got my current job...but I can't say specifically my name had to do with the rejections.

Meanwhile Shen has a Chinese name. Although he's been in the states since he was a kid, he and his siblings opted to using their Chinese names as opposed to using Americanized ones. Shen told me he hated the idea of changing his name. In fact he jumped on my case when I started writing a blasian novel and the Chinese male lead had an American name (Incidentally I changed the characters name to "Shen").

Shen and I always joke about having kids. A few nights ago I actually brought the idea of naming our kids. Normally we just say totally off the wall stuff like expecting our kids to be tall and cute so we can turn them into models, or having multiple kids so we can get our own TV show. This was the first time we actually got into a "real" discussion about having children.

I told Shen about my idea of giving our kid a blasian name. His response.

"We should name him Raekwon," he said. "Sounds pretty blasian to me."

I was pretty surprised when he said that and laughed. Of course having children is way, way, way, way down the line for us so it is a bit premature to choose names. Still we'll see how long the name Raekwon will stick around. And if it's a girl...hmmm we'll work on that name...


  1. @ crush'ed: Thanks!

    @ modest-goddes: I was really taken a back when Shen said that. He's a fan of Wu-Tang and I suspect that's where he got the name from!