When my friend’s mom was pregnant with her little sister, she had the initial instinct to name her Ye-rin. However, her mother-in-law pressured her into naming her daughter Gyung-min, a rather masculine name, on the superstition that if the second daughter had an androgynous or boy’s name, then her third child would be a boy. Korean tradition being the way it is, the mother had to concede to her mother-in-law, and thus the baby was Gyung-min.
However, much to the chagrin of the mother-in-law, the mother never had a third child and so Gyung-min was stuck with a name that she hated from infancy, all for naught. Gyung-min loathed her name to the point that she would often go around pretending she had a different appellation, usually that of her sister. How endearing/sad/uncreative?
The mother has also had a negative past involving a long-term abusive husband, who she has recently separated from, coupled with a substandard upbringing caused by her father’s marriage to two women simultaneously. He always favored the other wife, the trophy wife.
A week ago, my friend’s mom and sister consulted a psychic specializing in numerology, who after a week deduced that their bad luck in life was linked to their names and that they could change their fate by changing their names. Going on this advice, they forked over $300 dollars to the government yesterday to legally change their names, with Gyung-min taking the name that her mother had originally intended her to bare.
The psychic also said that my friend was guaranteed financial success in life, but that, if she were to change her name, she could also ensure herself superior physical health. She has thus far declined and remains a skeptic. I agree about the psychic bit. The legal change is more of a placebo than anything else. However, the idea of new name = new beginning sounds nice (it seems to work for criminals). On a serious note, I have always thought that, ultimately, only a mother can name her child, so it’s fitting that Ye-rin can now have the name her mother gave her.