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女兒(毛衣)語錄(9)Quote of My Daughter(’s Sweater) (9)

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The Chinese character on her sweater is her name; and this sweater was designed and painstakingly hand kitted by me. I almost used up all my knowledge in algebra and geometry to get it look straight and right. 

她毛衣上的「坦」字是她的名字。毛衣是我設計並手工織的。我用了好多座標紙畫圖啊,計算長寬比例和針數的對應啊,把學校裏學到的那點代數和幾何知識用光了,才把這個「坦」字織直了,織得像個「坦」字模樣。不是那麼容易的!

The character reads "Tan", which can mean a lot of different things when using with different other characters, such as smoothness in "Ping Tan(平坦)”, frankness in "Tan Shuai” (坦率), sincerity in "Tan Cheng(坦誠)”, broad and level in "Tan Dang”(坦蕩), etc. All good things. It looks like a sun just arose from the horizon; full of hope. I gave this name to her and hoped that she would have all these beautiful characters with her.
「坦」字是我選的。懷著她時,我正熱衷於《周易》及命理學之類的東西,她是金命人,所以想給她取個含「土」字旁的字,以取「土生金」之意,也就是讓她的名字養著她的命。
Another reason why I chose this word for her was based on my study of “I Ching (Book of Changes)” and the “Theory of Five Elements”. The word Tan contains the element of earth, which is believed to be able to support (or produce) metal. And according to my daughter’s birth year, she is of “metal texture of life” . So her earth-containing name will support her “metal texture of life” and bring her health and good luck. I also wanted to choose a simple; suitable for both boy and girl, yet not too widely used word. I didn’t know my baby’s gender during my pregnancy. In China, because of the one-child policy, doctors were not allowed to reveal the unborn babies’ genders. So for all these reasons added, I almost went through all the Chinese characters which has “earth element” with them. And in the end, I chose the word “Tan”.
另外,當時並不知肚子中的孩子是男是女,因此要取得男女都能通用的,我向來痛恨選特別難的字做名字的家長,弄個誰也不認識的字嚇唬誰呀?但同時我也不喜歡被用濫了的太「俗」的字,所以把「土」字邊的字扒了個遍,最後選了「坦」字。希望孩子一 生「平坦」、爲人「坦率」、「坦誠」、「坦蕩」……。大致就是這樣吧。


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