I got my name from Mummy. She actually had names for her children way before she was a Mummy, in fact, way before she met papa! As I’ve mentioned some time back, my Mummy is the type that had too much time to think of all these things then.
She had names for girls, (I guess it is easier to think of names for girls than boys) perhaps she knew subconsciously that she knew she will be getting a girl.
She had always like Caleigh, just like the brand Caely Girl. Then a family friend named her second daughter that name but Mummy still like that name very much. When she married Papa, she knew that if she were to get a boy, she will need to use the generation name of the Lim’s and my generation will use “shern” or “sern” (Sorry, Mummy is not Chinese educated so she doesn’t know the exact word in Chinese but she knows that the character has a “sun” on top and “rising” at the bottom).
So when Mummy found out that she was pregnant, her thinking juice got working and she found several names for girls and just two names for boys.
She came across the name Jaelyn on a blog she read years ago and she became creative and decided either Jae Lyn or Kae Lyn or Kaye Li. Then Aiyee (Mummy’s sister) said that Lim Jae Lyn or Lim Kae Lyn don’t sound so nice since the surname Lim kind off sound in tune with Lyn. So the name Kaye Li stuck for awhile.
When she found out that she was getting a girl at 6 & half months of her pregnancy with me, she was cracking her brains to think of other names but Kaye Li always remained.
Then about less than 2 months or so before I came out, Mummy was reading the papers and she came across this article that was talking about Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, Riley Keough, a model (her full name is Danielle Riley Keough but she goes by her middle name). Mummy searched what Riley means and found out that it means courageous, valiant or brave. She liked it a lot and alter the name to fit a “Chinese” name and hence Rye Li.
The difficult task after that was to find an actual Chinese name for me – to find Chinese characters to suit the name Rye Li. This task was handed to Papa but he was warned by Mummy that she is not interested in any characters that starts with “L”, if not people will be calling me “Lai Li” if they were to call me by those characters. It didn’t really help either that there are not many Chinese characters that starts with “R”.
Just after I was born, my Kai Ma (Godmother) suggested to Papa to use the character that sounds like “Ray” and this character means stamen or pistil from a flower. The character has 3 hearts in it and Papa thought that it is very appropriate since Mummy’s name, Syn, in Chinese means heart.
Then Papa also had to find a Chinese character for “Li”, this was not easy too as there are so many characters to choose from. After much consideration and all, he has decided on the character that derives from “Mo Li”, Jasmine and “Li Hua” means Jasmine flower – since my “Ray” is part of a flower. So, this means I have a very flowery name in Chinese – “Ray Li” and a very brave one in English – “Riley”.
As for the Chinese characters of my name, I wish I can show you here but I don’t know how to get those words. Perhaps Belle’s Mummy or Zara’s Mama can help here? Mummy did ask papa to get them so we can put it in this blog sometime back but he himself don’t know how to get it and I cannot wait any longer to post this.
* update: Thanks to Aunty Pei See, this is my name in Chinese :蕊莉. (i hope this is it coz Papa has yet to see it...haha). Also special thanks to Belle's mummy for the links! ;)