Before we left on break Kan told me about her intention to change her name.  Now, in America, this is a huge hassle (often associated with another huge hassle--marriage), but here in Thailand it seems to be a much easier and more common practice.  Kan is actually changing her name for luck, because her old name had an 'unlucky' letter in it.  ...When she first said that I demanded to know how she was unlucky; she's got a great career, a nice husband and sweet son, she's healthy...  However, if you're born on a Tuesday, your horoscope says that letter '' is unlucky for you!  Also, her husband teased her about it, like a running gag.  So now break is over and Kan (who is keeping her old nickname) is Natrada!
I'm mentioning this because, as it's the first week of school, we're doing projects that involve introducing ourselves and writing our names and nicknames.  For most classes this involves making up a spelling for one's Thai name, and in addition to that I was confused when one student wrote that his name was Pat and his nickname is Somchai.  I thought it would be reversed, but apparently his original name, his government name of record, is Pat and now (he's in 5th grade) everyone calls him Somchai!  I was just imagining of kids were allowed to re-name themselves like that in the US...I think we'd have a lot of PrincessBallerinaMoonSparkles and TigerTankSpidermen!
Jane Kraut
5/27/2015 03:13:00

You are absolutely about American names, some kids change their name anyway and just tell people, fortunately it doesn't usually last.

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    These are the personal opinions of Spook, and do not reflect those of the Peace Corps.

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