Please call me T or Tea.
This blog, I am going to explain my name, Fragrant Tea since I have encoutered too many questions about my name all the time both in China and in USA, which troubles me honestly.
My full first name is actually Xiangcha in Mandarin Chinese, sounding like Fragrant Tea literally in English; Xiang as Fragrant, Cha as Tea. The interesting thing about this name is that I like what it sounds in English, but not in Mandarin. It is a very unique name even in China. Believe me, you would not find another person in China named with this. But it sounds very odd even in Mandarin.
My mom named me. She also happened to name almost all of my brothers, sisters and dozens of my cousins(first or second) who are in my generation, whose I always thought were much better than mine. By better, I mean not weird or less weird. By not weird or less weird, I dont mean those are not good names. Some of the names are actually both unique and meaningful in a very good way.
The thing is “Xiang” in “Xiangcha” also means”like, or similar”. My mom put “Cha” as part of my name because tea (Cha in Chinese)was widely grown in this little remote village that she raised me and my brothers and sisters. Tea was one of the main produces that supported the villagers’s life there. Every kid started to pluck tea or help with sorting tea way before they could wipe their own butt.
Now you know, very often, people said “your name sounds like Native American’s”. I joked “Yes, I guess I am still lukcy. My mom could have named me fragrant turd”. Because you have to know this: although my mom is a very smart woman (by smart I mean possibly with much higher IQ than most of the men and women in this village), she had never been to a real school. The only orthodox education she ever had was several days in a self teaching villager group when she was still a teenager.
The truth is I started to like the sound of “fragrant tea” in English. After all, tea has never left me.