Sunday, July 08, 2007

Say My Name

Somehow over donuts and coffee Shameless Shalom and I stumbled over an unusual topic of conversation. Our children. Unusual since neither are us live in any expectation of fathering ( mothering in her case ) progeny anytime soon.

Unless it's by divine immaculate conception. With my sins, I seriously doubt I'm in line to receive any such miracle.

Shalom : Doesn't matter to me if it's a boy or a girl.
Paul : But your family name!
Shalom : Shalom so?
Paul : The name will die out!!
Shalom : So?

Have to admit it came as a surprise to me that Shameless Shalom didn't place much store in the family name. Come to think about it, could it be that most girls think that way?

Pondering the value of Confucian values in a modern society

Maybe I'm shockingly old-fashioned ( or a budding neo-conservative at best ) but I've always thought it important to carry on the family line! Such an odd thing to say, I have to admit but I think most Asian men would quietly agree that it's almost an obligation. Not a matrilineal race so my family tree is traced across the generations of far from illustrious men that have come before me - seriously, we actually have a genealogy record with revised editions every five years.

Terribly sexist, I know - but militant feminists out there would be pleased to know that after numerous protests from my outraged female cousins, the ladies finally made an appearance in the family lineage a few years back.

Still it's sad to imagine that I might actually be the cause of a dead stump on the family tree. Certainly an act that would rouse the anger of neo-confucian scholars who frequently cite that to die without offspring remains one of the three gravest unfilial acts.

Obviously one of the reasons I greeted the arrival of my nephew Rambling Raoul with much aplomb - and much relief, I have to admit. With the arrival of another nephew of mine in Penang - the son of my cousin - it practically ensures the continuation of the family name into the next half century at the least, taking a heavy load off my shoulders.

Doesn't stop my grandmother from calling me up every once a month to remind me of my family duty though.

Disrespect! Disgrace! Dishonour! as Charming Calvin would put it.

Unless... like an increasing number of gay families I were to hopscotch over dozens of bureaucratic red tape to adopt an orphaned child from some troubled, war-torn third world country. That would certainly appease my ancestors, I'm sure :) Charming Calvin would prefer a sweet little girl all clad in sugar, spice and all things nice ( probably wants to play dress up if you ask me :P ) but by God, I'd prefer a boy. More biddable if you ask me. Ask around folks who have been around children and quite a number would surprisingly claim that boys are easier to handle.

And yeah, you know it would be nice to carry on the family name. :P


Janvier said...

While those of us who remains brotherless (and most definite to remain so) are in dire straits of becoming pressured one day or another... :S

Really would look into them adoption agencies somewhere in the future, if not a surrogate mother...

Gauzzel said...

You sure you wanna pick a boy for adoption because you are more bias to males?

ha ha..

Ryan said...

Luckily I have a brother. But still my aunties and uncles have been questioning about me being single. "I am still young!", that's what I'll told them.

Yeah I thought of adopting, but never thought about to adopt a son or daughter. Well, how about one son one daughter?

Cyclohelix said...

drats, me the only one besides my little sis. Still thinking of a way though besides the current alternatives...

so many besides.

m5lvin said...

adoption is certainly good and yup I do agree with adopting a boy rather than a girl........

but of coz balance is good....

Sue said...

I have kept my father's name and I and my mother are the last in the USA with his name. My brother, who has a son, has simplified the name to a point where it bears almost no resemblance to the original. So, I guess it dies with me or my mom.

conan_cat said...

hmm, i have a brother and i'm not sure about his sexuality neither, and i'm gay. mu teacher is the only son and he's gay too. and we don't give a damn about carrying on the family name. there are so many people named "ang" out there, why

however, i won't mind adopting a child, it's helping another soul and nurturing it to maturity. and i guess it feels great. :)

kon kon said...

i wonder what my family would say when it is "my turn".. i am after all the only son..

but i have many many many cousins to bring forth generations of the family name. so that should be okay right? >.<

closetalk said...

actually, ure quite right, paul. i mean, it IS really quite the asian thing to worry on so abt lineage. at least, parents do - and hence, in a lot of conservative and not-so conservative families, where the gay guy is the ONLY son, the guilt thing comes in again. mmmm....

adrien said...

ah after my dad's conversion, the surname wasn't even included in my name. no worries there i think hehe.

i would love to have children one day. to think bout how long theeir names would be! lets say i were ot name my daughter after my sister, it would be, Nor Arieni Adriena binti mohd. Adrien Zaffri.

i swear i would make my children suffer in filling up forms, just like how i am! lol.

coolgardy said...

This has come to my thought once a upon a time and at that time, I actually thought of surrogate mothers to carry the family name.

Although I have nephews, I still wanted something from my 'seed".

savante said...

DOubt we have such agencies over here in Malaysia, janvier :P Guess we gotta have adoption trips to third world countries.

Perhaps, gauzzel :P

Either one would be alright actually, ryan.

Whoa, are you all only boys in the family, helix!

Would love to have a whole brood, m5lvin!

Now I'm curious what kinda unpronounceable name that is, sue.

Precisely, conan cat!

You're an only son too! But cousins aplenty which is a relief, kon kon.

A bit hard for us, closetalk.

Ah those newfangled long names. Not sure how you guys manage to fill in the lot during exams, adrien!

Something with our seed. True enough, coolgardy. Sigh.