Monday, July 28, 2008

My Chinese Seal

Alice was thinking today about her Irish forbears while I was thought about my Tibetan relatives. Potato Famine. Shelling of Llasa. Irish Civil War. Chinese Cultural Revolution in Tibet. Unspeakable tragedies leaving deep scars.
I am glad my relatives were lucky and got out of Tibet. Alice, too, for those who got out of the Dingle Peninsula of Ireland. Our home is the United States now. We are Americans. But... as long as the Dalai Lama says Tibet can be part of China, like Ireland is part of the European Union, I guess that means I am also "from China" as Alice is "from Europe".
So, while in Beijing, Alice got me my own seal, or chop. "Pabu", is supposed to mean "Puffball" in Tibetan, but doesn't mean much in Chinese, so Alice asked Lisa Y. to find me a proper Chinese name. Lisa asked Alice all sorts of questions like my fur color and character. She suggested "Pan Buo" which means amber. "A precious jewel!" said Alice for her "precious one".
With the help of Jasmine, Alice found a good chop with a dog to make into my Chinese seal. And some amber colored seal ink.
Funny Chinese custom, those seals and ink. I've a much better personal way to mark things. More meaningful, too, for us dogs. Still, I try to understand and appreciate human customs.