J is for Jessica


My late grandmother, a petite nyonya lady
with red lips from chewing betel nuts
someone who could neither read nor write
named this newborn baby girl, Jessica.

At home she was called ‘Sie’ or ‘Ah Sie’
when she started kindergarten
teachers called her ‘Li Chern’
a Mandarin pronunciation of her Chinese name ‘Ley Chin’.

Unfortunately she could not read or write Mandarin
spent the rest of her school years in an English mission school
she could only write in English
what an irony for a girl of Chinese heritage.

Her friends know her as ‘Ley Chin’, ‘Jessie’ or ‘Jess’
only strangers or acquaintances call her ‘Jessica’
on this blog many know her as
little Borneo girl from littlegirlstory.

A few of you who follow my blog and I follow yours
thank you for making the effort to know my name
It makes me feel special and connected
because I feel we are more friends than acquaintances.

I am writing about sweet nothings
a simple introduction turned into too many words
all too flowery but befitting to the title of this post
J is for Jessica aka Jessie aka Jess.

I am a day late for Blogging A – Z Challenge

but I could not miss out the J Challenge

such a significance to my name.


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