The object here is a seal with my name, designed by myself when I was in high school. Born and grew up in China, I have in fact had five English names. Evian is the fifth one. Having an English name was often just that the English teacher wants to grow some English atmosphere in the class, or just to be cool. Only till the moment when a high school teacher of mine asked me what name I would like my host family know, while participating in an exchange program, I began to think through the English name. Some sort of panic hit me because I realized that having an English name is not just something treated casually, but there is actually going to be a group of people, on the other side of the earth, know me as Evian, and for those who couldn’t pronounce or remember my Chinese name, only as Evian.
I finally made the decision and sent the email saying that I would like to be called Evian.
Recently I often thought about this precise moment, as I became very interested in teasing out the mentality I possessed at that time. I think it included the urge of wanting to prepare myself for moving to this new country, the expectation of building up a new identity – starting from adopting a new name.
Now I have been known as Evian in this country for five years, as in most of the cases, only as Evian.
– Yiyun "Evian"