On May 12, 2008, China’s Sichuan province was struck by a strong earthquake that ultimately killed tens of thousands of people
Zhang Xiaoyan, who was eight months pregnant at the time, wasn’t one of the victims. But she did end up trapped under a pile of rubble for 52 hours. “For two days, rescuers passed food and water to Zhang through a small hole as they struggled to find a way to free her.”
A month later, her baby girl was delivered via Caesarean section.
The girl was originally going to be named “Yingao”, meaning “to welcome the Olympics”, which Beijing hosted in August that year.
But after the quake, the couple decided on “Xiaoai”, or “little love”, to honour those whose care helped see them through the disaster.
In Chinese, xiao means “little” and ai means “love.” (Both words also have other meanings, though, depending upon the characters being used.)
Other Chinese babies that were named with earthquakes in mind include Zhongde, Zhensheng, Lutian, and Yuanyuan. And other Olympics-inspired Chinese baby names include Aoyun, Shen’ao, Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying, and Nini.
- “‘Our little miracle’: the children and the childless of the Sichuan earthquake.” South China Morning Post 11 May 2018.
- Wivell, David. “Baby Love born to quake victim in China.” USA Today 18 Jun. 2008.
Image by h87010511 from Pixabay