One practice we have learned here is a custom called “wan nem” – one name. This means that if you are having a baby and you want to honor another person in a special way, you name your baby after them. Then, from that time on, that person has a special relationship with your baby.
Our guard, Alex, wanted to honor Zach in this special way. So when his baby was born in January, he named him “Jek” (which is Zach’s name here :)).
Now, I get to buy little baby clothes or special things for Zach’s wan nem and from time to time Alex’s wife will come by and we can see little Jek. Above is a picture of their family. Meri, Alex, Jek, and Aileen.
Another interesting cultural thing we are learning is who’s names are taboo for you to say. One taboo is saying the name of your wan nem. So, when Zach asks Alex how Jek is doing, he must just say, “How is your family, and how is my one name?”
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