Friday, April 20, 2012

Joseph Jun Ruscello "Cello" Bengivenni IV

Yo-Yo Ma · Bach's Cello Suite

Growing up as Joseph Bengivenni III, I was occasionally asked, "So, are you going to name your son Joseph?"

I don't know what my initial response was, but the older I got the more I was sure the answer would be, "No."

Then, one day, while talking to my parents on Skype, Eunbong said to my father, "Dad, in Korea, the husband's father gives the name to the baby." His face lit right up, and he said, "You mean I can name him Joseph!"

The last time I saw my grandfather, Joseph Bengivenni I, he told me a story about our name. He said the grandfather and the grandson always had the same name. The problem when my father was born was that it wasn't long after WWII, and his name was supposed to be Adolph. According to my grandfather, his father was already ashamed of his own name and in 1951 America, there was no way they were going to name their son Adolph, so my dad became Joseph II.

Eunbong had already chosen a Korean name, Jun, and now that she had given my dad dibs on his first name, I was left with choosing his middle name. Throughout the pregnancy, we'd nicknamed him Pace, Italian for peace (wishful thinking!), pronounced with a 'ch' sound, but in Korean, it sounds like green onion and in English, well, I already had to explain it to you! I'd already considered the name Shanti, but Eunbong didn't want an Indian name. One night while discussing it, the name 'Cello' started popping up in my mind. "What about a name that sounds something like 'cello'?" I mentioned to Eunbong, and she immediately liked it. I also wanted a name that connected with the Black Dragon, since this year is the Black Water Dragon, something that only occurs every 60 years and is considered an auspicious sign in the Far East. I looked up the Italian word for river, but 'fiume' didn't set any bells off, then I typed in 'stream' and I almost fell over when 'ruscello' came up. Eunbong was really excited, too, and Fina even changed form calling his Pace to Cello after we told her one time.

I known from experience, growing up, he'll appreciate having a name of his own!

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