Recording Names on Family Tree

Vietnamese has started recording their names of family members on family trees since thousands of years ago. Each family maintains big family tree and passes it to the next generation. The chief of the family is responsible for keeping the family tree in a good condition and updating family members annually. Basically, if a family has multiple kids, the first boy is in charge of maintaining the family annals.

Whenever the family has a newborn baby, the parents have to refer to the family annals to get a name that is not yet on the family tree. In Vietnamese’s perspective, it is not respectable to give baby a name that is the same as to the name of the ancestors. The family tree is served as a good reference in this case.

According to an old custom, the ceremony of baby name announcement to the ancestors is very simple. It is required incense, betel and a glass of wine. Normally, this ceremony takes place annually on the death anniversary of the ancestor of the family. The parents of the newborn babies are invited to announce their kid’s names at once. The following information is collected and recorded on the family tree: name, parent, generations, branch of family, first-born child or not, date of birth and the date of recording this information.

(from www.vietnam-culture.com)

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