Kung Fu Shauna!

Kung Fu Shauna!

KungFuPanda960.jpg

Before I moved to Vietnam, my good friend Khoa told me that I was pronouncing my last name wrong. Of course, in America, we take out all of the accents and tones of the Vietnamese language. So, growing up in a home where English was the only language spoken fluently (except for the occasional – ăn cốm! And đi tắm! {eat rice and take a shower}), I had no real knowledge of the Vietnamese language. Vo is actually spelled Võ. The ‘o’ is pronounced as an ‘aw’ sound and the tilde above the ‘o’ gives it an up and down tone. Thanks Khoa for preparing me. After a few months of Vietnamese class, I found out that my last name actually means “Kung Fu!” I think it originates from China – as does a lot of things in Vietnam and the language. However, from a more recent history, Võ was actually previously Vũ. One of my teacher’s assistant’s last name is Vũ and she said that her family comes from the north. When some Vũ families migrated from the north to south, they changed their name to Võ. When I did further research, it looks like they changed it to Vũ because the given name of one of the Nguyễn lords was Vũ. The Nguyễn lords ruled South Vietnam. So in order to show respect to the lord, they changed the pronunciation to Võ.

Now, that I’ve been teaching in Vietnam for more than a year. I’ve learned that Võ really means “martial arts.” They put Võ in front of any type of martial arts, so it’s like a classifier, for example Võ Karate, Võ Judo, Võ Taekwondo.

At any rate, I still like the sound of Kung Fu Shauna.

I got robbed so I got something they can’t steal from me

I got robbed so I got something they can’t steal from me

One for the History Books

One for the History Books