Thursday, September 6th, was a day of much excitement for many of us here in Singapore. It was the day we welcomed Kai Kai and Jia Jia, the two Giant Panda’s from China to their new home at the River Safari at the Singapore Zoo, Asia’s first river-themed park.
Giant Pandas are among the most endangered species in the world and their population in the wild continues to decline due to the loss and destruction of their natural habitats. Moreover, Singapore has never been home to any pandas, not event at the zoo, so you can imagine the anticipation and excitement to finally be able to welcome these two beauties to our country.
Names play an important role in Chinese culture, because it is believed that a name signifies the kind of person you want your child to be when he or she grows up. Often for boys, strong names that signify dignity, power and wisdom are popular and for girls, it is names that reflect beauty, grace and joy.
Clearly these naming traditions were also applied when it came to these pandas. The male panda is named Kai Kai (凯凯), which means “victorious.” Meanwhile, Jia Jia (嘉嘉), the name of his female companion, has multiple meanings of both beauty and fortune.
Interestingly these names are equally meaningful here at Capella Singapore. I realized the names Kai Kai and Jia Jia also made up the name of Cassia, the Chinese fine dining restaurant here at the hotel. Cassia or – Kai Jia (凯嘉) even shares the characters used in the panda names! What a happy coincidence!
Hopefully you will have the opportunity to see these pandas in person. But even If not you can still enjoy getting to know these two pandas in the video below.
Image via Wildlife Reserve Singapore.