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Pi's full name is Piscine Molitor Patel, named in order to honor the memory of a family friend who loved a pool in Paris named the Piscine Molitor. After dealing with all kinds of jokes and trouble about his first name, he shortened it to Pi to save him the trouble.
Pi is described as a boy that loves animals and has a very particular relationship with them given his experience growing up in his father's zoo in India. He is a very inquisitive young man, one with a particular interest in all the religions of the world, something that forms much of the framework for his experience in the lifeboat.
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