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What is in a name?

November 8, 2011

So let’s discuss names. A few days ago I found an article about Indian girls who were given the chance to change their names. Now why would they need to do that? It is because they were give the name Nakushi/Nakusha meaning “unwanted”. As I understand, it was due to cultural preference of boys over girls in this country. I don’t want to discuss about gender equality. I want to discuss how names affect the individual.

You may not know it but your birth name is a blessed name whatever religion you may be. You live up to your name whether you like it or not, consciously or unconsciously. This is something parents have to think about when they name their children. In the bible, you bless the child with a name. You don’t just give any name.

Your name is your birth right to claim. I, for example, have a quite a name to live up to. I was born Katrina Anne which means Pure Grace. In fact, all of my sisters’ names have an Anne because it was a name my mother loved. My mother looked up to St. Anne, hence, the names.

I didn’t like my name. I tried to change it to something more modern like Katt. It wasn’t until a few years ago, I was talking with a korean who asked for name. I told him my name is Katt with a double t. Then I added, “it is short for Katrina Anne but it is such a boring name.” His reaction surprised me and flattered me. He said in halting english “Katrina Anne is much more a beautiful name than Katt. It is suites you better.” Not long after, we had an activity in school where we had to find out what our names meant. After I learned it meant Pure Grace, I’ve never been more proud and challenged by name my parents gave me.

If your name is unique because your parents believe in making unique names, then how it means is up to you, I guess. Or simply its uniqueness is something you have to live up to.

Lets move on to bullying through name calling. Like I said, names have profound effect on a person, consciously or subconsciously it affects personality, how they behave or how they interact with their surroundings. But most of all, it affects how they see themselves as persons. To call someone names especially bad names affect self-esteem. People will often react to name calling by either proving their tormentors wrong or by subconsciously living up to it.

Good name calling, loving monikers or positive nicknames often also affect the person. It usually makes self-secured individuals and confident go-getters!

So before you name your kid or label someone, remember this please, stick and stones may break my bones but words will hurt for a longer time. 

This reminds me of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet where Juliet said “What’s in a name. That which a rose by any name would smell as sweet” Sorry Shakespeare, I love your work but I will have to disagree this time. It won’t apply in this context at least :]

-Katt Chavez-

Here is to the link about the article mentioned above: http://news.yahoo.com/285-indian-girls-shed-unwanted-names-122551876.html

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