The Big Debate – the name game
So Brangelina named their twins Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline. Thanks to the stars, unique and multicultural names are becoming quite the fashion now a days. And this is on my mind because I am looking for names for my second baby.
Shortly after I came to the US, I went to a business meeting. A guy held out his hand and said ‘Hi, I am AJ Meta’. To my untrained ears, that seemed like the funniest thing. Here was Ajay Mehta, as his card spelt out, an Indian guy, not one brought up here, but one who had just recently moved from India, calling himself by his ‘Americanised’ name. It seemed to be to be such a copout.
Since then though I have become a lot more understanding of why someone would use an Americanized version of his name in a business or social setting. First, you get tired of people mispronouncing your name, and when you are tired enough, you join them. Second, when you meet a business visitor for the first time, do you really want to spend the first five minutes spelling your name and getting him through uncomfortable pronounciation trials?
How about school – a lot of friends mentioned to me the trials of their kids with stranger names butchered by their five year old classmates. Some have embarrassing nicknames that stick for life. Even easy to pronounce names like Anton get chopped to ‘Ant’ and pricks your eight year old ego. Someone at the company I used to work for mentioned that the chief category for choosing names should be possible nicknames a preschooler can get!
But for me I still like the romance and mystery of unique, beautiful names which show connections to your roots. So from Agueda to Yeketrin, I would say bring it on.
Many friends have hit a compromise – my chinese friends often have a traditional name and an American one to ease the transition. And Indians have started to do that too with names and nicknames.
What do you think?
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