Saturday, December 26, 2009

What's in a name

Names are pretty personal, but we have to depend on our parents to choose one for us. Kinda ironic. Some people like their name, some hate it. I know people that go by their middle name and don't tell anyone what their first name is.

When I was pregnant with my oldest 21 years ago (wow how time flies!), I didn't know if she was going to be a boy or girl. I went to a family doctor, and ultrasounds aren't common as they are today. I liked a name I saw on tv: Yasmine. I thought it was really pretty. Now her dad is Indian and Hindu, and he didn't like it one bit! I didn't really realize why at the time, but now I know that some Hindus and Muslims do not get along. Even the ones that do would not want their child named after the other.

I didn't know it was an Arabic/Muslim name, I just liked it. The character that had the name on my show was a princess, maybe that's one reason why I liked it. To me it was just a name I liked, not a Muslim or Arabic name. Then my sister asked what my mother-in-law's name was. When I told her, she suggested that we name her that. It was short and easy to pronounce. I had a boy's name picked out too: Todd. Now she thinks that's funny, but I liked it at the time! So lucky she was not a boy named Todd. She likes her name, even though she's in a waspish area and it's not common to have a name no one has heard of.

My other three children have Arabic/Muslim names because I was Muslim when I had them, and when you are Muslim, your kids have Muslim names. That's just "the way it is". I also chose a Muslim name for myself after I converted. I changed it legally after being Muslim a few years (I didn't before because I didn't have the money to change it). I kept it because I like it. I hating growing up with a common name (Lisa Ann), and I like having an uncommon name. In my area our names are uncommon. In New Jersey we lived in an area with a lot of Arabs and Muslims. On the Eastern part of Michigan there are a lot of Arabs (Detroit/Deerborne area), but this area doesn't have many. Although my son works at a restaurant and the owner's name is the same as my youngest son's name.

My dad was upset when I legally changed my name, even though it's not a family name and he didn't pick it or anything. To him everyone should look American, dress American, speak 'American', etc. Ironic, with him having 4 grandkids with 'foreign' names. His cross to bear, I guess.

A rose by any other name...



Blogger * said...

I never cared about my first name but I was dying to get rid of my "slave name" which is a very common English name.

I remember finding out that Muslim women keep their father's name, and my heart sank. But I use hubby's name, I guess cause nobody cares.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Anisah said...

Well it's up to you, the same thing doesn't work for everybody.

Thanks for visiting my blog!


12:57 PM  

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