WHY ARE NAMES IMPORTANT?
WHY ARE NAMES IMPORTANT?
Our names are a very important part of our identity. They are a part of every culture are of great importance both to the people who receive names and to the societies that gives them. Names differ from culture to culture. Nowadays, everybody keeps names those are fashionable and trendy. For example, if its Nikhil, he would prefer himself being called as Nick in order to be trendy. Names are even kept after actors and actoress’ s name. Names like Laxmi, Shanti, are no more heard of. In some cultures, some people keep names from their ancestors. And so parents keep their children’s names from the family trees of their parents.
In some cultures, names are given from events which happen during pregnancy of the mother or sometimes after the birth of the child. In some names are derived from magic and incarnation. Giving and receiving of name is an event of great importance regardless of when, why, or how often it happens. Most of the people keep names that have deep religious meaning.
When I asked Agnes Rosario of how she named her daughter she told me how the Christian community name their children. She told me that Christians have christening rites which is considered dignified and solemn. Although in the eyes of the church the rite of baptism is not primarily a naming ceremony, name is certainly a part of it. In the catholic baptismal ceremony, priest meets the parents, godparents, and baby at the door of the church building, and the first thing he says is, “What name do you give your child?” After the parents answer this and other questions, the priest invites the parents and godparents to trace the sign of the cross on the child’s forehead, and then they move into the main body of the building for the rest of the christening. Also in the Christian community people name their children after the saints. For example Michael, James, John, Monica and so on. After a reading from one of the gospels, special prayers, and the recitation of part of the Litany of the Saints, the priest anoints the child with holy oils. Then follows the pouring of water on the child’s forehead three times, which constitutes the actual baptism. A second anointing with oil occurs, and the parents receive a white garment to put on the child. The priest then lights a ceremonial candle and presents it to the father or godfather on behalf of the child. The ceremony concludes with additional prayers.
Parents who have children who are twins name the second child with a name that is rhyming to the first name. For example Reema-Seema, Charlotte- Charmaine, Seeta-Geeta and so on. Moreover, most people take great care to make sure they pronounce another person’s name correctly, especially in introductions. For example My name is ‘Nakita’. But if anybody calls me ‘Nikita’ instead of ‘Nakita’, it annoys me. Names interests us a lot because it gives us a sense of personal identity and uniqueness. They are important to us as individuals and to our society as a whole. Our names give us a sense of personal identity and uniqueness and that is the reason why names interests us. In spite of their importance, most people know very little about names and about the effects they have on us. Every individual has a right to know about the psychological, magical, legal, religious, and ethnic aspects of our names.