Thursday, 15 January 2015

A for Acceptance

52 weeks in a year, 26 letters in the alphabet, this is week 1:

Before I got married, I would always sign with just my first name, never my last. When asked, I explained that I assumed that one day my family name would change, so there was no point in getting attached to something that had to go. Later, when I did get engaged, the event prompted the great name change debate. Being Sindhi, our tradition has an expectation that if the stars dictate it, a girl should change her first name (as well as adopt her soon-to-be-husband’s family name) to match and support that of her new family.

The problem with this cunning plan was that I liked my name and didn’t want to comply. To make matters more complicated, my husband liked my name too and despite many horoscope readings and dialogues exchanged with Hindu priests, he wasn’t having it either. So long story short, I didn’t change my first name, just my family name. And who did I annoy in the process?

The very people that chose my name in the first place. They got over it, they have been on many of my bumpy rides and they’re still standing.

Why did they want me to change my name? Because they love me and thought my new family would accept me and treat me as one of their own if I started my new life with a new name. But “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” which I hope means that I am always going to be who I am, regardless of the label. Believe in who you are, name aside. My new family accepted me, not just my name.

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