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What's in a Name?

Sunday, October 30, 2011
Hello.  My name is Tracey Friley.  I've been called Terry and Stacey repeatedly; have made a mental note each time someone misspelled my name without the "e" (if I had a dollar...); and was called Freaky Friley as a kid when Mary Rodgers' children's novel Freaky Friday hit bookshelves in 1972.  That was fun.  #not  One of my friends calls me Froccoli (as in Broccoli), a few call me Friley, and my online compadres call me One Brown Girl.  I'm sure I've been called other names that I don't know about, but definitely not to my face. #giggling

So when I heard about the 285 Indian girls who went through a name change ceremony recently, I was curious. You see, girls named "Nakusa" or "Nakushi" were living with names that mean unwanted in Hindi. Unwanted.  You definitely don't need to pull out the dictionary for the meaning of that word, now do you?  Is that not the. absolute. worst. name you could ever think of? And while treating someone as if he or she is unwanted is just as bad as being branded as such, let's all Thank Dharma for Satara district health officer Dr. Bhagwan Pawar who came up with the idea to give these girls a chance to blossom. Somehow Freaky Friley doesn't seem so bad at all.
Name Changing Ceremony {Source:  AP / Chaya Babu}
Click here to read Name Changers: 285 Indian girls no longer unwanted in its entirety.


Unknown on: October 30, 2011 at 2:37 PM said...

AWESOME! Thank you for sharing this story. What an amazing woman...and all these girls are amazing...I'm so glad they are saying it out loud. Such a tragic story...this is a heartwarming story. <3

Aqueelah on: October 30, 2011 at 4:33 PM said...

I remember reading this story and feeling so badly for the little girls. I was called Tweety, Lil Lotta (because I was a chubby) and Redbone (which I hate to this day). What's in a name? Quite a lot, and I'm so glad someone realized that in India.

Unknown on: October 31, 2011 at 12:45 PM said...

Aqueelah, Several years ago, Oprah's Angel Network (now defunct) published a story I wrote about name calling (relative to bullying). In fact, at one point I was going to write a How To Cope book for kids that are still accused of "talking White" (whatever that is). Ultimately, I changed my mind because I would prefer to share the positive and not give credence to or re-hash antiquated ideas about speech or language. The whole point of the article - called Words Really Do Hurt - was to point out that words (also names) do indeed have a way of impacting young people...and sometimes in a negative way. Once I became a young adult, I just didn't care about what anyone said about me. But I can't for the life of me imagine what it would feel like to have a name like Unwanted. What is there to live up to? Wow.


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