Many a time one hears people say what’s in a name. But a baby name (whether traditional or modern) is the first identity a personality gets when it is born. And this name is a life-long personal identity. It is the first thing that marks a child as an individual apart from being someone’s son or daughter. When a child is born, it is tagged as someone’s baby in the hospital so that they don’t get exchanged with anyone else’. A name brings out a person from anonymity, gives a sense of uniqueness and individuality and makes one stand apart in a crowd.
Many cultures and religions across the world, talk about how a baby’s name affects the growth and development of a person. Each one of them has its reasoning. So do you think a child’s name affects how they develop? Take a look at these reasons and see which one do you relate to.
1. Ethnic and religious identity
The moment one hears a name, the mind associates the person to a particular religion and region to which he/she might belong. And based on this mental identification, we deal with and treat the person. It has been proven by research that people belonging to troubled ethnic origin and some particular religious identity face discrimination that starts as soon as their name is heard. So people often tend to give names to their children that do not highlight their religious or ethnic identity. After all, it is important to create a proper first impression before getting rejected.
2. Psychological effects
A name can have a positive and a negative bearing on the person and also on the way people react to them. In the Indian context, all the children nicknamed pappu is supposed to be dumb, while nikkus and guddus are supposed to be adorable. The same goes for proper names as well. It is believed that children with names of Gods and Goddesses, popular figures from history, and even of famous personalities from the present day do well in life. Many parents these days also opt for unique, unheard names to make their children stand out in the crowd. Somewhere the positive feelings attached to such names reflect in the owner’s personality and overall development.
3. The legal, official name
A proper name is essential for the birth certificate to be made and all the other legal documents that one requires in life. A finely polished name in all official places, for example in the school for children, makes people treat one differently at times. The shorter names, names beginning with the initial alphabets in order, these somewhere psychologically affect many children.
4. The effect of spellings in the names
Many times, we must have come across the names of kids, the spelling of whose names have been spelled differently. Based on their horoscope readings parents are given suggestions to have an addition or omission of an alphabet or two added to their child’s name for their betterment. This astrological way of handling names, a strong belief amongst believers also helps in creating a positive impact on the well-being of children.
There could be many more reasons why parents would think of how a child’s name affects how they develop. So next time you go to a naming ceremony of a child, think under which category the baby’s name belongs to. But again the well-being of your child is not dependent on a name itself. A child brought up with love, care, and discipline will do well in life despite whatever name you give them.
by Tasneem Dhinojwala