Discussion Topic - Names

Discussion Topic - Names

Part 1 - Introduction & Interview:

Q. 1. What is your full name?
Answer:  My full name is Masoud Nowsarul Abdullah, but I get called by my nickname which is “Shanto”.

Q. 2. Did your parents choose your name(s)?
Answer:  Yes, my parents did indeed choose my name. As far as I have heard, they discussed with several other family members and then finalised my name.

Q. 3. How did your parents choose your name(s)?
Answer:  Parents in my country usually choose names with good meaning, after consulting with their friends and families, which is usually also coincided with a ceremony. I have heard from my mother that she along with my father purchased a book on "Best baby names" even before I was born and then shortlisted a few names. After I saw the light in this world, my parents discussed with other family members and then finalised my full name as well as my nickname.

Q. 4. Does your name have any special meaning?
Answer:  Yes, my name indeed has a meaning which can be described as the “lucky slave of the Almighty Allah”.

Q. 5. Is your name common or unusual in your country?
Answer:  Yes, I would say that my name is fairly common in my country apart from the middle part of it.
Q. 6. If you could change your name, would you? [Why/Why not?]
Answer:  No, I would never change my name primarily because that would create a lot of problems such as I would need to bring changes on all of my important documents and certificates, which can turn out to be a very lengthy and tricky issue. Besides, it would also create unnecessary problems for my acquaintances in order to identify me. Finally and most importantly, I love my name and I have been known as "Masoud Nowsarul Abdullah" for my whole life. I would, in fact, never want to change my name.

Part 3 - Details Discussion:

Q. 1. How do people in your country generally choose baby names?
Answer: There isn’t really any particular custom or convention in my country in choosing the names of babies. Having said that, however, a great many people in my country put their faith on their “religious” beliefs which encourages them to choose names with “good and noble meanings”. Then, of course, there are those in my country who simply pick up the names of famous and successful people when choosing the names of their babies. Finally, there is another group of people in my country who prefer “elements” of nature around them for the names of their babies. To pick a baby name, people in my country often consult with relatives, friends and search online for names with their meanings. 

Q. 2. How has this trend changed from your grandparent's generation?
Answer: I don’t really think that the trend in choosing baby names has changed in any significant way from my grandparent’s generation except, of course, sometimes we find that some people in my country pick up names of “foreigners” these days when choosing the names of their babies and do online research before finalising the name. Another rather “irregular” trend, which we notice in these days in naming the babies in my country is that some people add “nicknames" with their “formal” or “official” names.

Q. 3. Should meaningful baby names get priority over modern names with less significant meanings? Why/Why not?
Answer: No, I don’t really think that “meaningful” names should get any priority over modern names with less significant meanings primarily because it’s not the names, meaningful or not, which define a person, but it is the action, behaviour and achievements which define a person. Besides, since there are no tangible “worldly” benefits (except some “benefits” on the religious ground) of choosing meaningful names over less significant names, I don’t really see any reason to fret over choosing the baby names, meaningful or otherwise.

Alternative Answer: I believe that baby names should be meaningful as they will often be asked what is the meaning of their name by several people on several occasions in their life. If the meaning of someone's name is nice, he or she will feel good to tell the meaning of their name and appreciate their parent's effort for choosing such a good name.

Q. 4. Do you think our names tell a lot about us? How?
Answer: No, I don’t really think that our names tell a lot about us, if any at all. Of course, with names, which just “sound” good, we can get some praises like “nice names” or “unique names” from people around us once in a while, but that doesn’t really reveal anything about the personality or character of them. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we should intentionally choose “bad” names or weird sounding names just for the sake of it, but again, our names don’t tell a lot about we really are.

Alternative Answer: Yes, definitely our names express a lot about ourselves simply because our names, most of the time, tell about our family, religion, culture, country of origin and so on. Just by knowing someone's name we can create a "persona" about this person in our mind and we introduce ourselves to someone else with our names first.

Q. 5. Why do many siblings have similar names? Are there any benefits to it?
Answer: I don’t think that having similar names has any significant benefits other than they are easy to remember and can be pronounced “easily”, as well as emphasizing the fact that they belong together in the same family. However, even though it has these tiny little benefits, it has some significant disadvantages as well. For, it will confuse other people (other than their families and relatives) in identifying the siblings properly. Besides, it may even pose a greater problem in important documentation as the same “initials” can be used to refer them in important documents.

Alternative Answer: I believe parents often choose similar names for their children simply because they love the harmonious sounds of their kids' names. It also reflects that those children belong to the same family which have some advantages. First, people can easily identify them and remember their names. Second, similar names are easy to pick and emphasize that they belong together, they are a set, and they are part of the same family.

Q. 6. Do you think our names are very special to us? Why/why not?
Answer: Yes, I think that our names are special to us primarily because they don’t just identify us, but they also separate us from the rest of the crowds - sometimes with respect to our religions, regions and cultures. Besides, a lot of history and memories are involved with our names from the time we are born in this world. Our names are very special to us also because they represent the activities we undertake and transaction we make on a daily basis. In fact, I would even dare say that they effectively describe us in a manner more than we are able to understand or choose to realize.

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