life, lime and lemons

if life gives you lemons, make lemonade, find someone whose life gives you vodka, and have a party

Whats in a name? April 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — limenlemons @ 2:36 pm
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Adopting your husband’s name is the norm in India. There is no thinking twice about this issue. You get married and henceforth you take your husband’s last name as your own. In certain communities, they even change the new bride’s first name (but thats a story for a whole separate post ‘coz of course i have such strong views on it!) Other than the whole traditional belief behind this, its known to make life simpler for all – from dealing with banks to government etc. I can imagine raised eyebrows in some birthday party where your kid shares her parents’ names and both have different last names! Oh and the pain you may have to deal with while travelling abroad! Anyway.

I did the needful too…..for the sake of all the official formalities in this country. But I realise my resume still reads my maiden name. So does my facebook page. So does the management profile page at the firm I work. So does all my correspondence, even my new ( 🙂 !!!!) business cards. I still think of myself as XYZ ‘Maiden name’. That has always been my identity and I just cant imagine changing and effectively losing it.

Just so we are clear and on the right track here……I like being married! 🙂 I am happy where I am. This isnt about the issues of married life. I am also quite proud of the boy and his family. This isnt about being ashamed to take their name either.

I have noticed some women who have had no qualms about adopting their husband’s last name. From Day 1 of their marriage, they have proudly displayed their new names. Is it that certain people have a stronger sense of self and identity as compared to others that they find this name change difficult? Does the change in name necessarily mean a change in identity? Or do you, like Shakespeare, believe that calling a rose by some other name doesnt change what it truly is?

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5 Responses to “Whats in a name?”

  1. anjuli Says:

    Aaah- yes- “Is a rose by any other name..still a rose..” and so the age old question resounds through the halls of marriage 🙂

    I have to smile- as I know some women who BEFORE they get married are already eager to use their husband’s surname….and then there are those who are reluctant to ever change their name. As for me, I was married in Singapore where changing the name was not done (in those days at least)- you retained your maiden name with “Madam” before it so people realized you are married and it is your maiden name.

    Over the years, I keep meaning to change my name…and really had no problem in all the countries I’ve lived in- with a different name then my hubby- BUT since coming to the US- oh my!! What a headache to have two different names…banking…etc…it becomes a nightmare.

    It is funny because some people think I’ve retained my maiden name because I’m some sort of feminist activist- and yet, if they only knew, I’ve been too busy…and then the years flew by…maybe now 23 years later, I guess I will have to change my name FINALLY. 🙂

  2. K Says:

    Very little changes us. I dont think a name will, unless you allow it to lead you around rather than the other way.

  3. mrinalini Says:

    aah N! u strike a chord almost on a regular basis 🙂
    wish the name trouble didnt have to be so blatant in our lives..and u may be right, sm people flaunt their new names with fierce loyalty, it maybe they r more secure..i will be wanting to not change, however..dont know what makes me feel this way but its like taking away a part of me, i wouldnt want to do that 😦

  4. amrita Says:

    I couldn’t do it. I’m not doing it.

  5. A Says:

    In my opinion, changing name does not make any difference but feminist wife does agree. She never changed her name and does not use my last name. It did not make any difference to our lives or for that matter our daughter’s life.

    One more point:- Your statement that in India it is common to change the last name after marriage is not completely true. In Sikh community all males are supposed to have last name ‘Singh’ and all females are supposed to have last name ‘Kaur’. To a large extent this tradition is followed.


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