A name becomes the identity tag of a person till the end of his or her life. Indians believe that the name given to a child exerts a special influence on the course of his or her entire life and all associations in its course. Indian baby’s names are mostly decided by priests after studying the horoscope of the child in traditional families. This is an age-old practice in India is taking a backseat in urban cities only lately.
Indian baby names almost always have a meaning attached to them. According to Indians the sound and meaning of names create a positive or negative energy in the lives of individuals. A name giving or baby names naming ceremony is performed in most Indian families as a way of presenting the child to the world. The name giving ceremony is usually very elaborate and is carried out by the family priest. The whole family is required to be present and it is believed that the child will develop personality traits according to the name given to him.
Religion and caste also plays a major role in giving names to children. Many upper caste Indians use ancestral village names, honorifics, occupations, titles, caste derivatives as their family names. Indian names are also sometimes influenced by region or the place an individual belongs to. For example, in Maharashtra many family names are derived by attaching a “kar” to their place of origin. Indian Christian names have evolved into a unique mixture of Indian and Western patterns.
The south Indians and tamil names have a simple naming system. Their names are based on their village name or their family name. The concepts of an initial name, a middle name and a family name or surname is alien to a Tamilian. Tamilians have a single name like Sriram or Lakshmanan. As far as Bengalis are concerned, most of them have two names. One name is considered to be the official name while the other name is like a pet name used by friends and family members.
Indian names like Laxmi, Durga, Parvati, Mahavir, Krishna, Arihant, Shankar, Vishnu, Gautam, Kartikeya etc are based on the names of God and Goddesses. Indians have always laid a lot of importance to religion and caste and this is much evident from the names of Indian people. Most people in India are able to identify the caste of a person through his or her name and surname.
However it is important that while keeping a name for a child, the name should be such that it can be easily pronounced and understood. It is also advisable to not name a person after some famous personality as he or she might lose out on his or her own identity.
Indian names have always has their own beauty and charm. Indians believe that an individual’s name has a great influence on him or her much unlike to what Shakespeare said: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” .
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