Sunday, September 16, 2012

What's in a name?

The birth of a new child is a big occasion for any level headed family. It is accompanied by anxiety, physical acrimony, and above all, joy. However, nothing can match the hype and fever that accompany the naming of the new born. There invariably is a tussle in the family in determining who can assert the most influence and whose choice prevails on the matter. There is an uncanny pride in being able to give the child your choice of name.
The Bhutanese social practice in this regards presents even more room for discord. Unlike elsewhere, there is no practice of giving the infant a paternal name after his father and there is no such thing as a family name. Therefore, every birth is an occasion to experiment with a new combination of Buddhist parts of speech, usually an adjective. The child can also be named after his perceptible physical characters like skin, colour, facial features and temperament.