Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Surname Factor ;)

I have been having this thought since some time now. Is our surname really important? We all form a first impression of any person we meet. But did you realise that the conclusions we draw of our 'first' impression also include a few from the 'surname' of a person.
In India we have so many casts and also different religions across the country and hence we have uncountable number of different surnames. So, when we happen to meet a person for the first time we tend to conclude something from the surname. I am no God, even i do the same!!! Its actually funny most of the times ;)
I being a bengali had the privilege of spending my childhood in a small cosmopolitan town and hence coz of all obvious reasons I am a bit of every culture (depending on the 'best friend' i had in that class ;) ). We as kids were so naive!!! anyways coming back to the topic. I am often faced with this remark " Oh wow your hindi doesn't sound like a bengali!". Now I fail to understand, was this a compliment or a failing mockery!!!
I did my graduation in maharashtra and had the opportunity to experience hostel life. And as all hostel sagas go even I had horrible meals provided in the hostel. Wait, can I even call it a meal?! Every meal and every curry used to be full of groundnuts! And thus came another inference "all maharashtrians love just groundnuts"! thank god I was proven wrong ;). And then I married a gujrati! When ever I tell this to anyone the first reaction I get is "Oh poor you, a bengali married to gujrati, you must have stopped eating non-vegetarian food and your husband must be very kanjoos (miser)"!!!!
Thank god none of them is true!!! ;) Why can't a gujrati eat non vegetarian food and why the hell can't he be a spent thrift!!!!
I have many muslim friends and I love many small aspects of their culture as well! Specially the food!!! One of my muslim friends was once faced with a question "during a india-pakistan match whom do you support?". People, can there be a more dumber question!!!! Does she have to provide a certificate that she is an Indian??!!!
So, I have decided one thing, whenever I am going to have a child, I for sure am not going give him/her any surname which will define his caste or religion. I am sure my husband will support me on this. We all crib about a lot of things that are not changing but never realise that change has to start somewhere. So, in my family I will start the change. I want my child to know the fact that he/she is an indian and rest whatever the child wants to learn or follow its upto him/her. Be it any caste or be it any religion! :)


jhq said...

I like your idea of not giving a surname to your child. However, the way we are socially structured, it just becomes a major inconvenience. Virtually every place needs one to provide a last name.

A better alternative thus is to give your child a last name which does not belong to you or your husband.

But then again, just because most of us are guilty of gross generalization based on last names, why should the child pay the price. Shouldn't the child have a choice of weather or not they would want to take on their parents last name. A bit like saying I would not give my child a religion, but shouldn't that choice be theirs to make.

jhq said...

On second thoughts, why does your child then have to be Indian, just by the virtue of being born in India or being born to Indian parents?

Venus said...

@jhq: Ya by not having the defined surname i meant that yes a person needs a surname coz of many reasons specially visa factor.. so its obviously a better choice to choose 2 names and keep one as a surname :)
N yes when u say the child can choose, he definitely can! If he wishes to change or take the same surname as his father or mother, I'll willfully do the same for the child whenever he wants!
And i said Indian as I see all chances of my child being born in india and that he will be an indian by default but if the child doesn't want to acknowledge that as well, great its completely the child's zone when he grows up and understands all this!