The Name Game…

hello-my-name-isWonderful news!  His parents have accepted our marriage!

But wait!  There’s more!

Apparently, his mother will only accept it if I follow family tradition and change my first name upon marrying Bear!  😦

Apparently, some families in Maharashtra follow this tradition/custom.  Bear’s family is one of those.

Bear and I had discussed this possibility a long time back when I first heard of it from another source and asked him if his family also follow this tradition.  He had said yes, but that it wasn’t compulsory for me to do so.

Nevertheless, I contemplated it.

The name he had chosen for me should I accept the change was a beautiful one and somewhat sounded like my real name (or my American one).

But my father, of whom I am deeply attached, gave me my name.  He had argued with my mother for days in order to win this particular battle…and he got his wish.  I was given the name he had chosen for me long before he even knew there was a me to name.

My father has been my saving grace over the years.  The one I went to for advice on all things (boys, makeup, and math).  I felt closer to my father than I ever did my mother.  My father was my knight in shining armor.  Always there to fight my battles when I couldn’t do it for myself.  My champion of light.  My father is truly one of the best men in my eyes…and I just couldn’t give up the name he had given to me.  It would destroy him.

You see, when I was younger I hated my first name.  It’s very old fashioned, especially during my youth.  I got picked on A LOT for it.  So I once asked him if I could change it.  He became very serious, his eyes misted up a little bit and he told me how much he loved my name and asked me if I knew it’s meaning.  I said no.  “Worthy of Love”….was his reply.  He told me how he had wanted that name for as long as he could remember and how much my name fitted me.  He said that someday, I would see how beautiful it really was and how true its meaning could be.  And he was right.  That day did come and I loved my name as much as he did.  Even if it took me growing up to see it.

And when I told him that I would be moving to India to be with my soon to be husband, he again became emotional and with tears in his voice, he said “I want you to be happy with all my heart, but I’m so afraid we will only see each other a few times before I die if you move so far away”.  I knew, without him saying anything else, how much my decision to live in India with Bear was hurting my father.  How scared he was.  And I saw how much he was giving up to let me go.  To let me go and live the life he helped give.

It’s because of these things that I know without asking, how very much my giving up my name would hurt my father.

And so I told Bear that I couldn’t do this.  That I thought about it and the reasons why I felt I couldn’t change my name once we were married.  Even though I liked the name he chose for me very much.  I explained that I would be “Aurora” in my heart forever.

And Bear agreed.  He said he had fallen in love with “Aurora” and wouldn’t want that to change if I did not wish it to.

And now this.

JUST when you think you’ve won the war, a new little skirmish comes up to kick you in the pants!

Except this was a big skirmish and I know it’s important to his family for me to do this “one thing” for them.  The only thing that they are asking for.  And they have been very sure to point that out.  That’s it’s the only thing that are asking for from me.

Can we say Guilt Trip boys and girls?  I knew you could.

But you know what?  No matter what, I know what is right.  I know what my value’s are.  And I know I made the right decision.  So I stand by it.  I will not change my name legally.  So I told them that they could all call me by this new name that Bear has chosen, that they can even introduce me to THEIR friends by this new name, but legally and to my friends and family I will remain “Aurora”.

Mom and Dad were NOT pleased with this.  And they relayed this information through Bear and Bhau (means brother in Hindi – in this case it’s Bear’s brother).

So I told all of my feelings to Bhau and to Bhabhi.  And they understand and agreed that this is fair, my wanting to keep it legally and allowing family to call me by the new name.  So they are once again stepping in for me and speaking to the parents to try to make them understand that I am not disrespecting the family by refusing, I am showing my respect for my family while still trying to respect his.

Let’s all pray that they can understand this and agree.

The other good news is that now Bhau will be coming to the wedding.  Bhabhi cannot because she just had a child.  This makes me sad.  I want to meet the woman who made things so much better for us all.  I want her to be there for this.  But we will have Bhau and through him….Bhabhi.

The countdown is on now people.  Let’s see just how sane I can remain!

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8 thoughts on “The Name Game…

  1. I looked up Aurora on wiki
    It comes from the Latin goddess of Dawn
    and the sanskrit cognate name is Usha

    I suggest that you keep your name Aurora, but tell your in-laws
    that it is linked to the sanskrit name of Usha

    • Shyamsunder, thank you so much for the idea! 🙂 I truly love the name Aurora….but it’s not my real name. LOL It’s a take on my name….and the name of a favorite comic book character. I love the name they chose for me and have decided to let his family call me that just as MY family all call him Bear! 🙂

  2. My Sun’s parents have requested the same thing of me. I told them we could accomplish their objective a couple different ways – either with a pet name or legally adding a second middle name to my name. Sun was not happy with the idea of altering my name legally at all and told them so quite clearly. The topic remains to be discussed further but it’s good to know I’m not the only American who has encountered this! In truth, I’m open to it to some extent but only if the motives are not based on trying to get me to ‘pass’ as desi to casual acquaintances and to save face. This type of name change is not the norm in Sun’s community.

    • Welcome Elizabeth!

      I agree…I also was worried about the exact motives for my name change. However learning that it is a family tradition I felt better but also a little sad that I couldn’t totally comply with a family tradition. I think so far everyone is ok with calling me by “Angel” and not asking me to legally change from “Aurora”. I sincerely hope that this works out for you and I think you are on the right track by already having an answer prepared. It also helps that Sun is standing by your decision (and you both already agreed on this topic).

  3. I think it’s important to not let his family reframe the issue into one where you need to “do this ‘one thing’ for them”. It’s not your responsibility to meet demands that they may make, any more than it’s their responsibility to meet your demands.

    You can freely agree to do things that would please them, like allowing them to call you by a name that is not legally yours. But that’s a choice you make, not something Bear’s family can or should make you feel guilty for if you choose otherwise. Don’t let this be a bone of contention that they can use – just remain above it. 🙂

    P.S. Aditya says that you should just say that Bear chooses the name “Aurora” for you.

  4. I agree with Leese. It’s only a matter of time when they will see your character – what all you are going through while trying to make sure no one’s sentiments are hurt. It takes a lot to give the kind of respect you are giving everyone! 🙂

    I wish you all the very best for everything! Good luck for the wedding!

  5. Hey Girl…
    Some time soon, Bear’s parents will realize just how awesome you are. The fact that you want to retain your name for the unselfish reasons that you are speaks volumes about your character.. your integrity.. your family values and in honoring your father.

    It may take time.. but they’ll get it.

    Big Hugs and Massive Kisses!!!

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