Do perents have the right to give any name to their children?

In Venezuela, parents can’t give their children any name they want as the government is to pass a new bill They want to keep names to a select list (a long one it has to be said).

Names usually have significance. Some are fashionable. Others have become obsolete. In many countries, like Morocco, there is a list of standard names. People can’t give Christian ones to their children. Names can be a form of identity. In Lebanon, you can know the religion of a Lebanese just from their name as there is rivalry between Muslims and Christians there; they keep to their distinct names. Arabic names have meanings although many don’t know the significance of their names. “Abbas” means lion, a symbol of courage.

Jews in Europe and the USA mainly shook off their Hebrew names and adopted Christian ones as a mark of integration in their society or as a tactic not to be singled out. In the USA, you can tell if a man is a Muslim just from the name, as most Muslims bear Islamic names. But it is hard to say which American is a Jew just from the name. In the USA, in particular, minorities stick to their names as a way to keep to their origins. In France, there are cases of children from mixed marriage who have compound names with one part Muslim and another Christian as each see their child as a continuation of his/her culture.

How many times do we respond to a name by saying how strange it is when it has never been heard?

Names are a part of a country’s culture. Allowing parents to give any names to their children can just obliterate the historical names. In Europe, names are adopted or even translated. In English, “Richard” is pronounced differently when used in for a French person. In Spain, it is pronounced “Ricardo”. Etc.

Some would argue that names have gone through centuries and there must be innovations, just as nicknames have become acceptable. Pt Clinton was rarely called William, but just Bill. Parents should give respectable official names to their children. As a compromise, they can give them nicknames of their likings, by which they can call them. Giving a child a funny name can cause him/her trouble with their peers. When grown up, they will have to go the “painful” process of changing it. Children are human beings. They shouldn’t be seen by their parents as their toys or products and as such they can give them any names, even if it can be reserved to pets. It’s enough to call one’s children as “sweety”, “my bird”, “my monster”, but this should be kept private in family circles. On official papers, children should have socially acceptable names that have links to their culture, tradition and religion. I may be totally wrong.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: