For certain parts of the populations it’s important that names that refer to their religion or family origins are used in every generation. The name Mary is strongly associated and used by Catholic parents, for example, in honor of the mother of Christ. Or give her a name that has Mary in it: Mary Ann, Mary Margaret or Rose Mary. As long as the name of the Holy Virgin is included, it’s OK. Protestants pick their names from the Old and New Testament, while Muslims turn to the Qu’ran to find names for their children. That’s why in many
Islamic countries and regions the name Mohammed has been on top of the list of most popular names for many years now.
Origin-inspired names can also find their source in a certain country: if a family has Indonesian roots,
for example, the chances are pretty high that the first child will be named Wayang, the second one Made,
and that number three will be called Nyoman. When they’re old enough the kids can ‘westernise’ their
names if they want to.
There’s nothing wrong with a name like those described above as long as it’s easy to pronounce
and write, suits the country you’re living in and doesn’t limit your child’s chances due to racism
(as unfortunate as that may be). An additional point to consider is whether or not the name is acceptable ‘internationally’ and if it’s easy to pronounce in other languages.
“We lived and worked in Hungary, which is sort of our home away from home. That’s also where I met
my husband. When I got pregnant with my first child, we quickly decided on Kinga: we thought
(and still think) that Kinga is a special, sweet, feminine yet sturdy name. It means ‘strong-willed
queen’, and that’s what she is to us!”
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