What’s in a name?

Published in Southern Crossings on 15 October 2015.

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5 responses to “What’s in a name?

  1. I loved this post, Rashida, thank you for speaking up for all of us with weird names who happen to live not in a country of origin. My surname was misspelled on my office door for three years and my neighbour still writes ‘Gurla’ on Xmas cards. And I normally dread introducing myself because I anticipate a puzzled look and wrong pronunciation. I guess there’s a lot in the name…

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    • Thank you Gulara. With a poetic and lovely name such as yours I do wonder … I’ve been told it’s just laziness but how it would be received if we constantly mispronounced Western sounding names and laughed it off as laziness. Like I said I’m not especially attached to mine, but it’s the only one I have, which makes it weirder when asked, ‘what’s your middle name?’ In my recently completed novel I have a character from Azerbaijan called Farah, and long before I knew you, her daughter was called Gulara which I changed to Gloria, for reasons to do with where she ends up in the novel 🙂

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      • WOW! Rashida, what an amazing synchronicity! 🙂 I so much look forward to reading your novel.
        I don’t have middle name too, and I didn’t particularly like my name when I was younger. To be honest, it sounds different in English, Russian and Azerbaijani – it’s like having different identities in different languages… I’m generally tolerant of people not getting my name simply because it sounds so different to their ears. I understand AND it doesn’t make it easier. At least my married name Vincent spears me of dealing with my maiden surname Guliyeva 🙂

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  2. An excellent and enlightening piece, Rashida. (The case you highlight brings to mind that publishing scam perpetrated by a while male taxi driver from Sydney who appropriated the name Wanda Koolmatrie and wrote the ‘memoir’ of a Pitjantjatjara woman.)

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