Foreign Names for Children
The New York Times is a paper that is widely read throughout the United States. It is therefore expected that publishing an issue of controversy in the paper will call for different reactions from people in the country (Eligon, 2018). This happened with the case of the advice from the Dear Abby column that advised parents not to choose foreign names for their children as they are difficult to pronounce and they make a child to be teased.
It is true that some foreign names are difficult to pronounce, but that does not mean that there are no names that have been accepted by Americans that are also difficult to pronounce. For example, as Anand Giridharadas said, “You Know, you all have no problem saying Dostoyevsky and Tchaikovsky” (Eligon, 2018). For this reason, I believe that parents should name their children the names that they feel are right with them despite these names being difficult to pronounce. For example, having been interested in learning about different countries I learnt to pronounce the names of the presidents of these countries in the right way. Despite the names being difficult, once you pay attention to the names it becomes easy to pronounce them.
Parents have particular reasons why they choose a certain name for their children and they should continue doing the same. For instance, Aaron Rahsaan Thomas was named by his father who was a theologian. Having the three names as a representation of the Jewish, Islam and Christianity religions, Thomas states that, “I can’t think of nothing more American than a name that combines the three biggest western religions” (Eligon, 2018). The native names in the country indicate a sense of belonging and culture. Every person in the country should be allowed this right despite the difficulty in the pronunciation of their names.
I also think that it is such issues that should be discussed in the public arena and the idea of whiteness condemned in society. As Mr Giridharadas said, “The reality is that a lot of this has to do not with names but with whiteness.” The United States has citizens from different races and ethnic backgrounds. Therefore it is important that people in the country embrace the names of different people despite their pronunciations. The culture of embracing different names should be instilled in children when they are young by ensuring that they do not make fun of their peers who have names that are different or those with difficult pronunciations.
Eligon, J. (2018). Advice From Dear Abby on Baby Names Touches a Nerve. The New York Times.