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Friday, February 12, 2010

Games with Names

In my LSE100 class, we were learning about the discipline of ethnography, which is basically studying different people's cultures in their particular contexts.

For example, your name could mean a lot in your specific culture. Take my teacher's name, Carmen Amelia Gayoso *something*. Having a Spanish father (Gayoso) and an Italian mother (*something*), both of her ancestries are reflected in her two surnames. In addition, the name Carmen is common in Peru, and has been in the family for 4 generations. Basically, her great-grandmother is Carmen, her grandmother is Carmen, her mom is Carmen and she is Carmen, and its common practice to name your child after a distinguished person.

So each of us had to do the same, write our full names and 3 meanings of our names in our culture.

So there's this guy, Joe. In his family, Joe has a lot of significance. Why? Because his ancestors were alternately Joseph or Jonathan. E.g if his grandad is Joseph, his dad is Jonathan, and he is Joseph, and the pattern continues. Kinda like a binary code, 101010101010

And then I wrote my full name on paper, 'Mohamad Ikmal bin Ahmad Nordin'. Since the question asked about meaning, i gave a literal one. 'The Praised Perfect son of The Praised Light of Religion'. This was the first time i saw my full name translated into English, and i was like WOAAAAA. And then when Carmen asked me to explain my name, she was like WOAAAAAAAA. And then she asked the class, "has anybody found interesting facts about their name? No? Then let's hear Ikmal's" Then i told the whole class the meaning of my name, and they were like WOAAAAAAAAAA.

Seriously, those of you with Arabic names, try translating it into English and then saying it out loud. It'll sound really exotic, like some kind of mystical rock or ancient artifact. 'Praised Light of Religion', doesn't that sound like the Tablet of the 10 Commandments?

Then i told them that a name in Malay culture gives some sort of semblance to your character. Ikmal=perfect. "So in your culture, does your name bring a burden on the way you're supposed to behave?" "Well, not exactly. It's not really something that actively determines your real life. So if my name is Ikmal, which means perfect, im...not perfect, but i'd like to think i am". Erkk.

3 comments:

ming said...

dude..watta bout my name... ahmad muhaimin bin mat jusoh> what does it mean in english??? just wanna know

budakbek said...

my name doesnt hav any meaning... :(( **ayat last in ur entry cm xley blah je.. :DD

Ikmal Nordin said...

hahaha..sbb ayat 2 btl?? ;))
alala..nm xd meaning pn, sdap j :))