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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Anaheim, CA
    Posts
    2,410
    This is an interesting topic--obviously things like Cohen and Krishna are off limits, but recently I've been interested in the controversy surrounding the more gray-area names like India. I'm in the US and I know someone (Caucasian) with the mn India whose parents don't have any ties to the country. She's one of those people who mentions her middle name frequently (her first name is unisex), and to my knowledge no one has ever commented, though we live in an area with a pretty big NRI population.
    Gwen
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  2. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,883
    I think it wise to stay away from religious names that would offend (i.e. Cohen), but I think you can use names that aren't part of your culture.
    My darling little Bean is a G I R L!
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  3. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    383
    And when a name becomes a part of a culture? I don't understand how India being tied to British Colonialism makes it off-limits to someone who has no ties to Britain. In the Southeast U.S. it's a rather genteel and old-fashioned ladies' name. (See: India Wilkes, Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, my great-grandmother)

    To say its relationship to British Colonialism makes it off-limits makes as much sense to me as saying Georgia is off-limits because they practiced slavery there. Say what? I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm saying I don't understand your argument. Feel free to elucidate.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    A Town Called Alice
    Posts
    1,476
    I know a little India, her parents met in India whilst volunteering at a school. They have since been back and have volunteered many times over. The name is of great significance to them, and they love the country (happy people, beautiful scenery, yummy food). I think that is a valid reason for using the name, despite the history of the country. Its a gray area for sure, knowing if it is safe to use or not but they are happy with their choice and are aware of the history.

    That said I'm happy for people using names from other cultures, the world is changing, globalization is growing and we are becoming more knowledgeable of many things. Names should reflect that...

    However I do think its wise to stay away from sacred names (religious) such as Cohen. It is always advised to research any names you are thinking about using, there is no point making the excuse that you did not know. Google is your best friend.
    Ingrid | Kit | Susanna | Alistair

  5. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,131
    I just think it's ignorant and silly to use a name from any language or culture that you aren't completely familiar with (even if your grandparents were from Italy, you aren't really Italian; if you like video games, you aren't Japanese; if you spent your honeymoon in Thailand, you aren't Thai). You risk offending others or exposing your child to ridicule should she ever chose to be a part of said culture.

    (I'm not including "place names" here because they have been used as names for centuries and more a question religious/poetical/inspirational context than cultural appropriation.)

    I do have a problem with people:
    - mispronouncing/misusing foreign names (Elena as "uh-lay-na", Esmé on girls...)
    - naming their kids random words in other languages (which aren't used as names originally)
    - using names without understanding their religious/political/cultural/generational connotations (Cohen, Adolf, Mohammed, Kaiser, Lucifer, you get the point.)
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