Naturally, everyone asks our daughter’s name. Some ask, “Does she have an American name or an Indian name?” Some, who are more privy to the ways of Indian family tradition, ask, “Did you choose her name, or did his family choose her name?”
We spent a few months sorting through Hindu baby name databases, trying to find something we both liked, and came up with a list. We added to our list: names we created, names we imagined, and names we combined. Ultimately, her first name was a unique combination of our names, that also happened to be in a Hindu baby name database.
Her middle name was decided based on a letter of the alphabet given by a priest, based on astrology and the timing and location of her birth. With that letter, my husband and his family chose three names. He brought those names to me, and we agreed on a favorite, but we ultimately settled on a shorter version of it.
We both believed in blending our choices and traditions. In his family, the parents don’t necessarily name their children. In fact, my husband was named by his eldest sister. Middle names are rare in India, but having a middle name is, to me, important to identity. Thus, we blended traditions in naming our sweet daughter.