How do you identify yourself? Is it through a name? A place? A community of people? A colour?
In today’s society the world is shrinking fast with plane travel and the internet. And so many different cultures are meeting and falling in love.
For me, a name is very important. My maiden name is Hungarian and I’m very proud of that heritage. Being half Hungarian is important to me and it felt very strange when I changed my name when I got married.
On a mums Facebook page I recently asked the following question (to those that are married): ‘”Do you miss your maiden name?”
I received varied answers. Some women were glad to change their name, whether it was too hard to spell, didn’t sound nice or had negative connotations toward their family.
Others were sad to change their name but did so out of tradition and also wanting the same name as their children.
And then there were the women who kept their name. They were proud of their heritage and their name was their identity. Or they were married later in life and felt it was too late in the game to change their name.
For some, they were marrying someone from a very different culture and felt it was not quite right to have a surname from a Korean culture when they themselves were Norwegian (random example).
The most common way around this was for the children to carry their mother’s maiden name as one of their middle names. That way the name was still being used and it represented both parent’s heritage.
For some people, a name is just a name. Nothing important.
However for me it’s so much more than that. Your name is what and who you identify with. Long after we are gone, our name lives on. Either with our children or in the history books and records.