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Old 10-02-2010, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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new to this forum. I was looking for advice on multi-ethnic and stumbled on this great resource!! I hope someone can help me.

we are from different backgrounds, India and Mexico. We are going to have a baby boy and cannot come up with hardly any names that can represent both the Latin and Indian cultures.

After doing some research (I sound like a guy), I came up with Rohan (Irish as well as Indian origin, plus i know it from Lord of the Rings) but wife clearly didnt like it.

She likes David, Daniel, Dylan, Gabriel, Alec - all names which have no Indian component to it.

I was wondering how I should go about finding a name that will make her, her family, as well as my family decently happy. Almost feels like a lost cause
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:16 AM
 
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My husband is from Pakistan, and I'm American.

We picked names we liked, period. Our families hated both of them. The names don't "represent" anything but names we liked.

My father-in-law went so far with our second son as to suggest, when he was about six months, better names. He actually was hoping we would CHANGE the name.

*shrug* I just don't give much credit to trying to please families. In my experience, it's a hassle, and definitely not our top priority. Our parents got to pick our names. Now we get to pick our kids' names.
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Old 10-02-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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Wow - I can't believe your FIL would do that! We found out the sex of baby but I've made it very clear that I do not want anyone else to know. Mostly because of the names. I don't want or care to know what anyone else things about our name choices. My parents have pretty much stayed out of everything so far, but my husband's family is a little out of control. They are not happy with no knowing the sex and they all want to know about names. Unfortunately, my husband is very sensitive to his family for some reason, so he keeps suggesting very common names. I'd like our baby's name to be unique. We had chosen names early on, and now he keeps suggesting very common names. Every time I say that we'd agreed on the other names, he gets defensive and asks if he even has a say in this at all. I keep reminding him that we need to BOTH like the name. I would never name our child something that he is not comfortable with. His family on the other hand, should have no say in it. Remember that you can give your baby a middle name too. If you want your baby's name to be Rohan and your wife wants it to be Gabriel, you could always go with a combo like Rohan Gabriel or Gabriel Rohan. That sounds really good together and goes well either way. Good luck!
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Old 10-02-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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how would you define a name 'representing' both mexican and indian cultures? (kind of confused because some of the names you listed as her faves are definitely not latino....like dylan) are you really trying to get a name where it has a specific meaning in both cultures?

if it was me, i would look at baby name lists from each country, pick some faves, figure out which ones are easily pronounced in both or all of the languages you speak, and then go from there. if you go to your local library, there are some good baby name books that list names by country or culture.

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Old 10-02-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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DH is half Indian (his mom is American, his dad is from India). We don't have the Mexican component in there, but what we did was chose whatever name we liked as a first name, and then used an Hindi middle name for both DS and DD, we will be doing the same for the newbie as well. That way they have a name from their heritage and a name that all our relatives in India can call them when we visit or they call on the phone, but they also have a name that works with the other half of our culture, since I am Jewish and DH is half Indian.

If your wife wants a name like Daniel, maybe use that as a first name and then do two middle names one from Mexico and one from India, or even one middle name which is either Mexican or Indian that you think fits well with the first name and still carries a reminder of the culture that the baby is part of. Or do the cultural name first and the name like Daniel second depending on how you and your wife feel about it.

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Old 10-02-2010, 08:07 PM
 
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We struggled with this too. In the end we just chose a name that was easily pronounceable in both languages, but which isn't strongly attached to either culture.

What about doing a first name from one culture, and a middle name from the other? Or maybe combining parts of names to make a new one?

Try not to worry too much about what the family thinks. Whatever you choose, there will be someone who doesn't like it.

My baby is 2 years old! How did that happen?!
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies! I will try the library to see if I can find any good books. Do you have recommendations for any? Especially a book for multi-cultural names or unique names, i would like it. I personally would like to stay away from like David - feels too religious of a name to me.

Like many of you suggested, i would like names that can be pronounced and be felt kinship to, by people from both backgrounds. While parents are not involved in decision making, I want to try my best to pick up names that my parents and her parents don't end up hating. and then, the options that pop up are very simple three letter names.

the two-name thing is new to me, since I grew up with only one name It would seem that using two names would be useless, since everyone would eventually end up calling the kid with one name only. I am not sold on the idea of 2 names.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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another question: you keep saying I want, I want, I, I, I...do you mean to say we or is this really your thing? what does your wife think? it sounds like you need to go back to her and make a decision together, unless i am reading too much into this.

another option besides the library is using google to look at lists of indian baby names or mexican baby names and seeing if there is any crossover. fwiw, i just looked through a few indian baby name lists and i didn't find much except bianca which is also used occasionally in latin america, but it would be a good project for the two of you to do together.

also, two names is really common in latin american countries (and it's common for the kid to go by the two names, not just a middle name that's never used except on paper like in the US...so you see a lot of Maria Jose or Jorge Luis or Pilar de la Cruz, etc). so as far as the mexican side of things, that should be totally par for the course.

good luck!

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Old 10-03-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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I realise that 2 names is not something that you grew up with ....

keep in mind that you cannot know what your child will like 20 years from now,

but for sure your child will be multi-cultural with parents from different cultures,

so they might appreciate having a choice of names ... in the future, when they are older to choose for themselves & depending on where they'll choose to live and work too ....

where I live now , it is not easy (nor cheap) to change something in one's name
BUT if you were given several names at birth, they are all listed in the birth certificate and it's not big deal to have then id papers indicate one from the list as "the name in use everyday" instead of the first one from the list.

we each gave our children two names, DH picked one from my culture and one from his culture and I did the same, so they have 4 names (except the eldest because we both picked the same name to go first !) but we only use one in every day life. In my culture, we don't use initials for middle names.

My nephews and niece only got one name, from their father's culture ....which is not the dominant culture where they are living now; it's very culturally marked and right now I belive it puts them at a desavantage when they send in their resume.

I believe in opening up options for the future ....
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Old 10-03-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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As for using more then one name, my DH and both DS and DD do use more then one name depending on what situation we are in. When we are in India or talking to Indian friends and relatives they go by their Hindi name, when we are going about our every day life they go by their first name or in DH's case their second name. Heck when they are at temple (Jewish) they go by their Hebrew names which aren't even on their birth certificates.

People can and do go by different names depending on the circumstances, DS answers just as easily to his middle name with his his Hindi name as he does to his first name, and has no problem switching between the two depending on the situation.

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Old 10-04-2010, 01:04 AM
 
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Just a suggestion .... you said that your wife liked the name Dylan. I think that this is also an Indian name. Maybe spelled Dhillon?
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:30 AM
 
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Two names can work out very well.

My kids have both Chinese names (with variation based on whether we want to pronounce them in Cantonese or Mandarin) and European names.

You can try to have them match in meaning. For example my son's names both are related to the meaning of laughter or joy.

Names that might work in both cultures

Girl names

Abida
Aana
Ila
Lata
Pia
Priya
Reina or Reyna (means Queen)
Rani
Sara (diminutive Sarita)
Savita
Veena


Boy names?
Arun
Kabir
Vikram
Isandro
Iskandar (Skanda)
Leon
Reinaldo / Reynaldo
Victor
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:49 PM
 
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I have to agree with those who have said that while it is admirable to try to find names that will make your families happy, you kind of have to give up that idea. We were working with English and Arabic, and failed on making either family happy with our choices. We are living in the West, so it was important to us to pick Western names for the first name, so they would fit in here. We did try to choose names with a similar name in Arabic that the boys use with my husband's family. For their middle names, we used the Arab tradition of using their father's first name as their middle name.

BOTH families disliked the names we chose. Like a previous poster, my MIL chose a different name for my oldest son and used her name to address him for the first 6 months of his life.

Now (6 years later) it just isn't an issue anymore. The boys' names suit them, and every one is used to them.

I love the idea of giving multiple names. If you truly want to honor the latin side of their heritage, it would be appropriate, right? And if one of the names were Indian, then you would be honoring both.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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Give up trying to make both families happy. Exercise in futility, if you ask me. Unless both sides of the family are super easy to please in the first place.

What about choosing a *meaning* that both of you like, and giving your child a first and second name from each language that has that meaning. If she likes Daniel--find the meaning and use the Hindi word that fits the meaning as his other name? Also, "Christian" names like Daniel, David, and Gabriel aren't entirely unknown in India. Would it be a problem for your family for a child of yours to have one of those names or a variation on it, due to religious issues?

We are a mixed culture family, but our children's names come from dh's culture. I was iffy about that at first, but he has picked out names with such beautiful, deep meanings, perfect for the children, that I have no problem with it now. I can't wait to see what he comes up with for future children.
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Old 10-05-2010, 01:20 PM
 
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We picked names that worked in both cultures, so it's not impossible. Though I admit an Indian and Mexican combo is tricky! I googled a bit and came up with these:

Ajay
Amit
Omar
Raja/Regi/Roger?
Rohan
Damian
Dev
Iman
Sur
Kavi
Mohamad

Some of those later ones are sorta a stretch in Spanish, but they would be easy to pronounce and, to my knowledge, don't have negative connotations, though others may be able to shed more light on them.

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Old 10-05-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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A baby gets 3 names, so you can give him one from one culture, and two from the other.

DS has a New Jersey Dutchy (not same as PA Dutch) first name, a middle name that was supposed to be Irish but turned out Scottish b/c DH went to fill out the birth certificate alone and didn't realize the Irish and Scots spelled it differently, and a Chinese last name.

Since you only have 2 cultures involved, I would give the first name from the culture that doesn't get the last name and give the middle name So you could do "Indian FN, Mexican MN, Mexican LN" or "Mexican FN, Indian MN, Indian LN."

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Old 10-05-2010, 02:19 PM
 
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boys are tough with indian names. We had such a hard time. It's very, very common to have a child go by a nickname for years. Maybe start by finding a nickname that would work in both languages?

Also, are you looking for either muslim or hindu names?

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Old 10-07-2010, 12:59 AM
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"A World of Baby Names" by Teresa Norman is a great resource for multicultural families.

I have a friend who is Mexican-Bangladeshi...he has a mainstream American name and so do his kids.

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Old 10-09-2010, 03:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the name of the book, as well as the list of names. I am going to pass it by my wife and see what she thinks. The kid will pick my last name, the Hindu/Indian last name. Everyone has atleast agreed on that part She picked up the last name of her dad and so did I. So, we agree on the last name part.

And you guys are right. She has 2 first names but only really uses one of them. Maybe using 2 first names is the way to go. Thanks very much. I will definitely keep you posted. In the meantime, feel free to suggest names that would work for Hindu/Indian as well as Catholic cultures.
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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"A World of Baby Names" by Teresa Norman is a great resource for multicultural families.

I have a friend who is Mexican-Bangladeshi...he has a mainstream American name and so do his kids.

I have that book. Yes everyone is right the baby will have your last name so there is a hindi name for you. That being said we had some struggles with our first born, i guess in Indian not only does the father choose the name, but it isn't given until well after the baby is born, at a ceremony. Dh doesn't even practice hindu but it was hard to convince him to let this tradition go and the hospital did tell him that ds couldn't leave without a name. But ultimately it was up to me to find a hindi name, now talk about hard, i can't speak the language or prounounce the names, yet dh told me to find a name and he would let me know if he liked it or not, so ds has a hindi name, with a slightly different spelling and slightly different prounciation, but ultimately it hindi, and i love his name honestly, it is pretty unique in India as well and it fits my son to a t. So i compromised with my dh and let him have his way, as long I get bring the choice list to him, have him pronounce it correctly, decide if the name could have a bad nickname in American culture, and he did let me do the slightly different spelling and pronuniciation, and it fits and we like it. Currently expecting number2, and very stressed about possibly choosing another boys name, girls names are easier imo.

Did I mention that my dh doesn't even go by his own hindi name and has some blah boring American nickname,lol? But our kids will all have hindi first and last names and they will go by their given names, I have a long name and always was called by a nickname and don't like it, i think if you name kid something then call them that, but that is just my opinion.

I love the name Rohan by the way, but that is out for us, b/c my aunt's ex last name was Rohan and that is what he goes by, and he pronounces it with the hard h, so, no i can't use that for boy.

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Old 10-15-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ILoveMyBabyBird View Post
the hospital did tell him that ds couldn't leave without a name.
They either were lying or ignorant. What were they going to do, keep him in the NICU billing your insurance company thousands of dollars.

We took DS home without a name. For a week, he was just listed as "Baby Boy Lastname" on all his insurance forms and what not.

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Old 10-15-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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Just a suggestion .... you said that your wife liked the name Dylan. I think that this is also an Indian name. Maybe spelled Dhillon?
Just what I was going to mention! I had an Indian couple as doula clients. They named their son Dhilan.

We also have had some controversy with some of our chosen names. We usually don't discuss them with others during the pregnancies anymore. After our third was born, my in-laws asked if they could call him by his middle name. Um, no! His name suits him well, and they've gotten used to it.

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Old 11-17-2010, 03:16 PM
 
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Since you mentioned Rohan, an Irish as well as Indian name, I just want to throw Ki(e)ran in. it's also Irish, and with out the e Indian if I'm not mistaken. And it's our youngest son's name, so clearly we picked names because we liked them and not for cultural significance (kids are Filipino-Dutch) orngbiggrin.gif


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Old 11-17-2010, 05:59 PM
 
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:wave

 

I'm mom to a Rohan here. We're an Indian family and everyone without exception that I've met has LOVED ds's name. i do have to spell out most times that we pronounce Rohan to rhyme with Roman and not with Johann but it's a great name that looks and reads both eastern and Western.

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Old 11-24-2010, 02:09 AM
 
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My son's name is Ronan, and we have a palace here where we live that's called "Rohan" so of course I like it! 

 

What I was going to throw in was first, I think the priority is a name that works where you live. If you pick something that is hard to pronounce and spell in the community where you live, you're placing an unfair burden on him, IMHO. Of course, you might be planning on moving but that should be a consideration. 

 

Also, some cultures are better with "foreign" names than others. For example, South Americans and Germans often give their children entirely foreign names just because they like them. My sister was an exchange student to Guatemala and her host "sister" had my name lol! 

 

I know a family who gave their children standard names but changed the "C"s to "K"s simply because the hard "K" sound is always written with a K in the husband's language. Little details like that. One name is from the mom's culture, spelled the way they would spell it in the Dad's language.

 

Religion plays a role. I was uncomfortable naming my child a Saint's name since we're not Christian but it's a normal thing for France. I found it weird so we went with Israeli names (with a little spelling tweaking) that you can find in both cultures. They can be said and spelled and don't sound strange in either society (although Israelis find our tweaked spellings a bit annoying- but we don't live there!).  I wouldn't name my child a heavily religious name unless I planned to raise him in that religion. 

 

I actually suggest "road testing" the name. We were decided on one name and it turns out, in France, the name had certain connotations. No, don't depend on your partner! My dh liked the name and was "stuck" on it but all my coworkers were all "Noooooooo!" Since they know the culture better than I do... We found something more acceptable that was similar.

 

I know this sounds crazy but the families like our choices! Okay, my mom isn't thrilled with the youngest's name but she understood why we picked it. 

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Old 12-31-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:48 PM
 
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If all you focus on is pleasing everybody, the end result will be that nobody is really pleased.  You need to decide one two people-no more than this-who get to agree on a name.  And don't share it with anybody; it's just not up to them. 

 

Here is what I would suggest: your wife is only allowed to pick her favorite Indian names, and you are only allowed to pick your favorite western names. This way, you guys don't get to choose based on your own cultural bias.  In the end, you might end up with a name you like but is not of your own culture.

 

Just an idea.

 

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