What’s in a name?

One of the most serious issues of getting married is deciding whether or not you want to change your name. I chose not to change mine legally and though my husband, fortunately understands that this is a choice I’m at liberty to make, there are others who don’t understand why.

Perhaps it’s because most people still seem to think that changing your name is symbolic of the union of VNY_4999marriage and your commitment to the relationship. Somehow the fact that you probably got married in not the most comfortable outfit in front of thousands of people, took a million pictures together, wear a wedding ring or a mangalsutra or something of that sort and simply cannot imagine life without your husband doesn’t mean anything. Sigh…

It’s hard being the woman who refuses to change her name. It’s a social taboo in India because it’s a done thing. Nearly all of the women who have got married in the last couple of years have changed their names. If you don’t want to, it’s likely you will be met with people who would want to know what makes you so special. Don’t cave! The choice is yours to make! To use something my parents used to use on me, “If everyone jumps off the bridge…would you too?” It’s actually quite pathetic that even in 2013, with so much talk about women’s empowerment, people just assume that after a girl is married she is going to abandon the name that she grew up with and just take a new one…

I’ve made my choice to keep my maiden name not because I’m a feminist trying to defy this patriarchal society we live in. (I mean, I understand their point…since marriage is a coming together of two souls, why should the woman make all the changes? Why is the name change problem gender specific? Why don’t more men change their last names? Why are children given their father’s names when the woman is the one who goes through the pains of labour? If everything was to be fair, children would use their mother’s names…Like I said, I can see where they are coming from)…

I chose not to change my name because I realized that everything around me is identified with a name. So, why should I have to give mine up just because I got married? My surname, “Farias“, was and still is my identity. In India, it’s quite a unique name…even my husband hadn’t heard of it before we met and I’ve spent way too many hours correcting people (almost everyone I know…) when they mispronounce or misspell it to just give it up like that.

Today, I don’t see the need to change my name….maybe one day I will. But, whatever I decide, it’s a personal choice. One that I am free to make as I see fit..

Where do you stand?


8 comments on “What’s in a name?

  1. Good post. Even in the future, why would you change your name? The name belongs to you and it should remain even after the marriage. Our society expects the girl and her parents to part with wealth, physical, mental and even her name. Vow! what a deal?


  2. Namrota says:

    So true, I will never change my name, I am getting married to a person .. not getting a different body and soul for myself.

    Very nice post. 🙂


  3. Pankti Mehta says:

    Me too. If and when I get married, I am not going to change my name – come hell or high water. My name is my identity and I am in no mood to go through identity crisis. If my husband and in-laws have problem with that, it’s not my problem.


  4. A girl is only getting married not becoming a different person. Changing one’s name after marriage will make you feel a loss of identity. I agree with you.


    • Preeti says:

      Exactly! Simply getting married doesn’t need to mean that you leave everything you once were behind. Girls should be proud of who they are. When girls change their name, I think that a part of their original selves gets changed too…


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