Naming Customs Differ in Various Cultures

by Yodit Taressa

In this world there are many different customs and cultures. Different people do things differently.

One of the customs that people have in different cultures is they use their names in many unique ways. Thong Tran said, "In Vietnam most people use their last names first, their middle name goes second, and first name goes last." They are very different from America.

Also in Ethiopia a person's father's first name is his/her last name. For example, my name is Yodit Taressa. Taressa is my father's first name, and his last name is his father's first name. That's how Ethiopian tradition goes. There is no such thing as a family name that is passed down.

Also in Ethiopia, "You don't change your name when you get married. Your spouse keeps her own name said," Lydia Abeb a 12th grader. This same custom is true for people in Vietnam.

Many Spanish speakers have names for the boys that end with "o" like Mario, Marco, Mauricio, and the girls names end with "a" like Zulma, Maria, Emma, Elva. Also, Emma Garcia said, "Many Hispanic people's names have a meaning or sign." For example Emma's middle name is Margarita. It means flower in her language.

In Thailand and Cambodia there is a certain day for each name, said Vatchara Thongkamdee. Each day has its own names so you are just supposed to pick a name out for that certain day.

In China some people name their children according to the time of day that they were born. "I was born in the morning when there was sun, so my first name has the word sun in it," XiaoXi Pan said.

In India people name themselves according to the stars locations, date of birth and actual time. "The time of the birth falls in the categories of stars, " said Deepti Ayyanky.

Copyright 1997, Silver International, Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
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