July 17, 2010

Namesake

I recently finished a book for my book club called the Namesake.  It's a bit passed PG13 so I wouldn't really recommend it but it was a very interesting look into Asian Indian culture.  We had a woman from India attend our book club discussion and it was very enlightening.  I love it when I can learn something new.  Fun fact about referring to Indians: There is a better way to refer to Indians than saying "not American Indians but Indians from India... you know?"  I had been saying that for years and feeling stupid about it.  You can just say Asian Indian instead of comparing them to Native American Indians.  Asian... I lived in Asia for two years and didn't consider that they were part of Asia.  I am so stupid!  Geography was never a my strong suit.  Now that I know that I completely understand some of the cultural similarities between typical Asians and Asian Indians.  They work hard, excel scholastically, save face, obey blindly, cater to males.  It all makes sense!  Sorry if anyone finds this analogy offensive.  I totally respect Asian (and Asian Indian) culture.  Those are just stereotypes but they are there for a reason I think.

Anyways in the book, the main character hates his name but in the end comes to appreciate it, along with his cultural background.  This morning at the breakfast table my daughter brought up my name- Kelly.  It's actually not my given name.  That would be Raquel.  Are you shocked?  Yes I know.  I get that sometimes.  Apparently I never was sophisticated enough as a child to pull off Raquel.  I wasn't given a middle name either.  A fact that upset me.  I even made up a middle name (Ann) for myself telling everyone this lie at my school.  My daughter confirmed with me this morning that Kelly was not my real name but my 'nick' name.  And then it was like deja vu when Big Girl dramatically lamented the fact that she had no nick name.  After going through several suggestions from her brothers (ie: Oddball, Strange Little Man) she took the bull by the horns and dubbed herself "Starlight" (to which there was much big brother eye rolling, but I found it to be the perfect nick name for her bright personality).  Her younger sister's nickname shall be"Starbright" and together they are a twinkly pair.  I had to smile however when Little Girl tried to branch out with a new idea of her own claiming "Vampire!" as her namesake.  I have no idea where she got that idea.  It makes sense though since she hates to go to bed at night lately, and who knows what is going on after lights out in there.

So we have been calling them Starlight and Starbright all morning.  I wonder which star I will see first tonight.  I wish I may, I wish I might have a good night's rest tonight : )

PS there was an earthquake (5.7) waking us up early this morning 
so I am going to need that good night's sleep.  
Fat chance though since we will be camping overnight tonight.  Sigh. 


6 comments:

Kristina P. said...

That sounds like an interesting book! And yeah, Asian Indian makes so much sense! Duh.

Cheeseboy said...

What if they are an Asian Indian living in America? Is it American Asian Indian? That seems like a mouthful. I am going to just go with AAI

Kelly said...

I like that Cheeseboy! AAI. We can start a new trend.

ginger tea said...

I went through a phase when I read all of Lahiri. Gogul Gonguli was quite a character, he was not true to his heritage or very good to his parents. Very conflicted in who he was. I've also read a lot of the real Gogul (Nikolai), I had to for highschool Russian. Try The Overcoat or The Nose. You may like them better than Namesake, and it would give you the background for why Gogul's father gave him that name. On a side note, I grew up nextdoor to a girl named Kelly, whom I didn't know was a real Raquel until I got her wedding announcement. That was a suprise to us all. From what I know of you through your BLOG, you make a great Kelly. Names are so fun. My kids are nicknamed Roo, bear, guggs and Suzy, all for different reasons that make them so loveable. Great post!

Carrie Stuart said...

LOL! I'm living in Asia...and it never occurred to me that India is in Asia. Geography has never been my strong point, either. Live and learn, huh?

Katie said...

Raquel is definitely a shocker, but I think you could rock that name if you really wanted to.