Kanika Som


Naming of children becomes an important ritual in the lives of Hindu Indians. Children are often named after epic gods, goddesses, heroes, and heroines. Names are also made up to reflect desirable qualities or personal features. This paper reviews the trends in the naming of modern Indian children, which have passed through different phases since the times of Rig Veda, the Upanishads, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, and the dramas of Kalidas. Such names were, by their very nature, classic, but starting with the nineteenth century, with the inception of the Indian Renaissance in Bengal, the names had initially linkages to the medieval past and then moved on to more innovative ones. However, most recently, the wheel seems to have come full circle, for one observes the phenomenon of naming children with long, classical names. A plausible reason could be the longing to maintain mooring to the past in the midst of the tension of modernism.



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