Clever boys and beautiful girls

After I had my first child I quickly learnt how important the meaning of ones name is in Zambia. And as everybody asked “what does it mean” after failing to pronounce “Albin” I found it rather tricky to explain – as I only found out late that the actual meaning of my sons name is “white”. Good name for a white boy in Africa don’t you think! Anyway, nowadays people very often simply take the English translation of a traditional name. So you will find a lot of Beauty, Clever, Blessing, Lucky and Gift to give a few examples. An interesting thing that I’ve noticed is that all the pretty names like Beauty, Melody, Precious are girls names where as names like Clever, Intelligent, Bright are boys names. Now you can wonder if those are the actual expectations that the parents have, for their sons to be intelligent and the girls to be beautiful! And how about names like Doctor, Shepard, Bishop (yes, I’ve met all of them) no pressure here! One just hope that the parents take into consideration that the child will carry his/her name through life and that it might not be so much fun to have a name like Colera (yes, I’ve met him too) or  Jealousy. In the end a name should be something beautiful that the child can carry with pride and that carry no assumptions of who, or what this person should grow up to become.

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