The Culture Behind the Identity

The Culture behind the Identity

Reaction paper to: A Rhose by Any Other Name (by Matthew Sutherland)

             When speaking about culture, the majority’s thinking would tend to be inclined on the tribal groups of their country – on the way they live. But on a deeper understanding, culture is more than just a piece of colorfully woven clothing, intricate carvings or jewelries, or even the ritualistic behavior the majority had now admired as history. Culture digs deeper…deeper to the way we socialize, the way we act, and the way we go through our daily life. 

            Filipinos are always noted to be very creative, from the clothing that they have woven; the jewelries that they have worn, the native tattoos spread on the arms and body of the male warriors.            

            Who would have thought that this creativity would become of use even in naming their children?            

           Come to think of it, I do believe that, since we are Filipinos, none of us haven’t encountered a person possessing this kind of “unique” name. The names that, though sometimes we make light jokes about it, we continue to call our comrades, the “dessert” names, “Cute” names, and “Doorbell” names. (I personally have a “doorbell” pet name that my mother uses to call me: Nini. I know it sounds a bit funny but still, I’m proud of it)            

           In our Psychology subject, it was being discussed that a Filipino has an average of 5 pet names: a different name from each person we encounter (family, friends, and classmates). But behind all that, it all shows the rich culture that we Filipinos have inherited from our ancestors: a culture that caught the eyes and ears of Mr. Matthew Sutherland. On the article, he was greatly amused by how we Filipinos stick to a “theme” regarding names. It only implies our unconscious desire to be “unique” and “one of a kind”. 

           Of course, who would forget the infamous, technically unnecessary “H”? The “H” that makes it seems that the name is “breathy” when one pronounces it. Jhun-jhun, Mhay. (In my mind, it sounds like:Ju-hun-ju-hun and Me-hey) Again, if discussed in a deeper perspective, we want uniqueness (though it doesn’t seem to be so unique anymore nowadays, but still, I know we get the point).            

          I know that sometimes we tend to be ashamed of the names, or rather, pet names that we possess. But then, our rather out-of-this world culture always seems to attract the attention of our foreign friends, with them being greatly entertained and engrossed in our characteristics. If that is the case, then why be ashamed at all? Remember that our names are a part of ourselves, and it not only speaks about us but also about our rich heritage, so let us all carry our names with heads held up high, for it is our brand as a Filipino.


3 responses »

  1. Someday, I’ll give my kids two names…one Filipino, and one English…


    • Wow! That’s good to know. =)
      If it’s not of a bother, may I ask: to whom would you give the Filipino name? To the boy or girl? (If the two kids are boy and girl) =)


      • Both, of course! Each shall have their own Filipino and another International name…for example, for the girl, I can name her, Sophia Mayumi or Mayumi Sophia…for the boy, I can name him Lakan Augustus… 🙂


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