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The Significance of Using a Name

Posted by UTACF Admin Committee on June 7, 2012 at 11:45 PM

By. Shuva Langker Tanchangya

In this small article I am not going to speak for or against so called ‘the modernity’ that has been practiced by the present Tanchangya generation. But what I am going to discuss here may not sound interesting or would be awkward to read. However, I felt that it is important to find out some issues around us and address them if we are to preserve our invaluable culture that distinguishes us from that of other cultures in the world. Being Tanchangyas and belonging to an indigenous community we hold a special place in this world for our distinctive culture, language, tradition and living style. So, being a Tanchangya I am proud to be one of them. It is not easy to understand the value of a culture unless we are prevented from it. Under various circumstances the young generation is being prevented from practicing (their) culture, tradition and language. Here what is meant by prevention from culture and language is to be away from one’s home and village or the community where the culture, language and tradition are constantly reminded and practiced. More often than not the Tanchangyas at present keep themselves away from home or village while being engaged in education and employment. It is one of the many developing significant aspects seen among the Tanchangyas in theTanchangya society. Such kind of development is never to be denied if we are to count the existence of an indigenous community (like ours) in this (life) challenging era. It is always inspiring to be developed as a group than inindividuals. However, the Tanchangyas as a group have matured with the passage of time and it is absolutely encouraging.

First of all I should admit that I have been encouraged to deal with this subject matter only after reading a status and some comments in a Facebook group, “Tanchangya Culture/Tradition/Language/Religion”. What is important in a name or keeping a name for an individual? Certainly the answer to this question would vary from individual to individual even though certain aspect is expected to be similar. However, keeping a name for an individual is very important for every individual since an individual is known by his/her name. So, it is very important that a beautiful name is kept. BUT, is there a connection between one’s name and culture or tradition? Obviously it is YES. If a critical observation is made around us it is understandable that a name carries one’s cultural identity. This is why categorization is seen in names such as an English name,a Chinese name, an Indian name etc. When we look at the historical people of the Tanchangya indigenous community as well as the Tanchangya senior people until the middle of the 20th century it is clear that they carried the Tanchangya culture and tradition through their names. It was such a period that even hearing the name people could make out that a certain person belongs to the Tanchangya indigenous community. But, now we hardly see Tanchangyas using names that give the sense of belonging and one-ness. We are missing an opportunity to represent our Tanchangya identity through our names which is the simplest way to protect our culture, language and tradition. The reason for not using Tanchangya names may be there are no renown Tanchangyas in the world; and using such names might bring defame to an individual. If this is the reason then are we serious about the preservation of our culture when we feel shy to use Tanchangya names? If we consider the Tanchangya names they do bear beautiful meanings, then what is wrong to use them? However, whether we like it or not there is a significance of using a name specially to signify an identity. It may not be a serious issue to address but it is also important to understandthat that it is one of the issues that degrade one’s identity.              


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