Tuesday, December 11, 2007

All in the name

Couple of weeks back I caught up with one of my good friends. She was planning her visit to India end of year for her Brother-In-Law’s wedding and was excited about the trip. She even shared with me the sarees / jewellery she planned for the wedding and the purchases she had planned for the wedding. She asked me for gift suggestions … games that could be played after / during the wedding etc etc … one thing for sure, she was certainly looking forward to this trip.

Over the weekend, I caught up with the same friend again and I could see a drop in her excitement. It did not take long before I found out the reason. Apparently her in-laws had taken the liberty of changing her last name to their family name and had it printed on the card. (The cards were not finalized …) What is strange is that both her in-laws are quite educated and do understand her preferences for her name. (There have been other instances where she has made it clear that she prefers her name a certain way) Another point that irks her is that her MIL, has not opted for the family name, she continues to keep her Sur name before marriage. When her MIL holds so much importance to her Sur name, why not give the same respect to my friend’s last name?

I can see my friend’s point here. I think the name change after marriage should be solely the individual’s decision. (may be the husband can pitch in … but wife should have the final say). I hold my name (Initial. First name, Sur name) in high regards. I have been known all my life before marriage by my name. My first or last name alone may not ring a bell to many … but together a lot of folks identify me and I like my name just the way it is. BP supported my decision wholeheartedly when I did not want to change my name after marriage. A lot of friends did change their name … most with their consent. My mom changed her name too, again her decision.

In the above friend’s case, she had decided to keep her name and her husband was just fine with it. Now, she is all excited about her BIL’s wedding, she has been upset over this name issue. When her husband pointed it out to his parents, they initially brushed it aside as being childish. Now they have settled down with just her first name being printed, while everyone else keeps their full name!!


Aryan said...

That is indeed not the way it should work..Why are people taking the liberty to change the name?
Aryan's Mom

ddmom said...

The good old topic... I don't understand why it is such a big deal, its her name and her choice... Period! And most of the time its woman against woman, thats what irks me the most!

Anonymous said...

This is nothing !! Atleast your friend got to keep her first name. With my in-laws, they have a strange custom of changing even the first name and they will even address you with this newly christened name. At the time of my wedding, my mother-in-law put her maiden first name printed on the card and my BIL's wife had the new name (the one given to her after her marriage) printed on the same card. Double Standards at its height !! Education has no role to play in this mean-minded mentality.

Pixie said...

Very mean!
I was very insistent about my name too - I am my parents' daughter and I will be recognised as that first -at least before being recognised as my husband's wife!
My mom has kept her maiden name too and I love my last name - though my in-laws weren't too thrilled that I didn't change my name like how sis-in-law had done - they weren't eloquent about it, but, they weren't happy with me keeping my last name.
For me, there was no such option at all and my husband is least bothered abt it and agrees that I am my parents' daughter first and then his wife!!!
*hogged your comments' space! sorry!*

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

@Aryan'a mom / ddmom: I know its not right at all ... unfortunate!

@Sangita / Pixie: The double standards is what got me as well .. the MIL gets to keep her name, but the rule is imposed on the DIL ... WHY???

Preethi said...

first time here.. and very interesting read.. i have also opted to keep my surname and no one in my inlaws side seem to even care what my surname is.. but i would be very annoyed if this happened to me!!
You have a very nice space.. am gonna be back!! blog linking you!


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