The name game

The name game

MALAYSIA - When it comes to choosing their babies' names, most Malaysian parents make sure they bear good meanings.

Were you named after a rock star, or a famous politician? Or do you have a name so common, three people in your class also had it?

Will the real 'S. Lim Shady' please stand up?

Have you laughed at another person's name, or at celebrity babies' names?

Recently, the world excitedly anticipated the birth of the British royal baby, and then waited for Prince William and Kate Middleton to announce his name: Prince George Alexander Louis. It's a lot more complicated to name the royal baby as so much history is connected to it.

But even for us, commoners, naming a child is one of the most important tasks parents have because the name becomes the child's identity.

Names are so important that there are countries, such as Sweden and Denmark, that have laws governing what names can or cannot be given.

While some families already have a name in mind even before the baby is born, others make a list and consult family and friends for suggestions.

In Malaysia, some parents just reach for a book of names for inspiration. But for most, it's just not enough to find a nice-sounding name for their child; it must also be auspicious and bring good tidings. Different ethnic groups have different ways of ensuring that their children are blessed with good names.

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