Exotic baby names in vogue for Indonesians

Exotic baby names in vogue for Indonesians

Xiovariel, Queennaya, Ghassan, Aldebaran, Altair, Azzahra, Ixia, Yuriexa, Razanaraghda, Odhiyaulhaq. Those are the names young parents are giving their children these days.

Many parents-to-be acquire the names via baby-name generators on the Internet, hence, the diverse language origins (Czech, Irish, Spanish, fashionable Arabic) and the unusual spelling (ee, rr, yy, zz, gh, sh), as well as the presence of dashes and even quotation marks to indicate the nasal intonation of spoken Arabic. Others get inspiration from movies (Denzel, Aisha), famous football players (Xisco) or even computer game characters (Altair).

The days of Budi, Bambang, Ani and Wati are over. Even the newer Annisa has become unpopular among urban middle-class parents nowadays.

The full names can be especially tricky for unsuspecting civil registry clerks: Muhammad Akhtar Rayyan Izz al Diin or Fayyadh Labib Ullaya Al-ghazi - these are among the names shared by parents in The Urban Mama forum, an Internet community for city parents.

Having just two names is becoming increasingly rare, with at least three becoming the new norm.

Steve Saputra, 35, and Nofiatun Mariana, 28, named their firstborn Keenan Almiqdad Riyandhana Saputra.

The 6-year-old boy himself said he was often teased by friends because of his long name, but that he took it all in stride. "My name is a form of prayer of hope from my parents. The longer the name, the more prayers [there] are in it," he explained.

"My family asked me to use the surname Riyandhana for a son or Riyandini for a daughter. My wife also wanted to use a name with foreign spelling," Steve said.

Two months before his son was born, Steve was busy trying to select a name, doing lots of research on the Internet and in books before finally settling on Keenan.

"The name Keenan means 'unique', and Almiqdad, or Al Miqdad, was a close friend of the prophet Muhammad, who always helped out in moments of hardship," he said.

Steve had already considered the spelling difficulties his son's name were likely to create, so he carefully wrote it down on a piece of paper before having it printed on Keenan's birth certificate.

"There hasn't been a spelling problem from the school or in the certificate up to now," he said.

"The only difference is with his nicknames. Most relatives like to call him Kenan, while his school friends call him Kinan," Steve added.

Sulistiorini "Sulis" Fakdilah and Hamdi Rubiyanto also named their firstborn Keenan. The baby's full name is Keenan Aydan Arrayyan.

Sulis told The Jakarta Post that they started thinking about their son's name four months before he was born. "He's our first child so we wanted his name to have meaning. We took notes about several names that we had prepared. There were four names, each gathered from different sources," she said in Bekasi, West Java.

The couple had previously decided on Keenan Arrayyan, Sulis said.However, Hamdi suggested that they add one more name.

"In the end we decided to add a middle name, Aydan. So his name became Keenan Aydan Arrayyan," she explained.

Each of his names held meaning, Sulis said. The name Keenan means son in Irish; Aydan means passion in Turkish; and Arrayyan in Arabic is a door to heaven for those who fast.

Sulis also asked her husband to be extra careful writing Keenan's name on the birth certificate because her own name had been misspelled.

"My parents actually wanted to name me Sulistiorini Fadilah, but somehow it was written as Fakdilah. Now the name Fakdilah is written on all my documents. I don't want this to happen to my child," she said.

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