Not sure this forum is the best place for this - could also work in "body and soul" so moderators should feel free to move it. But I'm curious about other people's thoughts on something.
my wife and I had some people over for a BBQ this past weekend, all of whom recently became parents like we did. And we got to the topic of baby names. I'm always interested in how people choose names for their kids. And one of the things we talked about was whether it was a good/bad/neutral idea to give kids a name that identifies them as a certain ethnicity or religion.
We named our baby boy "Mordechai" and there are several reasons. 1) In Jewish tradition, you name for a family member who was died. My grandmother recently passed away and her name began with an M so we wanted an M name. My wife is Persian and she wanted to honour that tradition and, for those familiar with the story of Purim, Mordechai was the hero of that Jewish story set in Persia. 3) I'm a big Mordechai Richler fan and my dad's family is from Montreal (a city I really love) and this felt like a way of connecting him to that heritage. 4) We jsut think it's unique and cool-sounding.
Now, "Mordechai" is also distinctly Jewish. Other people give their kids distinctly Muslim names like Mohamed. Others give Hispanic names like Juan or Jose. Other give distinctly "black" names like Jamal or Tyrone - names that, in msot cases, anyways, lets one identify the race, religions, ethnicity, whatever of the person before ever setting eyes on them. Others really try to avoid a distinctly "ethnic" name. One of the couples we had over are both Indian and he, at least, has a distinctly Indian name (Sanjay) and he deliberately avoided giving his son that (they called him "Michael').
So, what do people think? Is it celebrating heritage? Is it locking them into an identity? Could it be setting your kid up for discrimination or stereotyping in the future? Good idea? bad idea? Doesn't matter?
How did people choose their kids names? Was this a consideration?