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Showing posts from January 11, 2015

The Question of Women's Names and Identity

Published on Women's Web

A change of last, and even first name is not uncommon for women who get married. How do we view this ‘tradition’ in the contemporary world? Marriage is a life-changing experience, more so for women who witness drastic transformation – right from leaving their homes, accepting a new (at times unknown) person as part of life to adjusting with members of the new family. Different from these changes is the one in a woman’s first and last name. Our name defines our existence, it is who we are. We grow with it, we are socialized with it and it makes a defining impact on our lives. How then does a change in name, particularly the first name impact a woman’s life? In many communities in India (especially in the Maharashtrian and Sindhi communities*), a change in the first name is an important part of marriage tradition. It is a well-established ritual, to which there is religious and socio-cultural basis. The underlyin…


SIT’s CONTACT Programme: Where South Asia lives and learns together
The SIT Graduate Institute’s annual CONTACT programme in Nepal is a platform for people from across South Asia to bond with and learn from each other.
It was the 16th of December when I landed in Delhi from Nepal. On seeing news about the dastardly killing of innocent school children in Peshawar, I wondered how my identity as a South Asian had undergone immense transformation during the past two weeks as a participant of The SIT Graduate Institute’s CONTACT (Conflict Transformation Across Cultures) programme in Kathmandu. I suddenly became more sensitive to my identity as a South Asian, pained at what was happening to my region. The nature of the attack in Peshawar shook me, since it was only a day before that I parted ways with my South Asian friends, pledging to work in solidarity for peace. My arrival from Nepal and this news reaffirmed the fact that there was a long way to go before South Asia could achieve peace,…