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Posts tagged ‘race’

The Name Game

I always imagined my future children would have Indian names like those I’d grown up hearing.  For boys, those were names like Raj, Sanjay, or Mehul.  But in the throes of a baby-name discussion during my sister-in-law’s pregnancy, I realized for the first time that the origins of my babies’ names would one day be a huge point of contention – not only between Robbie and me, but also perhaps between our families.  My sisters-in-law were discussing names like Ethan and Alexander – even Maximus! – but when they asked me what names I liked for a future baby boy, my top choices – all Indian names –  got less than rave reviews. Not because they disliked these names, but because they were so unfamiliar to Robbie’s family that the prospect of a nephew with such an unfamiliar name was difficult to imagine. My list of Indian boys’ names instigated a single thought-provoking (and nerve-wracking) question:

How about the name Robert?

Why not, right? I mean, my husband, Robert Conrad (Robbie) was named after his maternal grandfather, Conrado, and his father, Robert Joseph (Bob), whose middle name is the same as his father, Robbie’s grandfather, Joseph. One day, we would have a little Bobby, falling perfectly in line with the Milla tradition of passing on names.

But that was not my immediate reaction. Read more

Proud to be Asian American

The other night while flipping channels, Robbie and I caught Director Jonathan Yi’s East of Main Street: Small Talk on HBO, in which a group of Asian American kids from different backgrounds speak honestly and openly – with innocence and humor –  about growing up Asian American, fitting in, and setting themselves apart. The 21-minute documentary is no longer On Demand, but hopefully it will become available again. Until then, here is a short clip:

I happened to catch the tail-end of the program – but even that was more than enough time to get sucked in, fall in love with every single kid, and shed a few tears as they happily and proudly discussed their identities.