Is That Name Too “Exotic” for Your Baby’s Good?

That’s the question posed by Lakshmi Reddy over at Saffluence, who laments that her name was often mispronounced, and that her classmates christened her “Lunch Meat” instead. She suggested a list of 100 Indian names that are easily pronounceable by pretty much everyone, and still have Indian origins. Some of the names on her list are definitely on the tops of the overall naming list (hello, Maya and Lily). And Arya, the current top climber baby name made the list as well—though as a boy’s name, not for girls.

The names she picked are lovely, and definitely worth considering, even if you’re not of Indian descent—I love the names Mira, Anisa and Elora for girls, and Ashwin, Ravi and Kiran for boys.

But her post got me to thinking—if you have strong ties to your heritage (as many Indian families do), does it matter more that your non-Indian classmates can pronounce your name, or that you chose a name that reflects your background and your family, pronunciation be damned? I think that question is especially key right now, when so many people are looking for unique names that help their kids stand out. Wouldn’t a more unusual name—like Lakshmi—be a beautiful way to give your child a unique name that also honors your family’s past?

Of course, there’s also the issue that the Freakonomics guys brought up a few years back, where resumes from people with very white-bread (and traditionally Caucasian) names more often merited a callback than someone with similar credentials and a very ethnic name.

What do you think? What kind of name would you pick?

Image: Baby by Olga Bogatyrenko/Shutterstock.com

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