Sunday, April 11, 2010

All starts with a name

How, when and why to give a name

Searching history i could not find exactly when human first started to name their children. The history of language started some 50,000 years ago to the phylogenetic separation of Homo and Pan some 5 million years ago. The evolution of fully modern human language requires the development of the vocal tract used for speech production and the cognitive abilities required to produce linguistic utterances. The debate surrounds the timeline, sequence and order of developments associated with this. It is mostly undisputed that pre-human australopithecines did not have communication systems significantly different from those found in great apes in general, but scholarly opinions vary as to the developments since the appearance of Homo some 2.5 million years ago. Some scholars assume the development of primitive language-like systems as early as for Homo habilis, while others place the development of primitive symbolic communication only with Homo erectus (1.8 million years ago) or Homo heidelbergensis (0.6 million years ago) and the development of language proper with Homo sapiens sapiens less than 100,000 years ago.

It is certain that humans gained the power of speech through a slow evolutionary process. Primitive people only used sounds to communicate. Animals and birds of today use various sounds to send messages to their species. Modern language as we use today developed only during the past 5000 years. It is still uncertain when humans started giving names to themselves, places and other objects.

In Indian culture, especially in Tamil culture a child should be named at the 16th day of its birth.

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are good for naming ceremonies.

Thvithiyai, Thiruthiya, Panchami, Saptami, Dasami, Ekatasi, Thriyodasi are good thithis for naming ceremonies.

Rishaba, Simha, Vrichika, Kumba are good lagnas (ascendants) for naming ceremonies.

The Tamil naming custom is to put the child/infant in mother's lap. Elders in the house should dip the gold coin in fresh honey and put it on the infant's tongue. Then he should tell the name in the child's right ear exactly three times.

Afterward child's father and other relatives should do the above procedure and speak out the name in the child's ear three times.

For each family there is deity name, family name and ancestors name. It is better to give deity name or ancestor name to the first child in a family. The name should not be very short and should not be very lengthy. This is described on Manu Shastra and Vishnu Purana. For Girl names it is better if the name is ending with 'a'. Whether its is boy or girl the name should be easy to pronounce and easy to remember. The can be according to the birth nakshatra / star or based on numerology or birth date. We will see each of these in next articles.

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