Preserving our names is preserving our culture.
Some time ago I read something similar to what I am trying to address in this article in some other articles. So this may be a duplication of those to some extent. But as the problem still persists I felt writing this article is still helpful.
If someone does not know your name or are not sure about it they ask you for your name. You introduce yourself and then they call you by the name you told him. If one forgets it he/she has the right to ask for it again, politely; “I am sorry, what was your name again?”. You tell them until it is well recorded in their memory. It is fine to repeatedly tell them if they are not memorizing it yet. What is not fine, however, is when this person tries to tell you what your name is and insists on that, a name different from what you told him/her. This is wrong because no one knows your name better than you.
There was a struggle for quite a long period of time to change the name “Tigre” to “Tigray”. Finally now I believe almost everyone calls our region “Tigray” and no more “Tigre”. But I still see a similar problem when it comes to Irob. A lot of our names are either distorted or changed completely. Here are some examples:
Indalgeda for Adgadi Are
Inda Buknoito for Buknaiti Are
Inda Hasebella for Hasaballa
Dewhan for Dahwan
Sengede for Sangade
Wer Attle for War Attle
Haish for Hais.
The list goes on ...
There is a problem. Either we, the natives of Irob, are not introducing our names properly or others are not listening to us. In some cases they prefer to call us using their own names. Most of us have either accepted these new names or at least we are not reacting when we come across them. Even in this website there are postings with these incorrect names.
If we are not telling them our names correctly then it is time to correct our mistakes. We have to tell them the right ones. We have to push and insist on using the correct names until others follow us.
If the others are not accepting what we tell them then we should not accept them, we should persistently defend and keep our names. It is our responsibility to tell them to correct until they say or write them the way we want and the way they have always been.
Our names are our identities. Preserving our names is preserving our culture.
What do you say?
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