Topic: Our Names Matter a Lot
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?

Admin
IDA
Alema Gidey Kahsay on 2014-12-09 10:12:03
About developing our language and culture I find it very important that we practice our language and live our culture.
conducting meetings in Tigrinya I hardly see our language improving hence our language should be used in all important meetings and whenever we have chance to do.because as you all know if language is not used is dead language, look at ge'ez it is very rich language and yet because it is limited to the church it is almost dead so let us be aware and use our language if we want it to survive.
obviously it it is also very important to use our original names as admin said instead of using its tigrinya conversion.
we should also be aware whenever we mix up Tigriyna words while we have Saho equivalent.
Hagos Gebrai on 2014-12-10 07:56:09
The status of Saho in Irob-land today reminds me of my elementary teacher (Memhir Weldu Lemma) who told us, (his 2nd graders), to keep speaking in Saho no matter where our individual endeavors take us to make sure Saho is forever preserved in Irob. At that time, he predicted that Saho might be eliminated from most of Adgadi-Are kebeles, in his life time unless there is some kind of intervention. Not sure if that prediction will be fulfilled, but I say he was very close to being on target.

I agree with Alema that all discussions in Irob gatherings, be it in Irob administration offices or anywhere else, should be held in Saho.

When talking in Saho with another Irob person, I agree with Abraham 100%. We should definitely be saying Adgadi -are, Buknaiti-are, and or Hasabala. My question, however is, would it be inappropriate if a Tigrigna speaking person asks me where I am from, and I responded with saying Eda-Algeda? After all, I am interacting with that person using Tigrigna in all of my other conversations using Tigrigna words/verbs/statements in order to have more productive and meaningful conversation. Then, what is wrong with me responding with Eda-Algeda instead of Adgadi-Are? After all, doesn’t Adgadi-are translate to mean Eda-Algeda. I have always struggled with this and probably am one of the top offenders. I am wondering if other Saho speaking Irobs have similar experience or issues.
Abraham Tesfay Hagos on 2014-12-10 07:32:34

Hagos said about Irob names when discussing with non-Saho speakers:



"When talking in Saho with another Irob person, I agree with Abraham 100%. We should definitely be saying Adgadi-are, Buknaiti-are, and or Hasabala. My question, however is, would it be inappropriate if a Tigrigna speaking person asks me where I am from, and I responded with saying Eda-Algeda? After all, I am interacting with that person using Tigrigna in all of my other conversations using Tigrigna words/verbs/statements in order to have more productive and meaningful conversation. Then, what is wrong with me responding with Eda-Algeda instead of Adgadi-Are? After all, doesn’t Adgadi-are translate to mean Eda-Algeda."



Names are names.  They can't be translated.  Are we going to tell English speakers that the capital of Ethiopia is "New Flower" instead of "Addis Abeba"? Does "Farm Land" make sense for Adigrat?  What about "Thursday Market" or "Hamus Gebeya" for IdagaHamus?   The same thing for "Asimba", we can't call it "Keyih Emba".  I do not think so. None of them makes sense.


Hagos Gebrai on 2014-12-11 02:14:03
Ok sir, I hear you. In principle, I do agree with your examples.
Tesfa Hagos on 2014-12-15 03:40:03
I did not know that there are about 19 saho tribes and Irobs are one of saho tribes. Please visit the web site below for your farther awareness:
allsaho.com
Seyoum BERHE on 2014-12-15 06:41:56
Our Irob identity is directly related to our existential issue. If we lose our names such as those names that have become Tigrignized, then we have started to increase the danger to our existence.
The most disappointed time in my visit to Irob was when I met with group of three Irobs who hold high positions in Dawhan and they all spoke to me in Tigrigna. I asked them if they speak Saho and they all responded by saying yes they did. I told them that I do not speak Tigrigna well, although I speak Tigrigna fluently. I asked them that this is very painful for me to hear Tigrigna here in Dawhan. They started to speak “Sunfay Saho” mixing both Saho and Tigrigna. I hated it.
Let’s call all our places in Irob by their real Saho names and please let’s not mix Tigrigna into Saho. Tigrigna or any other language is no better or worse than Saho.
My last request; no one should speak Tigrigna to a person whose first language is Saho; that is simply identity crises at its highest.

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