How Important is an Identity?

Topics: Meaning of life, Family name, Racism Pages: 3 (897 words) Published: March 15, 2014

How Important is an Identity?
A person’s identity will stay with them throughout their whole life and will provide many important purposes. Everyone has their own identity, it is what they are known as or known for. One’s identity could be derived from anything about them, whether it be race, religion, or political status. The most common example of someone’s identity, is what you call them every day, their name. A name can mean many things to many different people, sometimes circumstances can change how one feels about their name, but a name will always be a part of their identity.

There is no limit on what someone’s name can mean, whether it to them or someone else. In Trikatikningsih Byas’s “Where the Land is Stepped On, The Sky Above Must be Upheld”, Byas talks about the importance of her name and what the meaning of it is to her culture. The first part of her name indicates the order of her birth compared to her siblings, the second part is the meaning or source of her name, and the last part told whether she was a male or female (Byas 33). In different cultures names can have more and more significant meanings than most people would think. There are examples in Japanese names where their names mean other things whether it be moon, love, serenity, etc. Someone’s name is what they will usually be called for the rest of their life. No matter where they go in life they will always have a name that belongs to them. There are some who reject their name and refuse to use it.

There are many things that can make someone like or hate the name that they were given at birth. When foreigners that only have one name move over to America to go to school they have to apply for a Social Security card and need a last name (Byas 33). Byas also brings up how when she moved to America she had to go through this process and it mortified her to have to change the name she was given by her parents. There are stories of when people trying to get away from persecution...

Cited: Byas, Trikartikaninsih. “Where The Land Is Stepped On, The Sky Above It Must Be Upheld.” Across Cultures. 8th ed. New York: Pearson, 2011. 32-35. Print.
Rosenberg, Tom. “Changing My Name After Sixty Years.” Across Cultures. 8th ed. New York: Pearson, 2011. 29-32. Print.
Sawaquat, Lewis. “For My Indian Daughter.” Across Cultures. 8th ed. New York: Pearson, 2011. 58-60. Print.
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