Saturday, March 19, 2011

What's in a name?

We had class on Saturday! I know, absolutely terrible! Especially considering the fact today had gorgeous weather! Thankfully it was only for three hours this morning and then we had the rest of the afternoon off. We took full advantage of that and wandered around the Greystones shops and got coffee.
But in class today we were talking about the play Translations. It's about the English coming into Ireland in the early 1800's and changing all the Irish names to English so they could make a new map of the country. The play was pretty good, but the most interesting thing to discuss was the importance of names. One character didn't think it was a big deal to just change the names form Irish to English. Another character saw the deeper meaning and history behind the names. It's interesting to think about... Are names really important? Or are they just a way to identify ourselves? What if we identified ourselves by numbers? "Hi, I'm 7845." That just doesn't feel as personal. I don't know..
It's like last night... we were playing soccer with some Irish lads. They couldn't remember my name so they kept calling me Dani. I don't know why. I think it'safter some Irish player named Danielle... but that is just a guess. It was weird responding to another name. There is this part of me that wanted to say, "Hey! That's not my name!" But another part that kind of appreciated the nickname. It gives you a greater sense of acceptance.
But the whole event made me think that maybe names are important. It helps me understand just a little bit why the Irish felt like the English were oppressing them by changing the names of their towns.

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