Why "Aryan" isn't a great name for kids abroad
ARYAN, ALONG with Dev, Raj and Rahul has become one of the most used names in Bollywood movies. This has resulted in a dramatic increase in Indian parents who have named their kids Aryan.
Personally, I believe Aryan is a really nice sounding name. It has a great meaning in India. But what many Indians don’t realise is that the name “Aryan” has a completely different meaning abroad. In most Western countries, including America, the name “Aryan” is associated with Hitler, Nazism and race-supremacist. “Aryan” is a hate word in America and Europe (“Aryan Nation” is a notorious racist organisation here).
Unfortunately, most people in America don’t know much about Indian history; they don’t realise that “Aryan” and symbol “swastika” have completely different meaning in India.
When one of friends was making some greeting card on her screen, with a Swastika sign, her colleague stopped by and angrily asked her “What are you doing? Why is that symbol on your screen?”.
Only when my perplexed friend (who didn’t know the significance of swastika here), explained the meaning of the symbol in India, the colleague calmed down.
When my friend’s kid named “Aryan” joined a pre-kindergarten class with my son, the teacher practically refused to use the name. My friend had to personally meet the Jewish teacher and explain to her that Aryan was not meant to be the Jew-killing Hitler, but had a different meaning.
These incidents might be isolated, and indeed the Western world might become more aware of the different meaning of this word later. But think twice before naming your son “Aryan”. If your son is in America or Europe or ever visits there in his life, do you want your kid to ever feel down or feel different based on a still largely unacceptable name. (Remember the movie “Namesake”?)