Monday, August 9, 2010

A rose is still rose by another name. My name keeps changing but I'm still me

Naming is a source of empowerment. Many people have more than one name or way of being addressed.

When I was born my grandmother named me Bishaaro.
I was born by violent incident that would have left my mother and I dead, however we both lived (Alhamdulilah).
My grandmother naming me Bishaaro meant good news/congratulations in Somali and good news/glad tidings in Arabic (Bishara) was the name my grandmother saw my spirit to have.
I grew up listening to Somali radio where I heard my name as a proclamation of excitement when there was somebody being congratulated or there was good news the Somali announcers would yell out Bishaaro! Bishaaro! Bishaaro!
My father when he had his first born son, he named him for my name and I guess in retrospect myself
his name is Bashiir and I'm Bishaaro. This is something that affirmed that I was on my fathers mind after all and he did care in his own unusual way.

 By the time I  migrated to Canada it became Bishara, however there was no solidity of Bishara it would change with whoever mispronounced my name Michelle? Byshera? Bushra? Becherea?
 and whatever other types of mispronunciation of my name...which was possible for mouths that did not grasp that way of moving.
 Much later on due to many reasons my name became Shara. To assimilate better, to have to stop explaining my name and self, and to stop having to answer where it's from? what the meaning is, etc.
I participated in changing my identity to Shara as well "oh just call me Shara"
This was something I actively did when I was leaving home as a way of changing myself and erasing that part of my identity.  I wanted to start fresh I guess not realizing that this is impossible at times and for certain instances.

Bishaaro, Bishara, Shara, Bishara
These names are all mine and have to do a lot with transformation of myself and the names that became mine with big changes in my life. I went from Bishaaro to Bishara in Canada to strangers and people outside my family, but at home I was always Bishaaro with family. I went from Bishara to Shara when I was leaving my family over a process and a  period of time. I was very aware of what I was doing and would never have thought that one day I would be undoing it all.

My grandmother (Allah xaa oh Naxaristo) died two years ago. I started thinking of my grandmother and her legacy and ways of actively remembering her. I came to the conclusion of Bishara at the very least or Bisharo and reclaiming my name. Thus I have been in a process of reintroducing myself as myself.

My name is Bishaaro/Bishara
I'm aware of the public/private spheres in which I move. My grandmother gave me my name a long time ago and I  actively remember her every day when somebody calls my name. Ase.

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