Thursday Born

The everyday life of a psychiatry resident (who was born on a Thursday).

Archive for December 23rd, 2010

New Name – Reverb 10, Day 23

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What is Reverb10?

December 23 – New Name. Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why? (Author: Becca Wilcott)

I suppose I would go with Coco. Coco was one of the names in the running for me, after Coco Chanel, but it, and Paige, lost out to a very traditional Ghanaian name, Aba (If you follow me on twitter, that’s my full name but next to no one calls me that). I was in theory named after someone (I always forget who), but it was somewhat a naming after of convenience.

See, in Ghana, most (all?) of the tribes have names that are associated with the days of the week. Obviously, not every one actually uses those names, and many people have them but go by one of their other names. My three older brothers, for example, were all born on Wednesday and share the same day name, but only the eldest is referred to by it. I don’t have any other official names, and have always gone by Aba, which is my name because I was born on a Thursday. Hence, the name of my blog. I’ve been meaning to thoroughly explain that for a while.

I used to not like my name. I didn’t exactly dislike it, but it just… it didn’t sound pretty to me. Perhaps it’s because most media I read and watched was Western, so I had a westerner’s ear for what names should sound like. And not too many people I knew went by their day names. I was actually the only person I knew in my school in Ghana who went by Aba. And it wasn’t that I wanted a Western name. There are plenty of Ghanaian names that I thought were prettier.

Then somewhere along the line, I started to make peace with my name. A few people I told that I disliked my name, non-Ghanaians, were surprised and said they really like my name. But I think it all came together as I myself came together, more fully accepted who I was, and a part of that was accepting how I am called. I learned to like my name, and much more recently, I think I can say that I love it.

Having struggled for so long with my name, I can’t spend an entire post on a different one. No, this name, my given name, the name I have responded to all my life, that is the name that deserves a post.

Well, that and another. You have heard of Anansi the spider, yes? Well,  he’s Ghanaian, and Anansi literally means Eight Legs. So no, in Ghana, we do not call him Anansi the spider. His name is Kweku Anansi, because he was born on a Wednesday (like my brothers!). And this is why my mother had wanted to name my oldest brother Spider. Sadly, my oldest brother was not named Spider, but it makes for a fun story. :)

Written by Aba

December 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Posted in Reverb 10

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