I finally decide to apply for my passport after talking about it for so long. I arrive at the immigration office at around 9:00 a.m. From what I had been told there is always a long queue and that day is no different. I ask the person who is in front of me in line to look out for my spot and am off to run some errands. I get back at around 3:00 p.m and there are roughly 100 people in line according to my ticket number but the tellers are quite fast and it takes about one hour to get served. When I get to the counter the teller goes through my documents and that’s when she informs me that there is a problem.
My birth certificate doesn’t match my I.D card and she asks why I decided to use Migwi as my surname. I explain that I was raised by my grandfather and I saw it fit to carry his name as a sign of honor and gratitude. She replies in a condescending tone saying that since I decided to use the name, the only way out is to use my mother’s name or take up my surname as my own.
As I leave the counter I am filled with mixed emotions. First I thought that the process would be smooth and all it would take was a day to get things done. Secondly I have to start a whole other process of changing my name. It’s a no-brainer that I will keep my surname and take it up as my third name but the whole thing gets me thinking about Shakespeare’s popular reference from Romeo and Juliet.
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet;
If asked to change your name after getting accustomed to it would you agree to it? The phrase by Shakespeare suggests that a name doesn’t change the identity of a person or a thing. It doesn’t lessen the value because what matters is intrinsic. That is easier said than done because of the attachment we give to things.Changing my name wouldn’t take away anything from who I am but the thought of it makes me feel like part of me would be lost. Was Shakespeare wrong all along? I can not believe I am even questioning him but for the longest time I have always wondered, whether if a Rose was named “ Mavi” which is swahili for faeces it would make any difference.
Apparently a study was done by Jelena Djordjevic and colleagues at McGill University and the Montreal Neurological Institute to examine whether presenting an odor with a positive, neutral, or negative name would influence how people perceived it.Results showed that regardless of the odor, the ones presented with with a positive name were rated as pleasant and vice versa.Measures such as skin conductance and heart rate showed arousal when an odor was presented with a positive name.
That makes me question the popular Shakespeare phrase. What’s your stand on this?