On Names

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A few days back, there was another bandha and all the schools were out. We ended up spending our day at a birthday party//coming of age party.

We were stuffed with dal and dahi (*a curd drink, that is never my favorite), painted with tikka, and asked to sing and dance until we were sore.

While at the party, we got on the subject of names. I was sad that after three trips to Nepal, I still did not have a Nepali name. Laxman, our friend//part-time guide around Letang, assigned us names and said mine from now on would be Batuli. Batuli, a name he translated to me as “cultural woman.”

It made me laugh and I heartily accepted it.

In Nepal and India, no one really gets me name or how to say it. It usually comes out something like “G-R-E-S” // “Grass” // or, if I’m really lucky, “Greese.”


In thinking through names, I remembered this (*an interview I did with my family members about names):


For now, I’m content with the names I have and the names I have been given.

All of them.

[Photos: A birthday/Coming of age celebration//Grace Farson]

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