How Do You Say Your Name?

19 01 2007

Recently I was speaking to a woman via my blog about what Muslims find funny, that post came on the heels of the release of “Little Mosque on the Prairie”.  I re-read one thing she said, and I was pleased to see her understanding, she said “She wanted to know what makes Muslims laugh. Out of genuine curiosity“.  Often I think Muslims are piegon-holed as being overly defensive about their religion – its their way or no way sort of attitude.  I was happy to see she saw that I am truely interested in her religion and her way of life.  As an outsider looking in, the Muslim culture is not easily understood.

I’m often told I’m too bold when I ask people questions about their heritage, faith and religion.  Religion and culture facinate me, and truely the only way to have compassion, understanding and respect for other different peoples than yourself is to ask and learn.  I have been blessed, that for the most part people are understanding to my curiosity.

I am Christian by faith, and I have even in the past ask Catholics to explain their beliefs to me. .  . .

There are two gentlemen I work with, who for a lack of a better way to say it, have fallen victim to that endless curiosity of stuff I just don’t know or understand about world faiths.

 One gentlemen is Persian, and we discussed in length about his family, how he came to Canada, what it was like learning English as a second language.  And most of all, how to say his name correctly.  Having a ‘weird’ name myself, I am very sympathic to how I pronounce people’s names.  I know after our long discussion he felt very proud and happy that I had taken the time to talk to him about it, seeing as none of us were actually saying his name correct.

The second gentleman is Sikh. Davinder is a wonderful, funny, outgoing and very open person.  He is so willing to answer any of my questions, no matter how silly they may sound or far-fetched they become.  He gladly responsed with an ever bright smile and upbeat tone in his voice.  He is proud to Sikh and I respect him so much for his dedication to his faith, and his williness to educate people about it.

 Davinder is another person who name we don’t say correctly at work, I remember the first few months I worked at my job calling him by his name correctly, and my collegues correcting me to say in the incorrect way (did that make sense).  My collegues call him DAV-in-der, and I call him DA-VIN-der. . .  .again its a simple thing, but I know he appreciates the effort I make.

We’ve discussed so much about the Sikh culture, from Turban fashions and traditional knot tieing, to the beautiful ideals of the Sikh faith (Such as all places of worship have four doors, one on each side: So no matter who or where you are you can enter the house of worship.  Or about the Golden Palace – their most Holy house of worship, where there is continuous prayer 24 hours a day 7 days a week) 

I will always be interested in learning about these faiths, there is so much beauty in their idiology. . . .

Whats in a name

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24 responses

19 01 2007
icedmocha

“…the only way to have compassion, understanding and respect for other different peoples than yourself is to ask and learn.”
You are so right. What a nice way to put it.

19 01 2007
commonplacer

hi,
I appreciate your interest and openness…I’m actually really open to ANY questions – even if they’re “weird” or “offensive”; I know a lot of people preface their questions to Muslims with “This may sound weird, but…” and I think this is so because there’s a lot more misunderstandings/stereotypes about us out there these days. Actually just today my colleague asked about the cleansing Muslims do before prayer and she remarked that she had asked because in movies they always show the terrorists doing the cleansing right before they bomb something. So…I guess we’re not always sure what people think about us; but, you’re right, we should not be so defensive; after all…people asking q’s are doing so to clarify their thoughts on something!
Peace be with you (traditional Muslim greeting).

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