What's in a name? Fondness for English names makes Meghalaya's voter list funny and interesting

Italy, Argentina, Sweden and Indonesia will vote and choose their representative to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly this 27 February!

PTI February 11, 2018 13:46:29 IST
What's in a name? Fondness for English names makes Meghalaya's voter list funny and interesting

Umniuh (Meghalaya): Italy, Argentina, Sweden and Indonesia will vote and choose their representative to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly this 27 February!

Well, if you wonder how these countries have voting rights in this hill state in India's North East, you are in for a surprise.

Italy, Argentina, Sweden and Indonesia are the names of voters of Umniuh-Tmar Elaka village under Shella constituency in East Khasi Hills district.

Sisters Promiseland and Holyland Dkhar and their namesake neighbour Jerusalem Khiewtam will also participate in the adult franchise.

"Many Khasi names have the potential to make you smile but finding hundreds of such names in a small village will result in people guffawing for hours," Elaka elected chief (Sirdar) Premiere Singh told PTI.

He said about 50 percent of the villagers have a fondness for English words that rhymes good but not knowing exactly what they mean.

The sleepy Elaka, which is close to the Indo-Bangladesh border, has a little over 850 male voters and 916 female voters and have a record number of peculiar names registered in the voters list.

Whats in a name Fondness for English names makes Meghalayas voter list funny and interesting

Representational image. News18

Premiere was lucky that his educated father had given him a name that almost fit his position as the Elaka chief now and of him being the eldest son.

Not all people in the village were as smart or as educated and hence you will also find that days of the week become good names – Thursday, Sunday, the chief said.

Some people also have names like Tripura and Goa, he added.

Hold your breath, Premiere said the best English name is that of a 30 year-old Class XII-passed woman whose mother ‘Sweater’ named her ‘I Have Been Delivered’!

Office items like Table, Globe and Paper, members of the solar system like Venus and Saturn besides Arabian Sea, Pacific and Continent have also been taken.

Three Diengdoh sisters were found aptly named Request, Loveliness and Happiness by their mother ‘Shuki’, a Khasi word that translates to chair in English.

Their neighbours, sisters Goodness and Unity, are also a good friend of the Diengdoh family.

Except for Indian names – Bharat, Mumtaz and Durga – the rest are traditional Khasi names, according to the electoral roll.

Behold! Some of the candidates contesting the 27 February elections in Meghalaya also carry names of famous politicians.

While two Nehrus – Nehru Suting and Nehru Sangma – will be contesting from Pynursla and Gambegre seats respectively, Frankenstein and Kennedy are also in fray.

"In many cases, parents obviously do not understand the meaning of the names they give their children. Sadly, the children with funny names have to carry on with these names much to their embarrassment," columnist HH Mohrmen said.

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