My daughter Ania composed this essay about the significance of her name. I think it is wonderful and wanted to share it with you.
My name came to my father as he walked the streets of New York City. “Ania Devi, that is her name,” was whispered softly into his ear, and he nodded to himself with the realization that I would live up to my name, someday. He came home to my impregnated mother and told her he knew what their child must be called. My mother disagreed, for she was keen on Isabella, or some other Hispanic nomenclature. “You can call her whatever you please, but her name is Ania Devi.” With that answer my mother knew she could not win this battle, and so she settled with Ania Devi.
In the Hebrew language Ania means I am one with God, which can be interpreted in many ways. To me, I view it as being one with myself, and connecting with myself on a much deeper level. I expect to constantly be growing and evolving until the day I die. The day I become one with God and at peace.
As a little girl I despised being called Ania Devi. I would go into shops that contained racks filled with mugs and dog tags that had common names written on it. I would search up and down, left and right, through all of the racks to see if I could find Ania Devi. Sadness and disappointment washed over me when I couldn’t find my name on coffee mugs. In class I would be jealous of the girls who were called Nancy or Maria or Susan. I dreaded the first day of classes when new teachers tried to pronounce my name. My cheeks would burn as hot as fire when I had to correct their mispronunciation. As I grew up and became more confident with myself, being called Ania Devi did not seem to bother me as much. First day of classes became exciting for my friends and I. We would make bets on how the teacher would pronounce my name, and I even got disappointed when they pronounced it correctly. Now I see that I have a poetic and beautiful name. It fits my personality perfectly – a unique name for a unique girl.
My middle name, Devi, means goddess in Hindi. Growing up I never appreciated the meaning behind my middle name, and never bothered to tell people what it is. Now my middle name has become my identity. I am in love with the Buddhist religion and I am proud that I have a connection to it, through my middle name. Ania Devi rolls off of your tongue with a poetic flow. Thus I introduce myself with my full name, and smile to myself when others complement its beauty.