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Me and You in the Poem Choosing My Name by Puamani Burgress

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“Choosing My Name” by Puanani Burgress is a poem that reflects Burgess idea of her identity and how it is related with her different names. Despite having three different names Chirstabella , Yoshie and Puanani, she particularly likes identifying herself as Puanani although it is not her “official name”. Strange as it sounds, I aslo have three different names: Basanta, Kancho, Xxxxxx. My third name Xxxxxx is my cultural name that I cannot disclose thus I have decided to write it Xxxxxx as it is made up of six letters. Xxxxxx is my favorite and preferred name because it connects me to my family, my culture and my land.
In the poem, Puanani talks about her different name and their significance but ultimately identifies herself with her Hawaiian name. “ Chirstabella [is her] english name”. It is also her official name which she uses almost everywhere she goes. She says ‘[Cristebella is] the name I gave when teacher ask me for my “real” name a safe name.” Her negative connotation when she uses “real” suggests that she does not prefer this name. Secondly Yoshie is her home name which connects her to her father’s side of her family. This is the name that makes her acceptable to her family. Finally, Puanani is her Hawaiian name which she believes is her real name and her real identity. This is the name that relate her to the land she was born and the culture she is a part of. It is a burden for her not to be able to use her name Puanani even if she wants to. Puanani is her chosen name and her connection to the Hawaiian land regardless of what other people think when identifies herself by as Puananani..
Similar to that of Puanani, I have three distinct names and each name has its significance.First, Basanta is my offici...

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...ing process. Our cultural practices require us to keep our Vedic name secret. According to the ancient Hindu scriptures, witches and demons can use this name to control or kill you with help of their black magic if they found your Vedic name.
However, Xxxxxx is my preferred name and the name that relates to my culture and the land where I grew up. It is “my piko name connecting to my aina”. It also connects me to my ancestors and enables me to feel their presences. Even though I highly prefer this name, I cannot use this name openly as I want to which is a big burden for me. Nevertheless, the significance it carries and the culture that prevents me to disclose this name are very important to me. The significance of my home lanf and my cuture is what makes this name very special. Therefore I feel comfortable sacrificing my preference over my culture and belief.