Hyphen: Shukri Janagale

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25.2 – What’s in a Name?

In the Somali culture, we carry our forefather’s name like an ID card; you have your name, your father’s name and then your grandfather’s etc etc etc. In my case, ‘Id’/’Ciid’/’Eid’, is my great-grandfather’s name and it’s also the kind of name that hits you with a spotlight when you’re in certain places…this town I’ve moved to is one of those places. Less than 2 hours in the country and at least 3 different people had figured out who my family is, and all I could do was that awkward tight-liped smile with a gentle nod of the head to confirm.

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The Identity in Language

The Uber driver looked at me confused when I entered the backseat of his car. Puzzled he looked at me through the rearview after we exchanged hellos and he asks “So what is your name again?”

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