The Name Project seeks to understand how our names shape our character and the role it plays in our identity.
Some reflect our cultural backgrounds.
Others are indicative of our parents’ values, interest and ideologies.
In this week's Name Project interview Lovely Umayam, whose name is the result of the English word her sister gravitated towards while learning English in the Philippines, expresses the difficulty in having such a benign name. "Lovely is a difficult name to have because I think people assume that I have to embrace that "lovely" identity. A lot of people like to joke,"Oh! You're such a lovely person!" Which is nice, I can't shy away from that I like being associated with such a positive thing but that's not necessarily who I am all the time and it gets really frustrating and annoying, because as a small Asian American woman I already have these barriers and assumptions about me. I'm not threatening at all. I mean, looking at me, I'm not the most threatening person and on top of that in the workplace and just day to day I have to really fight that kind of complacency, I have to assume or embrace because my name is Lovely. When in reality I want to be assertive, I want to be fierce. It's been a push and pull because my name says that I have to be a particular thing. There's that fear of people not taking me seriously because of the way that I look and my name but I like the fact that every time I have to introduce myself, I have to be a little bit more courageous, to present myself, to present my identity."
We all have a name that subsequently has a name story. Here is Lovely's name story.
Shot and Directed by Antoinette Brock. Post production/editing by http://fromforeign.co