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  • Writer's pictureCity of Edmonton Youth Council

CEYC Name Narratives: Arveen

Written by: Arveen Dhillon Edited by: Sithara Naidoo

What is in a name? Nothing really if you ask me.

Hi, my name is Arveen and let me tell you how I got this name. My family is Sikh and we have a tradition that helps us choose the first letter to name our children. Shortly after the birth of a child in a Sikh family, they visit their local Gurdwara. At the Gurdwara, a granthi ( a ceremonial reader of our holy scripture- the Guru Granth Sahib) would open a random page in the Guru Granth Sahib and the first letter on the page decides the first letter of the child’s name.

That letter happened to be “A” for me. At the hospital, my aunt first had her mind set on naming me Avneet but then decided that Arveen sounded better. The rest of my family was pleased with that name, hence Arveen.

If you wanted me to tell you about some powerful and interesting figure in history or in some novel or movie named Arveen, or about the cultural significance behind my name or any other deeper meaning other than it sounded nice, you came to the wrong place. After doing a quick Google search, the only information I could find about the name Arveen was that it was a common Australian boy name, fun fact if nothing else.

To me, my name has no innate meaning and I couldn't care less. Our name is given to us at birth and we are given the rest of our life to make a meaning out of it.

Moreover, our name means different things to different people at different points in our life; in other words, the meaning of our name and the connotations associated with it are not static. So if you are one of those people like me with a pleasant sounding name but disheartened to know that’s all there is behind your name, do not forget that it is YOUR name. Everything you stand for, how you make people feel, your daily actions and reactions all define your name and give it meaning. Everyday is a gift to change and deepen the meaning behind one’s name.

What is in a name is entirely up to you.

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