I came across this article in SMH.com, Indian Girls Are Renamed to Finally Feel Wanted:
More than 200 Indian girls whose names mean ”unwanted” in Hindi have chosen new names for a fresh start in life.
A central Indian district has held a renaming ceremony it hopes will give the girls new dignity and help fight widespread gender discrimination that gives India a skewed gender ratio, with far more boys than girls.
The 285 girls – wearing their best outfits with barrettes, braids and bows in their hair – lined up to receive certificates with their new names along with small bouquets from Satara district officials in Maharashtra state.In shedding names like Nakusa or Nakushi, which mean ”unwanted” in Hindi, some girls chose to name themselves after Bollywood stars like Aishwarya or Hindu goddesses like Savitri. Some just wanted traditional names with happier meanings, such as Vaishali, meaning ”prosperous, beautiful and good”.
”Now in school, my classmates and friends will be calling me this new name, and that makes me very happy,” said a 15-year-old girl who had been named Nakusa by a grandfather disappointed by her birth.
She chose the new name Ashmita, which means ”very tough” or ”rock hard” in Hindi.
(Read more here)
It’s a wonderful story, and my heart goes out to all those now-delighted little Indian girls who have a new identity and a new sense of belonging. And the warmth of this story immediately made me think of how much more wonderful it is to have our personal histories rewritten and our unwanted statuses revoked by God our Creator. A couple of passages from the Bible came to mind:
Hosea 2:21 “In that day I will respond,” declares the LORD— “I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; 22 and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. 23 I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ (“Lo-Ammi”, cf. Hos. 1:9) ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”
Ephesians 2:11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
In Christ, God gives us a new name. Those who were once far away, unwanted, not his people, have now been brought near by his blood and given a new name, a new identity… wanted. When you really understand that and revel in the amazing privilege of that, nothing will ever stay the same.