“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 official name. Interesting enough the words
“name Basanta generally means Spring season or Yellow Colored”. I was born in the early spring thus my parents named me Basanta . Basanta is my English name, my social security name and my school name. My birth certificate, passport, and school transcripts have Basanta printed on the as my name. In that sense Basanta is my “real” name and the safe name that government identifies me with. For all official purposes such as applying for benefits or filing tax returns, I must use this name otherwise the government will deny me services that I am entitle to. Moreover, when I introduce myself to others, I use this name. Everybody in the US, where I have been living for last few...