Free hit counter


By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.


Babies made-in-India - 4. Naming

india,birth,water birth,pregnancy,baby,infant,newborn,delivery,midwife,swaddling,swaddle,diaper,breastfeeding,hospital,fertility,contraception,sterilization

I was frequently asked, till the baby turned two months if we had already chosen his name!

Indeed, in India, the baby is named at the end of the safety period, generally 40 days. It gives time for the astrologer to find the name, or at least its first letter. Meanwhile, the baby is called baby, and evil spirits are kept at bay!


And if everything goes well, the family organizes at the end of the 40 days, a 'naming ceremony' during which the baby is introduced to the world and sweets are distributed to everybody they know (especially if it's a boy). It is usually on this occasion that hijras (cf my posts on the topic) come to claim their due, ‘guarantee’ that the evil eye will be kept at bay.

I was not too happy when the watchman let them, by the way better informed than the municipality, come up.


Some Indian local customs go even further by having the new mother observe complete bed rest (for example during the first 10 days in Kerala). During this period the new mums have nothing to do but get to know her baby and recover from this undeniably physical hardship. The idea seems good but hyperactive women might fear boredom...


(To be continued...)

The comments are closed.