April 20, 2015

of my Name...

For as long as I remember I had always been called ‘Dawa’ by my parents, siblings, and all my relatives in my village. So sometime at the age of four, when I was taken for my pre-primary admission I expected my name to be registered as Dawa Gyeltshen. But to my disappointment, I was officially a ‘Karma Kunzang Wangyel’. I didn't know that either, because when I reached class III my name was registered as ‘Karma Kuenzang Wangdi’.

I liked my last name as ‘Wangyel’ so I questioned to my father as to why it got changed to ‘Wangdi’. His reply shocked me. It seemed that my pre-primary class teacher was an expatriate woman from Kerela, who 
couldn't spell let alone pronounce Wangyel, so for her own convenience she changed to Wangdi. So I lost a good part of a name bestowed by Gyelwa Karmapa.

Later when I was in class XII, I had a scout-sister who started calling me KK brother. I liked it and tagged myself KK, which still carries to this day.

So to my students, friends, wife and in-laws, I am ‘KK’. Officially I am Karma Kuenzang Wangdi. But at home to my parents, siblings and my relatives in my village, I am Dawa Gyeltshen or simply ‘Dawa’.