Meghalaya polls: Argentina, Italy, Sweden to vote

Villagers are fond of naming their children English words that rhyme good

Shillong: Argentina, Indonesia, Italy and Sweden will vote to elect their legislators in the upcoming state assembly elections in Meghalaya, northeastern India.

Sisters Promiseland and Holyland Dkhar and their namesake neighbor Jerusalem Khiewtam will also participate in the adult franchise on February 27.

These are the names of voters of Umniuh-Tmar Elaka village under Shella constituency in East Khasi Hills district.

“Many Khasi names have the potential to make you smile but finding hundreds of such names in a small village will result in people guffawing for hours,” Elaka elected chief (Sirdar) Premiere Singh told Press Trust of India news agency.

He said about 50 percent of the villagers have a fondness for English words that rhyme good but without the knowledge of their meanings. The sleepy Elaka, which is close to the Indo-Bangladesh border, has a little over 850 male and 916 female voters and have a record number of peculiar names registered in the voters list.

Premiere was lucky that his educated father had given him, the eldest son, a name that almost fit his position as the Elaka chief now. But some others have named their children Thursday or Sunday, the chief said.

Some people also have names like Tripura and Goa, he added. Premiere also said that a 30 year-old twelfth grader’s Sweater named her I Have Been Delivered !

Office items such as Table, Globe and Paper, members of the solar system like Venus and Saturn besides Arabian Sea, Pacific and Continent have also been taken. Three Diengdoh sisters were found aptly named Request, Loveliness and Happiness by their mother Shuki, a Khasi word for chair in English.

Their neighbors, sisters Goodness and Unity, are also good friends of the Diengdoh family. Except for Indian names Bharat, Mumtaz and Durga the rest are traditional Khasi names, according to the electoral roll.

Some candidates contesting the February 27 elections in Meghalaya also carry names of famous politicians. While two Nehrus — Nehru Suting and Nehru Sangma — will be contesting from Pynursla and Gambegre seats respectively, Frankenstein and Kennedy are also in fray.

“In many cases, parents obviously do not understand the meaning of the names they give their children. Sadly, the children with funny names have to carry on with these names much to their embarrassment,” columnist H H Mohrmen said.


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