Garbha Sanskar: How I Practiced

grandma in law Indian

Ayurvedic scriptures state that Garbha Sanskar is essential for creating an intelligent, attractive and healthy baby. From my experience, Garbha Sanskar is a great way to keep you positive and focused during your pregnancy, you can bring these practices to your attention … Continue reading

40 Indian Names for Multicultural Babies

Naming your baby can be a difficult task, there are just so many things to think about! You want the name to complement your surname, have a significant meaning and not remind you of anyone you would rather forget…

There is a little extra to consider when your baby is going to be born into two cultures, two countries and two languages. Does the Indian name sound like a negative English word and vice versa? Will both our families like it and be able to pronounce it? I imagine this is also important for Indian expats or Non-Resident Indians living and raising babies overseas.

I wanted to share with you my hours research and my 40 favourite multicultural Indian baby names!

20 Girl Names

Indian Name

Sanskrit Meaning

Similar to/Other meanings

Anjali Offering Angela, Latin name meaning ‘Messenger of God’
Anita Full of Grace Hebrew name meaning ‘Grace’
Anushka Ray of Light Russian name of endearment
Arya Noble, Precious Hebrew name meaning ‘Lioness’, a Character in Game of Thrones
Dhara Plant Earth Dara, Irish name meaning ‘Pearl of Wisdom’
Heera Diamond Hera, a Greek name meaning ‘Queen of Heaven’
Janika Mother, Goddess Sita Slavic name meaning ‘God is Gracious’
Kareena Pure Carina, an Italian name meaning ‘Cute’
Lola Goddess Lakshmi Spanish name meaning ‘Virgin Mary’
Maya Illusion, Goddess Durga Roman name meaning ‘Mother Earth’
Meghna Thunder Meghan, a Welsh name meaning ‘Pearl’
Nikita Earth, Temple Russian name meaning ‘Unconquerable’
Rita Truth Spanish name meaning ‘Pearl’
Roma Goddess Lakshmi Italian name meaning ‘Of Rome’
Saraswati Goddess of Knowledge Sara, Hebrew name meaning ‘Princess’
Sheela Good Conduct Shelia, Latin name meaning ‘Heavenly’
Sonia Golden Russian variation of the Greek name ‘Sophia’, meaning ‘Wisdom’
Tanya Of the Family Name of an early Christian martyr
Tara Star Irish name meaning ‘Where the Kings Meet’
Tula Born under the star of Libra Germanic name meaning ‘Strength’
mother-in-law baby naming ceremony | western sounding Indian baby names

A traditional Indian naming ceremony, with my mother-in-law’s cook’s grandson!

20 Boys Names

Indian Name

Sanskrit

Similar to/Other Meanings

Ajay Unconquerable, Invincible A.J.
Anand Bliss Andy
Arun Sun Aaron, a Hebrew name meaning ‘Lofty’
Ashwin Light Anglo-Saxon name meaning ‘Swift, Thai name meaning ‘Brave Knight’.
Biren Lord of Warriors Byron, the romantic poet
Bodhi Enlightenment, Bodhi tree Popular name used by many American celebrities. Similar to Brody
Dharun Supporting Darren, an English name associated with the Oak tree
Dhilan Son of Waves Dylan, Welsh name meaning ‘great sea’
Hans Swan Scandinavian name meaning ‘Gift from God’
Hari Lion, Name of Vishnu Harry, you know, like Potter
Jay Victory English name meaning ‘To Rejoice’
Kiran Ray of Light Kieran, an Irish name meaning ‘Little Dark One’
Milan Coming Together of People Slavic name meaning ‘Beloved’. The fashion capital of Italy
Mohan Charming Moe
Neil Acquirer Gaelic name meaning ‘Cloud’ or ‘Passionate’
Nikhil Complete Nick
Rahul Conqueror of Miseries Arabic name meaning ‘traveler’
Rohan Ascending Gaelic name meaning ‘Red’. It’s also the name of a realm in ‘the Lord of the Rings’.
Samesh Lord of Equality Sam
Sunil Dark Blue Sunny

Many cultures in India wait until the baby is born and determine the name from their astrological birth chart. We decided not to do that because we wanted the name to reflect both cultures in some way. We decided on Rohan’s name whilst I was still in my second trimester of pregnancy. I loved that it was both a Sanskrit and Gaelic (I’ve some Celtic blood) name.

Turns out there that his name was also written in the stars in a way. On the day Rohan was born, we realised it was the Christian holiday, Ascension Day (the day Jesus ascended to heaven) and Rohan means ‘ascension’ in Sanskrit. A special little coincidence!

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Celebrating the First Trimester of Pregnancy

An enchanting aspect of Indian life is the marking of important milestones with traditions, rituals and celebrations. Completing the first trimester of my pregnancy was one of the special milestones we celebrated, a special milestone in pregnancy all over the world. The morning … Continue reading

Not Pregnant after 1 Year of Marriage?

In my experience, once you have celebrated your first marriage anniversary, people start demanding to know when you are having a baby. It must be quite common because it’s not only me who has been constantly questioned and told that they should be pregnant by now. I am certain that couples are quizzed about their plans for a family all over the world, but it was such a huge surprise to me that as soon as our first anniversary rolled past us, it was like a switch went off, people started to asking me when my baby is coming, constantly.

I have been told it is one of the many traditions of India, after one year of marriage you should conceive.

One family friend told me that everyone is asking us because they are all “too excited” to see a “foreigner baby”. I am not exaggerating, shopkeepers and people I have never met before start swinging their arms in a cradle like motion with huge grins on their faces. I just reply with a smile.

Of course, I also have an online presence so I am getting even bolder inquires online. I’ve had a man wanting to know whether or not my husband and I are using “family planning methodology” because we don’t have any children yet. Even last week, another man commented on a post where I was discussing speaking Marathi with simply, “Why no babies yet? Is everything ok?”. How intrusive and insensitive is that?

There has been daily questions and even some tears from the eldest members of my Indian family, desperately hoping for a new family member next festival season. I know it’s not only India where the conception pressure dwells, my Grandmother in England has also been expressing her fears of passing before seeing a great-grandchild in her arms.

Don’t panic everyone, we do want babies, but it’s a personal matter.

I find the constant questions quite frustrating but I cannot imagine how this pressure feels for the couples who are not ready to be parents or simply do not have the desire to have children. Couples not only have to deal with their own distress and grief, but the pressure and demands from family and the society at large. 

People the world over feel it’s okay to ask a couple when they are planning to start a family, but we must remember that having a baby is not a topic everyone wants to discuss openly and people have the right to privacy. We just don’t know who has been struggling to conceive, just been given a devastating diagnosis or recently experienced a heartbreaking loss. I am certain the last thing these couples need are people nagging them to start their family, even when they mean well and are just excited, deciding to have children should be a personal and private decision between two people.

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