Dmitriy Orusov, Valentina Bovaeva, Zula Andratova, Name Giving Practices
Dmitriy, Zula and Valentina talk about name giving practices among Kalmyks. Dmitriy: My parents wanted to name me Dordzhi-Garya in honour of my grandfather. My father’s name is Matsg, but on his passport he is Vladimir. My surname of Orusov derives from the Kalmyk word ors, meaning ‘Russian’, because there was a Russian woman among my ancestors. My wife has three names. On her passport she is Olga, at home we call her Delgir, and when she got married my parents gave her the name of Tsagan. Zula: The Kalmyks gave a second name to a person in order to protect him/her from evil spirits. Valentina: When a girl gets married, she is treated as if she is dead for her natal family. She has her nails trimmed and her hair cut so that her happiness remains at her natal home. In her husband’s family she receives a new name. A new name brings new happiness to the bride. When Kalmyks were in Siberia, children were given Russian names only. In my village school girls were called either Valentina or Galina.