DATE: 7:21:00 AM
I have never changed my name. You know, one of my favourite bumper-sticker's is the one that says:"Born Right the First Time!". It is against those ultra born-again Chrisitians! I guess it is the same with my name. I am called Khodadad by my parents. They are not religious, they are not nationlists either. They wanted to name me something that was both a little, let's call it religious in meaning, and also not Arabic, as almost all of religious names in Iran are Arabic. They belonged to a generation who was reviving the pre-Islamic Iranian identity, but were still fund of the way they grew up. So, I got to be called Khodadad: Khoda (god)+dad (given)=God Given!
It has a harsh KH sound at the beginning (J in Spanish or CH in German or Dutch). Many who speak English have problems with it. Still, I am still called by my full name. I never changed my name because I wanted to be accepted in an English speaking society. There are a lot of Shahins who call themselves Shawn, Mortezas who answer to Mo, Salimes who go with Saly, and so on and so forth. I like my name, it is unusual, even in Iran. It even has international recognizability, thanks to the Footballer, Khodadad Azizi!
It also has close equivilants in many languages: Theodosius in Greek, Dieudone in French, Bagdan in Russian. So, I like my name, since it is my name, it shows my background, it doesn't try to hide the fact that I am Iranian, and it certainly makes me stand out of the crowd, and god knows I love that last part!!!!