Interesting Meghalaya trivia from Sinlung Chanchin, a news/media website.
INSTITUTE, CONSTITUTE and PROSTITUTE 🙂
“So what’s your name,” we asked. “Seventy One,” he replied. “71?” “Yea, I was named after the year I was born,” he revealed. “That’s pretty unusual,” we exclaimed.
The local elaborated further, “It’s nothing. In Meghalaya, people name their kids after anything that catches their fancy — Christian names, political figures, celebrities, countries, or random English words like truck, bus, state, reliance, whatever!”
We listened agape as Seventy One listed out Meghalaya’s eccentric nomenclature. Here, Frankenstein, Hitler, Roosevelt, Churchill, Chamberlain, Lenin and Stalin fought for elections.
Ulysses had sisters named England, New Zealand, Finland and Switzerland while another sweet trio were called Institute, Constitute and Prostitute!
Boys weren’t spared too — a garage owner named his sons 1st Gear, 2nd Gear and 3rd Gear while Toilet Marbaniang didn’t bother about what his name meant either.
The origin of this perplexing phenomenon goes back to the British occupation of the north-east in the 1850s. The oral dialects of the Garo-Khasi-Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya, like Nagaland, adopted English as their script and subsequent conversion to Christianity spurred the blind adoption of anything English 🙂 “