Baby Names

Thoughts on Avani for a white baby girl?

I am pregnant with our 3rd girl. We recently discovered the name Avani on a popular naming site that generated a list of unique names.  We love it because it checks several boxes we are going for (includes a V, earthy meaning, pretty/unique).  In researching more, we realize the origin is Sanskrit and it is a very popular Indian name.  Is it weird or insensitive to consider this for a white baby girl?

Re: Thoughts on Avani for a white baby girl?

  • I am not familiar with the name but wouldn't have associated it as Indian. I'd be curious to hear what people of Indian descent think, but I don't think a name needs to be avoided just because it is popular in a country that you aren't connected with. 
  • From an article about whether it's cultural appropriation or appreciation when naming children...

    "If you're considering giving your child a name from a culture you are not connected to, there are some questions that might help you decide. Dr Black recommends thinking about the name and why you are interested in it.

    What would it mean to call your child that?
    What connections might they have to that culture, if any?
    How would that be perceived by people for whom that name is part of their cultural repertoire of names?
    What is the power dynamic between your culture and the one the name is from?

    Also think about what you like about the name. Is it the set of syllables, or the fact it's really different and distinct? Some parents want their child to blend in, others want them to stand out.

    Just becoming clearer on what it is you're looking for might help you clarify whether going to another culture is the best way to find that. 

    Ms Hurley says to do your research, and speak to communities from that culture."
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  • Indian-American here and I love it—teach her the heritage and normalize kids names being unique yet commonplace in America.
  • I don’t think this is appropriation. It’s appreciation! And in today’s world we are all coming together as cultures much more often. I think if you love the name and it wasn’t chosen with the purpose of “stealing” it from another culture (which it clearly wasn’t) it’s a great name for a girl. 
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