It is deeply humbling and gratifying to know that the lonely days of never seeing my name written in public anywhere have gone. I have the total bastardisation and commercialisation of the word "Namaste" to thank for that. Thank you, capitalism.
As a child, I would eagerly check out the stand in the newsagency -- would my name finally appear on one of those novelty keychains or plastic mugs? Would there be a little badge on a card explaining the origin and beauty of my name? Why not -- I deserved it -- I was just as special as all the Alices, Sophies and Katherines I knew. (I'm being modest -- I was in fact more special than them.)
My amazingness aside, let's look at reality -- I'm the only Nama I've ever met in the world, let alone in my Australia. No one would ever print my name on anything, because they wouldn't make any money from it.
"Namaslay: the slay in me recognises the slay in you." Someone literally put that brilliant gem on a t-shirt.
Now I see my name printed everywhere. In the last year, I have seen Namaste and 'interesting' variants, like 'Namaslay' and 'Nama-stay-in-bed', on things like caps, mugs, clothing, and seven million things under #fitspo. And no, it's not because of enlightened times that are embracing diversity, etc.
It's because of yoga. In particular, the explosion of all sorts of yoga classes that middle-class Aussies attend religiously. Bikram, Hatha...and then modern interpretations like Nude Yoga, and Karaoke yoga -- which is the only yoga I would ever consider doing because I am excellent at karaoke.
Yoga, which originated in India, seems to have become such a part of the Western world that Downward-Facing Dog has become a sex position -- and I mean on Ubran Dictionary, not in the Kama Sutra. (And yes, I Googled "downward dog sex position" to confirm that's not just what I call it.)
My understanding is that most yoga classes conclude with a "Namaste" -- an ancient Hindi word and gesture, pregnant with significant meaning. "I bow to the divine in you" -- now that is some hardcore reverential and honourable shit. So beautiful.
At first, I thought seeing Namaste everywhere was kind of cool, because I'm a megalomaniac. I saw a pic of a woman wearing a 'Namaslay' cap and thought, "That is, like, soooo representative of who I am -- a Nama, who is slaying."
It was so approps, I used it as my Facebook cover photo. That was my fatal error.
Like a law that's legalised gay marriage, I had opened the floodgates to total anarchy. Suffice it to say that I now believe being tagged in memes and posts against your will should be illegal. The tagging was constant, and the applications increasingly ridiculous.
"Namaslay: the slay in me recognises the slay in you." Someone literally put that brilliant gem on a t-shirt. And then, I read an article about someone whinging that she wanted the tight buns that come from practising yoga, without all the spiritual "Namascrap." Yep. She called it Namascrap. I know because one of my friends gleefully sent it to me and told me that would be my new nickname.
Sigh. We've come a long way from my innocent youth, where my father insisted my name meant "beautiful and intelligent."
And just FYI to all my friends -- I will never respond to being called Namascrap, and if you insist on it, you will be seeing some major Namascray.