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Why Shouldn’t I Keep My Original Surname After Marriage?

Posted: June 7, 2020

The name and surname you have from childhood is your identity and the name on all your documents. Why should marriage mean that a woman has to change it?

Marriage is a turning point in everyone’s life regardless of the gender or our social and cultural status.

A girl is raised like any other boy in every household with lots of love affection and pampering. She is educated as per her interest and capabilities. Her education has been financially sponsored by the parents on par with any other boy in his house.

In fact, in a typical Indian society, while educating a girl itself, her parents keep no expectations from her and they always remember that whatever education they provide is for her to be able to stand and sustain herself and for her family after marriage.

Suddenly, after marriage…

A girl is suddenly treated as a woman who needs to handle the responsibilities of a family like taking care of the in laws, husband, and household work along with her employment if she’s already working at any organization.

She is expected to embrace all the relations of the husband’s family immediately as if she can be tuned or controlled like a radio being adjusted to the frequency we like.


Though dowry is illegal, in reality, certain traditions still prevail in our society. People tend to boast, saying we don’t need dowry or that we didn’t accepted dowry from her parents, as if they are doing a favour by doing so. The financial advantage she brings along with her is being enjoyed by them though they claim to have no interest in the bahu working and earning.

Whatever she is now, is all because of her parents. Expecting a girl to change her surname after marriage is expecting her to leaving her existence and individuality behind. Surely other than now being Mr B’s wife and Mr C’s bahu, she has been and will always be Mr A’s daughter. Not just that, she will also be the person she is. After all, her parents are the one who raised her, who taught her right and wrong, who educated her.

For all those who changed their first and last names post marriage, either willingly or by force, I do not blame you. But calling someone who chooses to keep her parents surname after marriage in all her certificates and identity proofs, and also in society an ‘arrogant feminist’ in a derogatory manner is not ok.

Image source: a still from the series Kahaan Hum Kahaan Tum

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  1. whether you choose to change your family name or not is your choice. I retained mine initially there were jibes but who the capital F cares. There are so many from my generation that is women in 50’s who have retained our maiden names. There are some who have opted to change, some who have hyphenated so whats the big deal. if you want to truly experience your potential — stop the blame game there is no “poor oppressed me,” there is only a person who refuses to do what it takes to reach her destination.

  2. Small n crisp.. like it! Something i always had on my mind to talk about. Well, the dictionary meaning of Maiden itself says a Woman’s name used before marriage.. and looks like that’s how some people may be centuries ago decided to make a rule..
    I prefer being known by both my surnames, my co-workers, my blogs, my social media platforms, everywhere I’m known as SMC. We should be known by who we are. We didn’t get to choose the first name nor our maiden name, but if we can, we should choose what we can today and something for the next generations to think about and try.

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