What’s In My Name?
My name, Uma, is equally rare in all cultures.
As far as namesakes, Uma Thurman, a Hollywood actress and super-model, now around 46, is probably the only well-known person called Uma in the United States. She was named after Uma Chenpo, a Tibetan Buddhist, who is even less known to the world.
The name has an ancient Hindu origin, and means “flax”, or “turmeric” in a direct translation from Sanskrit. It also symbolizes “mother” and “light”, which has to do with the the Hindu goddess, Uma, more commonly known as Parvati, the eternal spouse of God Shiva. Therefore it also carries the meaning of “tranquillity, splendor, and fame”. Uma represents the form of feminine energy, (Shakti), and therefore is interpreted as “universal mother”.
In numerology, “Uma” has the vibration 9, representing creative abilities, wisdom, sensitivity, determination, and strength of character.
In the United States by the 1990 census, “Uma” didn’t make to the top 5,000 names. It is equally unpopular in India, the place of its origin. Though, interestingly enough, farther west and east in the Americas, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, and even as far as Nigeria it gains its frequency.
Uma has three different constituent sounds; uu, m, and ah. It is linked with the Hindu mantra “AUM”, which represents the cosmic vibration.
“Uma” is always female in gender; only when prefixed (such as in Umashankar), the gender changes.
Surprisingly, the name Uma found its way into Hebrew culture through the Aramean language, meaning “Nation”. This is why “Uma” is given the definition of “peace of the world” when the Hebrew and Indian meanings are combined.
There are numerous universities, companies, and organizations whose names are abbreviated to UMA, (for example Urban Music Awards), as well as several video game characters. And who might have imagined that a genus of fringe-toed lizards is also Uma!
When I was about five or six, I was wondering why my parents gave me such a name. Whenever I asked them, they kept telling me that I named myself. Not that I didn’t like my name; I would rather have a “normal” name like the rest of my peers in kindergarten.
And finally, I found it. My final choice fell on “Daisy” and “Ladybug”, though now I clearly see how awful that could be. That was a momentary frenzy when I called nearly all my toys by those two names.
Looking back, I am very thankful that my name isn't Daisy or Ladybug; I can imagine people calling me Bugygirl or Daisycow. Fortunately, Uma is very hard to change into anything else.
In reality I am quite pleased with my name and thankful to my parents naming me Uma; I believe it helps me to develop my distinctive qualities, and affects my life in a positive way.