Yesterday I was given a Chakma name. It was given to me in an ancient Chakma naming ceremony presided over by the Chakma king (they do have one) in a Buddhist monastery on a misty hill top.
It was given to me in the office, by 3 guys, while we were supposed to be deciding on how to respond to a monitoring report we recently received from a funder.
You pick which ever story you like. I know which one I’d go for.
So my Chakma name is Tara. Which isn’t pronounced like in English, it has a much flatter T sound, with a rolling of the R. Like an Afrikaans person would say the name. Which means Star. I don’t know if they know that my name, Estelle or Stella as I am known here (Estelle is a surprisingly difficult name for people to pronounce here) also means star. I don’t think so*. I think they must genuinely think I am a star. Who wouldn’t. In all languages, I am a star.
While having tea in the local tea shop after work, I saw my friend’s traditional tattoo. It is his initials in the Chakma script, tattooed on the inside of his lower arm. This is the local style, which these folks have been doing for many moons. I think he might have done it himself. Not sure. Should have taken a photo of it.
Hmm. Maybe I should get myself a tattoo of my Chakma name? Well, first I need to check what the Chakma script for my name looks like. The script uses the Burmese script, but with slight differences. It looks like so:
Even since my not-so-mild addition to Miami Ink (have you ever seen the show? It Rocks) I have toyed with the idea of a tattoo. Not verrrry seriously, but I always thought if I ever experience something that is worth remembering forever (even on my future wrinkly 90 year old body) then I should go for it. And my time in the Chittagong Hill Tracts is surely such an experience..
No, there isn’t really WiFi in the tea shop. But it is a crazy little place. I’ll take some more (decent) photos. Personally I like the monk with Junior Sopranos’ glasses having a fag while playing on a laptop. And the topless local in a sarong.
Anyhoo, I’ll get back to you with what my name looks like in the script. Then we can decide if I should get it tattoed on my upper arm. Or other suitable location
* Yes, they do know.