I was preparing a dossier for a foreign couple planning alterations to their holiday home in France…
We were speaking in English since that was our common language…
Looking at her husband’s several names, I had no idea which was which… since they appeared in different ways on different documents…
so automatically asked her… “which is his christian name?”.
His wife chuckled and said… “he’s not a christian”… (fair enough… )
I “lapsed” into French and asked for “son prénom et son nom de famille?”
That gave her pause for thought…
but we got there in the end… and no-one was offended.
Christmas day is a good day for all sorts of things though, Clovis was baptised (496) Charlemagne crowned Emperor of Romans (800) William the Conqueror crowned (1066) - all on Christmas day. Probably lots of other things too but you don’t necessarily learn them.
The area in which I live is near Carpentras, which has I am told the biggest and most beautiful Jewish Temple in France. This is the season of Hanukah, celebrated with much of the same fun and fayre as Christmas, though slightly different date.
When I was abroad, in a place where we celebrated everyone’s holidays, we called this time ‘Chrismakkah’. Of course, we also drank tooo much
My name, Susannah, is biblical. I used to have lot’s if fun telling the story to my art students of ‘Susannah and The Elders’, with a caveat not to peek at naked ladies. The Christian name came from Shoshanna in Hebrew, meaning “lily”, which in turn came to them from Ancient Egypt and Persia.
Despite some folk not liking their given name, I have always loved mine. I think of it as multi-faith.
Because it frequently happens to me. Groups of people chattering away assuming you share their point of view and, no doubt inadvertently, being exclusive. I am a very polite person so I am not going to call them out on their lack of perception, but I inwardly sigh.