Viral: Indonesian parents name their baby Google, hope he will be useful to others

Photo: Paweł Czerwiński/Unsplash
Photo: Paweł Czerwiński/Unsplash

Many Indonesian parents believe in the idea that a name is a prayer, meaning that the names they give to their children contain their hopes for what their offspring will grow up to be. Based on that belief, this Indonesian couple apparently want their newborn son to be as useful as the world’s most popular search engine.

Adding to a growing list of Indonesian babies with unique/unusual names, a couple from Bekasi Regency in West Java appear to have been inspired by the wonders of the internet when coming up with a name for their baby boy.

Google was born on November 30, 2018, to parents with decidedly ordinary Indonesian names, 31-year-old Andi Cahya Saputra and 27-year-old Ella Karina. Google is the first member of the family with a tech-inspired name, as her older sister also has an ordinary Indonesian name.

“His name is just Google. G-o-o-g-l-e, only one word,” Andi told Kumparan yesterday.

Speaking to the media after baby Google went viral on social media recently, Andi said the idea to give his child a tech-inspired name first crossed his mind when Ella was seven months pregnant, but he wasn’t able to decide from his list of tech names for his baby boy until right before his son was born.

“I had Microsoft, iPhone, iOs, Windows, and many others. From religion, we considered the names of the prophets, and from the more usual names, we also considered Albar Dirgantara Putra. But when he was finally born, something in my heart told me the name Albar Dirgantara Putra wouldn’t suit [my son]. At last, I took a name from the technology category,” Andi said.

People close to Andi understandably had reservations about the name Google — even his wife Ella only answered “baby boy” if someone asked her what their newborn baby’s name was for his first three months.

Andi’s father also objected to his grandson’s unusual name. When the birth certificate was issued, he asked Andi to give Google a last name for administrative purposes, but Andi said he refused because it would alter the essence of the name.

“I told my father, ‘Pak, Google has a great meaning, because I hope Google can help many people, become a useful person to others,’” Andi said.

As time passed, the name Google has grown on people, including Ella.

“I hope my son will be a leader who leads many people, who is useful to many others,” Ella said as quoted by Kompas on Friday.

Andi said he’s still surprised that his son’s name became viral six months after his birth and admitted that he still gets flak for it.

“When I read comments on social media, oh my God, was I that low? Some even said [I named my son Google] to get financial compensation, or that my son would be recruited by Google in the future, or gets his schooling paid for by Google. I said ‘Amen’ to positive messages, because I try to think positively,” he said.

Well, even if he were hoping for freebies from Google, there are no reports the tech giant has contacted him regarding the company’s namesake yet.

But Google may be the exception to the rule in that regard, at least so far. Previously, babies with unusual names who in recent years went viral in Indonesia, such as Go-Pay and Pajero Sport, received gifts from the companies they were named after, presumably because the babies provided plenty of free viral marketing for them.

Babies aside, many adult Indonesians have also gone viral in the past due to their unique names, most notably Kentut (literally meaning “fart”), Tuhan (God) and Andy Go To School.

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