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The Weirdest City Names that Definitely Need Change

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By Nupur Dogra:

What would you prefer?

Fucking, Boring, Dildo, or Intercourse?

No, I am not asking about your preference for acquiring sexual pleasure, I am asking which of the city you would prefer if given a chance to visit? All of the above are names of town and cities across the world.

1) Fucking in Austria is not a phrase but a village, located in the Western upper region of the country. Now before your imagination runs wild about the locals living there and their occupations, preferences and hobbies, let me tell you — they have a very small population of 104 people in total. Fucking for them means the settlement of Focko people. The settlement was first found by a nobleman namely Focko. It’s not that the Fuckingites are not aware of the English meaning; they know it very well, have cashed on it and also suffered its consequences. While the name attracted many tourists from all over the world, especially British tourists, it has also increased the crime rate. There is only one kind of crime in this village inspired by the name of the city itself. Tourists are the main criminals. The crime is theft and robbery of the hoardings, most of the traffic sign boards or directional hoardings get stolen by the amazed, exited people visiting the place. Be it a board saying ‘Welcome to Fucking’ or ‘Go Slow’ signs written with the village’s name above it; such innuendo-filled banners are the main attractions for tourists. Some prefer clicking photographs with them, some make videos having sex in front of these signs and some take the hoardings as souvenirs with them. They even have festivals in which musical bands perform. Some of the bands are Fucked Up, Fuck, Holy Fuck etc.

2) Boring is another place in Oregon, United states. I am not saying that the place is boring; it’s just boring by name. No matter how much boring I found my city, I would never name it boring. Though, it seems like Boringites do not think on similar lines. The community is actually named after one of its earlier residents W.H Boring, but there are many other ways to build up a memorial. Except a few facebook addicts who love posting pictures showing them doing some crazy stuff, who would like to visit a place called Boring?

3) Dildo: No, I am not talking about a sex toy. We in India don’t do so (at least in public). Dildo is a town in Newfound Land island of Canada. Yes, it is a name of a town. Dildoites don’t have any excuse like boringites and fuckingites, of being named after an ancestor. Also they don’t want any changes to the name as well. Dildo area has been into existence since 16th century (‘area’ here refers to the town). It is surprising that what India has banned in the country, Canada had a whole town named after it. Now who said Canada was an extension of Punjab? Must say they aim for higher sex education for their younger generation. I remember as a child I used to ask my parents what is the meaning of Delhi and India. I just wonder what answers the dildoites are giving to their children.

4) Intercourse is a village in Pennsylvania in the United States. The population of this town, unlike the name suggests, is roughly 1,558. One of the theories behind the name, which the natives propose is — the village was named ‘Intercourse’ due to the crossing of two roads in the middle of the town, and intercourse being a term also used for  “fellowship” or “social interaction”. The village has been highlighted in many movies and television shows. The village faces similar problems of robbery of hoardings like Fucking. In any case, there exist better names a village can have, and a better term that describes two roads crossing in the middle of the town.

5) After all these videshi or foreign towns, why should we leave India? We don’t lag behind in any way from the West. Though we don’t have as shocking names, but we do have our fair share of funny, insensible names. One of which is “Nava Pind Shonkiaan Da” located in Jalandhar city, Punjab, meaning ‘The Modern Village of Stylish and Zealous People’. The story of acquiring this name is funnier than the name itself. It is believed that people of this village were the first to use umbrellas under the sun. So they kept this name.

After hearing such names even Shakespeare won’t stick to his famous words — “What’s in a name?” Because the answer to it, as it turns out, is A Lot.

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You must be to comment.
  1. Vishakh

    Definitely interesting…

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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