In the movie, Yesterday mentioned that her father came up with her name, Yesterday.
When Yesterday is at the medical clinic, female doctor shows interest in the name Yesterday. The doctor said she have seen people named today or tomorrow but she never heard of the name yesterday. Yesterday’s father named her Yesterday because Yesterday was better than today.
This tuns out true when Yesterday finds out that she has HIV. Yesterday is shocked and fear the death but then she quickly decides to stay strong for her daughter beauty. Yesterday was happier in the past days when she did not know she had AIDS. However, Yesterday when she did not know the truth, could have been more happier for her. However, she stays strong and try to make better tomorrow. For example, she tells the teacher that she will have to be strong at least until the day beauty goes to school.
The idea of happier past is also shown when Yesterday is reminiscing happy memories that she had with her husband. In the old days, Yesterday’s husband used to give her gifts and was affectionate towards her. The violence that her husband showed to Yesterday probably made her think that it could have been better if she did not come to the city to tell her husband about AIDS, because then, at least Yesterday would not have been hurt, both physically and emotionally. The past times when she did not know her husband’s illness and when she wasn’t beaten by her husband could have been the better “yesterday” that Yesterday’s father meant by making that name.
However, this idea of better past, better yesterday seems cowardice. It seems like one is trying to avoid challenges and hardships that one should go through as part of one’s life. This idea is similar to being in a denial of things that will come today and in the future. Yesterday says that her name is Yesterday because yesterday was better in life. However, Yesterday is facing all the challenges that today or tomorrow is bringing to her. She does not opt out, but rather fight back her obstacles. She takes medicine and fights her illness with desire to see beauty going to school. Also, when people in the town start a rumor about her husband, she builds the hospital and take care of him. Yesterday is trying to find the best solution possible, even in such a difficult situations. Yesterday’s name seems to symbolize her eager to fight, even the sufferings of today, rather than staying in innocent yesterday.