Struggles of having a foreign name

Monday, June 20, 2016


I had ever intention of writing this post a long time ago, but after reading Florence's post, I knew I had to blog about this life-long issue of mine.

My full name is Chinyere, but people call me Chichi for short (which I prefer.)  Yet, all my life I've had issues with my name.  I love my name, yet...

People can't pronounce my name.

Where do I begin?!  This has always been an issue.  I remember in school, whenever the teachers would reach my name in the register, there was always a long awkward pause, followed by the teacher pronouncing my name incorrectly.  Even when I would tell them how to pronounce my name, they'd still get it wrong. *le sigh*  This still happens now, even though I'm not in school anymore.

People can't spell my name.
Once in a while I have to deal with receiving documents with the wrong spelling of my name and it's a bit annoying, especially when I have filled in forms and my name is still spelt in the wrong way!  Regarding the photo at the top of this post, I actually told the barista how to spell my name, yet he still got it wrong.

How frustrating.


It's the same issue with my nickname (which is easy to spell) and my surname (which is only four letters.)

I'm more likely to have my CV thrown in the bin.
As a result of having a non-English name and a non-English surname (even though it's short) there are some (racist) employers out there who might see my CV and throw it in the bin instead of taking my experience and skills into consideration.

Name discrimination is real.

I can't find personalised gifts anywhere!
This is so annoying!  I love buying gifts and stationery, but I can't find any with my name on!

Some people negatively judge me because of my name.
I don't get this now but when I was in school a lot of people used to judge me negatively because of my name.  They would assume that something was wrong with me and my parents because of my name!

Some people want to Anglicise my name.
Once in a while (very rarely) the odd person will say "Don't you have an English name?"

My reaction:


Barista's are reluctant to ask for my name.

Some baristas avoid asking for my name to put on a coffee cup.  I don't know why this is, but perhaps they assume that my name is foreign/difficult/hard to spell/etc because of the colour of my skin.

These struggles are life-long issues.

I have come to realise that my name will still cause some struggles but I love my name and I have come to embrace it.  I can't see myself changing my name - it's a big part of my identity.

Do you have name struggles?

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3 comments

  1. OMG everything that u just said in this post still happens to me it's tough having a foreign name but we have to learn to luv it :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. OMG everything that u just said in this post still happens to me it's tough having a foreign name but we have to learn to luv it :)

    ReplyDelete

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