A little girl was left embarrassed of her own name after her teachers decided to shorten it to make it easier to pronounce.
The incident takes place in New Zealand’s North Island where 5-year-old Mahinarangi Tautu appeared to get mocked by her daycare teachers who shortened her name because it’s “too hard to pronounce.”
While the beautiful name means ‘moon in the sky’, Mahinarangi’s teachers decided to shorten it and call her Rangi instead to make their jobs easier.
As the young girl’s outraged mum, Paris, now admitted, her daughter was left embarrassed of her own name and no longer bothered to correct people who mispronounce her name after being told off for not responding to the name ‘Rangi’.
“Can you imagine your child being too embarrassed to say their name because people won’t make a decent effort to pronounce it properly?” the mother said.
“I am sad that in 2021, in Aotearoa, a five-year-old girl has lost the pride that comes with her beautiful name.”
According to Paris, the name of her daughter holds a big meaning in her family, whereas the name was allegedly passed down from generation to generation.
“Mahinarangi is a prominent tūpuna in my iwi. I have taught my daughter the meaning of her name and how much mana it has. I tell her to be strong and proud just like her tūpuna was,” she added.
As the mom insisted, the family moved from Australia to New Zealand in order to be closer to their culture before Mahinarangi was born. Still, however, they faced issues surrounding the little girl’s name and other people’s failure to pronounce it correctly.
“When I went to pick her up one day I heard her being told off because a teacher was calling her ‘Rangi’ and she wasn’t responding,” Paris claimed.
Following the incident, the mother pulled her daughter out of preschool and found another institution that has allegedly been much more supportive.
She also taught her daughter not to be embarrassed about her name any longer and to feel free to correct people when they mispronounce it.
“I have taught her to break down her name into single syllables to educate people and help them with correct pronunciation. She feels a sense of pride when people give it a go,” Paris said.
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