Imagine having your most prized possession ripped apart in front of you on a daily basis. Then imagine having to pick up those pieces and put them back together multiple times a day. Your name is the very first piece of your identity that you own. To some it is their most prized possession.
After years of having our names destroyed we begin to grow tired of feeling uncomfortable. So what do we do, we apologize. We say “sorry I know my name is difficult to pronounce, just call me (insert nick name). Our difficult names are difficult from a Western standpoint because they are not familiar, they are foreign and strange and hard to pronounce. Do not get me wrong I am beyond grateful that my parents decided to build a family here. I do not think they realized that Americans like easy and convenient situations. Should the thoughtful name they blessed me with have to be tarnished as apart of their assimilation process?
I don’t believe so.
In my culture we have naming ceremonies. The name of a child is not released until about a week after they are born and there is a huge celebration. Your name has high value and a high honor. It is not something that is taken lightly.
There is also another issue besides the very uncomfortable moment of having to repeat your name 20 times to people. Most 1st generation people encounter minor anxiety when their name is looked at on a resume or given over the phone. Unfortunately we have to worry about the “perception” it will give off. We have to worry about a judgement based on preconceived notions of people with similar ethnic backgrounds.
Is this fair, no. However it is unfortunately the world we live in.
My advice: Stop apologizing! There is no need to apologize for being who you are. If you have a “foreign” name put a strong resume behind it. Show everyone that the type of person you are is a positive reflection of the name you stand by.