Yesterday as we sat waiting for a conference call, I chatted with some new(ish) colleagues. One, who is Chinese-American, has a Chinese given name but goes by an Anglicized name. When we first met, I was a little surprised because her phone number and email addresses came up with her legal name, but then she introduced herself with the English name — didn’t realize she was the person I’d been emailing because of the difference. Her Chinese name is beautiful, although I mangle it. Anyway, I learned yesterday that when she first went to school, her kindergarden teacher told her parents outright that her given name was too difficult and that they had to select an easier name for the other kids to call her.
She’s maybe twenty-five years old — at most — so I was *shocked*. I mean, I can imagine that 40 years ago, you’d encounter that, but this would have been in the early 1990s.
That would not happen today, I hope.