Nursery shortens five-year-old girl’s name as it’s ‘too hard’ to pronounce

A nursery shortened a five-year-old girl’s named because it is “too hard” to pronounce, her furious mum has claimed.

Mahinarangi Tautu’s traditional name was changed by teachers at the day centre in New Zealand to ‘Rangi’.

Her Maori mum Paris has now hit out and fears her daughter has lost her “pride” because of the move.

Teachers said they found her daughter’s traditional Maori name, which means 'moon in the sky', too hard to pronounce, the Mirror reports.

In a further twist, she said cruel children laugh at her daughter's traditional name and did not even bother to try and pronounce it.

The bullying has left the youngster so upset she no longer tries to correct people when they say her name wrong, she added.

Paris said the name from the Ngati Raukawa heritage has been passed down through several generations.

It has a deep line of descent, known as whakapapa, which often shows where someone is from.

Not giving someone their full name can be seen as a lack of respect.

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Writing on Facebook, the distraught parent said: "Can you imagine your child being too embarrassed to say their name because people won't make a decent effort to pronounce it properly?

"I am sad that in 2021, in Aotearoa, a five-year-old girl has lost the pride that comes with her beautiful name.

"It made me so angry, especially because they'd use Maori resources in her classes."

Paris told the New Zealand Herald her ancestors endured a similar experience.

And it has made her even more determined to make sure her daughter's name is pronounced correctly and not changed.

She said: "My ancestors changed their original name from Perepe-Perana to Phillips because of colonisation.

"I will not let something similar happen with my daughter."

She said she has taught Mahinarangi to break down her name into single syllables to educate people and help them to say her name correctly.

The mum is also urging other parents to remind their children about the importance of their name if it is traditional and part of their culture.

She added: “It’s important for our kids to be confident in their names, regardless of their ethnicity.”

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