Mum’s anger as nursery shortens daughter’s name ‘because it’s too hard to pronounce’
The story of a mother who was angry after her daughter’s nursery shortened the girl’s name saying it was ‘too hard’ to pronounce has surfaced online.
Two years ago, the story of then five-year-old Mahinarangi Tautu, whose name means “moon in the sky”, made headlines when it emerged that her name had previously been shortened to ” Rangi” by the daycare teachers who found it “too difficult to pronounce”.
And despite the name being described as one of the most beautiful in the world, Mahinarangi, from Palmerston North on New Zealand’s North Island, became the center of ridicule when she started attending school .
According to his mother Paris, the other students didn’t even try to say the child’s name and laughed at it, which upset her.
She added that at the time, Mahinarangi was so upset by the bullying that she didn’t even try to correct people when they mispronounced her name.
Mahinarangi Tautu had her name shortened to ‘Rangi’ by teachers at daycare center Palmerston North on New Zealand’s North Island – because they said her name was too difficult to pronounce
When the story first surfaced two years ago, Paris (pictured with her daughter) said other schoolchildren made fun of her daughter’s name and didn’t even bother trying to pronounce it.
Paris Taut added: “Can you imagine your child being too embarrassed to say their name because people won’t make a decent effort to pronounce it correctly?”
“I am sad that in 2021, in Aotearoa, a five-year-old girl has lost the pride that comes with her beautiful name.”
Describing the provenance of the name Mahinarangi, Paris said it was passed down through several generations and held immense significance to the family.
She continued, “Mahinarangi is a prominent tupuna in my iwi. I taught my daughter the meaning of his name and how much mana he has.
“I tell her to be strong and proud, just like her tūpuna was.”
According to Paris, she was living in Australia, but moved to New Zealand when she found out she was pregnant.
She says: ‘I wanted my daughter to be surrounded by her own culture and not have to worry about that stuff!
To ensure that her teacher’s daughters would be able to pronounce the name Mahinarangi, Paris taught them how to say it.
According to her mother, Mahinarangi now feels a sense of pride when people do their best to pronounce her name.
But, she said at the time: ‘When I went to pick her up one day, I heard her being scolded because a teacher called her ‘Rangi’ and she wasn’t responding.
“She was two years old and had no idea who Rangi was. I took it out the same week.
After the incident, Paris transferred Mahinarangi to a kindergarten, where she was very supportive.
She added that she also helped her daughter overcome any embarrassment and not be afraid to correct her peers.
“I taught him to break his name down into simple syllables to educate people and help them pronounce it correctly. She feels a sense of pride when people try.