Never have I ever had my name pronounced correctly


Chetana Ramaiyer


MVHS Students: What? How’s that possible? No way! You’re kidding right? That can’t be happen. Are you serious? That’s so crazy. I don’t even understand. Wait never? What the heck?

RAJA: Never have I ever had anybody pronounce my name correctly for the first time who wasn’t persian. So, my name is Neelufar Raja and I’m a junior. So I’ve had a lot of different ways people pronounce my name. For example I’ve had, Neelufair, Neelifar, Nellufur-

MVHS Students attempting to pronounce Raja’s name.

RAJA: -Nellufar. I’ve gotten a lot of different variations and just as a joke, some people have said like, “Neelufire!” and stuff like that. It was kind of funny, but yeah.”

EE: Many people consider the name to be the first gift of life. For Raja this gift was altered when she was immersed into a different culture. Raja’s mother is from Iran and although many people butcher Raja’s name, she still takes pride in the culture her name originates from.

RAJA: Well it’s a name that’s from Iran and Neelufar in farisi actually means water lily. And my mom is iranian, so she decided to name me Neelufar because her own name means violet. So it’s kind of nice to pass down the flower name throughout the generation. Overall, I’m glad that my name also kind of shows my heritage and I’m really happy with the name I have.

EE: When choosing her name, her parents took into account that it might be difficult to pronounce so they spelled her name phonetically which is why most people pronounce it.

MVHS Student: Neelufar

EE: So Raja understands why people mis-pronounce her name and isn’t too bothered by it. But when she was younger, Raja wasn’t always as proud of her name as she is now.

RAJA: I definitely felt a bit different because a lot of other people had easier names and everyone would always be able to pronounce them. But at the same time, I kind of value that uniqueness in my name.

EE: Now it’s much different, she is prouder of her name even if it´s hard to pronounce.

RAJA: It’s not as much of a difficulty for me. I just kind of  see it as something that’s inevitable, it’s gonna happen. So while there might be a couple difficulties to having a different name, I’m honestly happy that I have my name.