I Have Two Names | Teen Ink

I Have Two Names

March 4, 2019
By Riri-chan SILVER, Defiance, Ohio
Riri-chan SILVER, Defiance, Ohio
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The writing titled “I Have Two Names”, written by Chelsea Ayorinde, talks about her experience with the mixing of Nigerian and American culture. Her writing left me feeling an odd connection to her. I don’t know many people, if any, that have these similar circumstances. In a really similar way, this story is close to what I’m experiencing now with a few differences of course. When she talks about moving to Nigeria she says, “But the disdainful looks and snide remarks were a constant reminder of who I was. The American girl with the phony, westernized name.” which really hits home with me. I’m half white and half Mexican, but I wasn’t raised with much Mexican culture or even Spanish. Not having that culture and language, especially around my family feels terribly awkward. I just stand by my mom as she talks with a relative who will suddenly stare at me waiting for a response to a question I can’t comprehend. I often hear my mom talking about food and hear the Spanish pronunciation come out natural and I’m conflicted on whether I should do the same. Chelsea talks about the same concept when she says, “The Nigerian accent slipping through when I’d say the right pronunciation is mine.”, but I always feel weird because I’m only half. I’ve been slowly learning to embrace my other half through Spanish lessons and talking to my grandma about herself and her parents. I’m embracing a part of me just like Chelsea.

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