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They used to call me 'Alien' in school


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 5 Sep 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: A 20-year-old girl has a unique name that most people have difficulty in pronouncing it for the first time.

Nur Syaronaraudhah Kamaruzaman (pic) said she was forced to endure occasional jibes from schoolmates and even received unwanted attention during her childhood due to her name.

“My name is Syaronaraudhah, but many people couldn’t pronounce it right for the first time,” she said.

Syaronaraudhah, who prefers to be known as “Shon”, said that her friends would rather call her  “sayonara” (goodbye in Japanese) or “sauna”, as they often struggle to pronounce her name.

“Growing up was very awkward, especially in primary school. Some of my friends called me a ‘weirdo’ and others had even called me an alien.

“I’ve cried many times to my parents, demanding them to change my name because I couldn’t stand being called an alien. Teachers also mispronounced my name many times, even during the weekly school assemblies.”

Although she was initially embarrassed, Syaronaraudhah eventually embraced her name, as it had gained popularity among students, teachers and even canteen operators.

“During my schooling years, famous students are usually athletes, bright students or anyone who represented the school in competitions.

“ I became popular because of my name. I came to my senses and I was proud of my name which was given by my father,” she said.

According to Shon, her parents had given her the name because they were huge fans of a model from India in the 80s.

“Some said my name might be Siamese due to my mother’s Siamese heritage.

“But, that’s not true at all. My name was taken from the name of a celebrity from India,” she said.

Her unusual name had also attracted unwanted attention when she sat for the UPSR examination.

Syaronaraudhah was forced to be quarantined because her name was too long to fit in the space provided in the examination paper until the registration process was settled.

“I also faced similar problems when I sat for the SPM and the STPM. In fact, I had also had trouble when applying to public universities recently. I had to file my application manually rather than through the Internet like other students.”

Syaronaraudhah also faced similar problems with the National Registration Department (NRD) when applying for an identification card.

“According to the NRD officer, if I was born in 1992 or before, they would issue me two different identification cards because the system then couldn’t register long names.” - Sinar Harian

Syaronaraudhah , Malaysia

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