When you see the name Maria Aragon, what comes to mind? You might think that I plan on writing about a Latina, but that is not quite the point today. That name belongs to a talented young girl, known for her covers of stars such as Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars and a rising star in Winnipeg, Canada. Despite the impression her name gives, she is Canadian Filipina.
The fact that she’s not Latina shouldn’t be that surprising since the Spanish also colonized the Philippines from 1564 to 1898, which led to Spanish influence in the Filipino culture.
According to Latina.com there was some confusion on the web regarding this little girl’s nationality and it leads to the question if you ever assume a person’s origin based on their name?
Most of us do at some point, as a way of categorizing the people we meet on a daily basis in order to deal with and process the amounts of information we come across. The act of categorizing the information we process is not a problem, but the way we react to that categorization can be.
In the time Being Latino has existed, we have talked about judging people by their skin color or other physical features and their accents.
The name our parents choose for us is something we come to identify with, something that makes us unique and at the same time connects us to other people who either have the same name or something similar. At times, it might be the first part of us that others meet first. But is it enough to let a person’s name speak for them?
In this day and age, the answer to that question would be no. The reason for that is the ever-shrinking size of the world we live in. Through interaction with other cultures from around the world (whether for business or pleasure) has led to a literal mixing of cultures and there are many people who are a part of multiple ethnicities and cultures.
While some names, such as mine—Morales Kern—hint at the cultural mixology that took place, others do not. It is important to remember that fact and to enjoy the opportunity to learn another person’s story. You never know, you just might learn something new.