I never seem to tire of this factor because it’s thoroughly amusing! Sure it can be annoying but I’m the type of person who loves watching people be confused, mean I know, but I enjoy watching and observing people. Especially when I hand them some sort of identification!
Now in Sri Lanka Muslims tend to have Arabic names and of course non-muslims have Sinhala names. I have a Sinhala name…..but I’m Muslim (Da! Da! Da!).
Anyway since my name insists on me being Sinhala most people that see it get confused. In college I would have exam invigilators who get stuck trying to figure out why there is a hijab-less girl with a Sinhala name in the student ID but they have in front of them a full hijab-ed muslim girl. Mystery!
Recently I had the funniest experience in the bank. Typical day, I dropped by to pick up my debit card so I hand the manager my ID and paper work, he signs and stairs blankly. I tell him it’s my card could I collect it? Obviously this is where he gets confused because the card and my ID have a non-Muslim name…..but I look Muslim. So fast forward I spent about 5 minutes trying to convince him that I was in fact me and the documents in his hand belong to me. It did involve the guy next to him helping (who wasn’t much help though coz he just kept saying my name over and over again in hopes it would start making sense) and me giving them my world class explanation! 😀
Now it’s true I take pleasure in seeing these confused moments where they try to figure it out by taking a moment or by calling over the person next to them who gets equally perplexed. But can u blame me? It’s such a common stereotyping (at least over here) and Alhamdulilllah I’m glad I’m going against the norm. How boring would it be not to? 🙂
I’m told a good remedy for this confusion is to legally change my name to an Arabic one. But why? It’s not obligatory and I don’t see why I have to change it to ease everyone else’s stereotyping confusion. Plus side is that I have the explanation down after so much practice! “I’m a revert/ convert…..when I was 17….because I liked it!” 😀