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In the last couple of weeks I have used the chat room on a daily basis, generally it's a worthwhile thing to do helping people to understand English. Unfortunately, each time I've connected someone has challenged me regarding my name.

I know that the name Ali is the name used by many Muslim/Arabic men, but please accept that in some countries Ali is also a woman's name.

I wouldn't mind so much if someone asked me about my name and my response prompted them to be surprised, providing they were then accepting that it is a name given to women too. Sadly that isn't always the case; I've been called a liar, a fraud and even asked to change my name. I am not prepared to change my name just because you are not willing to accept it, it is my name, my given name and I've had it all of my life. It is very upsetting and annoying to be called a liar. It really is not very nice.

I think that whilst folk are here to learn English, it might be useful to learn a little of the cultures of the people you are learning with. The biggest lesson to learn is the one about respect.

Is Ali a woman's name in your country? Which country are you from?

Views: 156

Tags: Ali, culture, name, respect

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Comment by Ali on April 27, 2012 at 8:58

Thanks @Cyrill and @Ario for your support.

I have found the IGNORE button thank you, I have used it, some people are still on IGNORE. 

I can still see conversations about me happening, but only, of course, one side of the argument. 

They'll get used to me. The purpose of the blog was to illustrate how easy it is to offend someone by not respecting their cultural norms.

Comment by Ario on April 27, 2012 at 6:47

Be patient Ali. I have been here for a year. I used to spend my time on chat room for hours. But, I rarely chat on main room anymore and prefer to chat in private with my close friends. Have you known that there is an ignore button feature on chat room? It's similar with blocking feature.

You don't have to change your name or even try to explain to others as I see your name is quite normal name. If people bother you, use ignore button on them. You won't see what they write both in private chat and main room.

Comment by Cyrill on April 27, 2012 at 2:46

We seldom use Ali as a name. Alice or Elly/Ally would be used more frequently. I'm from China.

I agree with you. A name can be accepted in one country doen't mean it would be accepted all over the world. But in this multi-national culture era, we should respect the difference and focus on essentials.

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