- For Teachers
Please, would you proofread my text.
When I hear that someone has changed his name to get a job I ask myself in what century do we live? A name change can appear an innocent and simple act, but we have to bear in mind that the name a person gets usually has been given to him by his parents or other relatives who rejoiced his birth. Sometimes, his parents give him the name of a grandfather or other family member who is already dead, but his name will continue to live through the newborn child. The names of prophets and saints are also usual, the names which means something good, hopeful. Nobody gives his child a name in form of a number. Nobody gives child a name of evil or some other bad things.
However, twenty or more years later, this person comes to Sweden one day and discovers that his name is not appreciated in the country which prises itself as one of the most equal in the world. He has spent years in the schools and universities acquiring knowledge hoping that one day he will make his contribution to the world, and suddenly he finds himself confronted with a high wall and thick doors with the inscription, "Change your name before entering!"
He starts to believe he is dreaming a bad dream; such things only happened in the distant past. Nowadays we are living in democracy where people treat each other with respect and dignity. But as the time passes by he understands that unfortunately he is not dreaming. He sends his applications everywhere. He starts with a few, but soon their number is closing to a hundred and still he has not got a positive answer. A year passes, two or more and he understands that if he wants to succeeded in this paradise on Earth he must do as they demand from him. He his talking to his family back to his homeland and he does not dare to tell them the truth. His parents have called him with his name thousands of times since he has been born. They used his name when they praised him as well as they admonished him and they never forget his name. And now that name must be changed because someone in the far away country does not like it. And that person keeps his fate in his hands.
At the end, our immigrant has no other choice but to obey. He walks into the office and tells the official, "I would like to change my name." He blushes and sweats but his hand writes an applications which will officially obliterate his past and create of him a perfect Swede with a suitable first and a family name which will open all doors.
Next time when he is applying for a job, he is welcome everywhere. People who in the past have ignored him and treated him as if he did not exist at all now shake hands with him, pat him on the shoulder, drink coffee and try to persuade him to stay in their company. Suddenly, our immigrant has succeeded. Finally, his dreams has come through, he has gained recognition.
One day he travels back to visit his parents, relatives and friends. He is eager to show them his new bought car, his new expensive watch, his designer clothes which cost like a worker's three years salaries.
His is beaming with pleasure, he is giving money to the poor people around him and enjoys their attention and congratulations. However, there is only one thing which worries him. It is hidden behind the red cover of the Swedish passport. His picture is original, he has get older and got some more wrinkles, but beside it, on the right side there is a name which sounds strange in his homeland and which he would never dare to pronounce in front of his parents. It can happen that they would accept the reality, the coldness of the Swedish society and the everyday struggle to survive, but it can also happen that his father shouts at him, "You swine! You have sold yourself! Take your things with you and disappear for ever! The name is a sacred thing!"
To be continued....
He beams with pleasure. He gives money to the poor people around him and enjoys their attention and congratulations. However, there is one thing that worries him. It is hidden behind the red cover of the Swedish passport. His picture is the original one. He is older and has more wrinkles than in the picture, but beside it, on the right side there is a name which sounds strange in his homeland and which he would never dare to pronounce in front of his parents. It can happen that they might accept the reality, the coldness of Swedish society and the everyday struggle to survive, but it can also happen that his father shouts at him, "You swine! You have sold yourself! Take your things with you and disappear forever! A person's name is a sacred thing!"