A TikToker shared the second she requested pals to name her by her Indonesian title, relatively than her nickname: 'That's the colonized individual in me'

  • A TikTok influencer filmed herself asking her finest pals to name her by her full title.
  • She mentioned that they had been calling her Zha as an alternative of her full Indonesian title Zhafira for years.
  • She defined her determination by saying she did not wish to scale back her id.

A TikToker appeared to seize the second she informed her pals she wished to be referred to as by her full Indonesian title as an alternative of the shorter nickname they knew her by.

The creator, a Harvard graduate pupil named Zhafira Aqyla, filmed herself explaining that she wished to make this alteration to take energy over her title and never scale back her id.

Within the video, which has obtained over 2 million views, Aqyla seems to handle people who find themselves off-camera, saying in an on-screen caption that they’re her pals who had been calling her “Zha” for 5 years. 


She mentioned that beginning in 2023 as a brand new decision, she wished to go by Zhafira, and mentioned she had begun asking everybody to name her by that, together with her husband.

“That is me taking energy of my very own title,” Aqyla defined. She mentioned the rationale she requested folks to name her Zha within the first place was that she thought her full Indonesian title can be too sophisticated for folks to say.

“However I spotted that it is me type of decreasing my id, and I really feel like that is the colonized individual in me eager to service different folks by doing that, and I really feel like I do not wanna try this anymore,” she continued.

One of many folks off-camera mentioned it’d take a while for them to regulate, which Aqyla mentioned was OK.

“For those who name me Zha, I am not gonna get indignant,” Aqyla mentioned. “It is a course of for everybody.”

Because the video ended, one individual could possibly be heard saying they’d do their finest, whereas one other giggled and mentioned this was the largest shock they’d ever heard.

The uncooked second has fascinated viewers, with some commenters calling Aqyla an inspiration. Some customers praised Aqyla’s pals for taking it in and being respectful regardless that they had been stunned, whereas others criticized them for seeming to counsel that her title can be tough to say, or for performing like it will be an inconvenience for them to modify over.

“It has been a short while and I hope they’ve revered this for you, you deserve that,” one individual commented on the video. “It is not an enormous ask.”

Individuals with non-Western names have spoken out earlier than about feeling strain to vary their names, or to undertake a extra usually Anglo-sounding title so they might assimilate into Western tradition. In 2021, the British actress Thandiwe Newton mentioned she had been going as “Thandie” her whole profession as a result of the “W” was thoughtlessly neglected of her title in her first performing credit score, and introduced she can be going by her full title once more to reclaim it.

Along with her TikTok web page, which has over 470,000 followers, Aqyla is fashionable on YouTube, with a channel devoted to displaying her life at house and school that has over 280,000 subscribers.

Aqyla didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.