National broadcast host reclaims her formerly anglicized South Asian name

Aug 13 2021, 2:32 pm

You’ve likely heard the name Sonia Beeksma, a well-known broadcaster formerly based in Vancouver with CTV. She’s now based in Toronto working nationally on Etalk and Your Morning.

She recently posted an update on Instagram that has been seen over 10,000 times and has made major waves in not only the South Asian community but also in the media and public at large.

She’s taking back her name as it was meant to be said.

Beeksma was the name she inherited after marriage. No longer married, she’s bringing back her birth name: Mangat.

 

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A post shared by Sonia Mangat (@soniabeeksmatv)

The reaction to her announcement has been nothing short of amazing.

“I was scared, to be honest,” Mangat said.

But she hasn’t received a single negative response.

 

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A post shared by Sonia Mangat (@soniabeeksmatv)

She said she didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but she pointed out that her colleagues made her realize how big of a deal this was.

For many people in North America who come from ethnic backgrounds, their names, as they’re meant to be pronounced, are essentially erased in professional environments.

Typically, this happens early in one’s life, generally in elementary school.

The teacher will call out your name with their own interpretation, and frozen in fear, many kids will just go along with it.

That was the case for Mangat.

She was born and raised in India and didn’t attend school in Canada until she was nine years old. She didn’t speak a word of English when she got here. So when the teacher said her last name it stayed that way, even if it wasn’t entirely accurate.

“My family always stuck to the original pronunciation of my name, which I loved,” Mangat told Daily Hive.

The change didn’t start until a few years ago, when she gently started correcting people.

While she went public with her feelings just this week, it’s something she’s been wanting to do for a while.

Mangat points out that South Asian culture can be very judgmental, especially when it comes to women, who tend to take a backseat to their male counterparts.

“In so many cultures, people feel like they need a son to carry the family name. Let’s put an end to that stigma. Let’s celebrate our daughters.”

“If I can help even one family value their girls more than they have before, then I feel like I’ve done more than enough.”

Amir AliAmir Ali

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