September 13, 2000
For most of my life, I've thought of myself as 100% South American. I was born in Brazil, and that was what mattered to me. It wasn't until I moved to the United States that people kept asking me about my last name. See, Sorenson is actually a Danish last name. I seemed to confuse everyone when I said I was Brazilian.
"But if you're from Brazil, how come you have a name like that?" I knew my dad's grandfather had immigrated to South America from Denmark, but beyond that, I couldn't explain.
Several years ago, my father helped to explain these questions. It turns out that Jans Sorensen, my great-grandfather, ran away from Denmark when he was eleven! He stowed away on a ship bound for Argentina in the late 1800s. By the early 1900s he was married and had 6 children. One of those kids was my grandfather.
Like most immigrants, Jans had to change his name when he arrived in his new country. In Argentina, he became José. Funnily enough, he insisted that everyone, including his family, only call him El Rey ("The King" in Spanish). Apparently, El Rey spent hours everyday thinking up "get rich" schemes. One time he even accepted a payment in camels because he thought he could make some money with them!!
What a story…and that just explains the Sorensen part of my name! See, the whole thing is Daphne (Greek, for no reason) de Souza Lima (as Portuguese as they come) Sorensen (thanks to El Rey). My mother's ancestors did come from Portugal, but nobody knows when. I asked my grandmother that once, and she simply said, "We've been in Brazil for a long time, and I'm sure we've got a bit of every race - Indian & African - in our blood too."
Sometimes, the stories about my family surprise me, too. Once, my dad said to me, "Did you know that your great-grandmother was nobility?" His mother's mother, Micaela Micu Villademoros was either a Countess or a Duchess…Wow!
These stories all help to shape my identity and understand my history, and I can't wait to learn more….
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Irene - Wait, this isn't Beverly Hills 90210!
Stephanie - Some spicy, Tex-Mex appeal
Teddy - You can't stop LOVE!
Kevin - Trailblazing around the world!
Becky - But Great Grandma, that's the Titanic!