|"Call me Maria" comes from my childhood when I lived in Canada.
My name is "Maria de Lurdes". In Portugal most women my age are "Maria de ...." and what counts as a first name is the second part of this combination. However, in Canada, both the english and the french speaking people had difficulties in pronouncing my "real first name, Lurdes". Therefore, I always opted for being called Maria, or Mary, or Marie...
Even today, when I'm making business calls to other countries and I'm asked my name I always say, "Lurdes" and then as the person reveals difficulty in pronouncing or spelling it I then say "But you can call me Maria"!
And this is my story :)
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Have a nice week.