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Is Chupi Sweetman my real name?


Is Chupi Sweetman my real name?

By Chupi,
Wed, Jun 19, 2019

Is Chupi Sweetman Pell actually my real name?

It's the first question everyone asks me! And the answer is yes. I'm far too Irish to be able to invent a name for myself. My wonderful parents have to squarely take the blame for my name being Chupi Sweetman-Pell.

The Sweetman-Pells

My Mum (Rosita Sweetman) was brought up on the seafront in Sandymount, right in the heart of Dublin, Ireland. My Dad (John Pell) is from what he refers to as the unfashionable end of Lincolnshire in Northern England. Dad was an economist and worked for the World Bank, whilst Mum was a writer and worked as a journalist. They are both passionate advocates for trade not aid in the developing world and spent most of their careers based in South America. They fell in love with the people, the place, the magic of it all and spoke Spanish every day. When they came home to Wicklow and had me, my Mum called me Chupi Sweetman Pell.

What does Chupi mean?

There isn't a proper translation of Chupi but it is used as a term of endearment in South America to mean little one, sweetie or baby, kind of like the way we would say macushla in Irish or babushka in Russian. My Mum heard women say it to tiny babies and children, so when she held me in her arms she called me Chupi and decided it was meant to be.

Learning to fit in

When I was 7 all of my friends were making their holy communions, my parents were atheist but I wanted so badly to be part of all of the fun that my Mum very sweetly said I could. I was christened Chupi Sweetman Pell by a very amused priest (there most certainly isn't a saint called Chupi) wearing the most wonderful gold lamè tutu and made my communion with my friends a few weeks later. When I was twelve, I hated being Chupi Sweetman passionately. Like every anxious teenager all I wanted was to fit in and be normal. I even persuaded my best friends to call me by my second name Camille for a whole summer! But I grew up and grew into being Chupi and now I'm grateful for my weird name! Here is to celebrating our differences.

x Chupi