One of my dad’s first cousins is Sancha.

Her real name is Engráçia Fialho Bragança. I had always assumed that Sancha must be her middle name. In Goa it is quite common to be known by one’s middle name.

Today, when I visited her, she told me how she came to be called Sancha:

When she was a toddler, she crawled in a way that reminded her grandmother (Verónica da Silva Dias) of a “kansulem” (“little tortoise” in Konkani).

This got corrupted to “Sanchulem” and eventually got shortened to Sancha, a (nick)name that all the family, and perhaps all her friends and acquaintances have known her by, all through her life!

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