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Suspicion of racism in Germany: Ornithological Society wants to change bird names

Radofzell - The German Ornithological Society has announced that it will change the names of other bird species because they are racist. "Renaming is the order of the day," said the head of the commission for the German bird names at the German Ornithological Society, Peter Barthler, according to the Ippen Media Group. However, one wants to "turn as little as possible on the naturalized names of European breeding birds".

In the past few years, more than 1,000 bird names have been changed because they are discriminatory or have a colonial background. Many names with the prefix “Mohr” go back to the 19th century, added Barthel. According to Geo Magazine, for example, the black lark and black throat have been renamed black steppen lark and magpie chats, respectively. Three years ago, the Hottentot teal also became the punt duck, even if it is still mentioned on Wikipedia under the allegedly derogatory term, the magazine complains.

Bird names have also been changed in other countries. In Sweden ornithologists examined around 10,000 names in 2015 and then renamed ten species. Since then, the gypsy bird has been called Hoatzin, the Cape Swift White-rumped Swift and the White-breasted Negro finch White-breasted Negrita.

Nestlé renames Negrita
The term Negrita recently also concerned the Swiss food company Nestlé. From October, its biscuit brand Negrita will be called Chokita. As the reason for the renaming, Nestlé stated that there was an increased awareness of brands and their visual language in connection with stereotypes and cultural representations, reported the news agency AFP.

Literally translated, Negrita means "little black woman". In Argentina and Uruguay, the term is used as a nickname and salutation for light and dark-skinned people. The renaming of the biscuit brand is part of a series of similar measures by companies. The food company Bahlsen renamed its Africa waffle Perpetum. The Hansen company no longer sells Eskimo ice cream under this name. Last year, other food manufacturers - including "Uncle Ben's" and "Aunt Jemima" - announced the change of their logos. The reason given by the US companies to which the brands belong was their increased commitment against racism.

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