I'm thinking of writing a few stories with diverse characters and I need some help

Hi. This is my first topic.

So for sometime, I’ve had a few story plots in mind which don’t have a lot to do with the characters’ races, but I want to incorporate their culture into some aspects of their story/ies.
Unfortunately, I don’t know a lot about some of their cultures so I want to learn more (stuff like morals, how strict the dress code is, food, types of parents, names for certain characters)
So here:

  • I need a name for one of my characters. He’s Filipino and his last name is Reyes Santos, but I need a first name for him. Keep in mind that he’s born in the 70s and the story takes place in the 90’s. I also need to know how disrespectful Filipinos are allowed to be to their parents, because my character is sort of based on Sharpay Evans (the only one I shall simp for) and myself. Obviously his character will develop, but he has his fair share of sassy remarks to his siblings and parents so I’m wondering if they also get beaten with shoes/cooking utensils/brooms, and what languages should I use to make him and his family communicate?

  • Insert first name here Reyes Santos also has an LI, Camila, who’s Latina that gets hired to be his bodyguard. One of the reasons she gets hired is because she got fired from a coffee shop but is one of the breadwinners in her family. I’m thinking of making Camila’s family economically disadvantaged because of the racial income gap at the time. I also read in some other threads to not portray all Hispanics/Latinos as criminals or gang leaders, but I’m thinking of making her come from a bad neighborhood, for more context this takes place in Miami in 1994z

  • Another one of my OCs is Indian. I myself am very Indian, but the thing is that her family is Muslim, and mine is Hindu, so I need to know how strict Muslim-Indian parents are. I don’t plan to make her wear a hijab, but if many do, then I’ll give her one. (But the thing is, she’s secretly an atheist, which is one of the driving forces of the plot, all of my characters are atheist, so in the end I don’t plan for her to wear one.) Also, how strict are they when it comes to clothes. I don’t plan to give her booty shorts and all, but she wears a few tank tops and has white, pink and black theme when it comes to clothes.

  • I need names for an Christian-Arab character. His last name is Joseph…I think that’s all you need to know, though.

Yeah, I think that’s it. I don’t wanna offend a lot of people so your help will be greatly appreciated!

This might be a helpful thread since it links to other threads about cultures, and you might be able to find people in the community who identify with the culture you’re looking for.

Thank you!

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A Spanish name would probably be good. My family usually doesn’t say po, but since your story is set in the 90s and people were much more conservative then, you should probably have him say po and opo. I’m sometimes sarcastic with my mom, but I can’t imagine ever being sassy with my grandmother.

Filipino, of course, and a bit of English.

I actually didn’t know Filipino was a language, I thought Filipinos spoke Tagalog but I wasn’t sure if a few of them spoke Spanish.

Hey Keerthi!
Your idea is good!
I’m a Muslim and I can tell you about us,
So Yep its necessary to wear a hijab in my religion but there are people who take it easy,
So it’s up to you, And for clothes make sure to put some decent clothes like not so much showy but lil can work!!

Filipino and Tagalog are used interchangeably. Some say Tagalog is the language and Filipino is just the demonym. Honestly, even locals get confused. Lots of words are derived from Spain, so many words sound similar but are spelled differently.

For example, slippers in Spanish is zapatillas and tsinelas in Tagalog. Monday is Lunes in both Spanish and Tagalog.

Ah, thank you! That makes sense!

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You’re welcome. :blush: Feel free to ask more questions!

So in one of your replies, you said “po” and “opo”. Is that what you call your parents? If so, which one means mom and which one means dad?

They speak Tagalog. Foreigners usually refer to it as Filpino.

Oh, okay.

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Po is a word used to show respect. Opo is a polite way of saying yes.

Mom in Filipino is nanay (can be shortened to nay), but most call their mom mama. Dad is tatay (can be shortened to tay), but most call their dad papa.

If you were to ask for money from your mom:

  • Mom, can I have some money?
    Ma, pahingi po ng pera.

If you were to borrow money from your friend:

  • Can I borrow money?
    Pautang ng pera. - no po

In case you’re still confused about the language:

While the Philippine Constitution of 1987 declared Filipino as the country’s national language

While it is based in Tagalog , Filipino is an actively evolving language

parents can also be referred to as inay/itay but I haven’t heard anyone use those words aside from 1990 movies.