1/31/13

The right to your own name

1/31/13
I always thought it was self-evident that people had a basic human right to their own name. I still do, which makes me think Iceland isn't so cool after all (haha what a stupid pun):
A 15-year-old Icelandic girl has been granted the right to legally use the name given to her by her mother, despite the opposition of authorities and Iceland's strict law on names.

Reykjavik District Court ruled Thursday that the name "Blaer" can be used. It means "light breeze."
The decision overturns an earlier rejection by Icelandic authorities who declared it was not a proper feminine name. Until now, Blaer Bjarkardottir had been identified simply as "Girl" in communications with officials.
"I'm very happy," she said after the ruling. "I'm glad this is over. Now I expect I'll have to get new identity papers. Finally I'll have the name Blaer in my passport."

Like a handful of other countries, including Germany and Denmark, Iceland has official rules about what a baby can be named. Names are supposed to fit Icelandic grammar and pronunciation rules — choices like Carolina and Christa are not allowed because the letter "c'' is not part of Iceland's alphabet.
But seriously, if people can't name their own son or daughter, or even themselves as they see fit, it makes you wonder how these cultures regard free expression. And these are supposedly Western cultures! Are there more examples of Iceland's chilling effects (hurr, pun or not it fits!)?


Well good thing Blaer won. Now excuse me while I change my name to Ꮺ$#^☺æɣ☢.

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