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article imageIcelandic girl suing government over right to use her name

By Leigh Goessl     Jan 3, 2013 in World
A teenage girl in Iceland is suing the government to gain the right to use her name. It seems her name is not on the "official list" of names approved by the state, and the government will not allow her to use the name given her by her parents at birth.
Blaer Bjarkardottir, 15, has initiated a lawsuit in order to be allowed to use her birth name. Iceland is one of a few countries in the world that has laws dictating what parents cannot name their children.
"Blaer" is not on the official list that contains 1,712 male names and 1,853 female names that can be chosen. The reasoning for the law is that keeping to approved names that align with linguistic rules will save children embarrassment.
Parents must name their children within six months of birth and submit the application to the National Registry, explains the Reykjavik Grapevine.
In Icelandic, "Blaer" means "light breeze", and is a masculine noun.
Bjork Eidsdottir, Blaer's mother, did not know the name was not on the approved list when she named her daughter. She told the Associated Press she only learned of it after her daughter was baptized and the priest informed her he'd made a mistake by allowing it.
“So many strange names have been allowed, which makes this even more frustrating because Blaer is a perfectly Icelandic name,” Bjork Eidsdottir told the Associated Press. “It seems like a basic human right to be able to name your child what you want, especially if it doesn’t harm your child in any way.”
"Blaer" is currently not listed on any official government documents or records, instead her name is listed as "Stulka", which translates to "girl". The teenager wants to change this and is seeking approval to do so; the case will be heard on Jan. 25.
If the committee turns down her request, she said she will take the case to the highest court, noting that she loves her birth name.
The Icelandic law regarding names is very detailed. (Link courtesy of TIME)
This is reportedly the first lawsuit of its kind in Iceland. Germany and Denmark have similar naming laws.
What do you think about government rules regarding naming children? Should the lists be extensive, minimal or non-existent?
More about Iceland, Baby names, icelandic names, Blaer Bjarkardottir, light breeze
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