Iceland finally lets a girl use her own name.
The amount of cultural control in these countries is very very foreign to us:
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…
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.
We don’t protect our own culture in these ways. In many European countries, their national identity comes from such things as language, dress, food—and apparently, names. Ours comes from an idea—the idea of liberty combined with equality of opportunity.
At least, it used to. And we used to require English, too. No more.