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Monday 16.07.2018 | Name days: Hermīne, Estere
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Lithuanian Civil registry official: choose the baby’s name thoughtfully not to regret it later

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULinas Jegelevičius for BNN

Well, you know it: some names are weirder than the others. Interestingly, a new year sees a burst of strange names unusual to the Lithuanian ear, claim baby registration handlers.

«One baby girl, last year, was named Amira, for example, and other parents chose the name Paulo for their son. In the first case, one of the begetters is a foreign national,» Ernesta Girininkienė, deputy head of Civil registry at the Palanga municipality in western Lithuania, told BNN.

She says it is not a rarity when parents change their mind and ask the registry to change their infant’s name to another. One better resonating to a Lithuanian ear and more understandable to the kin.

«Last year has not been an exception. In one case, the parents wanted to scratch out the name Paloma and leave the other, purely Lithuanian name (Lithuanians are allowed to write two names in birth certificate; the second one is usually given by godparents-L.J.) in the document,» the official said.

Like in the rest of the country, the most popular names for boys last year were Lukas, Dominykas, Matas, Jonas, Benas, Jokūbas and Augustas. When it came to the girl names, Ieva, Viltė, Gabija, Kamilė, Austėja and Liepa were trending.

«What I’ve noticed over the years at the office is that the geographical latitude, i.e. proximity to the Baltic Sea does have a clout on the newborns’ name selection.  Last year, for example, we had a girl named Smiltė, which in English means a grain of beach sand,» the Palanga Civil registry official revealed. «And, definitely, old Biblical names are back in fashion,» Girininkienė underscored.

She also had several walk-ins last year when the adults, unhappy with their names, wanted to make respective changes in their birth certificates, too.

«For example, some man asked us to change his name Povilas to Paulius. He argued that the latter sounds better. In the other case, a local resident wanted to get rid of the name Oktavijus and be called Andrius instead,» the  official remembered.

She admitted that, sometimes, parents «overexert» themselves in picking up names for their babies: «The names often are too elaborate and foreign to our culture. We always feel duty to warn such parents that a rare and non-Lithuanian name may haunt the child later. Not all the parents turn their ear to the caveat, alas,» Girininkienė regretted.

Nevertheless, Lithuania is a far cry from Russia, where with the rise of weird names, a legislator of the Russian Duma (Parliament) crafted a draft aiming to legislatively bar from selecting strange names to Russian babies.

The parliamentarian argues for such legislation providing the example of a Russian teenager, who named by his parents as BOChrVF260602 (it means a «biologic human Voronin Frolov family creature», according to the mother, quite a gibberish name, uh?), struggled to obtain his identity papers after moving to the Russian capital, Moscow.

Thank God, Palanga, and Lithuania, has not gone to such extremes yet.

Until now, all willing to change their name in Lithuania had to submit request to the Ministry of Interior Affairs, but the alleviation for those discontent with their names has come from this year – it suffices now to lodge such a request with the local Civil registry instead of bothering the Ministry.

Interestingly, in the first half of 2016, 15,000 infants were registered in Lithuania and the parents chose them 1,700 different names. One hundred and forty nine of them were selected for the first time since 1999.

If we were speaking of the top-list baby boy names in Lithuania last year, on top is Lukas, followed by Dominykas and Matas. Notably, the name Benas has scrambled to the fourth place in the ranking, though it was only 11th in the most popular boy name list in the previous year.

Similarly, the girl names Sofija and Luknė have moved with a swoosh to top in the baby girl name ranking in 2016. The name Emma was trending, too.

If you think that name is a pretty meaningless thing, you are horribly mistaken, claims Rita Vainauskienė, a well-known Lithuanian astrologist, who believes that the name can contain information about the person’s past, presence and, importantly, the future.

«Believe or not, but every name reflects the human’s character, destiny and the mission he or she has on the planet. Therefore, all parents ought to dutifully and responsibly pay attention to that. Otherwise, the person may see a different path of the destined life and, eventually, want to change the name,» the astrologist told the magazine Moteris.

Before, when Lithuanians exercised stronger ties with the nature, names given to babies were meant to pay respect or endear the spirits of natural calamities or those of the worshiped deities. Later, the names reflected significant historic events and many of the-then parents would call their offspring after a prominent ruler.

As each name emanates different vibrations reflecting the person’s character, traits, tasks, weaknesses and affinities, it is urgent to come up with a right name, the astrologist is convinced.

«When name is in line with the human’s nature and the cosmic mission he or she is predestined, then we can say that the person is born under a lucky star,» Vainauskienė accentuated, adding that, in picking up a name, it is necessary to pay attention to the coming human’s horoscope.

«And, certainly, it is very advisable to learn of the chosen name’s origin, history and see what other people carried it. It is highly recommended to choose names that have a positive history and meaning,» she gave a tip.

In her opinion, mothers themselves sometimes feel what name fits the wrinklie best.

«It’s not a rarity when the mother has a dream telling what name she should go with for the baby. Sometimes only the first letter of the name is signalled in the dream. Such premonitions cannot be ignored as the intuition all women are rewarded is very important,»Vainauskienė underscored.

Yet parents should select name for their baby when the baby pops up in the world, she advises.

«Just for a simple reason: the newborn can prompt the parents himself of herself what name suits him or her best,» the astrologist claimed.

Asked whether is okay to call baby after grandfather or any other distinguished relative of the kin, the astrologist pondered that it is fine if the family member had lived a long, healthy and successful life.

Inquired on the trend to give babies foreign names, the star-reader spouted that it is a big deal in the multicultural world, but cautioned the parents should first find out what one or another chosen name means in the original language.

The astrologist, however, has spoken, against giving diminutive names to babies.

«Usually, all parents want to express their tremendous love, affinity, care and protection to the newborn, thence the diminutive names. That is fine while the child is small, but it can become a nuisance in adulthood. I know a woman with whom I have a passing acquaintance, who, in her adult life, felt a big inferiority complex because of that and finally resolved to change her diminutive name,» she recalled.

Some meanings of the names have evolved over the centuries, Vainauskienė noted. «A long time ago, the name Lucifer was conceived as a carrier of light, but, nowadays, it has a demonic tinge.»

So if you want to call your baby boy Lucifer today, it’s up to your judgement, sure…


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  1. Linda says:

    Yes do pick with care especially if you are abroad pick to suit the country that you and the children are domiciled in …. ancient names come under this too – what is classed as a wonderful old name can give the child grief in school in the foreign country …. as I know so very well having a naff middle name!

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