Teen in Iceland battles to use her name
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Teen in Iceland battles to use her name

Álftanes : Iceland | Jan 05, 2013 at 1:19 AM PST
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A 15-year-old girl by the name of Blaer is doing all she can to use her name legally in Iceland, since the name her mother gave her is not accepted by the government.

A person’s name is his or her identity and when that is not accepted or recognized, the person does all he or she can to safeguard that. The 15-year-old Icelandic girl is doing all she can to fight for her right in order to use her own name. The problem she is having is that the Iceland government does not recognize her name “Blaer” because it is not from the accepted list of names approved by the Iceland government. The girl’s name was chosen by her mother and it means “light breeze” in Icelandic. Even though the name is in Icelandic, it is not approved and for that reason the government addresses Blaer just as “Girl” in all of the official documents.

Iceland is a very bureaucratic and controlling country and it even has official rules about what a baby can be named. Other countries that have such rules include Germany and Denmark. Since this has been the way of things from the beginning, people do not question the Personal Names Register, which comprises of 1,712 male names and 1,853 female names to choose from. When babies are born, parents can just choose from this directory of names and if someone is named outside this directory, there is always a problem in getting the name recognized.

In Blaer’s case, her mother learnt that her daughter’s name was not on the list only after the priest who baptized the girl informed her later that he had mistakenly allowed it.

"I had no idea that the name wasn't on the list, the famous list of names that you can choose from," said her mother, according to msnbc.com.

Blaer’s mother also added that she knew of one case in which a girl was named “Blaer” in 1973 and that her name was accepted. This time around, however, the panel turned it down on the grounds that the word “Blaer” takes on a masculine article, despite the fact that it was used for a female character in a novel by Iceland’s Nobel Prize-winning author Halldor Laxness.

Blaer will take her case to high court and will even go to the Supreme Court if she has to in order to fight for the legal acceptance of her name.

Samantha86 is based in New York City, New York, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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