Launch of the Little
Little Passports is excited to announce the launch of our
monthly newsletter. Each month, the
Little Passports newsletter will arrive in your mailbox full of fun ways to
bring the world home (think inventive craft ideas, recipes, games and
activities)! In this, our inaugural newsletter, we will bring a little bit of the Czech Republic and Iceland to your homes.
The Culture in a
Name: The Czech Republic and Iceland
In many countries, the process of naming a child has
deep-roots in ancestry, family history, cultural
traditions and law.
In Iceland, first names are far more important than last
names! The Old Norse Patronymic naming system, dating back to the 9th
century, reflects a father's first name, not his ancestry, or last name. For
example, Baldur and Margret, children of a man named Pétur Stefánsson, would be
named Baldur Pétursson, "son of Petur", and Margret Pétursdóttir, "daughter of Pétur". Phone books in Iceland are sorted
alphabetically by first name, not last name, and are detailed based on
profession. The importance of a first name is so significant in Iceland's
culture that even the Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurđardóttir would not be
formally addressed as 'Mrs.' Sigurđardóttir but rather as Jóhanna.
The Czech Republic has a unique naming tradition called
Names Day. The Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints has established days
corresponding to each name. The original calendar associates each day with one
or more saints. However, it has been updated to accommodate modern day
additions. For example, a person named
Devon celebrates Names Day on January 14th, while a person named
Stacy celebrates Names Day on October 28th. This day is celebrated
in addition to a birthday, not as a substitution. That's right, this means two
days a year to receive gifts and celebrate with family and friends who share a
American culture often values individuality and it has
become fashionable to create a new or uncommon name for your child. By contrast, in both Iceland and the Czech
Republic, naming commissions exist who decide if a child's name is legally
acceptable. Though naming authorities have become more
lenient since the fall of communism in 1989, today they would still most likely
not approve of naming your child "Bubblegum".
Here are a few fun activities to share with your child.
1) Find Your Names Day
Use these websites to discover your Names Day. If you don't
have a name found in the traditional
calendar, search for your name in a modern name database. Can you find
the Names Day of your friends and family? Find an upcoming Names Day and make
your friend or family member a Names Day card. Tell them about Names Day and
what you learned about naming traditions in other countries.
2) What Would Your Name Be in Iceland?
Trace back your family tree and recreate your name's lineage
based on the Old Norse naming system. What would your mother's name be? If you
have siblings, what would their names be? Remember to add "son" or "dóttir"
(daughter) at the end of the father's name.
an Acrostic Name Poem
Get creative with your name and build an acrostic name poem
using colorful pens and imaginative words.
S: sweet tooth
A: able to find the Czech Republic on the map!
M: magic red scooter
Can you find these countries on the map?
2) The Czech
We hope you enjoyed our first newsletter. As always, please send your feedback to us at