Civilian registry offices looking for Belarusian names in RSFSR names dictionaries


ERB has found out that parents whishing to gave their children Belarusian names may encounter problems. Not all civilian registry offices have Belarusian names dictionaries and many of them still use… RSFSR names dictionaries.
Employees of Lenin District civil registry office of Minsk assured ERB that they could not refuse to register a name even if it was not listed in RSFSR dictionaries:

An employee: “You should write and additional application and we do not have the right to refuse you. We can only warn you that there may be problems in everyday life”.

Syarhei Bahun and his wife Svyatlana Zavadskaya decided to name their daughter Adelya. However, Minsk Frunzenski District civilian registry office did not want to register the name at first. Then it turned out they did not know how to spell it:

Syarhei Bahun: “They wanted to spell it in Russian and I asked them to spell it in Belarusian. But they kept insisting on the Russian translation.

The parents gained their ends: their daughter’s name was spelled in Belarusian in the birth certificate. At the same time, a famous musician Lyavon Volski had no problems naming his daughter Adelya in the civilian registry office:

Lyavon Volskі: “Strangely enough, they did not say anything”.

Adelya Volskaya has never encountered any of the problems in “everyday life” employees of civilian registry offices warned about.

One of the leaders of BNF Vinstuk Vyachorka also says that his children – Radaslava, Frantsishak and Ruzhana – have never had any problems caused by their names. However, it was difficult to persuade civilian registry office employees to name his son Franak. The politician wanted to see a transliterated variant of the Belarusian name in the Russian version of the birth certificate:

Vіntsuk Vyachorka: “An employee asked us: “Why do you want to make you child unhappy?” Then she made me sign the document proving that I was ready to take all the responsibility: “Spelt in Belarusian, on the father’s responsibility”.

Interestingly, the politician is not going to change his name Valyantsin in the passport. He says that there are three names in western Belarusian dialects: Vincent, Vikentsi and Valyantsin. They all lead to one popular form – Vintsuk.

Brest City and Minsk Lenin District civilian registry offices informed ERB that a lot of parents named their sons Ivan in 2008. However, Belarusian names are still rare.

Photo by —