Around the world, inspiring traditions are helping parents choose a meaningful name for their child. Here are a few.
In China, it is auspicious to let the paternal grandfather choose a suitable name. For the Chinese, the choice of name is important since it will determine the personality of the baby.
Traditionally, in Finland, we avoid saying the baby's name before the baptism. The children therefore do not have a name or have another first name for their first four or five months of life.
In Japan, a given name ending in "ko", "e", "i", or "o" is used to name a girl. Names chosen for girls generally denote a moral value. We use a first name ending in “rô” for a boy. Their first names, which are less creative than the girls' names, represent their rank in the family.
In Nigeria, in the yoruba culture, babies can have twenty names or even more. In addition to the family name, babies are given a name that describes the circumstances of birth, a name thatrepresents what his parents wish him in life, then parents and relatives are asked to give a voluntary contribution to give a name to the baby. This money is then given to the parents and the names remain.
Greek families name the eldest son of a family by the first name of the paternal grandfather. If it is a girl, she will bear the first name of the paternal grandmother. The children who follow are usually named after other relatives, following the names of the Orthodox Church.
In some places in the Middle East and Asia, it is wrong to say that a baby is pretty. You could bring him bad luck! By the way, in China, some babies used to have the name “Ugly” for a while so that evil spirits wouldn't take too much notice until they were given their real name.
In Bali, the baby is constantly carried until its 105th day. At this time, he is presented to the ancestral deities and to the earth through a ritual during which a priest protects him from evil. This is when the baby is given its final name.
For the Navajo, a baby's names are so sacred that they are only used during ceremonies and important moments. The rest of the time, it's not uncommon to call yourself "son", "daughter" or "father". For them, a baby's first laugh is also meaningful and gives rise to greatparty.
Seven days after giving birth, Akan people in Ghana name their babies after a parent they admire and appreciate in hopes that this child will one day have the same qualities than him. Akan first names also have special meanings. A first name can mean “justice”, for example.
Nowadays Italians have abandoned this tradition, but for a long time they named their children after Catholic saints and sometimes after the place of birth. For example, a baby born in Rome could be called Romolo, but there were very few Romolos elsewhere in Italy.
Check out our other baby name articles for ideas, advice and inspiration!