Jumping through hoops and lots of running around. Life is made up of both these things. So which is it? Jumping or running? For me the question relates not only to life, but also to a last name situation.
My maiden name is Skok. My father was born Fiume, Italy. Fiume is now called Rijeka and is part of Croatia. After WWII, Italy lost most of Istria (a peninsula where Fiume was located) to Yugoslavia. In 1991, Yugoslavia became Croatia during the breakup of the Communist Bloc. The reason for this little history lesson is that although my father is 100% Italian, there IS that last name that does not seem to be Italian. In fact, the letter “K” does not exist in the Italian alphabet. But the “K” DOES exist in Slavic alphabets. And if you look up “skok” in Mr. Google translate, you will see that “skok” means jump when translated from Polish, Czech, Croatian and a variety of other Slavic languages into English.
Now let’s have a look at hubby’s last name: Corridori. I guess it is pretty clear this IS an Italian last name. If you go back to Mr. Google translate and enter Corridori, it will give you “runners” as the English translation.
So it seems my pre-married life was all about jumping around. Then I became a runner as living in the United States women generally change their names after marriage. We got married in 1998, so I lived eight years as a runner. Then eight years ago, we moved to Italy. In Italy, you keep your maiden name and cannot change it even if you want to. You keep the name you were born with and your children will take their father’s name. So I went back to being a jumper. And what can I say? I was secretly a little excited to get my cool sounding maiden name back. I think hubby was secretly a little sad that I took my cool maiden name back even though I had no choice.
Now, this name situation has caused all kinds of red tape confusion in the old country because in Italy there is red tape confusion even for something as simple as holding your mail. Italians are precise. Everything is done with precision where documents are concerned. As an example and since I have already brought the posta into the story, if you try to pick up a package that has “Diana Skok Corridori” written on it, and you have ONE document that says “Diana Skok” and another one that says “Diana Corridori” they will refuse to give you your package! Even if they know you! Ha, ha, ha, ha! Because if you cannot produce one valid document that says: “Diana Skok Corridori” – well – you might not get your package. But this is a part of Italian life I have come to accept.
Apart from the red tape loving Italians, the problem that remains now is how to call myself on my resume, on this blog, on linked in, etc… I thought since I am living in Italy, I should go back to being a jumper, but then I felt like a traitor (poor hubby). Then I tried both names, but it seemed too long, and who can really jump and run at the same time apart from Olympic athletes? So I finally decided just to go running. I DID after all run (OK! JOG) a marathon last year.
My favorite idea on the subject is from Iceland: “An Icelandic woman customarily retains her maiden name upon marrying, because regardless of whom she marries she remains her father’s daughter.” This is so true! And I agree with this, however, it is not my father that must put up with me these days, it is hubby. So since he has to deal with me, I guess I can at least take his name. Who knows? I am sure I will change my mind again.
Anyway, my last name delimma got me curious about customs around the world related to name taking especially after learning the Icelandic view on the subject. So below are customs in other countries. I obtained this info from the web, so please feel free to correct me or to even share your country’s customs!
OK, the Frenchies are pretty straight forward.
The general rule is a person is given a first name followed by TWO surnames. The first surname is the father’s and the second the mother’s. If a woman gets married she adds “de (and the husband’s last name) to the two surnames she already has! Let’s look at this example:
Maria Cruz Ramirez is the daughter of Javier Cruz and Monica Ramirez. If Maria gets married to Jose Sanchez, she becomes: Maria Cruz Ramirez de Sanchez. Wow….great name!
As mentioned above, the notion of being your father’s daughter is REALLY important in Iceland, so much so, that the last names of children of Icelandic couples will be derived from their father’s FIRST name. There are no family names. Example:
“When a man called Karl has a daughter called Anna and a son called Magnús, their full names will typically be Anna Karlsdóttir (“Karl’s daughter”) and Magnús Karlsson (“Karl’s son”). The name is not changed upon marriage.”
Russia was difficult to understand. But based on the characters of “Anna Karenina” I think I figure out how it works.
It appears similar to the Icelandic way of naming children. However, it seems that a son will also take the family name, whereas the daughter will not. However, when she marries, she will add her husband’s name onto hers. So she will have: 1. A given name. 2. A version of her father’s FIRST name. 3. The family name of her husband.
Look at the characters from “Anna Kareina” below:
Anna Arkadyevna Karenina: Stepan Oblonsky’s sister.
Stepan Arkadyevich Oblonsky: Anna’s brother.
Darya Alexandrovna Oblonskaya: Stepan’s wife and Anna’s sister-in-law.
Wow! Lots of name games for the day. Now I am too tired to jump or run and I might just go and SLEEP!