400 people in Latvia change their names

  • 2006-10-11
  • By TBT staff
During the first six months of this year more than 400 people in Latvia changed either their first or family names, a Justice Ministry official told the parliament human rights and public affairs committee today. Arija Iklava, head of the Justice Ministry's civil register department, said 327 people changed their first names and 77 adopted new surnames during the first half of 2006. The official noted that people often want to change their names for reasons outside of legislative norms. A girl wanted to change her name to Michura Satori only because she is studying Japanese, while an artist wanted to rename himself as Neliesu Kavejs, which in English means Slayer of Villains. Several people had expressed a wish to take the name of popular Latvian composer Raimonds Pauls, but their requests were rejected on the grounds that this would affect the interests of a third party. Authorities also turned down the request of a man who wanted to be renamed as Adolf Hitler.