You got to be kidding me!!! How ridiculous is it that someone is denied the right to citizenship because a country does not accept an individual’s right to have their own name? I just read this Reuters news release on how the Spanish government has rejected a Colombian woman’s citizenship application because her first name “Darling” is unacceptable. I could understand rejecting one’s application for a name change to a vulgar word or term. The Spanish law permits rejecting names that may cause a person to be “exposed to ridicule or do not clearly indicate gender.” But “Darling”? Come on, in Spain it is very common for males to have the name “Jesus” or for women to have the names of females saints but, after dropping the “María”, are of the masucline gender such as “Pilar”, “Rocío” or “Camino”. Women can also go by (as translated into English) “Immaculate Conception”, “Ascencion”, “Incarnation”, “Sea”, “Solitude”, “Suns”, or “Miracles”. How about the fact that “Angel” is a common male name? Come on!!!!!
This is pure cultural fascism, where certain names are accepted while others are rejected because they are foreign sounding and not common. There really isn’t much difference in the name “Darling” and “Hope” (the name of the President of the Community of Madrid). You don’t need to look around much in the US to see that the US government could never restrict people’s right to give their children names derived from their own cultural traditions or variations thereof, or simply as expressions of their own creativity — like it or not.
Darling wasn’t even asking for a name change, just this simple request that the name given to her at birth be respected by the Spanish authorities. What message does this send to any foreigner arriving on the shores of Spain? Where is ZP’s Alliance of Civilizations? Or is this as the Spaniards say, “moros en la costa”?
Ironically, I have just recently written a post in Spanish on how the radical Islamists are not the only ones who are dividing the world with their fanatic fundamentalism. This is a great example that proves my point that in the West we are doing the same thing but in a much more subtle way.
In any event, here is the Reuters news feed:
“No Darling, Spain tells aspiring citizen”
Fri Jan 19, 10:19 AM ET
A Colombian woman called Darling has been told she cannot become a Spanish citizen because her name is unacceptable.
Years of waiting to obtain Spanish citizenship for Darling Velez, 33, appeared to end with success a few months ago when her application was accepted, but she was shocked when the public registry rejected her name, El Mundo newspaper said on Friday.
Spanish law prohibits names which could expose a person to ridicule or do not clearly indicate gender. Without registering her name, Velez cannot become a citizen.
The registry office suggested Velez, who lives near Madrid, should choose a saint’s name. But she said she wanted to stay Darling.
“My name is part of my personality. If they force me to change it, I’ll change it to a Basque name and see what they say then,” she said.
Names in Spain’s minority Basque language were prohibited for many years during the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco but now are common.