'Little Passports Announces Free Monthly Newsletter'

Monday, August 9, 2010

Announcing the launch of the Little Passports Newsletter

Little Passports is excited to announce the launch of our monthly newsletter. Each month, the Little Passports newsletter will arrive in your mailbox full of fun ways to bring the world home (think inventive craft ideas, recipes, games and activities)! In this, our inaugural newsletter, we will bring a little bit of the Czech Republic and Iceland to your homes.

The Culture in a Name: The Czech Republic and Iceland

In many countries, the process of naming a child has deep-roots in ancestry, family history, cultural traditions and law.

In Iceland, first names are far more important than last names! The Old Norse Patronymic naming system, dating back to the 9th century, reflects a father's first name, not his ancestry, or last name. For example, Baldur and Margret, children of a man named Pétur Stefánsson, would be named Baldur Pétursson, "son of Petur", and Margret Pétursdóttir, "daughter of Pétur". Phone books in Iceland are sorted alphabetically by first name, not last name, and are detailed based on profession. The importance of a first name is so significant in Iceland's culture that even the Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir would not be formally addressed as 'Mrs.' Sigurðardóttir but rather as Jóhanna.

The Czech Republic has a unique naming tradition called Names Day. The Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints has established days corresponding to each name. The original calendar associates each day with one or more saints. However, it has been updated to accommodate modern day additions. For example, a person named Devon celebrates Names Day on January 14th, while a person named Stacy celebrates Names Day on October 28th. This day is celebrated in addition to a birthday, not as a substitution. That's right, this means two days a year to receive gifts and celebrate with family and friends who share a common name!

American culture often values individuality and it has become fashionable to create a new or uncommon name for your child. By contrast, in both Iceland and the Czech Republic, naming commissions exist who decide if a child's name is legally acceptable. Though naming authorities have become more lenient since the fall of communism in 1989, today they would still most likely not approve of naming your child "Bubblegum".

Name Activities

Here are a few fun activities to share with your child.

1) Find Your Names Day

Use these websites to discover your Names Day. If you don't have a name found in the traditional calendar, search for your name in a modern name database. Can you find the Names Day of your friends and family? Find an upcoming Names Day and make your friend or family member a Names Day card. Tell them about Names Day and what you learned about naming traditions in other countries.

2) What Would Your Name Be in Iceland?

Trace back your family tree and recreate your name's lineage based on the Old Norse naming system. What would your mother's name be? If you have siblings, what would their names be? Remember to add "son" or "dóttir" (daughter) at the end of the father's name.

3) Create an Acrostic Name Poem

Get creative with your name and build an acrostic name poem using colorful pens and imaginative words.

S: sweet tooth

A: able to find the Czech Republic on the map!

M: magic red scooter

Map Activity:

Can you find these countries on the map?

1) Iceland

2) The Czech Republic


We've used Little Passports in our homeschooling and have enjoyed the program. This new newsletter is a great way to add some educational fun to your monthly adventures. Learn More about Little Passports here.

Little Passports

'Little Passports Announces Free Monthly Newsletter'

blueviolet said...

Those are great activity ideas. I love the Icelandic name one.

PS. Love how your chicken came out with Herman T's!!!!

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