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Professor, ThDr. Jaroslav Maxmilián Kašparů (1950) - Audio/video gallery

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Problem with daughter Bernadetta's name at a vital statistics office in 1984

“My second daughter, Bernadetta, was born in 1984. The actual name was a problem during the communist era. They would not recognize the name here at the vital statistics office in Pelhřimov. We had to give them the names before the actual birth, so we said Bernadetta if she’s a girl and Dominik if he’s a boy. We didn’t want to know the child’s gender before the birth. Well, a girl was born – Bernadetta. The vital statistics officer called me: ‘Come here, we have to discuss this, she cannot have this name.’ So I came there and the officer gave me a brochure to choose a name from. I said, ‘No, I have chosen.’ – ‘The brochure has permitted names so chose one of those.’ – ‘But I have already chosen Bernadetta.’ – ‘No, we won’t allow this, this name doesn’t exist. I don’t know it.’ I said, ‘If everybody used only what people know there wouldn’t be much. I say the name exists.’ She said, ‘You are so stubborn; go to Prague to Ms Knapová (I still remember her name) of the Czech Language Institute. If she permits the name I will register it for you.’ She gave me her address. Ms Knapová approved the name “Bernardetta”, insisting on the middle “r”. I came back here, the vital statistics officer overlooked the middle “r”, and she registered the name the way I wanted.”



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