A Swedish couple has run into trouble with authorities for trying to name their baby Metallica.
Michael and Karolina Tomaro are locked in a court battle with the country’s National Tax Authority about naming their daughter after the rock band.
The six-month-old has been baptised Metallica, but tax officials have dubbed the name “inappropriate”.
Under Swedish law, both first names and surnames need to win the approval of authorities before they can be used.
Offensive, unsuitable or inappropriate names, as well as those that could “cause discomfort for the one using it” cannot be used.
Last month, Goteburg’s County Administrative Court ruled there was no reason to block the name, adding that a Swedish woman already has the middle name Metallica.
However, the Tomaro family ran into trouble when they tried to register the name with tax authorities before applying for a passport.
Tax officials objected to the decision, sending the case to a higher court.
“We’ve had to cancel trips and can’t get anywhere because we can’t get her a passport without an approved name,” said Mrs Tomaro.
Baby Metallica is not the first Swedish child to fall foul of Swedish name laws – the names Ikea and Veranda have also been rejected in the past.
The name Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 – pronounced Albin – was also rejected by authorities in 1996. The boy’s parents had chosen the name as a protest against Swedish naming laws.
But, the name Google managed to pass muster in 2005, when Oliver Google Kai was named by his parents, search engine expert Kelias Kai and his wife Carol.
Well, what can we say about this? ‘Sucks to live in Sweden’.
I wonder what the reaction would be if my blog title was the actual title of the story…probably nothing, since it appears that anything is now acceptable as long as it comes from the state.
In many cultures, names are not just ways to identify a person. They have power, literal power, in some cultures, in others they are used to identify the place of the child in the family, and in yet others, they are used to honor the ancestors. For whatever reason you name your child, in a free country, you can name your child whatever you like; it is your child and not the property of the state.
That is why you have people named Zowie Bowie, Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches, and anything else that you can imagine, and some things you cannot.
It is clear that naming a child ‘Metallica’ will do no damage to the child, but this is not the point. The parents of that child have the right to name him or her whatever they want. The state is a servant who should merely write down the child’s name and then that is it.
Heaven knows what other nonsense the poor Swedes have to put up with; one thing that I do know about is the absurd state of alcohol laws in Sweden:
In order to limit the consumption of alcohol and reduce alcohol related harm, Sweden has adopted the ’alkohollag’ which rules on all aspects of production and trade of alcohol. Within this framework, Sweden has established a retailer monopoly. Products that are not displayed in the shops can be requested by the consumer. If the products are from other countries, the import taxes must be paid by the client. Up to 2005, the monopoly could refuse to import alcohol. This provision has been removed from the law since then.
In other words, individuals do not have the right to import alcohol by themselves, unless it is restricted to their personal consumption.
The case is based on request from Mr Rosengren who tried to import Spanish wines without a licence. He ordered Spanish wines through a Danish website as well as directly in Spain therefore bypassing the national alcohol monopoly.
Crazy isn’t it? And why do they put up with any of it?
Just what kind of people are these?