Question of the day, or more like a fun name game.

Earlier today I was just mindlessly scrolling through the Namenerds subreddit and found a fun game. I had actually a lot of laugh reading it. I was thinking for a long time that I’d like to do some name games on here like I used to for a while in the beginnings of this blog, since I’m into baby naming and all things names so much, but also wanted it to be light and not too demanding or full of rules, so that it would actually fit on a blog, and just couldn’t come up with any good idea. So thought I’d steal this one from Reddit, maybe you’ll like it:

What would you be named if your name had to be a combination of the names of your grandmothers/grandfathers (kind of like Renesmee from Twilight is a smoosh of Renee and Esmee)?

Me: My grandmothers are Helena and Stefania. I think Helenia sounds quite interesting. It does have a clear invented name feel but it’s not all that obnoxious. It flows really well. I love Helena and Helenia sounds even more dainty.

Stelena could be some trendy spin on Stella. I like Stella, and Stelena is not awful, but it does scream “I’M MADE UP!” Also I don’t really like when -ena names are pronounced -eena or -ayna (-ena with the short e is the only way to go in my opinion) and I think Stelena wouldn’t avoid the -eena pronunciation in English.

What else… oh, there are actually legit Polish names, or rather diminutives, Hania and Henia. Hania is from Hanna and Henia is from Henryka. But Hania is very popular for kids right now and it’s not really my cup of tea, whereas Henia is suuuuper elderly and not in a charming vintage name like Hattie has been in the US lately. 😀

Now that I think of it, I remember my Mum’s invention “Hestefa”. We call my grandmother Stefania Stefa for short most of the time. We were on a walk, I think I might have been about Sofi’s current age, and Mum was telling me something about my grandma. I asked “Which grandma?” to which she responded: “Hestefa”. We both laughed at that, and then I thought that it sounds like some German aristocrat, especially coupled withh our very German-sounding last name. Her Excellency Countess Hestefa von Z… 😀 Obviously I had to share that with Mum, and then we kept laughing at that all the way back.

Oh wait, Hestia! LOL. That’s interesting! I don’t love the name very much but I like the goddess Hestia and I vaguely remember that years ago, back when I used to do more social media, there was a sort of personality test going among my Twitter friends which told you what your goddess archetype was, and mine was Hestia according to it. Hestia is cool. I guess I could live with that.

But, as I keep thinking of it, I’ve convinced myself that Helenia rocks!

Your turn. 🙂

Resirkulert – “Áddjá” (Grandfather”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Time for a song in Sami! I guess I didn’t share one on the Sami national day (February 6) so it’s really long overdue, but until now, I didn’t really have any specific ideas what Sami song I could share with you. I’ve known this one for quite some time but came across it recently in my music collection and thought it would be a good fit.

Resirkulert (which translates to Recycled in English) isn’t really a Sami band, in that, as far as I know, they have no other songs recorded in that language and most of the members are not Sami. They seem to be quite popular on the Norwegian music scene, although, while I listen to a lot of Norwegian music I don’t have a very good idea what’s actually popular with Norwegians and what’s not really because I don’t really know the language, only via Swedish, don’t listen to Norwegian radio stations and don’t know many Norwegian people. Still, Resirkulert seems like a fairly well-established band in their home country. They come from the very north of Norway, and only one of their members – the vocalist, Emil Karlsen – actually is Sami. This joik (a piece of traditional Sami music, usually with little to no lyrics, dedicated to, or should we rather say extremely closely associated or expressing the essence of, a person, an animal etc.) is Emil Karlsen’s grandfather’s joik. I find it so interesting that, from what I gather, it’s like Sami people each have their own joik which somehow describes them and who they are and is like an essential part of their identity, it’s so interesting to have a specific tune so strongly incorporated in yourself, that other people can’t sing to you (apparently it’s not the thing to sing it yourself, I guess it would be a bit egotistical). It’s quite abstractive but also very appealing to me, probably partly because of its abstractivity. 😀 What I also like about joiks is that they, despite being such an old singing tradition, can go extremely well with modern instrumentation and generally our contemporary music genres, which you could have already noticed from a few Sami songs I’ve shared before. I mean, obviously there’s loads of neofolk, electrofolk, folk pop and what not from around the world and it often sounds just as good as traditional folk, but something really clicks between joik and contemporary music vibes.

A fun fact I once learned is that Áddjá, while it generally means grandfather, can also relate to any older/elderly adult with whom you have a friendly relationship and who perhaps shares his wisdom with you or something like that. Moreover, Áddjá is apparently also used in the Sami land in reference to a BEAR! So I guess that shows what kind of relationship they have with bears, traditionally. As someone who loved bears as a kid very much, I like the idea.

Gwen Màiri – “Hwyr” (Late).

Hey people! 🙂

Today I felt like sharing with you something from this great Celtic harpist and also singer. She comes from a Welsh-speaking family but was raised in Scotland and I believe can also speak Scottish Gaelic. I first learned about her because of Gwilym Bowen Rhys, with whom she’s been collaborating as a harpist on all his albums as far as I’m aware. The piece I’m sharing with you comes from her album Mentro (Venture) on which, in turn, we can also hear Gwilym playing guitar, mandolin, fiddle and shruti. She’s also supported by Jordan Price Williams – who is also very active on the Welsh-language folk music scene – on cello.

This particular piece was inspired by Gwen Màiri’s memory of her grandfather and the passing of time from the perspective of old age.

Question of the day.

Hi guys. 🙂

Here’s my another family related question for you. 🙂

Do you have any heirlooms?

My answer:

We have a few old books, mostly religious, like prayer books or such, that once belonged to some of our relatives, as well as a cook book of my great grandma which is written in a deliciously archaic language and has not only recipes but also some interesting bits of knowledge, like how certain ingredients were used in the past or traditions related to particular dishes, a lot of kind of folklore info so definitely my thing. But other than that, we don’t really have very old heirlooms after people who are dead. We have a wooden closet made by my grandad, which my Mum wanted as a souvenir, because it’s our first house where we live away from her parents, and it’s always nice to have something to remind you of a loved one as you never know what will happen and when. He’s also made a decision a year or so ago that he wants my Mum to inherit his very imposing numismatic collection, and it’s now in our house and my Mum is expanding it very dynamically and passionately, in cooperation with him, even though she wasn’t particularly interested in collecting anything before and I guess it feels more like a tradition very worth cultivating for her than something she’s personally interested in.

How about you and your family? 🙂