The president of Tajikistan has warned his people not to give their children scary names, saying that names derived from words for wolf or war give him the willies.
President Rahmon advised parents to pick names from the Shahnameh or 'Book of Kings' Photo:
"I pay close attention to surnames and names when I appoint anyone to a leading post in the government,"
President Emomalii Rahmon told a group of children gathered for a speech on national TV. "Sometimes, reading surnames can make one shudder."
"For example," he said. "Gurgakov comes from the word 'wolf'.
Janjoliyev derives from the word 'conflict'.
How can you name a person after a wolf?"
President Rahmon maintains a steely grip on the mountainous former Soviet republic and has weakness for petty rules, recently taking against beards and the hijab, for example.
A law "on parental responsibility" is in parliament which could give authorities a veto over what names parents can give to their children, rattling the mainly Islamic opposition, who fear an effective ban on musim names.
In his speech, President Rahmon advised parents instead to pick names from the Shahnameh or 'Book of Kings', a epic written a thousand years ago that is revered in persian-speaking Tajikistan and its neighbour Afghanistan.
"Parents, leaf through historical works like Shahnameh or classic Tajik works where you will find many adequate, good, beautiful names," he said.
By Richard Orange, Almaty