Friday, October 28, 2011

The Legend of Aino

The Finn's have the most amazing tradition of name giving. The baby is not actually given a name for weeks or sometimes months after the baby is born. During this time, the baby is simply referred to as baby or as in the case of my niece, we called her "the prairie princess" (which her Finnish grandmother came up with). Once the parents get to know the child and choose a name that they think would suit the personality of the baby, they have a baptismal ceremony where they announce the name. And since all of the baby's friends and family are they, everyone gets to find out the name at the same time. We were all so delighted when we found out that our one and only niece was named Aino Sophia. Aino - for her mothers grandmother and Sophia for her fathers grandmother (that is my grandmother too). Not only is it a beautiful name with lots of meaning but there is a Finnish legend of the name Aino which goes as follows.

"Kalevala epic starts with a singing competition between the old and wise Väinämöinen and the young Joukahainen, in which Väinämöinen comes out as the winner. Having lost the singing match and threatened with death, Joukahainen, in his despair, promises his sister Aino in marriage to Väinämöinen in exchange for his life. Aino’s mother, too, takes a favourable attitude towards this promise, but it is a shock to Aino. Driven to desperation, she runs to the lake shore and takes off her clothes to go swimming with the maids of Vellamo. She sits on stone, which sinks, and she drowns. She does not die, however, but continues her life as a maid of Vellamo – a mermaid. Later, when fishing, Väinämöinen catches Aino – landing her as a perch in his boat. When Väinämöinen does not recognize his dead fiancée, she escapes from the boat in the form of a woman, mocking the old man" Source

Wouldn't it be amazing to be named after a traditional legend? What does your name mean?? Are you named after someone or something?? 

P.S - I have to say that Aino is the most stylish little girl I have ever seen (her Finnish grandmother made her this cute little hat). But I think it is inevitable when you come from a long line of stylish ladies like her mommas family!! Welcome to the world Aino Sophia.



  1. SOOOO SWEET! <3

  2. Your niece is so cute! :) I like the idea behind her name! And also it's a really beautiful name!
    Sadly, I am not named after anyone, but my name- Madara, in Latvian means one wild meadow flower, in English if I remember correctly it is bedstraw!

  3. She is SO cute... but of course I am totally biased ;)



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