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Tajikistan Bans Giving Babies Russian-Style Last Names

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon abandoned a Russified form of his name in 2007.

A new law went into effect in Tajikistan on April 29 that bans giving newborn babies last names with Russian-style endings.

Tajiks often Russify their surnames when the nation was part of the Soviet Union. The move to now ban the practice is part of a drive by the post-Soviet government to establish a more traditional national identity.

Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon has discouraged the use of Slavic names to boost patriotism, having changed his own surname from Rakhmonov in 2007 in a move that prompted ministers, civil servants, and his own children to follow suit.

He also ended the use of Russian as an official language in 2009.

Under the new law,"-ov" and "-ev" endings are prohibited. Children must be given surnames with endings that are native to the country, including "-zod," "-pur" and "-far."

Some resistance has emerged among Tajiks who work abroad in Russia.

Tajikistan has previously banned naming children after wild animals and household objects such as axes and brooms, or otherwise giving them first names that are "alien to national culture and tradition."

The country is drawing up a list of 3,000 acceptable first names for children.

Based on reporting by AFP and TASS