Hi there! My name is Asta – a short and beautiful name, which, as far as I know, means “bright as a star”.
My family name is, however, a bit longer and more complicated. When I go to the cemetery, where my ancestors are buried, I get an impression that with each generation our family name has been getting just longer and longer. We were occupied by our “friendly” neighbors for the bigger part of our history, and some of the family names still carry a precious Slavic suffix “evič”. When we got the independence back, instead of eliminating the alien suffix, a Lithuanian ending was added. Don’t ask me why and just imagine how I need to spell it to foreigners. I’m just warming up, and they say “thank you”. I reach the middle of my family name, and they say “thank you” again. Such polite people 🙂
And the story, just like my family name, doesn’t end there. My father, mother and I have different family names. And it’s not because we are like those families in Mexican soap operas, where they can never figure out who their parents or kids are. Well, our family names are not completely different. The root is the same and the suffix is the same, but the endings are different. And here’s the deal. The ending “iūtė” means that I’m an unmarried female (very important information, guys!), the ending “ius” means it’s a man (no one cares if he’s married or not), and the ending “ienė” means that sorry, guys, but the girl, no matter how lovely she is, is already taken. Most Lithuanian girls are really pretty, so when you go to some conference, pay attention to the name cards. It will be helpful 😉
It takes a lot of time (and some brain, too) to figure out my name, so telling the rest of the story is obviously going to take even longer. But that’s what this blog is for, right? So if you still haven’t got a headache, keep reading. It’s going to get even more interesting – I promise 🙂