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Indonesian boy can’t get a birth certificate because his name is too long—19 words and 115 letters

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Oct 12, 2021 7:45 pm

The boy’s parents have also asked help from Indonesian President Joko Widodo to have their son officially registered.

If you are among those who have long names, you know the many struggles of having this “blessing” from your parents. 

Having a long name means it would take more time for you to write your name on your test paper, or you would always exceed the number of boxes in filling out legal documents, or your name would always be two decks on IDs because one line would not be enough.

In Tuban Regency, Indonesia, a couple has been struggling for three years to have their son legally registered as his name is too long—19 words and 115 characters to be exact.

According to reports, local officials did not grant the boy’s parents, Arif Akbar and Suci Nur Aisyiah, a birth certificate because the civil registry system has a limit of 55 characters. 

Their son Cordo, whose complete name is Rangga Madhipa Sutra Jiwa Cordosega Akre Askhala Mughal Ilkhanat Akbar Sahara Pi-Thariq Ziyad Syaifudin Quthuz Khoshala Sura Talenta, was born in 2019 and still has not been granted a birth certificate. 

The couple is pushing to get a birth certificate as official documents are needed before their son is allowed to enroll in kindergarten.

Cordo's birth announcement card that bears his 19-word, 115-character name.

Speaking with Kompas, Akbar said every time they visit the civil registry office, they are just told to wait. He said the last time they went, an official suggested to change the name of their child.

While changing the name of the child is the most convenient option, Akbar and his wife refuse to shorten the name because of its significant meaning. Akbar told Desik news that the name of their son has a connection to the Islamic Exemplary City, and they hope that one day their son would become a global figure.

“The meaning of his name is for him to become a worldly figure who is known across the world, an individual who doesn’t think narrowly or primordially, but has global insight as well as the initiative and power to realize his great insight,” he explained.

Akbar also said that they are willing to change Cordo’s name if there is an official statement coming from the local officials. But if there is a way to fight for the 19-word name for their son, they will continue to do so. 

As the parents are determined to keep the name of the child, they wrote an open letter to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to help them with the ordeal.

A part of the letter reads: “Our open letter to you is our last hope and to share our sadness. Maybe some are thinking, ‘what’s in a name?’ But according to our customs, the name is a person’s character, pride, prayer and hope.”

As of this writing, President Jokowi has not issued a statement about the request.

If Cordo is granted the 19-word, 115-character name, he will share the same fate as prominent figures like Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, whose complete 20-word name is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso. His name is composed of the names of saints and his relatives.

But according to the Guinness World Records, Hubert Blaine Wolfe­schlegel­stein­hausen­berger­dorff Sr. of Germany, who died in 1997, carries the title of the world’s longest personal name, with his complete name carrying a whopping 747 characters!