Etiquette Help: Naming Ceremony?

Family life in Finland from kindergartens, child education, language schooling and everyday life. Share information and experiences. Network with other families.
Post Reply
User avatar
deojuvame
Posts: 1115
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 11:43 am
Location: Helsinki

Etiquette Help: Naming Ceremony?

Post by deojuvame » Sun Sep 07, 2003 6:33 pm

Hey All!

I've just been invited to naming ceremony for a baby and I don't have the slightest idea what to do, etiquette-wise.

Is this something like a baptism for a baby? Should I dress like I was going to attend a church, or is it more casual? Is some sort of gift expected? If so, what?

Any advice would be much appreciated :wink:



Etiquette Help: Naming Ceremony?

Sponsor:

Finland Forum Ad-O-Matic
 

gavin

Post by gavin » Sun Sep 07, 2003 6:39 pm

Hei

It's basically like a Christening.

Dress for Church. This depends a little on the people who have invited you, but I've been a number of times and it has always been very formal.

Gift wise, it's not totally necessairy if you're a friend or a 'distant' relative, but usual gifts are:

Silver spoon
Money box
Photo frame

Go into any Jewelers shop, and they'll have a whole section dedicated to the naming ceremony gifts. You needen't spend much, as always, it's the thought that counts.

Cheers
Gavin

Caroline
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2003 8:38 pm

Re: Etiquette Help: Naming Ceremony?

Post by Caroline » Sun Sep 07, 2003 6:47 pm

arabella wrote:Hey All!

I've just been invited to naming ceremony for a baby and I don't have the slightest idea what to do, etiquette-wise.

Is this something like a baptism for a baby? Should I dress like I was going to attend a church, or is it more casual? Is some sort of gift expected? If so, what?

Any advice would be much appreciated :wink:


The naming ceremony is a baptism. You need not worry, as Finnish naming ceremonies (or at least the 3 I've been to so far) are simple, and you don't really have to do anything during the ceremony unless you're one of the god parents or other close relative designated to do a reading. You should try to sing along with the rest of the group, or at least lip-synch if you are unfamiliar with Finnish hymns, but it's ok if you can't keep up with the crowd during recitation of prayers. The biggest risk is that you might fall asleep standing up if the minister's blessing speech drones on and on for half an hour in a language you can't understand very well, which nearly happened to me once. Sometimes the ceremony is done in a church, other times at the family's or a relative's home.

You should plan to bring along a little gift for the baby- a toy, book, bath or feeding accessory, decoration for baby's room, etc. The dress, in my experience, is pretty standard- dress slacks or skirt and blouse for women, and jacket and tie for men.

Have fun!
Former expat in Finland, now living in New Hampshire USA.

Remembah whea ya pahked ya cah!

User avatar
godenies
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 1:40 pm
Location: Espoo
Contact:

Post by godenies » Sun Sep 07, 2003 7:59 pm

Hi, I have to disagree with everyone else since naming ceremony is not the same as christening. People who don't belong to the church tend to have a 'naming party' for the baby so that all the relatives and close friends can come and see the baby and find out the baby's name (since the Finns don't tend to reveal the name beforehand).
This is still very new here in Finland. We just had one for our baby in July. It was held outside and we had a nice bbq. People were dressed smart, some of them just t-shirts and jeans, there's no priest there and it's not formal. Of course the best thing you can do is to ask the parents what the dresscode is. Everyone usually brings something for the baby like clothes or toys.

Hope to have helped,
Mari

User avatar
Hank W.
The Motorhead
Posts: 29984
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2002 10:00 pm
Location: Mushroom Mountain
Contact:

Post by Hank W. » Sun Sep 07, 2003 8:59 pm

My usual gifts iclude a value pack of good earplugs and a free card from "Hank's daycare and bad habits service" promising to take the mom out to the movies, football game or whatever and leave daddy home on his turn :mrgreen: The earplugs have been a great success what I hear, only complaint is that I should have given them to the old crones living upstairs. But then again you need to be known as a Hank to get by with such wackyness. :mrgreen:

This reminds me, we haven't had a topic on Finnish etiquette, and "weird" customs people might feel uncomfy with at first. Or experiences they've goofed up with. I think I'll start one up.
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.

Caroline
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2003 8:38 pm

Post by Caroline » Sun Sep 07, 2003 9:12 pm

godenies wrote:Hi, I have to disagree with everyone else since naming ceremony is not the same as christening. People who don't belong to the church tend to have a 'naming party' for the baby so that all the relatives and close friends can come and see the baby and find out the baby's name (since the Finns don't tend to reveal the name beforehand).
This is still very new here in Finland. We just had one for our baby in July. It was held outside and we had a nice bbq. People were dressed smart, some of them just t-shirts and jeans, there's no priest there and it's not formal. Of course the best thing you can do is to ask the parents what the dresscode is. Everyone usually brings something for the baby like clothes or toys.

Hope to have helped,
Mari



The point is that we've all given good advice: the ceremony serves the same purpose as a christening/baptism, dress nicely so you can show up the other guests :D and bring a little gift for the baby.
Former expat in Finland, now living in New Hampshire USA.

Remembah whea ya pahked ya cah!

User avatar
godenies
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 1:40 pm
Location: Espoo
Contact:

Post by godenies » Sun Sep 07, 2003 10:00 pm

Caroline, yes that's the main point :) I just wanted to point out the difference, unlike babtism/christening there isn't a priest/vicar or singing hymns.

Mari

User avatar
deojuvame
Posts: 1115
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 11:43 am
Location: Helsinki

Post by deojuvame » Mon Sep 08, 2003 10:44 am

Thanks everybody! I'll call up the parents and ask them to go into explicit detail about what's required at this thing. I kind of asked before and they were like, "oh, it's just a get together and don't worry about it!" which didn't help me much, but now I'll have to force the issue a tad.

And then if I do something inappropriate I can just say "um... en puhu suomea! Kato suloinen vauva!" and run away :D

User avatar
deojuvame
Posts: 1115
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 11:43 am
Location: Helsinki

Followup

Post by deojuvame » Mon Oct 13, 2003 11:11 am

Hey everyone-

just wanted to share my experience with the naming ceremony for other unwitting expats in Finland:

It was in a church, everyone wore church type of clothes, a lot of people were dressed like they were going to work. But I guess nimipäivät happen in homes as well, just not this one...

The nimipäivä "afterparty" was excruciatingly dull, and if I didn't know any better, I would have thought it was a funeral instead of a naming ceremony... Families camped out in different parts of the house and waited and waited for food and coffee in relative silence. I was told this is "standard" for finnish family gatherings by a lot of the people there. Everyone wore their shoes in the house, which I guess is OK for special occasions...

User avatar
Kemars
Posts: 1749
Joined: Thu May 22, 2003 3:06 pm
Location: Kouvola tai Helsinki
Contact:

Post by Kemars » Mon Oct 13, 2003 11:40 am

I have been to three types..

one in a church with a priest, another with a priest in the home, and one in a home with just friends/ family ...

In all cases dress formal or at least dress smart for the occasion. This even would not be a casual event, unless otherwise stated by the people holding the event. =)
How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?


Post Reply