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Indonesian District Wants to Ban Parents from Giving Their Babies 'Foreign Names'

These days, there are more Dylans being born in Java than Darmontos. More Charlottes than Cahyanings. The trend among millennial parents in Indonesia right now is to give their kids Western nameswhich to some seem "exotic"—over something more traditional.

But those days might be over in Karanganyar, Central Java, where local leaders are mulling a total ban on non-Javanese names (at least for Javanese parents) in a bid to preserve local culture.

"The use of Javanese names has been eroded by foreign names," Sumanto, the head of the local legislative council who, himself, has a Javanese. "With this regulation, we can understand that, from our ancestors, we have our own unique culture."

But not everyone is on board with the ban. Ahmad Riza Patria, a lawmaker and deputy chair of the House commission on regional affairs and regional autonomy, called the move a violation of people's rights as a parent. Basically, parents should be free to name their kids whatever the hell they want.

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