Tajikistan bans Russified surnames

13:03, 29 april 2016

Tajikistan has formally banned “Russian” surnames, prohibiting the use of last names ending in “-ov,” “-ev,” “-ovich,” or “-ovna,” Dzhaloliddin Rakhimov, a senior Tajikistani official, told Radio Ozodi (the local RFE/RL service). President Emomali Rahmon reportedly signed the law banning Russified surnames in March, when he adopted several amendments to Tajikistan's regulations on registering citizens' civil status. 

State officials say they will now encourage citizens to register new surnames with supposedly more native-sounding endings, such as “-zod,” “-zoda,” “-i,” “-iyon,” “-far,” and “-pur,” said Rakhimov, whose own surname does not conform to these new “norms.”

“When we talk to [parents], we explain that the goal is the Tajikization of surnames. And they understand. If the situation doesn't change, then in ten years our children will be divided into two camps: one will be proud of their Tajik surnames, and the other will have alien last names,” Rakhimov said.

RBC