Ladislav Stranavsky in an interview with Chuck Lewis
reveals the beliefs and vision behind the Calendar with Names
Chuck Lewis: Can
you tell me more about yourself?
Ladislav: My name is Ladislav. I was born in Slovakia (formally CzechoSlovakia), and I came
to this beautiful country in 1987 seeking freedom from then communist
regime in Slovakia. Escaping and finding freedom was one of the best
decisions I made in my life. For the first 12 years I lived in Upstate
New York. Then I moved in 1999 to sunny Florida.
Chuck Lewis: How did you come up with the idea
of celebrating the first name?
Ladislav: Slovakia is a very nice place to visit
with many traditions and Name Day celebration is one of them. When I
came to the United States I was surprised to learn that nobody would
know anything about Name Day celebration.
The idea to design Calendar with Names was on
my mind for several years. Finally in 2000 I started to
work on it. It took me eight months to do the research on every single
name. The calendar is based on US Census and the history of the United
States and Canada. I had to find proper dates for each name. Many names
are related to each other and that's why they appear on the same day.
Currently there are over 2,000 names. We printed the first Calendar
with Names in January 2001.
Chuck Lewis: Do you know about other countries where
people celebrate the name day?
Ladislav: Yes, I do. Most of the European countries
appreciate this celebration. It is a part of their lives and culture.
I think it is very simple. Just ask yourself a question. How many people
know your birthday?
Chuck Lewis: Maybe ten people I guess.
Ladislav: And now let me ask you this. How many people
know you by your first name?
Chuck Lewis: Well, now I see your point. If I translate
this to how many presents I could get then I start to celebrate today!
Chuck Lewis: How do people in Europe celebrate the
Ladislav: Just like celebrating a birthday. It is one more reason for
friends and family to get together. Party starts with congratulations,
presents and carries on with a cake, drinks and a lot of fun. Each morning,
every radio and TV station announces who is celebrating the Name Day.
People are calling in and request a special song. Name days are published
in daily newspapers. As you can see, it is not only you and your friends
and family that celebrate, but also other people with the same name
in the whole country are doing it.
You suddenly think about all people you know by that first name. This
can be a great opportunity to get in touch with those you didn't see
for a long time.
And let's not forget, it is also a customary to send a nice greeting card.
Chuck Lewis: I assume you will introduce a name day
greeting cards along with the calendar.
Ladislav: We are in the process of designing beautiful
Name Day greeting cards for the US and Canadian market. Our customers
will be able to order them soon on line or our Toll free number. However,
in the mean time they can send electronic greetings available on this
Chuck Lewis: That's great. Don't forget to let me know
when they will be available.
Ladislav: Certainly. You are already on my e-mail list.
Chuck Lewis: What is the reaction of your customers
in regards to Name Day celebration?
Ladislav: I am very pleased and surprised with
the results. Customers are very excited and they were pleased with our
first 2002 edition that we gave away free. We are getting e-mails from people with a request
to add their names that they didn't find in the calendar. We try to
satisfy everyone, but please remember, Calendar with Names is based on
US Census. So if the name is included in the Census we will add it.
There were 73 additional names included in the 2003 edition, 125 names in 2004 edition and 142 names in 2005 edition. We are
surprised that even people from Australia, England etc. are writing to
us to let us know how happy they are to find their names in the calendar
even though it is designed for the US and Canadian market.
Chuck Lewis: Thank you Ladislav for your time and I
believe that this celebration will became a part of our lives.
Ladislav: You are welcome Chuck. I will send
you a greeting on your Name Day April 16th.
here to find YOUR name in the Calendar with Names