Author Ladislav (Alex), 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 research every single name. The calendar is based on the 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 European countries appreciate this celebration. It is a part of their lives and culture.
By the way in Greece, the name day is more important than the birthday. 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! (Laugh)
Chuck Lewis: How do people in Europe celebrate Name Day?
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 Name Day. People are calling in and requesting 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 who 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 customary to send a nice greeting card.
Chuck Lewis: I assume you will introduce a name-day greeting card along with the calendar.
Ladislav: We are in the process of designing beautiful Name Day greeting cards for the US and Canadian markets. Our customers will be able to order them soon on line. However, in the meantime, they can send electronic greetings available on this website.
Chuck Lewis: That's great. Don't forget to let me know when they will be available.
Ladislav: Certainly. You are already on my email list.
Chuck Lewis: What is the reaction of your customers regarding the 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 emails 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, if there is space.
There were 73 additional names included in the 2003 edition, 125 names in the 2004 edition, and 142 names in the 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 markets.
Chuck Lewis: Thank you Ladislav for your time and I believe that this celebration will become a part of our lives.
Ladislav: You are welcome Chuck. I will send you a greeting on your Name Day April 16th.