Tuesday, July 29, 2008

California in Russia

California removed from Russian maps

Ok. It is in fact correct what my headline says. However, it does not mean that the state of California, US will be removed from Russian maps, but less dramatic, at least for us with no links to the place, it is an abandoned village named California that is situated in the Russian Volga province, that will cease to exist as a village. It will be henceforth not-even-a-village. Just like the place where I live. :-)

In case you did not know this; place name is part of mapping. In Norway it is the Norwegian Mapping and Cadastre Authority who decides what the official name(s) a place is given. A lot of emotional energy is released whenever the topic of names is discussed. There are political reasons as well as more local cultural reasons for this. In Norway we have a law that says that in certain provinces both Norwegian and Sami names must show on all official place name signs. In Northern Italy, more specifically the Dolomites, there are at least two names on all signs - one Italian and one German - as there are an equal amount of Italians with German as a mother tongue in the area close to Austria. In Tibet the Chinese started to give the places Chinese names toning down the original Tibetan names. It is very sensitive matters and the fact that they now show both names with the Tibetan names in smaller letters is not very well received...

Just in case you hadn't thought about this before. :-)

Place names in the Dolomites, Italy

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