Indonesian parents ask Jokowi for help to officially register son with 18 names

Cordo was born in January 2019 but he has yet to receive his birth certificates and other essential government-issued documents because his parents came up with a whopping 18 names for him, as seen in this birth announcement, causing some issues with the civil registry. Photo: Istimewa
Cordo was born in January 2019 but he has yet to receive his birth certificates and other essential government-issued documents because his parents came up with a whopping 18 names for him, as seen in this birth announcement, causing some issues with the civil registry. Photo: Istimewa

Unique and unusual baby names have amused us aplenty in Indonesia before, but a couple from East Java is now the talk of the country because they came up with a whopping 18 names for their newborn son, causing some issues with the civil registry. 

Local officials have reportedly refused to grant civilian documentations for the child as his name simply won’t fit in the papers. As they are running out of options, the parents have, in their desperation, written an open letter to President Joko Widodo appealing for his help.

The couple, Arif Akbar and Suci Nur Aisiyah, named their second son Rangga Madhipa Sutra Jiwa Cordosega Akre Askhala Mughal Ilkhanat Akbar Sahara Pi-Thariq Ziyad Syaifudin Quthuz Khoshala Sura Talenta. Because it appears the family also has an affinity for randomly plucking out one of the child’s many middle names for his nickname, the boy reportedly goes simply by Cordo.

Cordo was born in January 2019, but he has yet to receive his birth certificate and other essential government-issued documents. According to Arif, he has made several attempts to get those from the Population and Civil Registry Agency (Disdukcapil) in Tuban regency, where the family lives, to no avail. 

“I’ve been fighting for three years to process the birth certificate at the agency. Every time we visited the office, we were told to wait. The last time [we went] we were offered the solution to change my son’s name,” Arif said yesterday.

The couple has been reluctant about changing Cordo’s name, as they believe that all 18 names have deep philosophical meanings containing their hopes and prayers for his future. 

“The meaning is for the child to become a worldly figure who is known across the world. To become an individual who doesn’t think limited, narrowly, or primordially, but to have a global insight as well as the initiative and power to realize his great insight. Strong but soft-hearted and compassionate,” Arif was quoted as saying.

Arif and Suci seem dead set on this name for their son that they hand wrote an open letter to Jokowi, expressing their wish that Cordo could get his birth certificate, which the child would need to enroll in school in two years’ time. 

An open letter by Cordo’s parents, Arif Akbar and Suci Nur Aisiyah, addressed to President Jokowi. Photo: Istimewa

“Our open letter to you is our last hope and to share our sadness. Maybe some are thinking, ‘what’s in a name?’ But according to our customs the name is a person’s character, pride, prayer, and hope,” they wrote to Jokowi.

The president has not given any public statements about the unusual request.

Rahmad Ubaid, who heads Tuban regency’s Disdukcapil, said that every Indonesian citizen must be registered on the Residential Administration Information System (SIAK) under the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Directorate General of Population and Civil Registry. Anyone who wishes to process their residential documents, such as the family card (Kartu Keluarga), ID card (KTP), and birth certificate, must have their data registered on SIAK firsthand.

Here’s the catch: there’s a limited number of characters that authorities can input on SIAK. 

“We emphasize that we are not asking for a name change, but in writing names for KK, KTP, and birth certificate, it must be adjusted to a maximum of 55 characters including spaces,” Rahmad said.

Cordo’s 18 words, 132 characters long name might seem like a doozy, but it’s not the longest personal name that ever existed on record. According to the Guinness World Records, the longest name belonged to Hubert Blaine Wolfe­schlegel­stein­hausen­berger­dorff Sr. from Germany, with 747 characters that you can see in full here.

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