Note to international users: I wrote this piece when the main Icelandic cheese maker decided to change the name of their Gouda cheese to Góðostur (Goodcheese).
Dear Gouda cheese.
I see that you are changing your name and yout want to be called be called Góðostur (Goodcheese) from now on. Congratulations on that! Everyone has the right to call themselves what they want. You publish your name-changing application in the papers. In the field “reasons for application” you write:
“It was beginning to be kind of silly to have a foreign name, since I’m actually pure Icelandic.”
Why did you like that, my dear cheese? What made you feel silly? Has anyone been making fun of your name? Have you been reading any blogs? Have you been listening to a lot of call-in radio shows? By all means, I’m not telling you what you are allowed to call yourself, it’s your choice, but I really hope you did not consider yourself to be somewhat worse of cheese, just because you had a foreign name. And if that is really what you think, then please, don’t spread that message.
I must say that I felt uncomfortable when I read your explanation for the name change. Many Icelanders have foreign names and I do not think we should be spreading the view in the press that these names are silly, or that it is silly for that Icelanders to have them. No name is silly unless someone finds it silly. And really, no one should say that someone else’s name is silly. That’s just silly.
Someone designed this ad for you, my dear cheese, and probably they meant no harm. But I want to tell you, just to clean the atmosphere between us, that I felt sad, and slightly uncomfortable, when I read your clarifications on your name change in the papers. But I will not be angry with you, my dear Góðostur. You are, after all, just a cheese. I can’t be known for being angry with a cheese.
This post is also available in: Icelandic