In Sweden each day of the year is assigned to certain name. This week all the names are of women and it’s called “women’s week.”
My grandmother, Edit Andersson, always celebrated our “name day.” Too bad, I did not get to see her very often as I grew up in South America and she lived in Sweden. If she were here she would have celebrated with me July 20th, the Margareta day. She’s long gone; 50 years ago we said our final farewell on earth, but we will meet again in God’s heaven. Today, the memory of my Dad’s mother brings a smile to my face. My name is Kerstin Margareta.
That my parents chose this name for me was a godsend. I could have been called Kerstin Ingrid, or Kerstin Elisabet, or Kerstin Agneta, or Kerstin Debora. These are names that my sisters have, but I was honored with Margareta.
Margareta came to good use in Canada in the mid-fifties. We lived there for half a year and I used MARGARET because it was easier to be called that than Kerstin, especially using the Swedish pronunciation (sheash-teen). I took away the final a and called myself Margaret.
When we later came to Peru, I wanted to continue using that name, but my beloved father put a stop to it. He said that my name was Kerstin and it had to be that way even with all the weird pronunciations it turned out to be in Spanish.
It ended up being called CHE. But it has nothing to do with the beginning sounds of my name (sheash). In Argentina they use “che” just about like we say “you.” I baby-set for an Argentine family and they used the “che.” I guess my siblings thought it was funny, so they began to call me Che. So in Peru, I’m CHE.
But now I want to talk about Margareta. As a young missionary I started publishing a Sunday school take-home paper. Margareta in Spanish was the perfect name to use. It didn’t sound at all foreign, like Kerstin did. The name I chose for the take-home paper was La Perlita.
La Perlita con Tía Margarita
Margareta (Margaret) in Spanish is Margarita. What I didn’t know at the time is that Margarita means “pearl,” which was the name I chose for the magazine: La Perlita.
La Perlita con Tía Margarita = The Little Pearl with Auntie Margaret
Several years later, during a military regime in Peru, when there was a lot of resistance towards foreigners, my name Margarita came to good use. I had a radio program and could not use my Swedish name, so I used Margarita Anderas. Anderas is the Spanish version of my Swedish last name Anderås. There is no letter “å” either in Spanish or English. But Anderas sounds like Spanish!
I speak Spanish like a Peruvian so that was no problem. Kerstin Lundquist became Margarita Anderas. I could change my name but I could not change my heart! A man called one day and asked where I was from. “You are not Peruvian,” he said. “A Peruvian woman would not speak like you do.” That was that! A little twist in my name could not camouflage the Swedish heritage I bear with me.
Now I’m known far and wide with my Margarita name. My Spanish web site is:
Margarita is this beautiful flower. If I wanted to say the name in English it would be Daisy. I am proud and happy to be called Margareta, even if I have changed it to the Spanish Margarita.
How can I celebrate this July 20 Margareta day? If my precious grandmother (father’s mother = farmor in Swedish) had been here, we would have had cake together. But to bake a cake just for me would only add on calories, and I have more than enough!
What better way to celebrate the Margareta day than with gratitude in my heart. I need to give my Father a call and thank him for giving me the perfect name! I can’t thank my Mom because she’s already in her eternal home.
Did I confuse you, with this Margareta, Margaret, and Margarita talk?
What about Kerstin. It’s also very special, having its origin in the word Christian.
Christian Pearl. Wonderful names here on earth. But that’s not the name I’ll have in eternity.
Jesus’ promise: “I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it” (Rev 2:17).
Our names here on earth are important. Someone took the time to choose from thousands of names the one they thought was best fitting for me, for you.
Today I’m celebrating one of my names. That’s nothing compared to the day my Lord and Savior will give me the name that only I will know. What a glorious and exciting day that will be!
Do you have the hope of a new name? It’s all because of Jesus, the name above all names. The only name that matters.