Nomenclature of the Indian Homo Sapiens

This struck me while I was scrabbling around to find a catchy name for my blog. On several occasions I’ve heard people saying, “what’s in a name?”. I wonder what could be the reason behind this aphorism when I find names to be the most enlightening few-lettered words out there. The name of a person is bundled up information about him/her. The internet is stacked with sites which claim to tell your entire genealogy solely based upon the name. Also, sites which tell your personality type and future too (I find it funny though), ha! Nevertheless, let’s face it, names are important and it’s worth having a little discussion about them.

So let’s talk about names. Narrowing it further down-Indian names, state-wise. You will all agree that geography has tremendous influences on almost all the aspects of human life. So I presume I won’t be judged for a tad regionalism here.

We Bengalis are simplicity incarnates. We just have a first name followed by a surname, which is mostly a family name. In some cases we have middle names too, such as ‘Kumar’ or ‘Chandra’ but that practice has gone obsolete nowadays. A similar practice is followed in almost all of north, central and north-eastern parts of India except for Punjab, where the surname ‘Singh’ for men and ‘Kaur’ for women are vastly popular. Punjabi men often add their family names too.

When it comes to names, Telugus are the real deal.People from the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have a base name, preceded by their family title which is prevalently the name of their ancestral village. Sometimes they concatenate the name of their family deity with their own names. In some cases, their community tags too. So much for the sake of identity, phew!

Rest of the South India, that is, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamilnadu have almost the same naming pattern. The first name of the person is followed by their father’s name. That’s a nice gesture, isn’t it? Although in some cases they use their community label as their last name. For example,‘Iyer’ in Tamilnadu and ‘Menon’ in Kerala. Some Keralites use the name of their place of origin as their last name.

Moving on to the western India, the pragmatic Gujaratis and the feisty Marathis have a first name and a family name, with their father’s name in the middle to add up to the splendour. At some instances, I’ve come across Marathi names having a peculiar order-the surname first, then comes the individual’s name, followed by the paternal name.

To sum it all up, I’ve done a little map work.india-map-clipart-black-and-white-image-galleries-imagekb-com-xcidBA-clipart

Fairly conclusive, right?

Hope you liked the post. Hasta la vista, gente!

 

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