Indian Culture-Naming

Indian Culture-Naming

Indian Culture-Naming

Conventions for Naming

The location of origin and religion of an individual inside India determine the naming standards that apply to them.

Surnames are a very recent custom that were adopted during British colonization. In much of northern India, given names come first and are followed by surnames, in accordance with English-speaking Western naming practices. This isn’t always the case in southern India, where people may take on a surname as a result of a forced migration or overseas trip.

It is typical for a person’s surname to represent their caste, village of origin, family, or group.

A name ending in “-walla” translates, at best, to “the trade one’s ancestors practised.” For instance, “chaiwalla” loosely translates to “a person who prepares spiced tea, or chai.”

Based on official or informal social and religious links, there are several honorific titles. These titles typically take the shape of replacements, suffixes, or prefixes. ‘Baba’ (a mark of respect towards Hindu and Sikh ascetics but can also mean ‘father’), ‘Raj’ (‘king’ or ‘royalty’), ‘Sri’ (which can mean ‘Mr.’ or ‘Ms.’ followed by first name, but can also be used as a title of veneration for deities), and ‘Sahab’ (which has the same meaning as ‘Sri’ but comes after one’s last name) are a few examples. 

Hindu people typically have three names: their given name, middle name, and family name (e.g. Sanjay Lal VASANI). Hindu family names can occasionally imply caste, and a person may choose to renounce their name in protest of the caste system. 

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Married women can take their husband’s first name as their surname (e.g., Nita SANJAY) and delete their father’s initial. On the other hand, women frequently take on their husband’s family name (e.g., Shiv Kumar).

Sometimes the father’s initial appears before the child’s first name (e.g. N. Kumar).

Names

Conventions-for-Naming​2

In India, the majority of given names are deliberately chosen to have a particular meaning, and many people are quite conscious of this. People often get names based on their horoscopes, which are typically offered by an astrologer, especially Hindus. The family will select a name based on the sound that the astrologer suggests a name should have.

Nicknames are widespread among close friends and family members. Nicknames can be chosen at an early age and stick with a person well into adulthood.

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