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Who said "Singh" is from Punjab?

Recently, I was chatting with my wife about the names of people. We know people name their kids after great leaders, their favourite gods, parents and even after their ex-lovers!! Different places have different naming conventions. It is a convention in many families to name the first grandson after the paternal grandfather and the second grandson after the maternal grandfather. The same goes with girls as well. But it is restricted to southern districts I guess because in my wife's side they dont name it that way.

The conversation veered towards how names in southern districts of Tamilnadu, combines Saiva and Vaishnavite Gods in one name. Venkateswaran, is a good example. Look at Ramasubramaniam, where there is Rama and Subramanian. There are many more. But I have not seen this in North Tamilnadu.

I know people influenced by great leaders name their kids after them. MK Stalin is one example. I know couple of Karl Marx's and Lenin's besides number of Subash Chandra Bose's, Gandhi and Nehru. One of my friend's name is Bimal Roy. What I find unique and interesting is that these leaders' first names were not given but along with their surnames. Why should somebody named Gandhi or Nehru or Roy in Thisayanvalai or Tuticorin, is it not their surnames?

Likewise, everyone believes that the surname Singh is generally from Punjab and in few cases from North India. But in my home district of Tuticorin, I know many Tamils having the surname of Singh. I had two teachers who were Raja Singh and Sunder Singh. My classmate was Jeba Singh. Never understood why they have Singh in their names, except for the fact that they are Christian Nadars!

3 comments:

Ragupathy said...

good one Venkat. I saw your profile in Linkedin. I also studied in SAV (80-87) and in VOC (87-90) and currently working at Cognizant. My father was a professor (Prof. G. Vaidyanathan) in VOC college Tuticorin. I am not sure whether I know you. But I am extreemly happy to note that a person from my native (I was born in Tuticorin) is heading a top position in one of the reputed banks of the globe.

Wish you all the best.

Venkat Muthukrishnan said...

Thanks Raghu. Nice to catch up with people from Tuticorin, as always. Very happy to know that you are doing well in Cognizant. Check ur mail/blog for my comments.

Anonymous said...

is the jeba singh son of the labour minister ?