Saturday, April 01, 2006
North Indian vs. South Indian
1. In Tamil, and sometimes other southern languages, names end in '-an' when a person is namedafter a god, such as Ramnath, Badrinath, Narayan etc. These becomeRamanathan, Badrinathan, Narayanan etc. the '-an' denotes that the personnamed is a mere mortal and not a God. An individual is not to be calledRamnath, Badrinath etc. because those are the names of the Gods,exclusively.
2. The Gods themselves are referred to Ramanath-ar, Badrinath-ar etc. the'-ar' being similar to '-ji' in Hindi, as in Badrinath-ji etc
.3. And when people pray in South India and address God directly, it becomesNarayan-a, Ramanath-a etc. the '-a' being a direct form of address, as inSanskrit.4. Under influence of North Indian culture, some of these conventions areeasing, as you do sometimes see younger people with North Indian stylereligious names.
For example, Narayanan is shortened to Narayan, Ramanathan to Ramanath, etc.They are usually not aware that doing so usually offends the personaffected, as the South Indian usually feels that the North Indian inquestion is being regionalistic and dismissive of other Indian's names,preferring the equivalents in their own (Hindi or Punjabi) language
Contributed by M.Sitaraman