Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What if Tamils were given an opportunity?

An opportunity to change their name. Quietly and painlessly to another name of their choice, be it a burgher name, a Muslim name or a Sinhalese name.

Imagine that this would be done with seamless efficiency and all documents, birth, marriage, licenses, ID cards and passports would be quickly issued in the new name. Imagine also that this would enable the Tamils to reclassify themselves as Sinhalese, Burgher or any other race of their choice.

How many would take this up?

I'm just curious to know and this is a serious question, please leave a comment with your views, thanks.


Dee said...

Sorry..but that's nutty. :)
The gov would look as bad as Nazis and the majority of tamils wouldnt want to. After all, class and social standing is a main factor in their culture, and the names portray that yes? Perhaps, a minority wouldnt mind, due to poverty and the need to integrate into the majority. hm....that's my thoughts.

Makuluwo said...

I think that if desperate times call for it, there'll be some Tamil people living in warzones and what not who might take up the offer for safety's sake, and parents who'd do that for their kids to keep them safe from all the racial unrest.

But needless to say, it'll all just be another huge step backwards in social development and individualism on our, ahem, 'paradise island'.

robincruz said...

Most Tamil people would be as proud of their heritage as the rest of us and they would find it hard to give it up.
Plus this idea is reminiscent of Nazi times when Jews were encouraged to drop their names and take up more "acceptable" ones.
Anyway why should it be necessary when we are supposedly so proud of our multicultural multi-this-and-that country???

Durga said...

would u deny your own mother and swap her for another a sinhala, burgher or a muslim woman?

would u take this up?

identity is deeply rooted within a person...u can re-classify them...but they will always seek what they are and be who they are.

Serendib_Isle said...

I know.
*drum rolls*
Donald Gnanakone!

Honestly, I don't think any Tamil in their right mind would change their name; unless it was like when Christianity invaded this part of the world and everyone was given “Christian Names” – Gregory Richmann is a very dear friend of mine from Madras; with no Gregorian features and far from the wealth suggested in the name.

Jack Point said...

I know the question is nuts:) but the answers may have been interesting.

If I had seen outrage from Tamils then I would know that things were not too bad.

But if at least a few people answered yes, then we know we have a problem.

I'm not too sure what to make of silence - maybe this blog does not reach too wide an audience.

kasun said...

Interesting question. I don't think the majority of the tamils would do it. They are very proud of their heritage. But certainly some would do it. Specailly those who live in sinhalese areas, because it is always comfortable when you belong to the majority.

JP said...

Very interesting ....Stretching it a bit may be one common surname for all...Jack point Sri , JP Sri ...All in the name of freedom ..Freedom to use the name given...But in this part of the world people choose their english name . It is just any word form the dictionary , basically...I have met "Friday"s "March"'s to "Funny"s , "Any"s and even "Fanny"s . And the three people left to me at office are literally "Tom" , "Dick" & "harriete" .

Anonymous said...

Sometimes looking at issues as an external observer can help us overcome bias. So looking at the US, for example, I guess it would be like Obama - I mean, when comparing him with both whites and blacks in the US, he is as white as you can be without actually having white skin. If it were otherwise, would he have managed to become president, or even the Democratic candidate?

And we should ask, what if other African-Americans were given a chance to adopt a more 'white' culture to get better jobs, for example - would they do it?