Saturday, September 13, 2008

From Ashwinder to just Ash

Petronas, Malaysian oil company, advertisement:

"The world is changing but we should always be proud of who we are."


1. When I first landed in England in 1999, I was intrigued by how Asians there had a penchant for shortening their names to biteable English-sounding words. For example, Ashwinder Singh Gill would simply be called Ash or, similar to the case of the video above, Samyveloo Reddy would be just Sam.

2. Coming back to Asia about 5 years ago, I noticed this trend had caught on here. My Chinese peers, in particular, have adopted English names. My friend Sian Teck is now Jason or Kinn Oei is now Jervis.

3. When I asked my friends about this, they said it helped them in the course of their work. They shared it made it easier for people to remember their names.

4. Today, there are various short versions of my name circulating among my friend. To some, I am Dee. To others, I am Dom. To many, I am Dharm. To a few, I am Dharam or Endra.

5. Nevertheless, I am happy to remain Dharmendra Yadav. The world may be changing but it doesn't change who I am or where I came from.

6. Finally, I wish to thank my friend, Michael Chua, for kindly showing me how to embed a Youtube video into a blog posting.

Dharmendra Yadav

Please consider the environment - do you really need to print this?


Clem said...


Anonymous said...

I live in England and have always been surprised how Chinese people moving here often give themselves a new European name under the misconception that this will help them get on.

Actually this seems quite sycophantic from an English perspective. People should be proud of their name and their origins and English people would respect that.

Anonymous said...

Dharmendra Yadav goes to England and asks his PR man to give him a new name.
His PR man calls back the next day to tell him his new name.
Kling Eastwood.