# What's up with my name?

Nothing much actually. I am from Tamil Nadu, in the south of India. Over there, the prevalent Western naming convention of Name = [Given Name] + [Middle Name] + [Family Name] (call it WN) is not followed. Instead, people normally use patronyms in two flavours. Either Name = [First letter of father's Given Name] + [Given Name] (call it TN1) or Name = [Given Name] + [Father's Given Name] (call it TN2). Family names are not used.

My Given Name is Sridhar and my father’s Given Name is Chellappa. So, in the TN1 format my name will be C Sridhar and in TN2 it is Sridhar Chellappa. When I was born, my parents gave me the TN1 name: Officially, I was C Sridhar.

So long as I was in India, it was not an issue. When I decided to move abroad, I had to provide a Family Name/Last Name in my passport. The most common fix people follow is to switch to the TN2 convention, using my father’s given name as my last name. Follow this link to learn more about naming conventions unique to the south of India.