Sri Lankan Culture

Naming

  • For Sinhalese people, the name usually consists of three parts. The first name is the patronymic name of the father, ancestor or 'house' and often has the suffix ‘-ge’ at the end of the name. The second name is the personal name and the third name is the surname. An example of this naming structure is ‘Kaluhandhilage Hemachandra SILVA’.
  • Women change their surname to that of their husband’s at marriage but keep their patronymic name. Sinhalese people living in Australia often omit their patronymic name.
  • Many Sri Lankans adopt an English name when they come to Australia mainly due to the perception that their Sri Lankan name may be too long and difficult for others to pronounce.
  • Tamils generally have no family name. Their first name will be their father’s personal name, followed by their own name (e.g. Alagaratnam Rasiah).
  • Women will generally adopt their husband’s personal name upon marriage in place of the father’s personal name.
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