What’s in a name?

They always say, “We’re not ‘Britishers’, that isn’t a word. We’re simply ‘British’.Surprisingly, the British never extended this courtesy and their pronunciation skills to their colonies and neighbours. So, ‘Chine”, which derived its name from the “Qin/ Ch’in dynasty became China, Nippon became Japan and Beijing became Peking. Bharat became India just like Lal Quila became Red Fort.

Namba ooru was no exception. A State otherwise known for its Chemmozhipride, Chennai tops the list with maximum conversions. Madrasa pattinam became Madras and “Mayil arparikum oor” which means ‘Land of the peacock’s scream’ became Mylapore. Velachery, as we call it now has many interesting stories too. An inscription dating back to the 10thcentury in the Selliamman Temple here identifies the place as ‘Velichery’. It was also called, ‘Vedasreni’-a place where all the four Vedas were worshipped.

Triplicane is the anglicized version of Thiru-Alli –Keni (Sacred Lilly Pond in Tamil).Kodambakkam, was Goda Bagh (Goda-Horse/Bagh-Garden) –Where Nawab maintained his stables. Carnatic, Muligatwany (milagai thanni-pepper water or rasam), catamaran(kattu maram)…the list is endless. India is a land of great diversity. Tamil Nadu is diametrically different from Kerala as France is from Britain. Yet, we move on -‘the British way’. Isn’t it time we take pride in our language and restored its local flavor ?

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