Thursday, January 25, 2007

Whats in a Name!

I felt like writing something about my name! In western countries, as many other Asians (Specially Sri Lankans) , I also experience that most people find my name being very difficult to pronounce properly. We all have seen how Foreign announcers pronounce names of Sri Lankan cricketers. I face with situations where I have to show them how my name is pronounced properly and also explain the general structure of Sri Lankan names. So, I thought it's good one for the blog!

My full name is Yasas Vishuddhi Abeywickrama. Yasas means fame that you achieve by doing good things, Vishuddhi has a broader meaning. Buddhism explains about 'Visuddhi Maragaya' (Visuddhimagga) which is a fairly complicated concept. At a highlevel, The Visuddhimagga describes the progression from the purity of discipline to the nibbana, considering seven steps. 'Vishuddhi Marga Sannaya' is a literary work in Sinhalese. In general, Vishuddhi represents purity but I think this is a highly generalised way of explaining it. Abeywickrama is my surname, even though I am not very sure, I think it means something like winning over life (Or Victorious life). I must admit that I found it really hard to explain all the above!

At school and uni, I was called mainly as Vishuddhi. Here and there, I have had people who called me either Yasas or Abeywickrama. Some friends used shorten forms such as Vishu, Vishi and Vish. But at work, I have been predominately called as Yasas, even today, that is the case, some even do not remember my second name. I opted to use Yasas as oppose to Vishuddhi at work as it is more easier to be pronounced by anyone including non-Sri Lankans. At school, I didn't use my full name much, and went as Vishuddhi Abeywickrama. But later on, as I was known both as Yasas and Vishuddhi, I decided it would be better to go with my full name, therefore now I go as Yasas Vishuddhi Abeywickrama.

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