The Laughing Vulcan wrote:
Actually, all Sikhs have three names, just that not every Sikh uses the surname. Every Sikh male's second name is Singh, and Kaur for the women. The given name comes from the Guru Granth. A prayer is said, and the book allowed to fall open. The syllable to which the priest points will be the first syllable of the name. The third name, surname is the family name, but is actually a holdover from the caste system, indicating which caste you belong to, and subcaste.
I was under the impression the whole point was to do away with and forget the caste system.
If only! Some things are a little too enduring, and when you have a societal system stretching back 3000 years or more, versus a religion which is only formally 300 years old, then some things are a little harder to tackle than the easy stuff like not killing, stealing or coveting an ass.
You'll find that it's the more religious minded Sikhs who drop the third name, not through a lack of caste sensibility. All that said, the lines are blurring somewhat. The Sikh community isn't as
caste conscious as the Hindu majority, and intercaste marriages do occur. The evolution is slow, but change is occuring. You're certainly not expected to be Bajoran about it and do the work that your caste predicates. While my parents are of the same caste, neither of them are tailors, in fact many in my father's family are teachers, and while my mother trained as a teacher, her father was career military. I look forward to the day when names are just pleasing sounds.