10/18: Okay, my job caught up on me, need to work even on weekends. Well, let me continue blogging on my trip. Sorry guys!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sukumaran, Tipu Sultan, and Names...

Another day after work, and another day the sky is not happy. It was raining heavily last night, so I guess it will be the same for tonight. Tonight should be an important night for a by-election in Malaysia. It’s better I don’t talk any political stuff in my blog, just afraid that when I am back in Malaysia, I will “eat curry rice” again…but in prison. I have enough curry in India.

For those who don’t understand what I am talking about, Chinese elders in Malaysia link ‘Curry Rice’ to the food in prison. I don’t know the history of this linking but has been using this term since I first heard of it.

Today I worked with a guy called Sukumaran. When he introduced himself, he said “My name is Sukumaran. I know you Chinese cannot remember a long word, so please call me ‘Suku’.” Gee, I almost bursted into laughter. In Hokkien, ‘suku’ means stupid! And this person give me permission to call him this! Hmmm, think of it, his name Sukumaran sounded like cursing people. Don’t get me wrong but I really hope he would not end up working in Chinese-Hokkien-populated Penang.

Once, I was browsing for interesting landmark in Bangalore and one particular palace name caught my eye – Tipu Sultan Palace! In Malay, ‘Tipu’ means ‘Cheat’. And it seems that there was once a king named Tipu! It was known fact that Bangalore, as with the rest of India, has a habit of charging foreigners a lot more than locals. Strangely, Tipu Sultan's Palace, charges 10 rupee for Indians and 100 rupee to non-Indians for entry fee!

I guess some name when translated into a different language will be a laughing stock. Let me give an example:

I knew a Chinese guy who has a Chinese name which means 3 treasures. And his surname sounds like bronze – “Tong”. So when translates from mandarin character to English word. His name becomes “Tong Sam Pah”, his family is not Malay-language educated but when he went to attend Malay language classes he then realized that his name means rubbish bin in Malay – “Tong Sampah”!

Still don’t know whether my name sound funny in Indian, better go and check it out!

Some fact about Tipu Sultan, he once ruled a place called Mysore, a district southwest of Bangalore. Ouch!


RealGunners said...

i recall watching some indian drama on tv2 when i was a kid titled: The Battles of Tipu Sultan

really for this fella -.-"

Lion in the Jungle said...

How's Suku doing? Bet he be famous if he works in Penang

AsX said...

Gunner, and you thought 'Tipu Sultan' was a real awesome name until that when you play around with other kids u claim yourself as the mighty 'Tipu Sultan'!

AsX said...

Lion, Suku? I just praised him smart today. So who says i cannot use stupid and smart in one sentence?