Sri Lankan Culture

Naming

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  • For Sinhalese people, the name is comprised of three parts. The first name is the patronymic name of the father, ancestor or 'house' and often has the suffix ‘-ge’ (pronounced ‘gay’) 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.
Sri Lanka
  • Population
    21,445,775
    0.30% of World Population
  • Languages
    Sinhala (official) (74%)
    Tamil (official) (18%)
    Other (8%)
  • Religions
    Buddhism (70.2%)
    Hinduism (12.6%)
    Islam (9.7%)
    Catholic Christianity (6.1%)
    Other (1.8%)
  • Ethnicities
    Sinhalese (74.9%)
    Sri Lankan Tamil (11.2%)
    Sri Lankan Moors (9.2%)
    Indian Tamil (4.2%)
    Other (0.5%)
  • Cultural Dimensions
    Power Distance 80
    Individualism 35
    Masculinity 10
    Uncertainty Avoidance 45
    Long Term Orientation 45
    Indugence -
    What's this?
  • Australians with Sri Lankan Ancestry
    Sri Lankan: 75,136
    Sinhalese: 22,945
    Tamil: 5,182
Sri Lankans in Australia
  • Population
    109,849
    [2016 census]
  • Average Age
    41
  • Gender
    Male (51.1%)
    Female (48.9%)
  • Religion
    Buddhism (38.1%)
    Catholic Christianity (23.4%)
    Hinduism (17.8%)
    Anglican Christianity (5.7%)
    Other (2.7%)
  • Ancestry
    Sri Lankan (50.9%)
    Sinhalese (18.4%)
    Tamil (9%)
    English (4.3%)
    Other (17.4%)
  • Languages
    Sinhalese (47.4%)
    English (26.7%)
    Tamil (23%)
    Other (1.7%)
  • English Proficiency
    Well (91.9%)
    Not Well (6.1%)
  • Diaspora
    Victoria (50.9%)
    New South Wales (27.4%)
    Queensland (8.9%)
    Western Australia (6.2%)
  • Arrival
    Prior to 2001 (53.5%)
    2001-2006 (17.3.%)
    2007-2011 (25.8%)
Where do we get our statistics?
Country LK Flag