- A Peak Inside Hindu Name Origins: Caste-based Surnames
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Written by Amy Franz
In the United States, we don’t have castes, but these historical cultural divisions can still denote our identities. Asian Indians are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States and Canada. They bring with them diverse surnames indicating differences in religion, language, and culture, and frequently stemming from an inherited social system from across the globe.
The caste system is a form of social stratification where, historically, Hindu Indians were grouped by their occupation within society. When these people adopted surnames, they turned to the caste system as a means to obtain a family name, thereby adopting names related to a distant ancestor’s occupation.
In the Indian caste system, there are four different varnas, or the major social classes, that caste-based surnames generally fall under.
The Brahmins form the top of this social hierarchy. This class consists of the intellectuals, teachers, and priests. A couple examples of Brahmin surnames are BHAT, ‘scholar’ in Sanskirt, and MUKHERJEE.
Next are Kshatriyas¸ the warriors at times of war and governors at times of peace. Names such as PUSAPATI and KOTHAPALLI are both Kshatriya surnames. SINGH, primarily a Punjabi Sikh surname meaning ‘lion’ in Sanskrit, was also adopted by the Hindu Kshatriya varna since the name alludes to the characteristics of a warrior.
Under the Kshatriyas are the Vaishyas, the farmers, traders, and merchants. Families with the names AGRAWAL, KHANDELWAL, and MAHAWARS all fall under this varna.
The last major social class of the caste system is the Shudras. The Shudras are the community’s laborers, performing numerous different service jobs. PATEL, YADAV, and KURMI are a few of surnames historically associated with the Shudra working class.
The Indian caste system is a complex part of Hindu culture and this only touches the surface of its intricacies. There are many subcategories that fall under the umbrella of the four major varnas, many more names, and even more spelling variations.
While there is rich cultural significance in these Hindu surnames, it is important to highlight the fact that once these families immigrate to the United States or Canada, they are not defined by these social classes. That said, their surnames come from a rich historical context which directly influences how Asian Indians interact with and respond to marketing.Read More
- Do all Indian Americans speak Hindi? Their names tell a different story.
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July 25, 2017
What do the following 10 surnames have in common?
They are both long and short. They use different letters, in different combinations. One looks English, another Portuguese. Two are popular American given names. These names are as diverse as the people who use them.
They are all Indian.
They practice Hinduism, Sikhism, and Christianity.
They eat different diets, wear different clothes, listen to different music, and follow different sports.
Some speak Indo-Aryan languages such as Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, and Urdu. Others speak Dravidian languages such as Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam.
Like any culture, their names tell their stories.
This winter, Ethnic Technologies will release Access India, the multicultural marketing software that knows all about Indian names and uses that information to accurately predict Indian cultural affiliations and language preferences. Contact Ethnic Technologies to see how Access India can help you connect with your Daves, Gowdas, and Subramanians.Read More
- Naming Traditions From Around the World
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Kathy Moore, June 27, 2017
We expect names to follow predictable structures, but that’s not always the case. In the United States, we understand names according to the following paradigm:
The first name, also known as a given name or personal name, identifies an individual. It is normally given to a person at birth by his or her parents.
The surname, also known as a family name, last name, or gentile name, is inherited and shared with other members of the individual’s immediate family.
This categorization of names, however, while common in western societies, is not globally uniform. Depending on certain cultures and/or customs, naming conventions can and will vary.
The family name or surname, known as xing, comes first. The order of family name followed by given name is commonly referred to as the Eastern order. In China, approximately 100 of the most common Chinese surnames make up 85% of the population.
The given name, called ming, is almost always one or two syllables. There is more diversity in Chinese given names than in Chinese surnames.
Traditionally, babies are named 100 days after birth. Since it is considered unlucky to name a baby before birth, parents use what is called a ‘milk name’ before a formal given name is chosen. This name is known only by the parents or close family members. One superstitious custom is to select a disgusting ‘milk name’ to ward off evil spirits altogether.
Spain and Latin America
According to Spanish customs, a person’s name can be quite long. When a child is born, they receive two surnames: the first from the first surname of the father and the second from the first surname of the mother. This naming tradition makes it possible for the mother to never lose her maiden surname and therefore her name is carried on to the next generation.
e.g. Teodoro Lopez Corazones + Maria Andujo Melandez = Pedro Lopez Andujo
After marriage, Spanish surnames do not change. Both the bride and groom keep their birth names. It is socially acceptable, however, to refer to the wife as ‘Senora de’ (meaning ‘wife of’) and the husband’s last name.
e.g. Maria Andujo Melandez de Lopez
Zulu of South Africa
Zulu names, like most indigenous names in Southern Africa, are often given regarding the situation of the family when a child is born. This is also referred to as the ‘home name.’ For example, names can denote expectations and encouragement for a baby, reflect how the family relates to others in the community, or describe the weather or setting in which the baby was born.
Zulu children are named even before they are born but after birth, an imbeleko ceremony is performed. Zulus regard it as a must to perform the imbeleko ceremony for every child in the family for the following reasons: to introduce them to their ancestors who live in the spirit world of unkulunkulu, to protect the child from misfortunes, and to provide an opportunity for naming the child. Zulus carry more than one name and each of these can be given by members of the extended family.
People with the same surname once belonged to the same localized clan. The clan name, or isibongo, functions now, in modern society, as the surname.
There are many naming traditions from all around the world. The naming structures in different cultures can vary dramatically. No matter where you come from, however, naming traditions unite families and cultural groups.Read More
- Super Bowl 50 Ads and Diversity: A Perspective by Ethnic Technologies
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What Do Super Bowl Advertisers Get that Hollywood Doesn’t?
Ethnic Technologies’ Director of Sales Karen Sinisi was recently asked by USA Today to provide an opinion on “What Do Super Bowl Advertisers Get that Hollywood Doesn’t?” for a timely article to coincide with the Big Game.
Ethnic Technologies is the leading provider of multicultural marketing information to the Fortune 500 to help them reach Hispanic, African American and Asian customers.
In the article, “Super Bowl Ads Put Diversity on Display,” by Charisse Jones, Karen Sinisi said “Super Bowl advertisers get that as the face of America changes, so must marketing tactics. Advertisers know the importance of speaking to the fastest growing segments of our population.”
Ms. Sinisi’s full opinion went on to say: “Marketers understand that promotion by the most popular entertainers and sports figures means they will reach the most critical trend-driving group: Multicultural Millennials. For companies that don’t have $5 million dollars for just the airtime for a Super Bowl ad, being able to accurately and directly reach Multicultural Millennials is what Ethnic Technologies does during the other 364 days a year with a much higher Return on Investment (ROI). Advertisers remain on the cutting edge of relevance in marketing in today’s American landscape not just on Super Bowl Sunday, but throughout the year digitally, direct, with addressable TV and through our mobile devices.”
The full article is available at http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/02/06/super-bowl-ads-put-diversity-display/79832860/
“I was honored to be a part of a distinguished group of multicultural marketing thought leaders quoted in such an important article from USA Today,” said Ms. Sinisi.
For more information contact:
Rachel TagueRead More
Director of Marketing
Phone: (866) 333-8324 Ext 121
- Ethnic Technologies announces the release of E-Tech 2016
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Ethnic Technologies announces the release of E-Tech 2016
January 7, 2016 – South Hackensack, NJ
Ethnic Technologies, the Global Leader in Digital Multicultural Marketing, Research, Database Enhancement and Analytics is pleased to announce the release of E-Tech 2016.
The company’s industry leading software product now incorporates new multicultural demographic products and features:
Trinidadian – E-Tech 2016 introduces Trinidadian, an additional Caribbean market segmentation.
South African Segmentation – E-Tech 2016 offers more granular segmentation in the southern region of Africa, including a new designation of Afrikaner.
E-Tech 2016 will also remain the premium vehicle for additional Ethnic Technologies products such as:
- Hispanic Connected
- Hispanic Assimilation
- Asian Assimilation
In addition, E-Tech Canada is now being deployed via stand alone software licenses to many of our partners.
The E-Tech Challenge Guarantee:
There is nothing we love more than to show people the powerful multicultural marketing capabilities of our product. Please contact us for a free analysis of your customer data and how we can help you reach the newest, fastest growing and highest dollar value groups of people to market to in the United States, Canada, Brazil, etc.
For more information, contact:Read More
Karen Sinisi Lisa Radding
Director of Sales and Marketing or Director of Research
Ethnic Technologies Ethnic Technologies
Phone: (866)333-8324 Ext 117 Phone: (866) 333-8324 Ext 111
- Ethnic Technologies Director wins Marketing EDGE Rising Star Award
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Ethnic Technologies Director wins Marketing EDGE Rising Star Award
Ethnic Technologies Director, Lisa Radding, has been chosen as one of the recipients of the Marketing EDGE Rising Star award, recognizing young professionals who have maintained a strong record of giving back through education and mentoring while achieving a high level of corporate success. She will receive the award during the annual Marketing EDGE awards dinner on June 9, 2015.
Ethnic Technologies provides products and expertise that enable partners and clients to effectively reach their large and increasingly young and diverse customer base. Ms. Radding leads the industry’s foremost team of Multicultural Marketing Thought Leaders responsible for creating these products.
“I’m honored to be selected as a Marketing EDGE Rising Star,” Ms. Radding commented on learning of her award. “This award recognizes Ethnic Technologies’ commitment to education, diversity and developing the next generation of marketing leaders. I’m proud to help realize this vision.”
Ms. Radding is an international thought leader, having presented papers on Predictive Multicultural Marketing and Ethnicity software at International Conferences in such locations as Jerusalem, Israel and Glasgow, Scotland. She also serves on the Executive Council of the American Name Society.
“’RISING STAR’ is exactly the right phrase to describe Ms. Radding as well as each of the other superb members of our Ethnic Technologies team,” noted Zack Wilhoit, Ethnic Technologies’ CEO. “Our diverse organization at Ethnic Technologies, including Millennials already in strong leadership positions, gives us the ability to be actionable thought leaders for our clients trying to reach the younger, more diverse, digital audiences today and in the future.”
For more information, contact:
Karen Sinisi, Director of Sales at
Phone (866)333-8324 ext. 117
- RIP Loretta Poggio
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It is with such a heavy heart that we inform our friends and fans that our Dear friend, Mentor and Co-worker Loretta Poggio passed on peacefully last evening after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer.
She will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.Read More
- The E-Tech crew is on the road again!
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And we’re coming to a convention center near you!
- E-Tech Version 8.0
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Director of Sales and Marketing
Ethnic Technologies, LLC
Phone: (866) 333-8324 EXT: 106
South Hackensack, NJ
February 8, 2012
The Global Leaders in Multicultural Marketing Research, Database Enhancements, Modeling and Analytics is pleased to announce the release of “ E-Tech Version 8.0”
In addition to the improvements listed below, E-Tech 8.0 incorporates proprietary geocoding reference files which include but are not exclusive to the latest 2010 Census. Version 8.0 provides 9.98% more African American name research overall, 5.4% additional Asian name research and 4.8% more Hispanic Last Name research than the industry-leading E-Tech Version 7.3. On a national database of over 180 million records this accounted for an increase of 12.66% African Americans, 8.31% Asians, and 8.96% Hispanics.
E-Tech Name Research
Leading name research has been a key strength of E-Tech for more than 40 years. ETech Version 8.0 now incorporates 7.08% more First Names and 7.64% more Last Names than E-Tech Version 7.3.For unique First Name analysis E-Tech 8.0 now has over 102,000 entries. On your database, one of these names can count for a single identification or thousands.Our Last Name tables now have over one million entries. Many of these last names are governed by geographic information using our ENA generator and other proprietary engines.
E-Tech is Greater Than a Name System
E-Tech has always been more than a simple Name System. As a front-runner in the use of Enhanced Neighborhood Analytics (ENA), Ethnic Technologies uses granular geographic information gathered from the latest 2010 Census and other proprietary sources to determine the ethnicity of what a simple Name System could only identify as multi-ethnicWhen you are looking for that perfect target audience “multi-ethnic” leaves you stranded at the generic “one size fits all” approach. For example, “Lee” is a multi-ethnic Last Name. E-Tech can identify a person named John Lee as Chinese, Korean, English or African American. And similarly for over 4,000 other shared Last Names.Additionally, here’s why a 7.08% increase of First Names is important:Unlike other systems, First Names in E-Tech 8.0 do not always determine an endgame by themselves. For example, any “Name System” can determine that “Mohammed” is a Muslim name. But what is Mohammed’s ethnicity? Is he Pakistani, Bangladeshi, or African American (Black Muslim)? With the application of all of E-Tech’s components and, in particular, ETech’s unique geocoding engine, 8.0 predicts accurately Mohammed’s ethnicity.
You Asked, We Listened
Responding to the needs of the E-Tech User’s Group, 8.0 adds two new African American Ethnicities: Haitian and Jamaican.
Group Codes have changed as well to better reflect the geographic location of a person’s original ethnicity. Asian American 1, Asian American 2 and Asian American 3 are now more accurately described as East Asian, Southeast Asian, South Asian and Central Asian. Caribbean Non-Hispanic has also been added for the convenience of customers who would like to choose from those ethnicities. For easy reference for customers who prefer Group Codes over particular Ethnicities, 8.0 has also isolated Hispanic as its own Group Code.
About Ethnic Technologies:
Ethnic Technologies, LLC is the Global Leader in Multicultural Marketing, Research, Data Enhancement, Segmentation and Modeling Analytics. The EthniCenter ® from Ethnic Technologies is the result of over 40 years of continuous multicultural, religious and language preference research. E-TECH’s Multicultural Ethnic, Language Preference and Degree of Assimilation selects outperform the competition in accuracy and response rates time after time. Whether using the data for mailing, telemarketing, email campaigns or modeling, the same excellent results have been achieved.Read More
For more information, visit www.ethnictechnologies.com.
- Helping You Reach Your Ethnic Market Across America
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Ethnic Technologies is traveling America to bring Ethnic Data to every market. Below is a list of shows that our sales staff will be attending to spread the word.
Recent Blog Posts
- A Peak Inside Hindu Name Origins: Caste-based Surnames September 12, 2017
- Ethnic Technologies Thought Leaders to Speak at International Conference August 23, 2017
- Do all Indian Americans speak Hindi? Their names tell a different story. July 25, 2017
- Naming Traditions From Around the World June 27, 2017
- Ethnic Technologies to Exhibit at the 2017 Marketing Analytics Conference May 31, 2017
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