Why do Sindhi surnames end in NI?

Sindhi surnames typically end with the suffix “ani”, which is derived from the Sanskrit word “aniya”, meaning “belonging to”. This suffix is used to indicate that the person bearing the surname is a member of the Sindhi community.

The first reason is that in the past, Sindhis did not have family names in the same way that other communities did. Instead, they used patronymics, which are surnames based on one’s father’s name. For example, if a man’s name was Kishan and his father’s name was Lakhmi, his surname would be Kishanani, which means “belonging to Kishan”. Over time, these patronymics became fixed surnames, and the “ani” suffix was added to indicate that the person was Sindhi.

The second reason for the “ani” suffix is that it is used as a way of indicating caste. In the Sindhi community, there are four main castes: the Bhatia, the Lohana, the Mirani, and the Amil. Each of these castes has its own set of surnames, which end with the suffix “ani”. For example, a Bhatia Sindhi might have the surname “Gulani”, while a Lohana Sindhi might have the surname “Khatwani”. The “ani” suffix thus serves as a way of indicating which caste a person belongs to.

Conclusion:

The “ani” suffix is thus a very important part of Sindhi surnames. It not only indicates that the person bearing the surname is Sindhi, but also provides information about their caste.

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