This is a nice roundup of answers to the question “How do people’s names differ around the world, and what are the implications of those differences on the design of forms, databases, ontologies, etc. for the Web?” Most of it is familiar to me (Icelanders have a given name followed by a patronymic, Chinese have the family name first and often a generational name in the middle, Spanish-speakers have two family names with the father’s first, etc.), but the material on Tamil and Rajasthani names was new to me, as was this:
In Thailand people have a nickname, that is usually not related to their actual name, and will generally use this name to address each other in non-formal situations. (They will also typically introduce themselves to Westerners with this name, since it is usually only one or two syllables and therefore easier to pronounce.) Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has the nickname Maew (แม้ว). Often they will have different nicknames for family and friends.