Sashi Tharoor, a prominent Congress leader and the Member of Parliament representing Thiruvananthapuram, has drawn attention to the pronunciation challenges faced by foreigners when attempting to say the name of his electoral district. Tharoor has proposed that the capital city should have been named Ananthapuri instead. He made this observation in response to a recent viral video showing South African cricket players struggling to accurately pronounce the name of Kerala’s capital.
In the video, a majority of the cricketers were observed grappling with the correct pronunciation of the city’s name during a warm-up match at the Karyavattom Greenfield Stadium, which preceded the upcoming ICC World Cup.
With a touch of humor, Tharoor shared the viral video and playfully asked, “The South Africans have arrived in Thiruvananthapuram! But can they tell anyone where they are?” He also pointed out that even accomplished actors have encountered difficulties when pronouncing the city’s name during the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), an annual event hosted in Thiruvananthapuram.
Sharing his perspective on the matter, Tharoor added, “Their attempts aren’t any more successful. I’ve cringed while listening to esteemed actors stumble over the name at the annual International Film Festival of Kerala. Very few of them can pronounce Thiruvananthapuram correctly. Perhaps we should have chosen Ananthapuri!”
Historically, Thiruvananthapuram, the southernmost district of Kerala, derived its name from “Tiru-Anantha-Puram,” signifying the city of Lord Anantha. Over time, it has been known by various names, including “Tiruaanandapuram,” “Syanandapuram,” and “Sanandapuram.” During the colonial period, it was commonly referred to as “Trivandrum.”