Sunday, February 05, 2006

A Jaggi by any other name

One of the advantages of having an unusual name is that it sticks in memories. (And not just people's memories, either. Fr'instance, see here, here and especially here.)

Those of you who know a bit about Indian names might say that Sidharth isn't uncommon.
And you'd be (almost) right. I was named after this guy here,



... just having narrowly avoided being named after this guy here,



... but that's another story for another time. The thing, is, though, that due to a spelling mistake my name has but a single D in it (instead of the usual "sidDharth"), which results in the really cool fact that my name anagrams to HARD SHIT (which was used to full effect in the first few minutes of my thesis presentation).

Also, a liberal interpretation of the Sanskrit etymology of my name means that I am a theorem-prover, which is really quite apt. (Siddh = justify, arth = truth. One who justifies the truth = one who proves theorems. See?)



But really, this post is more about my surname rather than my Christian (cross that) Hindu (cross that...) Atheist... let's just say my given name.

How many Jaggis do YOU know? Likelier than not, just me or someone related to me. That's kinda how it was like for me when I was growing up. Even Delhi, the homeland of Jaggis, had only a page or two of Jaggis in the phone-book who weren't relatives.

Except the Jaggi Butter Chicken-walla right outside Priya cinema.

Or, of course, this guy.




But that was before I started Googling. A search for "Jaggi family Genealogy" yielded this gem


{Begin excerpt}
JAGGIS IN INDIA ARE KNOWN TO HAVE COME TO INDIA OR SPREAD OVER THE WORLD FROM WEST ASIA. NOW SOME ROOTS HAVE BEEN TRACED TO TURKY OF THEIR EARLY PRESENCE A FEW CENTURIES AGO. IN THE WAKE OF THEIR FIRST APPEARANCE ON EARTH PROBABLY IN PAKISTAN AS HIMALAYS BEING THE PLACE OF ORGIN OF HUMAN CIVILISATION,THEY SPREAD ALL OVER FROM THERE.
{End excerpt}

Hmm. Really?

Anyway, I Googled some more and discovered that ninety percent of the Jaggi web-presence (and even now well over half) was based on the Swiss Family Jaggi.

Which was perfect, 'cos I was about to go to Switzerland on a conference, and so randomly emailed a bunch of Jaggis saying something like "Hey there! Your last name is the same as mine. Let's meet up!"

To my surprise, one of them actually responded.




Martin Jaggi, then a math undergrad at ETH Zurich, offered to take me around Switzerland for a day (would've loved to hang out longer, but the man had to go to some climbing competition - he was on the Swiss national climbing team and I believe he's currently ranked reasonably highly in the world. We Jaggis are an illustrious sports family. Consider, for instance, Karin Jaggi, sometime woman windsurfing world champion...)

At any rate, it was fun, and we're still occasional pen-pals.

And that, I thought, would be the end of my pseudo-genealogical endeavours. But Jaggis the world over continually surprise...

Out of the blue, a few while ago I got this email...

_______________________________

Olá, Não sei se compreende português, mas...
Meu nome é Anderson Jaggi, e na verdade desde pequeno queria saber a origem do sobrenome jaggi e nunca soube porque meu pai nunca soube responder. E queria perguntar vc que tb tem esse sobrenome se sabe a origem, e até quem sabe temos grau de parentesco, antes de descobrir aqui no orkut, não sabia que tinha outras pessoas com esse sobrenome pq até então não tinha visto ninguém com o mesmo sobrenome que o meu.
Abraços.

This message was sent by Anderson Miranda Jaggi to Sidharth

________________________________

Luckily, for some random reason I used Google Translator instead of deleting the message out of hand. Turns out, there's a Brazilian branch of the many-tentacled Jaggi clan.

________________________________

Olá, I do not know if it understands Portuguese, but... My name is Anderson Jaggi, and in the truth since small jaggi wanted to know the origin of the last name and it never knew because my father never knew to answer. E wanted to ask vc that tb has this last name if it knows the origin, and until who knows has degree of kindred, before discovering here in orkut, not wise person who had other people with this last name pq until then had not seen nobody with the same last name that mine. Abraços.
________________________________

Some emails were exchanged, facilitated by Google...

________________________________

Olá, Then you he is Indian, works with what!? What you it makes there in
India....
I wait that let us continue to keep contact, who knows one day we can in
knowing them personally, after all we can be relatives.
We still go to talk on some subjects.
One I hug friend. Anderson Jaggi (Brazil)

________________________________

So maybe the online translator messed stuff up, but did he just offer to marry me? Anyway, it's too late now - I'm part of the Orkut Jaggi Brazilian family now.



One last tale to wrap up this Jaggi saga.

The perspicacious among you might have noted that Jaggi is a homophone for Juggy. And the salacious among you might have seen The Man Show. Featuring the Juggies. In particular "Juggies on Trampolines". (Depending on where you work, those last few links might Not be Safe For Work).

Some would have dismissed this as unfortunate happenstance. And so did I, until this series of conversations.
________________________________


Self (to Greek ex-landlord): Oh, so you're Greek? One of my best friend's last name is Greek.

Ex-landlord: Really? What's his name?

Self: Maltezos.

Ex-landlord: {gentle grin}

Self: What's so funny?

Ex-landlord: Weeeelllll... in Greek, Maltezos means man with large boobs.

.
.
.

{few days later, conversation with George and his dad, who happens to be in town}

.
.
.

Self: Mr. Maltezos. My landlord just told me your name means man with large boobs.

Mr. Maltezos: NO NO NONONONONO! It means Man from Malta. See - Malta, Maltezos.

.
.
.

{next conversation with ex-landlord}

Self: You told me it means man with large boobs. But Mr. Maltezos just told me it means man from Malta. Which makes a lot of sense.

Ex-landlord: {gentle grin in full force} Weeeelllllll, it COULD mean man from Malta, but where I come from, it usually refers to this breed of goat from Malta with large boobs....

________________________________

Coincidence that my friend and I share the same name? I think NOT.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Tara said...

Hey, I know this is kinda weird and all. I have the same last name. I'm Tara Jaggi =)

My mother's done quite a bit of research on the family tree and we've come to the conclusion that the name is probably of Indian origin. But, many indians emmigrated to Europe (mostly Switzerland and Italy) back in the 1400's. My dad moved here from Italy when he was 8 years old.

So, there's a pretty good chance we're related.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Priya said...

Hi, my name is Priya Jaggi, and I'm not sure if we're related or not... but My dad comes from a huge Jaggi family in New Delhi, India... although My grandfather grew up in what is now Pakistan.

But yeah, I've been trying to do some research on my family tree, but haven't found anything of much significance.

7:16 PM  
Blogger chaman said...

Hi , I am Chaman Jaggi, from Agra, I am also trying to find out our origin.
anybody can contact me at chamanjaggi@gmail.com

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your post is four years old, I know, but in case you still check this I wanted to comment. My father's last name was Jaggi, from a grandfather in Switzerland. I had no idea there was a large Indian branch that shared this name. I would love to be in contact with anyone who has done more research. Thank you -- Anastasia

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Jaggi Clan:
My Clan blood originates from Alexanders Army. The first Jaggis arrived on boat ready to conquer India, mostly high ranking military officials. After many wars, so the story goes to say my great great times-many grandfather married a Rajput(cast meaning:son of the king) lady whose father was one of the Mountain Kings (somewhere on or at the base of Himalayas). Eventually generation after generation the offspring (considered one of many branches of rajput clan now) were trained to fight and kill at a very early age, and were knighted around in their late 20s,(remember my grandfather explaining about the king of a region giving the clan a large area for his favorite knights, the Jaggi Clan, to run gracfully) this had been the normal family tradition(until all kings were desecrated when the British took over). Then Jaggis in 1900s-1940s were forced to fight wars with Brittan.That is all I know. This is all for the Jaggis in himachal, dont know about the ones in Dehli. I am guessing the ones in Dehli are from himachal.

2:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi mr.jaggi
i am rudolf jaggi from switzerland but living in italy. i want to tell you a nice story relatet to our name. 10 years ago i spent 4 month in india. arriving in india, i never expected that there is existing the same name like mine, so i expected that nobody in india could spell my name. also because already in italy nobody is able. but i was very surprised when always i had to show my documents or also only my name, the people said: . only at the end of my journey in india i discovered on a list of train-reservations the name of an indian person with the same name like mine. only there i realized the meaning of .
greetings from italy

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am sorry i forgot something.
i am rudolf jaggi from switzerland but living in italy. i want to tell you a nice story relatet to our name. 10 years ago i spent 4 month in india. arriving in india, i never expected that there is existing the same name like mine, so i expected that nobody in india could spell my name. also because already in italy nobody is able. but i was very surprised when always i had to show my documents or also only my name, the people said: "ahh mr jaggi...". only at the end of my journey in india i discovered on a list of train-reservations the name of an indian person with the same name like mine. only there i realized the meaning of "ahh mr jaggi...".
greetings from italy

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rudolf jaggi
my email is motore.marino@yahoo.it

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recently took a DNA test and was surprised to see India on my test in rather high amounts in some chromosomes ..Anyway my grandfather was a Jaggi and his family came over to America from Switzerland. I look forward to doing more research on this :)

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I am Jaggi too....served in indian Army now in UAE....
Jaggi1968@yahoo.co.in

7:25 AM  

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