Last year in college I had a colleague that had only a first name. I didn't enquiry further as to why, but anyway, I figure it must be a pain.
It is common in some parts of the world. My country has > 1000 ethnic groups, and many of us don't recognize the concept of surname the way Westerners do. Nowadays most of us who don't have surname either have multiple given names (I'm in this category), or new parents just add Western-style surname to their babies' names. I'm in my 30s, personally acquainted (ie. work colleague, former classmates, etc) with ~5 people who has one name.
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