The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

We have the boon of a year-long festival season, allowing you numerous opportunities to visit your native: you may be a young boy, waiting to see if your first love condemns you to fraternal frustration during Rakhi; you may affectionately bid someone Ramadan Kareem! and feast after fasting; on Xmas you may eat too much dukra mass; or, you may stand with mouth agape during a Diwali mela, watching the tamasha on stage while your nemesis taunts you with pataka items. The point being, there's no paucity of divine reasons to take chutti, whether you're a God-fearing sort of person or not. So relax and pass around some laddus. If your emdee complains, point with reverence to the skies and remind him that God only knows.

Ayyo rama!

\I-yooo Rama\
3 1
Exclamation.
0

Definition

Stuck in a miserable situation and exclaiming to god for help.

Usage

Goundamani: Ayyo rama! enna en inda madhiri kaisada pansangaloodu kutu sera vekara ?
( Ayyo Rama! why do you make me mingle with this useless fellows?)
Added 2012-03-14 by Mokkanai

venduthal

\ven-du-th-al\
5 3
Noun. March 29, 2013, Word of the Day
0

Definition

A (private) commitment to God to do something specific, usually requiring demonstrating belief in some physically painful manner, with the ulterior motive to secure (or thank for) some favour in return (from said God).

e.g. walking bare-foot to the Temple, fasting, shaving ones hair bald, poking / piercing sharp metal objects into ones skin, self-flagellation etc

Usage

Ramesh: Exam prepration yeppa-di poi-it-irruku?
(How is the exam prepration comming along?)
Mani: Koil-iku nadandhu varran-inu venduthal, God will do the rest.
(I have promised to walk to the temple, God will do the rest).

See also fatalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatalism) or Kismet or Vidhi, We will do our best, God will do the rest

Added 2012-02-28 by Silly Billy

Root

Tamil

Region

South India

Related Terms

Kadavul, God

showing aarthi

\aa-ra-thi\
2 2
Phrase.
0

Definition

See here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aarti)

Typically performed only during religious ceremonies, many in India, now show aarthi (sic) to almost anything that they believe is sacred, at the start of any endeavour to brings them luck or joy, specific days of the year, helps them earn a living or when public display of affected venerance is expected or demanded. This is also done to take nazar or drishti away from you, to get rid of any bad-luck that someone jealous has kannu-potu-(fied) on you.

Many Indians show aarthi (sic) to;

- Vehicles (esp) when they have recently purchased it or annually on Ayudha Pooja day, presumably because these help them to travel to earn a living

- Plant and machinery (as in any industrial, farming or factory implement)

- Computers and accounts books

- Cows

- Movie Cameras (during muhurat)

- Over-zealous fans show aarthi to cinema screens (when their hero appears for the first time, party-thondar to posters or cut-outs of political party leaders

- Houses, buildings etc (when breaking ground) and during annual (designated) auspicious days

- Various gods and goddesses

Usage

Ma (Mother): Pundit-ji, zara inko aarthi deka-iya (pointing to the Son).
Purohit (Priest): Lo Beta, Bhagvan ka aishirwad lo.
Beta (Son): No thanks, I'm an atheist...what bhakvas.
(Bhak-vas - nonsense)
Added 2012-02-26 by Silly Billy

Root

Hindi

Region

India

Sacred Thread

\Sacred Thread, English Words\
9 0
Noun.
0

Definition

The Sacred Thread is a thin consecrated cord, composed of distinct cotton strands, worn to symbolize a Hindu coming of age. The sacred thread is known by many names (varying by region and community), such as Poita, Janeu, Lagun, Yajnopavita, Yagyopavit, Yonya and Zunnar.

Usage

Ambi: Why is your bowling so poor today? Is your arm hurting?
Thambi: No man. I forgot to adjust my sacred thread after my morning puja. It is coming in the way.
Ambi: So why don't you adjust it now?
Thambi: What? In front of all these people? They'll make fun of me.
Added 2012-02-21 by IndianInCowboyCountry

Root

English

Region

All India
10 2
Noun.
0

Definition

Jallikattu is the Tamil term given to "bull fighting" or "bull taming". It is a socio cultural event attended by many of Tamil Nadus rural population and is conducted in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations usually on Mattu Pongal day. Evidence of jallikattu can be seen in rock paintings dating to the bronze age and the event is carried out in different forms. The ancient greeks enjoyed a similar event.

Although it is similar to the Spanish running of the bulls, in Jallikattu, the bull is not killed and the 'matadors' try to ride the bull or take off a pennant from the bulls horns. More often that not it is the tamilian "matador" who is injured. A specific breed of cattle is bred for this purpose and the bull is supposed to be naturally aggressive.

Several movies featuring Jallikattu have been made in Tamil. The most popular among them is Murattu Kalai starring Rajinikanth who plays the role of a professional bull tamer. Virumaandi, released in 2004, has kamal Hassan playing a similiar role and he is also known to have acted without stunt doubles.

Usage

Look at that Sheela, she behaves like a jallikattu bull after just 2 drinks.
Added 2012-01-20 by porkipaya

Root

Tamil

Region

Tamil Nadu

Related Terms

kumbh mela
7 1
Noun.
0

Definition

A name reserved exclusively for lovelorn female ghosts of India.
Universally across the country such ghosts are given that name in almost all languages making this lovely sounding label nearly unavailable to beautiful and living ladies.

In addition to ghosts, the name is quite comfortably assigned to bars and restaurants, movies, item girls,fancy stores,and men like that name given to all excepting especially their spouses instead preferring to call them Kali.

The female ghost's extra-long canines, white attire and hairdo is archetypical and no description is necessary for another 100 years.

Usage

"A Mohini haunting a college-going boy can lead to his failing in his exams and in worst cases, to bed-wetting."
Added 2012-01-17 by Savyasachi

Root

Multiple

Region

MBM

Terms referencing this

Chandramukhi
8 0
Noun. January 22, 2015, Word of the Day
0

Definition

An important day on the Indian calendar, Makar Sankranti (also known as Makar Sankrant) signifies the start of the harvest season in India, though it is celebrated in many ways all over the country. This day marks the gradual increase of daytime after winter, and is therefore considered to be the start of a new auspicious period. In Punjab, the eve of Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Lohri.

This harvest festival goes by many names in different parts of the subcontinent, and in each region it is celebrated with distinct rituals and traditions. (See Wikipedia for details of customs followed in various states on this day) The most famous image of Makar Sankranti has come to be the thousands of colourful kites that are flown by Gujaratis all over Gujarat to mark the occassion.

Etymology : 'Makar' refers to the zodiac sign of Capricorn. Thus, Makar Sankranti denotes the changing path of the sun into the house of Capricorn.

Usage

Unlike other Indian festivals, Makar Sankranti always falls on the 14th of January each year.
Added 2012-01-14 by Surdie Birdie

Root

Multiple

Region

India

Related Terms

Lohri
5 0
Noun.
0

Definition

A much loved Punjabi winter festival that is celebrated on January 13th, with the lighting of a big bonfire after sunset.

Friends and family gather around after dusk and watch as the fire is lit (after pouring copious amounts of ghee on the wood to be burnt), and then proceed to alternatively snack on and throw in food items such as Til waali rewri (jaggery with sesame seeds), peanuts, and more recently, popcorn. The idea is to feed yourself and to feed the fire as well, dispelling the deep winter chill. In recent years the tradition has become popular outside of Punjab as well and entire neighbourhoods in cities like New Delhi organise giant bonfires on this day. Singing and dancing the bhangda and the giddha form an intrinsic part of the day's celebrations for the farming community of Punjab, who consider this an auspicious day.

It is believed that the night of Lohri is the longest night in the entire year, and the next day the amount of daylight starts to increase for the first time after the cold, unforgiving North Indian winter - heralding the distant arrival of spring in the coming months. Therefore Lohri signifies the end of the darkest part of the year and the coming of warmer seasons. This is why, on the day after Lohri (which coincides with the festival of Makar Sankrant), a special kara prasad is prepared in Punjabi households.

Usage

*A typical Lohri day, and family members throng in the garden where arrangements for the bonfire have been made. The family matriarch directs the whole show with ease*
______________________________________________

"Everyone, gather around and let's start the fire, it's already quite late. You, come here and start pouring ghee on those sticks and light it up. You, get the hand held fan and help him start the blaze.You! Here are the plates of food, pass them around

*counts them as she goes*

two with peanuts ..... one with rewari ...... two with chiwda ....Wait a minute!!!

*staring at the empty plates in her hands*

WHO ATE UP ALL THE POPCORN????"

Added 2012-01-13 by Surdie Birdie

Root

Punjabi

Related Terms

Diwali Mela, Ramlila
5 1
Noun.
0

Definition

- Gender
- A sacred stone representing Shiva suspended on threads across the chest, worn by Lingayats/Veerasaivas of India.
- Sexual organ.

Usage

Linga Bedha is the Sanskrit word for gender discrimination.
Added 2012-01-09 by I love Dtool

Root

Sanskrit

Region

India

Videos and Images

8 1
Noun.
0

Definition

Frequently used misnomer in Karnataka to mean the Halal ritual at the time of butchering an animal.

Usage

Arrey, nakko jey. Bismillah nai karya hi tho my us ka ghar me mutton nai khaneka. Machli hi tho dikkat nai. Machli me Allahich bismillah karya hi.
(Bro, don't want sir. If it wasn't halal cut, I can't eat meat at his place. No probs with fish, Allah only has done the halal cut while creating fish--referring to the slit for the fish's gills--
Added 2012-01-09 by I love Dtool