8 votes

How 'Namaste' Flew Away From Us

7 comments

  1. [6]
    anahata
    Link
    Strange that this article claims that the "I recognize the divinity in you" meaning is "overblown" or "divorced from its use in Hindi". I've had a discussion with an Indian (as in born in India to...

    Strange that this article claims that the "I recognize the divinity in you" meaning is "overblown" or "divorced from its use in Hindi". I've had a discussion with an Indian (as in born in India to Indian parents) friend and she validated that usage of the term. She takes offense to the jokes as appropriation or diluting the meaning of the term, and I agree with her. I learned this meaning in my yoga teacher training and the meaning seems to flow naturally from the etymology given in the article. Said friend is absolutely happy for me to "namaste her", to use the article's terminology. Maybe there's a generational gap or something else at play here, but I'm friends with or practice with a number of Indian folks who've never expressed any problems with the practice.

    And I have to question an article that uses the word "cringe" in an unironic way. It just doesn't sit well for me, and smacks of the kind of carelessness with language that this article is talking about. It very much has been twisted to "mean whatever people want it to".

    2 votes
    1. TheJorro
      Link Parent
      This may just be the first proper use of the word "cringe" I've seen since r/cringe became popular. I don't see how it's carelessly implied after the article has already demonstrated the strong...

      This may just be the first proper use of the word "cringe" I've seen since r/cringe became popular. I don't see how it's carelessly implied after the article has already demonstrated the strong revulsion some South Asians do experience.

      1 vote
    2. [3]
      Micycle_the_Bichael
      Link Parent
      is your friend Hindi/from an area in India where Hinduism is common/dominate? That could play a role maybe? Because as the author points out, there is a tendency to generalize and "namaste" people...

      is your friend Hindi/from an area in India where Hinduism is common/dominate? That could play a role maybe? Because as the author points out, there is a tendency to generalize and "namaste" people from Southeast Asia for whom the word has no cultural meaning because racism.

      Edit: quoting source for what I'm basing my guess off of:

      In South Asia, namaste is mostly heard in Hindi-speaking areas. There are hundreds of other languages spoken in the region — as a Sri Lankan Tamil, namaste isn't really a word in my family's language. And yet, with brown skin and a name like Kumari, I'm no stranger to being namaste'ed. As Putcha points out, "racism isn't exactly geographically specific."
      Being namaste'ed was one of the ways I learned what being South Asian was going to mean for my life. If folks were greeting me with a word that has no place in my family's heritage, then what other assumptions were they making?

      1. [2]
        anahata
        Link Parent
        She's not Hindi. Christian, actually, so I'm not really sure. Maybe my friend is just strange. :)

        She's not Hindi. Christian, actually, so I'm not really sure. Maybe my friend is just strange. :)

        1. Micycle_the_Bichael
          Link Parent
          Who's to say. Everyone has their own thoughts and life experiences, doesn't necessarily make anyone right or wrong :)

          Who's to say. Everyone has their own thoughts and life experiences, doesn't necessarily make anyone right or wrong :)

    3. vivaria
      Link Parent
      I still disagree! I think the word has a distinct meaning, just a different one than you're used to. :V Please label my comment off-topic, thanks!

      And I have to question an article that uses the word "cringe" in an unironic way. It just doesn't sit well for me, and smacks of the kind of carelessness with language that this article is talking about. It very much has been twisted to "mean whatever people want it to".

      I still disagree! I think the word has a distinct meaning, just a different one than you're used to. :V

      Please label my comment off-topic, thanks!

      2 votes
  2. TheJorro
    Link
    Yes? Is that not already one? I regularly see terrible English-based slogans like this every time I walk through Walmart or EB-X at least. Doubly so if they're gamer-related. But I also wouldn't...

    Putcha says that deciding which languages get made fun of is one way society establishes which people and cultures are the norm and which are not. (Can you imagine Target selling tote bags and water bottles with a play on the word "hello"? Who's going to shell out big bucks for a HELLO-M-G yoga mat?)

    Yes? Is that not already one? I regularly see terrible English-based slogans like this every time I walk through Walmart or EB-X at least. Doubly so if they're gamer-related.

    But I also wouldn't say these are examples of "making fun" so much as they are issues of consumerism, where one must purchase and advertise their hobbies in quirky ways for some reason.

    2 votes