Monday, April 16, 2012

Namak, table salt



If you thought “salt” was something you added to food, you couldn’t be more wrong. “Namak” is one of the most loaded concepts across India. To taste someone’s ‘namak’, doesn’t just mean you have partaken in their hospitality; it means you are in a subtle way indebted to the person. It even describes people- “naman haram” is a person you cannot trust, and “namak hala” is one who is true to your salt. 


Any wonder that in many parts of the country, the first thing that is put on your plate at a wedding feast is a pinch of salt.
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There are words, and there are words. Some words can be easily translated, others need to be described.  In April, I’ll attempt to capture the Soul of 26 'Indian' words in a  drabble of exactly 100 words.

5 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Natasha - Oh, that's fascinating! Salt is such an integral part of our life isn't it? There's the expression salt of the earth, and there's the custom of throwing a pinch of salt over one's shoulder for luck if one spills salt. Lots more too of course. Thanks for sharing these.

Laura Marcella said...

Hello, Rayna! Your theme for this blogging challenge is such a good idea! This is a really interesting post. Thanks for sharing!

Hope you have a great week and happy A to Z!!

Chuck said...

Always wondered about that phrase "worth their salt". Kind makes sense after reading this.

Iliadfan said...

I love how layered all the meanings are in the words you've chosen.

Don't many cultures have an older tradition that if you've eaten someone's salt (say in something they serve you) then you've indicated they can always trust you or something?

Patricia Stoltey said...

At least the A to Z Challenge is getting me back into the blog-hopping habit. It's nice to see you again.

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