24 January 2016

Eighteenth-century Hindi sayings

In a post on the British Library's Asian and African Studies blog, I discussed a Persian dictionary by the eighteenth-century bureaucrat and connoisseur Ānand Rām Mukhliṣ. The dictionary, Mirʾāt al-iṣt̤ilāḥ (ʻMirror of Expressionsʼ) completed in 1158/1745, is a strange work because it's less a dictionary and more a miscellany describing people and things that interested its author. At the end of each chapter, it gives some Persian sayings [muḥāwārāt] sometimes with Hindi equivalents. 

I quoted one of my favourites, dar jang ḥalvā bakhsh nimīkunand [During war they don't hand out sweets], which is rendered in Hindi as laṛāʾī meṁ koʾī laḍḍū nahīṁ baṭte. It's a charming example in part because Persianate halwa has been replaced by Indian laddus. People asked for more examples of Hindi sayings quoted in the text, so here are few:

22 January 2016

Persian food words

I was featured in a NPR food piece by Nina Martyris, "From Candy To Juleps, Persians Left Imprint On Many Edible Delights". A lot of common English names for foods have a Persian or an Indo-Persian connection.