Abhishek Avtans अभिषेक अवतंस Profile picture
Lecturer (Indic Language/s) at Leiden University (NL), KHS (Agra), JNUite #Linguistics #Hindi #Urdu language & literature. भाषा, भाषाविज्ञान, साहित्य
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21 Aug
A unique Language of the Bohra community
The Alavi Bohras & Dawoodi Bohras are 2 religious sects within the Ismāīlī branch of Shia Islam. The largest populations of Bohras reside in Gujarat, India followed by Pakistan.
They also have a sizable presence in East Africa, Middle East, Europe, & North America.Their name, 'Bohra' बोहरा comes from the Gujarati word 'vohra' वोहरा (= trader); vohrā is further related to Gujarati वहौराउ vahaurāu (to do business) < Sanskrit व्यवहारः vyavahāraḥ ( trade)
Bohra community speaks Gujarati & other languages but its own formal language is called "Lisan ud Dawat" (language of beckoning). This is a variety of Gujarati written in an Arabic derived script with many words of Arabic giving it a distinctive Islamic character.
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29 Jun
Guava trail
If you have travelled on a train between Delhi to any place in North-Eastern India, you may have had the famous Ilāhābadī amrūds at Allahabad (Prayāgrāj). In fact, the sweet smell of guavas often helped me guess that our train has arrived at the Allahabad junction.
"Amrūd" अमरूद is a common Hindi /Urdu word for a tropical fruit Guava, having its origin in Central America. It was introduced to the East Indies (SE Asia) by the Spanish during the early 16th century, and Portuguese brought it eventually from there to India & rest of Asia.
No wonder, in Bengali and other languages, it is known by words of Portuguese origin e.g. "Peyara". Chronicles of Mughal emperor Akbar mention the word amrūd अमरूद  in the inventory of fruits in imperial kitchens (1590).
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13 Jun
The secret language of Palanquin bearers (long thread, 🙏)
A Palanquin is a covered wheel-less carriage (litter) carried on two horizontal poles by men.The word "Palanquin" is from Portuguese palanquin, from Malay or Javanese pelangki, of Indo-Aryan origin; ...
From Odia pālaṅki, (related to pālkī पालकी) based on Sanskrit पर्यङ्क paryaṅka (= bed, couch). Some other names of palanquin are śivikā शिविका, vāhya वाह्य etc.
The tradition of wheel-less carriages for travelling short & long distances is very old in Indian subcontinent & its use was often restricted to royals, nobles & wealthy. The people who carried these palanquins were variously known as Kahār कहार, Gond गोंड, or Bhoi भोई in...
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