MIND YOUR LANGUAGE 2
A right wing, anti-Hindu section of the general population used to call Hindus ‘ZANGARNA’, a corruption of Jagannath (English: ‘Juggernaut’) which for some Hindus is another word for “GOD” or Lord Krishna. Their language was, and still is, full of scornful expressions for Hindu rituals and the aspiring leader of the dying MMM seems to relish them. Has the MMM become Mouvman ‘Milat’ Morisien? An important Hindu ritual is “PRASADA” – a religious offering in both Hinduism and Sikhism. Is this being mocked?
“Prasada (Sanskrit: “favour” or “grace”) in Hinduism, is food and water offered to a deity during worship (puja). It is believed that the deity partakes of and then returns the offering, thereby consecrating it. The offering is then distributed and eaten by the worshippers. The efficacy of the prasada comes from its having been touched by the deity. Food left by a guru (spiritual leader) is considered prasada by the guru’s followers, as the guru is regarded as a living god. All food, if silently offered to God with the proper prayers before eating, becomes consecrated and is thus considered prasada.
In Sikhism, the distribution of karahprasad, a sweet dish of wheat flour, sugar, and clarified butter, is customarily part of a worship service or of any special ceremony, such as an initiation, a wedding, or a funeral. Communal eating reinforces the ideals of social equality that are an integral part of Sikh belief.” (https://www.britannica.com/topic/prasada)
The mulatto MC (Mauritian Creole) expression used by the Hon. J. Berenger is as offensive as the word ‘mulatto’ itself.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Many Mauritians of different origins hold the belief that MC is by nature vulgar and cannot be used in refined circles. “Zot koz gro kreol” is an expression often heard. Did not the leader of the Labour Party say that our national language cannot be used in parliament for doors will be wide open to vulgarity?
Inveterate Francophiles still call MC a patois which is a categorical refusal to give it a ‘language’ status. And to add insult to injury, they select some ‘juicy’ expressions to suggest that our national language is just some form of folklore which deserves nothing more than mockery and ridicule. It is then convenient to ignore that it is the mother tongue of 90% of the Mauritian population, is used in places of worship, is taught and studied in prestigious institutions and has the most vibrant poetic, dramatic and prose literature of the Republic of Mauritius.
MC AND SHAKESPEARE
All languages have formal/informal, polite/vulgar, refined/uncouth, sophisticated/pedestrian registers. Vulgarity reveals the nature of the speaker, not the nature of the language. Let the ‘meter-dan-zar’ (WANNABE) make known their own stupidity and bias and drown in their own muck, mental or otherwise.
On the other hand, let us enjoy the beauty of our mother tongue through the words of a great tragic hero:
Soley leve, soley kouse, sak zour
Letan ranp-ranpe, al ver dernie son;
E memwar lepase fer nou rapel
Enn ta bachara ki’nn al manz feyaz.
Tengn lalimier! Lavi enn fennsifer!
Enn ta senn dan vid. Enn zistwar ranpli
Ar tapaz, ar zestaz; enn zistwar fou
Ki pa vo enn fout.
(Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Macbeth Act 5 Scene 5