There are many kinds of expressions which are used to foster relations and reveal the psyche of a group. The categories of expressions of abuse in Kashmiri are found to register one’s disapproval. An abuse may utilize the name of a place, a deity, a sect or an occupation. Here, we delve into the origins of abuse, while we explore these expressions, we advise our readers to avoid using the following:

1) Vahu Kadun: To abuse means in the Kashmiri “Vahu kadun”, it utilizes the name of a particular deity or a spirit, Vahu being the first part or prefix of a compound name given to a highly honored spirit in Avesta*, the Vahu Manah which signifies the good mind and prosperity, so Vahu kadun means to make good leave or to remove good. Over the years the suffix part has been removed from the common language, hence vahu is increasingly identified as “to abuse”.

2)Divath Vasin/Walin: Vahu kadun closely identifies with Divath vasin or Divath walin meaning “to pull down glory” with Divath being the deity of glory and prosperity.

3) Watul Hamyuk: its implied meaning is “ someone not conforming to general intellectual standards of the society, or for any lack of common sense”. Watulhome is an actual rural settlement in Anantnag district. Although the inhabitants of this settlement are as much or as less smart than the ones in the surrounding villages, yet any folly committed in the adjacent areas is ascribed to this village, often validated in the folk literature through the numskull characters belonging to the village.

4) Domba: often associated to people who hardly seem to conform to the social norms of conduct, the expression has its traces in caste, Domba a lowly caste who remove hide from dead animals, kill cats and drink. A person or a settlement that is ill tempered, ready to fight, and using foul language are termed as Domba.

The intricacies of language, the common place expressions and idioms, carry within them the wisdom of generations. Although we wouldn’t call this wisdom, but just a glimpse of the burden we carry even in the simplest of expressions, a burden of time.

Note: the expressions above are used by uncouth vagabonds and not “civilized” people, please do not practice at home, school or anywhere else.

Source: Gulshan Majeed “Expressions of Abuse”


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