Aukaat, I’m coming

I realized recently that the Hindi/Urdu word “Aukaat” does not translate very well into English. Aukaat is a sphere of limitation imposed upon a person by virtue of his socio-political standing. A person is often warned in India, to stay within his Aukaat.
Conversely, “Liberty” does not translate into Hindi/Urdu very well. In essence, Liberty is the absence of Aukaat based limitations.
If you think about it, a culture decides to reduce an idea to a word when it appears frequently enough to warrant a shortcut for it.
It is really sad that in India, we have no word for Liberty, but have one like Aukaat.

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2 Responses to “Aukaat, I’m coming”

  1. Interesting. I had a similar thought about how gender is so important in Hindi. As for liberty – Azadi?

    • Gender is a good point, and one of the reasons I had to quit Hindi in school was because I could never figure out the web of rules around that. But upon further scrutiny now, I think that in the case of neutral objects, gender determination is an aural decision and not judgmental. Hindi has a rhythm and gender assignments are made mainly to keep that flow intact. It’s a theory though, and I won’t put money on it. But the fact that a decision was made early on to have two different sets of prepositions (ka,ki etc.) to indicate gender is definitely suspect, I agree. Oh, and isn’t Azadi Freedom?

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