Sindhis and Sindhi
Many years ago, I had gone to the airport to receive my husband and I took my
4-year-old son with me. We were browsing in the bookshop when I noticed
two gentlemen wearing the Pakistani salwar kurta, speaking in the Sindhi
language. I recognised the dialect as belonging to Hyderabad, which is the place
of my birth and from where my ancestors stem. I was fascinated as I heard them
speak. Never had I heard such 'shudh' (pure) Sindhi spoken.
We do speak Sindhi grammatically, but we tend to mix English and/or
Hindi words into our conversation. I went up to them and praised them for their
diction and command over the Sindhi Language. I expected them to be pleased.
Instead they started to criticize the fact that I was talking to my child in
English and Hindi. Their tirade put me on the offensive. I told them that we
were forced by circumstances beyond our control to leave our town in Sind; that
'To Survive' became our new language, religion and way of life. To survive we
needed to mingle with the world. We had to imbibe the customs, mannerisms and
language in return for the love and security that our new 'home' provided. Could
they truly blame us for not speaking in only pure Sindhi with our children.
I think that the two gentlemen were taken aback by my passion, and they
seemed to be learning about the point of view of a displaced Sindhi for the
first time in their lives. I conduct classes on Hindu Philosophy and Culture.
Much later, another gentleman asked me why I was not doing anything about
reviving the Sindhi language. I decided to make a start by presenting to the
Sindhis, 'Sindhi proverbs' as they project the way our ancestors thought and
lived. Could I request friends who are reading these words to go through the
proverbs, and then go through them with your children. Maybe we can still
instill an interest in our children for the Sindhi language.
It is said that what is painful to remember, we simply don't forget. The pain
of having lost our birth land kept 'us'...the past generation remembering...and
we do not want the children of the future to forget. Below I present to you a
proverb from the book: 'Wisdom of Sind'
In matters of relationships, Sindhis made interesting observations. For a
husband they believed that:
Murs ta phado, Na ta jado
Which literally means that unless a husband is hard to please, he is not good
enough. Probably the macho image of a difficult man was attractive to a
Sindhi woman. On the other hand, maybe the proverb was coined by the parents of
the girl to make her life more satisfactory, by praising the negative traits of
Shakun Narain Kimatrai
Read:'The Wisdom of