Pun­jabi Farsi

Asian Geographic - - On Assignment -


This tongue be­longs to the na­tive Pun­jabis, who re­side in the his­tor­i­cal Pun­jab re­gion of Pak­istan and In­dia. De­scend­ing from Shauraseni, the chief lan­guage used in drama in north­ern me­dieval In­dia, it emerged as an in­de­pen­dent lan­guage in the 11th cen­tury. At present, Pun­jabi is writ­ten in the Gur­mukhi and Per­sian scripts and stands out as the tonal lan­guage among the Indo- Aryan fam­ily of lan­guages.


Tra­di­tion­ally known as Per­sian, Farsi – as­so­ci­ated with some of the great­est ancient lit­er­ary tra­di­tions – orig­i­nated from a re­gion of south­ern Iran, for­merly known as Per­sis. A na­tive Ira­nian Farsi speaker al­ways bids farewell with kho­daa hafiz (‘God pro­tect you’). This af­fec­tion­ate part­ing phrase has been a cat­a­lyst of con­tention from de­fend­ers of the Arab world, ar­gu­ing that kho­daa trans­lates to ‘god’, not ‘God’, and can be ap­plied to any higher or­der. De­rived from the Mid­dle Ira­nian xvatay, it has its roots in the con­cept of ‘lord’, ‘ruler’ and ‘mas­ter’, show­ing how Ira­nian Mus­lims per­ceive the intimate re­la­tion­ship with their god. For that mat­ter, Farsi speak­ers have not adopted ‘Al­lah’ (‘the God’ in Ara­bic), deem­ing ‘ kho­daa’ ir­re­place­able in most con­texts, whether con­ver­sa­tional or for­mal, for both re­li­gious and lin­guis­tic rea­sons.

A na­tive Ira­nian Farsi speaker al­ways bids farewell with kho­daa hafiz (“God Pro­tect You”).

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