02 October 2007

Sounds of Sects

"I don't want our child to speak Shia!"

You know, during the (un)civil war, people got killed because they had the 'wrong' pronunciation of tomato at the 'wrong' road block!

So do you say "bandora" or "banadoora"?
Do you say "ah-nay" (meaning I) or "ah-nah" (meaning I)?

If you say "ah-nay" (for I) then you are from the South and most propably Shiite.
If you say "ay-nah" then you are from the Mountain and maybe a Druze.
If you say "ah-nah" then you are a city girl or boy and that is confusing!
So we have to listen carefully for other sound clues.

This, ofcourse, is when your name is not sufficient to give you away.
And no matter how much you try to explain that you are secular or have converted to Buddhism, it just does not work.

You are what you sound.


Jester said...

Hahahaha... wonderful... 'ana', I believe that we Lebanese realize our absurdity; which is why we make fun of ourselves and don't take the matter seriously. I personally refuse to make Lebanon out of one color, that is one sect... I love our diversity, simply to know what makes me different. If we were from the same color... we wouldn't notice it, cause it would be the only one that there is.

This is a valid and sound reason not to be fanatic, and not an emotional and kind excuse.

Today in Lebanon, we have a Political split; Not a Religious one. (we just happen to have that political split by our representatives who happen to have the same sect as ours).

bech said...

for the sake of clarity, I would have probably wrote things differently instead of a-nay, aneh (for the south). But that's me being fussy. ehna, ana, etc.

What's really nice in what you say (and so the peculiar word example you pick up) is that the different 'I', symboliwing the self, the individual is a symptom of different social spheres.

bech said...

by the way my 'for the sake of clarity' was a joke of course! I don't if it looked like one... i'm really bad with jokes...

M Bashir said...

i'm really bad with jokes

you have potentials, you are improving, keep trying :-)

Hassan said...

at least accents are more or less based on a pattern and somehow can point out someone's sect.

what really bewilders me is the incredible "ma shaklak/u don't look like a (insert sect of choice in here)"


M Bashir said...

yeh hassan, and that too!
there is also the "mish di3anou ykoun..."/"isn't it a waste that he is..."
a sect (or two) goes in the blank.

Hassan said...

LOL yes!

But that's when I'm too annoyed by the patronizing attitude to give a damn about the sectarian dimension :-)

Anonymous said...

are you kidding me... some dont know only your sect from your accent...

I was at a bakery in Sydney (Australia) lately. This particular bakery is in a suburb with a high concentration of Lebanese people.

I walk in - note that I look more european than arab, and everyone who meets me asks if I'm british...

Anyway back to the story... I walk into the baker, speak only english and order 6 loaves of Lebanese bread.

I walk to the fridge, get a can of coke, and ask my brother if he wants one...

I go back to the counter to pay....

the lady behind the counter asks - You're from Bsharri aren't you??

I asked how did you know ??

she says from the way you were talking...

remember... I only spoke english up to that point!!!


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