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How Malayalam Slang Words developed through Foreign Invasions

Words from foreign languages made their way into the local dialect through trade and colonial rule

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  • Life in India has been influenced by European superpowers ever since the British Rule
  • Indian Leaders, understanding the importance of western education, helped in spreading western influence
  • Malayalam as a language has been greatly influenced by historical events revolving around foreign rule

Life in India has been highly influenced by the arrival and stay of foreign powers in every possible facet, and this is true with regard to India’s traditionally rich languages as well. Western culture and education was first adopted by great Indian leaders like Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda and Ram Mohan Roy, who learnt to understand the base of western culture. The spread of western influence was facilitated by these Indian leaders themselves. While these leaders went on foreign voyages to teach the tenets of Hinduism, they happened to imbibe the spiritual values of the West as well. ”

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Mahatma Gandhi’s statement serves as a perennial source of inspiration. He writes, “I do not want my house to be walled on either side and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to blow about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown away.”

220px-Malayalam.svg
The first letter in Malayalam

Malayalam, a language native to Kerala, was one of the last languages to evolve in South India. This fact made it vulnerable to changes from external situations.

“Malayalam has a history of assimilating loanwords from various foreign tongues”, writes Anoop Sarkar at scroll.in. Kerala, the southern state of India, is thought to be the most influenced by western culture, as is evident in today’s local life being dwelt in that state. A few words that were coined this way in Malayalam only serve as an example of how the language was deeply impacted by foreigners.

OC (ഓസ്സി/ഓസ്സ്)

verb. to get something for free at someone’s else expense

This word is believed to be originated from the East India Company times, when there was a facility of sending out official parcels and letters without paying postage. These parcels would be stamped as ‘OCS’, which stood for ‘On Company Service’. The word must have descended into the local language and modified to OC. It is also prevalent in Tamil, and probably made its way into Malayalam through Tamil.

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Knappan (ക്ണാപ്പൻ)

noun. a good-for-nothing guy

Sir Arthur Rowland Knapp was a British officer of the Indian Civil Services, who served as the collector of the Malabar district of the Madras presidency. His inexperience and lack of knowledge about local customs resulted in most of his administrative reforms being unpopular and fruitless.

It is believed that even after he left from Malabar, Arthur Knapp’s name became synonymous with incompetence, consequently being adopted into Malayalam as Knappan. Though there are no officially documented records of this fact, it is widely believed to be true by literary experts.

Yemandan (യമണ്ടൻ)

adj. unusually huge and/or powerful

This Malayali word originated from from a German battleship named SMS Emden. Because of its military prowess, this ship proved to be a major contributor for the German Navy during World War I. During its war operations in the Bay of Bengal and later, in the Arabian Sea (close to the coast of Kerala), it was responsible for the destruction of many European military and merchant ships.

The main goal of this ship’s operation was to belittle the respect that Indians held for the British. The infamous bombardment of Madras was one of its worst attacks on the British colony. This event, which literally lit up the night sky with the sheer magnitude of the attack, was etched in the minds of the local people for years to come.

The word Yamandan, an adoption of the ship’s name, thus came into the local folklore as a superlative for something large and powerful.

KD (കേഡി)

noun. a bully or trouble maker

A minor criminal that has been caught with frequent offences is called as ‘Known Depradator’, or KD, in the Indian Penal code. Even to this date, most police stations are required to keep an account of all the KDs in their district.

-written by Saurabh Bodas. Saurabh is an intern at NewsGram.

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Xiaomi Focusing on Rural Retail in India

But the eight-year-old company wants to be recognised not as just another smartphone company and it began working towards this mission in 2014

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Xiaomi
Xiaomi wants to change rural retail in India with new business.

Chinese electronics major Xiaomi, which is focusing on amplifying its product portfolio beyond smartphones, is all set to launch on Tuesday a new business which, according to the company, will “change rural retail in India”.

“Excited about a new business that we are launching. We’ll announce it tomorrow,” Manu Kumar Jain, Vice President, Xiaomi Global and Managing Director, Xiaomi India, revealed in a tweet on Monday.

“This new business will forever change rural retail in India,” he stressed.

Started with the online-only strategy, Xiaomi is fast expanding its presence in offline retail as well.

In September, the company launched its fourth flagship “Mi Home” experience store in the country, in Bengaluru, along with a new office.

“With the launch of a new ‘Mi Home’ experience store, we aim to bring maximum international products to the Indian markets,” Jain said at the time of the launch.

The complaint alleged that Xiaomi had used the patents without any license from Yulong.
Started with the online-only strategy, Xiaomi is fast expanding its presence in offline retail as well, wikimedia commons

With the purpose of strengthening its offline network further, Xiaomi said in September it wanted to open 100 “Mi Home” stores in 2018 itself.

Known for its low-cost phones, the company shipped 11.7 million units and became the top brand in the Indian market with 27.3 per cent share in the third quarter this year, with Samsung at second spot, according to an International Data Corporation (IDC) report last week.

The company grew to a new high on the back of its successful Redmi 5A and Redmi Note 5 Pro series and refreshed Redmi 6/A/Pro portfolio, said the report.

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But the eight-year-old company wants to be recognised not as just another smartphone company and it began working towards this mission in 2014.

Along with its products in the smart home portfolio, its is also venturing into non-technology related segments like luggage, shoes, apparel and more. (IANS)