Monday, September 17, 2007

Sounds Greek!

The other day, I met someone and he was kind of smiling when he heard that my first name is Yasas. He is Australian he had worked in Greece for awhile, so knew a little bit of Greek. And, to my surprise, he said to me that the word Yasas is a way of greeting people in Greek. It didn't take even a week after that, I met another person and the initial few words from him gave me the accent hint that English is not his first language. When he asked me my name, I said 'Yasas'. And this guy actually was shocked to here that and looked at me and slowly said, 'No, you are kidding me!'. I said no, it’s my real first name, and by this time I knew what was going on. Actually, he is a Greek, an original one, a migrant I suppose. He explained to me that 'Yasas' is a popular way of greeting people (Like Good Bye) in Greek and its a way of wishing well, good health etc. I explained to him that I am Sri Lankan and my name is a Sinhalese name, which means Being Popular or Being famous for doing good things or something to that effect. It's amazing how totally different languages have the same words but not so surprisingly they mean different things. I am also surprised that it took so long for me to find out this.

If you are interested, I wrote a detailed post about my name sometime back. Here is the link.


Sam said...

Interesting. I'm sure there are thousands of parallels like these that we have not realized.

One thing that always made me wonder is the commonality between the idioms that are used in diverse cultures. The basic premises of cultural diffusion attempts to answer a part of this, but to me it's almost like some of these are common truths that underly our very existence.

BigBrother said...

I have a very good friend call Dr. Yasas Abeywickrama (I think his second name is Vibhavi). He is from Horana and 37 years old.

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Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!